- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The District’s attorney general, Irvin B. Nathan, is slated for a tete-a-tete on government ethics this evening with the Ward 3 Democratic Committee, and because fireworks are unlikely from this biased tribe of wealthy and educated stakeholders, Republicans, independents and conservatives should crash the incestuous party.

One party has stunted the growth of the city long enough.

It’s the Democrats, stupid.

Whether the issue is crime and gun control, aiding the downtrodden and educating the public, or fiscal and personal responsibility, it’s always the Democrats’ way or the highway.

So it likely will be with ethics reform.

But even if you live in the District and aren’t a registered Democrat, you should be concerned and make sure you have a dog in the upcoming fight to “reform” D.C. ethics laws.

“Our ethics laws have not been addressed since 1978 in the District of Columbia,” D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown said in an interview at The Washington Times on Monday. “I think that we should have a comprehensive ethics reform bill that comes out of the council, not a piece-by-piece-by-piece approach.”

That’s liberal-speak for saying everything is on the deliberation table, including the kitchen sink.

But in the District, unlike the states, where Republicans and Democrats wage battles over statehouses and governorships on a routine basis, D.C. voters have a slave mentality when it comes to Democrats.

That is to say, the Democrat-controlled City Hall views major policy decisions through a paternalistic lens. For example, City Hall’s take on gun rights is that the city doesn’t need more guns but should have stricter laws to prevent crime.

Or, as Mr. Brown, a Democrat, put it at the newsmaker interview with The Times, “I don’t support having more guns in the District of Columbia,” but residents “should have every right to protect themselves.”

It’s that very unattainable and unsustainable balancing act that should be at the heart of the upcoming deliberations on ethics reform.

Indeed, the only reason the issue of ethics reform is on the D.C. Council’s plate this fall is because D.C. Republicans have called on the District’s Office of Campaign Finance to conduct a formal investigation of council members’ constituent services fund.

The fund allows a lawmaker to raise up to $80,000 to spend practically any way he or she sees fit, and The Times rightly keeps this issue on the front burner.

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