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Friday, November 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Trib: His kingdom for an ethics panel

In his editorial this morning, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune comments:

By now, House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, has to recognize the Legislature's need for a truly independent ethics panel.

Instead, he and his fellow legislative leaders have maintained a system of self-policing. Only lawmakers sit on ethics committees. Only lawmakers can bring complaints. And until any review finds reasonable cause to proceed, only lawmakers know about it. The public is kept in the dark.

All of which proved wholly inadequate when Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, famously waded into the waters of "conduct unbecoming" a legislator by accusing female lawmakers of trading sexual favors for advancement.

That left Bedke with a lousy hand. Ultimately, he chose to discipline Scott by temporarily yanking her committee assignments.

But the decision was plagued by a record of inconsistency. More here.

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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