17 March 2010

Manchin Wobbly on Reviving Ethics Bill

Before wrapping up last week, senators killed the first bill they had received from the House during the 60-day session, a unanimously passed measure that aimed to strengthen reporting requirements for public servants.

But amid calls to revive that bill during any upcoming special sessions, Gov. Joe Manchin says he sympathizes with Senate concerns over its provision to require officials "to disclose their spouses' employers and financial interests," The Associated Press reports.

"They have their own lives, they have their own careers. They didn't put their names on the ballot," Manchin is quoted as saying.

The article notes that "more than half the states require such spousal disclosures, according to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, which flunked West Virginia for its ethics laws."

AP explains that "the group's 2009 survey found information mandated about a spouse's employment in 37 states, investments by 33 states and real estate by 28 states."

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