Saturday, September 02, 2006

Greenburg Surprises On Holt

The words smacked up against me with the force of a waffle-iron to the forehead, yet I strangely enjoyed the experience. Paul Greenberg actually admitted that Sen. Jim Holt has one good idea. This was after a previous challenge Greenberg had made asking if Holt had ever done anything besides 1) defending traditional marriage via the marriage amendment which Greenberg opposed, or 2) writing a bill that would deny illegal aliens access to all "public benefits" not mandated by the federal government, which idea Greenberg also opposes.

The good idea was Holt's "not one cup of coffee" bill for lobbyists. Under the bill, lobbyists could not buy even one cup of coffee for legislators, unless it was at a public forum where everyone there could get the same thing. It would also stop the revolving door between lobbying firms and the ledge- imposing a two year wait before a former legislator could join such a firm. Holt had tried to use the media attention from the Jack Abramoff scandals to get the Governor to add this to his call for a special session. Mike Huckabee turned down the chance to go out as a reformer, so Holt is making it one of the five items on his agenda for Lt. Governor.

The bill was inspired by what Holt (and Greenberg) had seen with special interests wining and dining lawmakers until the bills that got passed were in their interests, not the publics. The rest of the five agenda items are.....

(continued- click SATURDAY below and scroll down for rest of story)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

2) Resurrect the "no public benefits for illegal aliens" bill, SB 206, that would also protect the integrity of elections by insuring only legal citizens voted.

3)Resurrect the bill that would ban homosexuals from using the power of the state to gain access to young children through foster parenting or adoption. This was another bill that Holt had already written, but liberal senators locked it up in committee.

4) Taxpayer Amendment. This would require a vote of the people to raise taxes, or raise taxes above a certain level. It would also contain provsions that would mandate a refund of taxes when the surplus grew too large.

I look for this one and the "not one cup of coffee" bill to have such resistance from the ledge that Holt will have to organize a ballot initiative to get them passed. Holt has said he is willing to do that if the legislature does not do the right thing in 07.

Right now we have a huge surplus, but we also have lots of groups with their hands out that want it. If Holt wins, the legislature had better refund a large portion of the surplus to the voters or Holt will surely attempt to take the matter out of their hands with an amendment like this. A huge tax refund would be the only thing the ledge could do to create a climate where people would feel this was not needed.

Holt has also suggested a fifth measure that he is willing to take to the voters, but I am drawing a blank this afternoon. It was either on education or abortion.

Another measure Holt supported, the equal ballot access act, was just forced on the state by a federal court. Holt wrote a bill equalizing ballot access between new parties and independents. The bill went nowhere in the ledge, but the courts have thrown our current laws out. They have ruled that in order to make our laws constitutional, we must make them similar to what Holt had proposed.

11:12 AM, September 02, 2006  

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