Supporters of ethics initiative in Logan gathering signatures

Members of Utahns for Ethical Government are in Cache Valley today gathering support for a ballot initiative that would establish an ethics commission for members of the Utah State Legislature to follow. Chairman Kim Burningham says at least 95,000 signatures are needed by the April 15th deadline to get the issue on the 2010 ballot. Local legislators say Republican lawmakers have already passed an ethics bill but Burningham says all it does is deal with the Legislative element. “They do nothing about the entire code of conduct issue, which are all those elements about campaign contributions, being a lobbyist and serving in the legislature, corporation control, conflict of interest disclosure, all of those things are not discussed,” Burningham explains. “Ours is a comprehensive approach that really does give us the commission and also provides a code of conduct that will be valuable.” Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, says under the proposed ethics commission, the names of his legal clients would have to be made public. Rep. Jack Draxler, R-District 3, says the same applies to clients in his real estate business. Burningham says that’s wrong and the claim has been vastly exaggerated. At the same time, he says it’s good that lawmakers are doing something about the ethics issue.

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