Keet, Others Aim at Campaign Finance, Lobbying Reform
Arkansas gave bi-partisanship a shot last week when a group of activists — spearheaded by former GOP gubernatorial nominee Jim Keet, Democrat activist Brent Bumpers and Rockefeller business head Baker Kurrus– formed Better Ethics Now, a lobbying group driving a potential ballot measure that would "decrease the inappropriate influence of special interest groups" in the state.
Former Senator Dale Bumpers and retired GOP Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt have indicated support for the measure, which would
- disallow direct corporate and union contributions to state political campaigns,
- lengthen the ‘cooling-off’ period for legislators after leaving office before returning as lobbyists from 1 year to 2 years, and
- disallow gifts from lobbyists to legislators.
Better Ethics Now will work with the grassroots group Regnat Populus, which says on its website:
Many of us had long held beliefs that the influence of big money on our elections needed to be reigned in, but were unsure of how to go about creating the change we desired. The shifting of the national dialogue from “How do we slash government services to reduce the deficit?” to “How do we prevent Wall Street from creating another crash like 2008?” and “How do we address income inequality?,” prompted by Occupy Wall Street and other protest movements, forged our will and gave us the momentum to launch this ballot question committee.
What do you think of this reform? Is it needed? Is this the bi-partisan leadership Arkansas needs right now?