Friday, August 3, 2007

Time to Shore Up Ethics in Washington


In Iowa, Governor Romney Proposes New Law To Strengthen Ethics In Washington:

Governor Romney Proposes New Ethics Law That Would Strip Those Who Violate The Public Trust Of Their Government Pensions. "Saying it's time to clean up the ethics in Washington, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney today said he is proposing to strip pension benefits of any elected official or federal government employee who is convicted of a felony for violating the public trust." (Rod Boshart, "Romney: Time To Shore Up Ethics," Cedar Rapids Gazette, 8/2/07)

- Governor Mitt Romney: "There are a lot of things about Washington that give me real pause. One, by the way, is just watching the scandalous behavior that has been alleged on both sides of the aisle, but frankly I'm particularly disappointed in our own. ... [W]e'll see how many are accurate, but I think we're going to have to find a way to demand a higher standard. There is no excuse for unethical conduct on the part of people who go to Washington to serve this country. One thing I'd like to add, if I'm lucky enough to be President, I will fight for a provision, for a law, which says that if you're convicted of a crime as a government employee or an appointee – you're convicted of a crime that involves violation of the public trust, you've done some kind of abuse of your position – that you get stripped of your pension. A lot of people go [to Washington] for pensions. We're going to take away their pensions if they violate our trust." (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks At An Ask Mitt Anything, Urbandale, IA, 8/2/07)

- View Governor Romney's full remarks here

Background:

Under Massachusetts Law, Any State Employee Convicted Of A "Criminal Offense Involving Violation Of The Laws Applicable To His Office Or Position" Is Not Entitled To Receive A Retirement Pension. "Forfeiture of pension upon misconduct. – In no event shall any member after final conviction of a criminal offense involving violation of the laws applicable to his office or position, be entitled to receive a retirement allowance under the provisions of section one to twenty-eight, inclusive, nor shall any beneficiary be entitled to receive any benefits under such provisions on account of such member." (The General Laws Of Massachusetts, Part I, Title IV, Chapter 32: Section 15, www.mass.gov, Accessed 8/2/07)

Governor Romney Took No Salary As Governor Of Massachusetts And Donated His Salary To Charity As President Of The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. "In a symbolic move in the midst of a state budget crisis, Gov.-elect Mitt Romney and Lt. Gov.-elect Kerry Healey will not collect a salary when they take office. ... This is the second consecutive job in which Romney has declined a salary. As president of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Romney donated to charity his $275,000 annual salary for three years, totaling $825,000." (Jennifer Feen, "Citing Crisis, Romney, Healey Forfeit Salaries," Lowell Sun, 1/2/03)

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