Conveniently Ethical | Buzz Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Conveniently Ethical

Posted By on October 1, 2009, 4:09 PM

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A legislator changes to an education lobbyist, where he will fight for, among other things, ethics reform.---

The new government relations director for the Utah Education Association is former Rep. Kory Holdaway, who announced his resignation this week. In his new position, he will be lobbying former legislative colleagues for education funding, and should be immediately effective because of the connections he cultivated while serving, and being paid by, the public.

To his sort-of credit, Holdaway chose to resign instead of remaining a lawmaker and registered lobbyist, which is the type of legislative schizophrenia that Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, has pulled for years. But still, Holdaway is doing what many of ethics reformers want to stop: a revolving door where legislators and Capitol Hill staffers work on the public dime until they have the connections to bathe in lobbying riches.

Ironically, one of the core supporters of the current citizen petition for ethics reform is the UEA. Just to clarify: Holdaway will resign his post, immediately become a lobbyist, and then help try to pass an ethics reform that would prevent other lawmakers from doing exactly what he is doing.

The defense of Holdaway is that he has always been a staunch supporter of education, which is true, so he's not compromising his core beliefs. Plus, he is going to fight the good fight for Utah's always poorly funded schools. So this is an easier pill to swallow, especially for those who want the ethics of (Republican) legislators reformed.

Problem is, this simply does not pass any sort of logic test.

Here's a quick game: Rep. XXXX is resigning to go lobby for Altius, the tobacco company. He's a life-long smoker, so he's not compromising his principles. Now it stinks, doesn't it?

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Josh Loftin

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