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Don Gaetz says ethics reform will be Senate priority

Niceville Republican who will become Senate president in a few weeks, says the ethics standards for legislators are too low and should be strengthened. In a 90-minute roundtable meeting with Capitol reporters Tuesday, Gaetz went into significant detail on the ethics reforms he says he'll seek as Senate president.

"I think that we ought to raise the standard of ethical conduct in the Legislature and among public officials in this state generally," Gaetz said.

Gaetz's ideas include prohibiting legislators (other than teachers) from drawing a second public paycheck while they are in office; prohibiting lawmakers from voting on issues in which they have declared a conflict of interest; requiring online posting of lawmakers' financial disclosure statements; and prohibiting legislators from paying for personal expenses from special interest contributions to political committees under their control (those slush funds are known as CCEs or committees of continuing existence).

"Some people are living out of their CCEs," Gaetz said. He did not name names, but a recent Times/Herald report detailed how Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, has spent CCE money on travel, meals, and other expenses. 

Gaetz was especially critical of a long-standing practice in Tallahassee in which lawmakers -- after being elected -- obtain outside employment at colleges or universities that are dependent on the Legislature for their operating funds. The Times/Herald reported on that trend in a story nearly four years ago, after then-House Speaker Ray Sansom got a part-time job at his hometown college.

"It's what we in Okaloosa County call a walking-around job," Gaetz said. "I think that ought to be prohibited." 

-- Steve Bousquet 

Comments

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stephanie jones

then why did he bundle these donations to congressman miller when he was okaloosa school superintendent?

ANSLEY, KATHEEN M.
CRESTVIEW
FL 32536 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/MEDIA SPEC 21990504658

ANSLEY, WAYNE
CRESTVIEW
FL 32536 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/ADMINISTRA 21990504658

FULLER, FRANK L.
NICEVILLE
FL 32578 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/ADMINISTRA 21990504692

FULLER, JANET
NICEVILLE
FL 32578 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/TEACHER 21990504692


GAETZ, DON
NICEVILLE
FL 32588 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/SUPT. OF S 21990504692




MCEACHERN, CLAUDIA B.
NICEVILLE
FL 32578 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/TEACHER 21990504725

MCEACHERN, ROBERT F.
NICEVILLE
FL 32578 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/ASST. SUPE 21990504725

LULUE, CAROLYN
MARY ESTHER
FL 32569 07/20/2001 250.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/ESE CONTRA 21990504720

MCEACHERN, CLAUDIA B.
NICEVILLE
FL 32578 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/TEACHER 21990504725

MCEACHERN, ROBERT F.
NICEVILLE
FL 32578 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/ASST. SUPE 21990504725

SANSOM, RAY
DESTIN
FL 32541 07/20/2001 1000.00 OKALOOSA COUNTY SCHOOLS/SCHOOL BOA 21990504745

ANSLEY, KATHEEN M.

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