BY BUDDY NEVINS
In Tallahassee its called, “Loving It To Death”.
That is defined as loading up of a piece of legislation with so much unnecessary baggage that it is sure to fail.
Some Broward County Commissioners appear to be using that tactic to kill the ethics regulations that the public is clamoring for.
For instance, County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman told the Sun-Sentinel ethics reform should include the Broward Legislative Delegation.
The debate has been about problem in Broward, Ms. Lieberman/Michelson, and not in Tallahassee.
The problem is, among other things, commissioners like you, Ms. Lieberman/Michelson, lobbying cities in Broward.
Including legislators in any bill could kill the reform. I would think a lawyer and veteran politician like Ms. Lieberman/Michelson would know this.
Because Broward can’t regulate the state Legislature with any local law. And the Legislature will never go along with a state bill that allows an inspector general to police Broward representatives and senators.
It’s a non-starter and Lieberman/Michelson knows it.
In contrast, when Commissioner Sue Gunzburger made a sensible suggestion Tuesday, she was batting her head against the wall…again.
Gunzburger has been trying to tighten ethics rules since 2001. She has gotten nowhere.
Her colleagues have repeatedly blocked her.
She suggested on Tuesday placing the entire package of reforms drafted by the county’s Ethics Commission on the ballot as a charter amendment, rather than just an ordinance.
An ordinance can be changed by a future commission. A charter amendment can only be changed by the voters.
She couldn’t get a second!
That says volumes about the phonies on the county commission.
Watch them very carefully.
I predict they will continue attempts to kill ethics reform by “Loving It To Death”, maybe adding unconstitutional clauses so that a judge will take them off the hook.
Only Gunzburger has clean hands on the issue of ethics reform. She vows to continue.
“I’ve waited a long time and I will continue to fight,” she says.
Most of the others like the status quo. They like able to cash in on being a commissioner.
Because if things change and tough ethics laws are passed, some of these commissioners will have turn down the freebees from their lobbyist friends. They will have to stop influence peddling. They will have to do something they haven’t done since their first election:
Really work for a living.