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Foley Still Seeking Ethics Overhaul

by Hugh McQuaid | Apr 24, 2013 5:30am
(11) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014, State Capitol

Hugh McQuaid Photo

Tom Foley and Sen. Joe Markley

Presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley doubled down Tuesday on an ethics bill the Government Administration and Ethics Committee let die earlier this month after it was condemned by lawmakers of both parties.

Foley and Sen. Joseph Markley, R-Southington, held an afternoon press conference in the Legislative Office Building, to reiterate the need for legislation to curb conflicts of interest in state government.

Foley, who lost a close election to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2010 and has been positioning for another run next year, testified before the legislature’s open government committee in March in support of a bill prohibiting lawmakers or a members of their immediate family from being paid more than $1,000 from an employer that benefits from state funding.

The testimony did not resonate well with members of either party. Lawmakers on the committee called the legislation overly broad and several chided Foley for suggesting widespread corruption in state government.

The committee took no action on the bill before it’s April 8 deadline, effectively killing it for the legislative session.

On Tuesday, Foley said the response he received from the committee almost a month earlier further convinced him of the necessity of the bill.

“You wouldn’t think legislators would be so brazen as to shout down someone trying to throw cold water on corruption,” he said.

During the bill’s public hearing, several Republican House members said the impact of the bill would prohibit a large number of current lawmakers from serving in the legislature.

Foley pushed back on the allegation Tuesday, saying his research found that less than a dozen current current lawmakers would be affected. When asked, he said that one of them is House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, who is expected to challenge Foley for the Republican nomination in next year’s governor’s race. Cafero works as a partner at Brown Rudnick, a law firm that lobbies the legislature.

“I’ve known Larry Cafero a long time I think he’s served honorably in the House. He’s a friend,” Foley said. “This legislation is not about trying to capture or single out single individuals.”

Markley said he would look for another piece of legislation to serve as a suitable vehicle to tack Foley’s bill onto if he could raise the support among other lawmakers. If not, he hoped to move ethics legislation next session.

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(11) Comments

posted by: Noteworthy | April 24, 2013  9:10am

The Connecticut legislature is comfortable where they are. They like the loopholes and low standards.

posted by: res ipsa | April 24, 2013  9:29am

Time for term limits, separation of watchdog agencies from governor’s control,initiative and referendum, and the establishment of a non-partisan reapportionment commission.

posted by: ASTANVET | April 24, 2013  1:29pm

Shouldn’t the article title be - “Connecticut citizens sill seeking ethics from the state government” it seems they are all cronies, back room deal makers, back scratching leeches.  They ignore people who don’t mold into their ideology, they bully citizens by contorting the law to suit their purpose (can anyone say eminent domain).  They trample rights they don’t like or agree with, they spend money we don’t have knowing that they will just tax us for it later… they are a joke!  Ethics… they want to talk about ethics??

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | April 24, 2013  2:57pm

During the hearing, Foley made a big point that it is unethical for persons in union management to run for public office.  Note that Tea Party favorite, Joe Markley, is eagerly carrying water for Foley.  Is Joe bucking for the LG spot?

posted by: Reasonable | April 24, 2013  8:35pm

NotThatMichael Brown: Everyone knows you dislike ALL Republicans. What else is new?

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | April 25, 2013  8:41am

We need a legislature like New Hampshire.  Meets every two years, lots of reps, and gets paid squat.  This shouldn’t be a career where low pay is compensated by selling influence.

posted by: dano860 | April 25, 2013  8:51am

Ethics in Connecticut? That’s a running joke, lets not forget the the Alan Plofsky firing. He was the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission in 2004. He was fired! If that was for just cause fine but it was part of a witch hunt for his comments about then Gov. Rowland. There was a long protracted scheme to set him up and get him fired. That was the most un-ethical action the State ever witnessed. The person that wrote letters and other lies was eventually moved into the position vacated by Mr. Plofsky. Even after he was exonerated she was found guilty and promoted out of the way, great State eh?
She went to elaborate extremes that even involved the parking lot attendant.
When I was on the Towns Wetlands Agency I contacted the Ethics Commission for a ethics policy for towns to use for the boards and commissions. Their response was, “we don’t have one.” I was blown away, the woman I was talking to said they had tried to do one but couldn’t come up with a good one so they dropped it.
I hope they have one today.
The thing about ethics policies is that they rely upon the ethics of the person that they effect being ethical enough to say,“that applies to me.”
The commision has no legal authority or power. It’s like getting stopped for cause, like a seat belt or talking on the phone, then they find the operator DUI. It is just a door opener.

posted by: dano860 | April 25, 2013  2:24pm

I forgot to mention that Mr. plofsky was found ” not guilty”. The State was ordered to reinstate him to an equivalent position (@$120K/yr.) and pay him $180K in back pay.
He was set up and we are paying for it…ethics? Not in this State!

posted by: Hebee | April 27, 2013  8:58am

I love Joe Markley. In a Capital Building filled with crooks, hypocrites and ego maniacs, he is a breath of fresh air.

posted by: Reasonable | April 27, 2013  2:17pm

Hebee:  You said a mouthful.  Too bad we don’t have someone with his honesty and integreity in the White House. Then Gov. Malloy could feed off a real, legitimate role model—“rather than someone who happens to be politically correct for him to copy.”

posted by: Commuter | April 28, 2013  6:08pm

Foley’s no Conservative. He’s playing Markley like a fiddle. This is just a clever way to attack Cafero.