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Memo from the Ethics Study Committee

Much to our pleasure, and somewhat to our surprise, this session of the legislature has seen the introduction of a bumper crop of ethics bills. For the most part, these are designed to clarify and strengthen the existing code of ethics (Act 263) passed last year. Other bills cover the regulation of campaign practices and registration of lobbyists. We will be watching these bills closely and attending committee meetings where they come up for public hearings. Marguerite Simson has already used the state ethics consensus as a basis for her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on March 5.

Our beginning study of CAMPAIGN. PRACTICES is a sturdy infant and shows promise of a vigorous future; The workshop sessions last month laid the groundwork, and the Ethics Study Committee is now preparing for units discussions in May on the Primary Law and methods of campaign financing. Don't get left behind! You are always welcome. to join the Ethics Study Group --- next meeting at Barbara-Furniss' house on Monday, March 25, at 9:30 a.m.


"A Perspective on the Conference on Ethics in Government" Feb. 8, 1967 Honolulu, Hawaii. pp 7-8 (Report on the dialogue session-on campaign practices and contributions)

State Study Guide on Election Laws (LWV) Model Election Law p.42 Section 4

TIME Essay: "Congressional Ethics: Who Can Afford to Be Honest?". TIME, March 31, 1967, pp 24-25.

Boyd, James. "The Tragedy of Thomas Dodd." THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, January 13, 1968. (From the forthcoming book - "Above the Law")

In this country, running for public office is a private enterprise; except in one or two states, tax money does little more than provide boards of elections, polling booths and ballots or voting machines. Like that other waif of the American political system, the political party itself, methods Of financing campaigns evolved quite outside the law ...

THE NATION, June 27, 1966

The student of democratic institutions is tempted to conclude that the most serious obstacle to making democracy work in America is our method Of financing political campaigns This system means that democracy cannot get off the ground. Power goes to those who have the money to buy it. The ultimate solution must be to have campaign expenditures paid out of taxes and make all contributions illegal.

--Robert Hutchins

It is not an impertinence for taxpayers to expect men they elect to high office to make public their financial position. And it will be even less so if these same men and women now vote to have the taxpayers finance their campaigns for reelection.

September 15, 1967

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