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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Holmes Ethics Bill Headed to the Senate

In a bipartisan effort, the House passed a bill that would give subpoena power to the Alabama Ethics Commission.

State Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, sponsored the bill which Republicans have been pushing for the last three years. State Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, had sponsored the bill again this year, but he said that he was willing to withdraw his bill if the House passed Holmes' bill.

Ward said the reality is that by passing Holmes' bill it improves the likelihood that the bill could pass the Senate because Holmes is a Democrat.

"Alvin will have a better chance of getting this bill is passed if he carries it," he said.

Holmes said he has fought corruption under Republican and Democratic governor's and he doesn't believe the Senate is going to tell the Dean of the House no on this issue.

"We have had so much corruption in this state that we need every tool that we can get to fight it," he said.

Ward's version of the bill has passed the House before, but has never made it out of the Senate. The bill never came up for a vote last year. He said that he thinks there would be low tolerance this election cycle for the kind of procedural stalling and blocking tactics that have happened in the state Legislature in previous years.

"That anger is not just aimed at Democrats, it's aimed at the people in power," he said. "And when it comes to this kind of legislation on ethics, I wouldn't want to be in the position of trying to block it."

-- posted by Markeshia Ricks


Anonymous Patrick Calge said...

The ethics commission needs subpoena power, otherwise they continue to hold a gun without any bullets.

January 21, 2010 at 11:47 AM  

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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