Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rooming with Wayne Scott: It's No Gift

Yet another story this morning by The O on legislators who neglected to mention or report trips paid for by lobbying interests; this time it's Idaho Power and an even mix of Republicans and Democrats, current legislators and former ones (although it seems that if mislaid ethics are involved, you can always count on Billy Dalto to be part of the story).

It's a worthy expose' series to be sure, but it's getting a little tiresome to hear the same poor excuses over and over: "Oh, I misplaced that expense file;" or the buck-passing of choice utilized this time by Dalto--"[he] was under the impression lobbyists were responsible for reporting. He said he would need to talk with the ethics commission." I'm sure you will, Billy--not necessarily on your schedule, though. As the article points out (and which we intentionally neglected to tell you), the commission will be reviewing the spate of unreported trips to determine whether violations occurred (duhhhh).

This particular paid trip was not your typical golfing junket, however; legislators roomed and ate dorm-style, sharing bathrooms and a mess hall for meals. Just sharing floor space at the Capitol in Salem is odious enough for some legislators; in the quote of the day, busted former Rep. Mark Hass made it clear that Idaho Power's largesse would have gone on his post-holiday return list: "Rooming with Wayne Scott in a utility shack isn't my idea of a gift." Amen. I say let Hass off with time served.