( – promoted by mooncat)
In a guest editorial, Sparks clearly identifies the ethics reforms he would pursue as Governor:
- Ban PAC-to-PAC transfers
- Campaign contributions will be transparent, clearly identifying the individual contributor
- Federal "office holder" fund transfers to State campaigns will have the same transparency
- Lobbyists will report "every penny"
- Lobbying the Executive Branch will have the same transparency, and lobbyists will be required to register
This is a substantial and progressive 'campaign and ethics reform' agenda.
Sparks states "…the answer is to take workable, substantive steps towards strengthening the relationship and restoring trust between the people and our state government."
What we are really talking about here is taking steps to restore trust in state government. There will never be enough legislation to make everybody completely trust their government. Just as a marriage certificate doesn’t guarantee domestic bliss, legislation can’t make people trust their government. Conversely, legislation won’t keep those hell-bent on breaking the rules and taking ethical shortcuts from doing so.
Where Sparks differentiates from other candidates is his stance that ‘ethics reform’ is not the basis of a campaign, particularly in the face of the real problems facing us in Alabama.
Many candidates and office holders support ethics initiatives that duplicate guidelines, regulations, or statutes that are already in place. Often times, we see this sort of political maneuvering around election time, as candidates look to attract attention to their candidacy. There is neither need nor place for this type of political posturing and wasteful spending in our state government.
Just as Ron Sparks concludes, “With elections on the horizon, I urge you to sift through the shameless showboating and brazen attempts to manipulate your emotions about ethics reform. We should all look and expect real answers to real problems from the candidates we support.”