Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bishops weigh in on Louisiana ethics reform

The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops is encouraging the governor and legislature to make some substantial changes during the upcoming special session on ethics reform.

In a statement released today Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans spoke for the seven dioceses of Louisiana. He cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states: "Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it."

He then reminded officials of the goals of the code and said: "Unfortunately, Louisiana has a sad history of corruption at all levels of government. This is harming the common good in various ways. First, it discourages our citizens from participating in the political process itself. Secondly, it convinces out-of-state business interests that it would be a mistake for them to invest in our state."

"We urge the new state Legislature to work with Governor Jindal to pass legislation that provides improved clarity in the way state government operates. The public needs to see this occur in three areas: (1) personal finance disclosure by public officials, (2) campaign finance disclosure, and (3) spending by lobbyists."

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