Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Duh... I wonder why people don't trust politicians?

From Gary Fineout’s The Fine Print blog:

Villalobos State Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, is giving up.

For the last several years Villalobos has tried to push a bill through the Florida Legislature that would have required those who appear before legislative committees to swear to tell the truth.

The legislation was an outgrowth of the contentious 2003 series of special sessions on medical malpractice where the Florida Senate eventually decided to place several officials – including the head of the state’s main malpractice insurer – under oath. Villalobos concluded that the testimony before legislators would change dramatically if everyone who testifies would be put on notice that they could be charged with a crime if they lie. His bill was primarily directed at lobbyists since it exempted legislators from the requirement.

But Villalobos legislation has constantly gotten bogged down. Last year House leaders refused to move his bill beyond one committee.

So Villalobos has decided he won’t file the bill again during his final session.

“I’ve never gotten traction,” said Villalobos.

Villalobos said his inability to get the legislation seriously considered sends a message that lying in the halls of the Florida Legislature is no big deal.

“It says people can go to the Capitol and lie and nothing will happen to them,” said Villalobos.

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