- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -

How 'Ethics' Laws Can Kill

Posted By Conn Carroll On January 25, 2008 @ 4:02 pm In First Principles | Comments Disabled

Since some presidential candidates have based their entire campaigns on bringing ‘change’ to Washington through new ethics laws, [1] it is worth highlighting stories that demonstrate just how silly and ineffective these laws really are.

Following FBI raids on legislative offices last year, Alaska lawmakers passed an ethics law that set limits on the gifts state legislators can receive [2]. The do-gooders even inserted a “compassionate gift” exemption that allows  legislators to recieve gifts in times of tragedy or health emergency, but even those gifts are limited to $250.

Enter Rep. Richard Foster who is famous in Juneau for his love of machine guns and weekly musical jam parties. Before being recently hospitalized, Foster had dialysis three times a week and was in desperate need for a new kidney. He even found a donor; Sue Stancliffe, an aide to a fellow lawmaker. But the state ethics committee said that since her kidney was worth more than $250, there would be an ethics ‘problem’ if she gave her kidney to Foster.

Stancliffe is undeterred by the silly ethics law and is planning to go through with the operation next spring: “The good lord gave me two healthy kidneys and my faith is very, very strong,” she said.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/01/25/how-ethics-laws-can-kill/

URLs in this post:

[1] bringing ‘change’ to Washington through new ethics laws,: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/politics/5468429.html

[2] Alaska lawmakers passed an ethics law that set limits on the gifts state legislators can receive: http://www.adn.com/politics/story/293601.html

Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.