Hey, Legislators, Do Unto Others!

by Rob Roper

Vermont legislators were publicly shamed into passing an ethics bill this session, thought what they ended up passing is pretty weak tea in terms of actually policing and enforcing bad behavior. But here’s the aspect of the story that’s really infuriating….

Asked why it was so hard to do anything governing the behavior of elected officials, Sen. Anthony Pollina (D/P-Washington) replied, ““We’re really eager to make laws that impact other people, but when it comes to laws that affect the Legislature itself, we’re not really willing to do that. We’ll judge others but not judge ourselves.” (VT Digger, 5/16/17)

Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham) shared a similar sentiment, “… part of it was people thinking it was impacting legislators, and we never like to pass things that impact ourselves… Look at when we passed campaign finance. We don’t like to do that. We like to pass things that affect other people.”

While I appreciate the honesty, and in fairness to Pollina and White I think they are lamenting this dynamic, still…. Go screw yourselves. There’s no more polite way to say it.

Ever heard of the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Legislators don’t like laws that tell them what to do and how to act? Guess what? Neither do we. Maybe consider that fact the next time some busybody, nanny state bill comes across your desks that affects your constituents in ways that you wouldn’t want to be affected yourselves. Then don’t pass it.

- Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Tarantino May 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Of course, they don;t like to pass any law that affects them! They also do not like to pass any laws that will $ave the taxpayers money! Other wise they would have passed the 26 Million dollar saving by having state wide teacher’s contracts! It is not all Democrats, as we saw when 14 of them along with independents, voted on favor of the law only to have Mitzi Johnson, who knew that two legislators had to leave, due to personal reasons, and were in favor of the law, she then voted against it! ENOUGH! do you job, or we will elect someone who will!


H. Brooke Paige May 16, 2017 at 5:38 pm

A Little Confusion ?


Ethics Rules ? Most of the folks hiding out under the golden bubble each winter don’t think it is fair that they must actually run for their offices every other year. They believe they deserve to be ordained for life, such is the thinking of the privileged elite !

Looking at how they are treated by the voters one can easily see how they have become confused.

H. Brooke Paige
Washington Vermont


Stuart Lindberg May 16, 2017 at 11:41 pm

In Vermont, Democrat and Progressive legislators are ordained for life. They are ordained by the voters.


Jeanne Norris May 17, 2017 at 1:14 am

I say Rob Roper for Governor!!

Well he makes the most sense of anyone else in this dam Nanny State!!


Dick Tracy May 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Additionally, the VT legislature seems to never consider possible unintended consequences. Have they ever admitted a mistake and repealed bed legislation? They will acknowledge that this or that law needs tweaking but that’s all.


Rep. Bob Frenier May 19, 2017 at 11:53 pm

I objected to the ethics bill’s requirement that my wife’s income be reported as a matter of routine. Yeah, yeah, I know: if I was a big-wig and she was, too, there could be a conflict; but we aren’t and the law didn’t make that distinction. Spew all the anger you need to at your citizen legislator neighbors; leave our families out of it.


Mark Shepard May 21, 2017 at 3:44 am

Ethics really should be judged by the voters every two years. Clearly these people have been robbing the voters for years, but it seems a majority of Vermont voters approve of that, at least the ones that do not vote with their feet.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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