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The bill would hand off the job to a new ethics panel — an odorous proposal.

If the mayor and council want to be taken seriously, their stabs at ethics reform must address how the law and voters handle bad apples who stink up city hall.

After all, it’s the lack of public trust and a flaming crisis of confidence that dogged the council into even considering the bill in the first place.

Getting a comprehensive package of ethics reform measures to the mayor pronto is not crucial. Assuring voters that they did it right is imperative.

The cornerstone of ethical behavior is to first distinguish right from wrong, then follow up by doing the right thing.

While Mr. Brown was right to get his colleagues moving quickly on this one, he is wrong to seek quick action on legislation that gives voters only half of what they are demanding.

Half-true, half-myth: Opponents of school choice continue to spin half-truths.

A faithful reader of The Washington Times took issue with my Nov. 28 column that supported parents’ call for the freedom to choose.

It’s time to separate fact from fiction.

Myth: D.C. voters rejected a referendum on school vouchers in 1981.

True: D.C. voters hit the polls in 1981, but the referendum did not address school vouchers. By 89 percent, voters rejected a proposal that would have granted families a tuition tax credit.

So I ask: Is it also wrong to give a military veteran a tax-funded voucher to attend a religious college of his choosing?

• Deborah Simmons can be reached at