Amendment allows MHAs a summer of spending fun
One of the most controversial and prolific bloggers out there right now is Ed Hollett (left, CBC photo), who calls it as he sees it in his Sir Robert Bond Papers.
Hollett is a former staffer in the office of Premier Clyde Wells, so he knows his way around the legislative process and is not inclined to let go upon sinking his teeth into an issue. He's been accused of being a Liberal, which is true I suppose, but he has his own mind, criticizing Liberals when they deserve it and actually backing Danny Williams on rare occasions (such as Stephen Harper's tinkering with the Atlantic Accord).
Hollett is sometimes one step ahead of media in uncovering political stories and today's post is no exception. He points out that the House of Assembly Accountability, Integrity, and Administration Act was quietly amended before its passage in the House, evidently to allow MHA's one last feeding at the trough before the election in October.
The amendment postpones implementation of restrictions on the practice of handing out gifts and donations from constituency allowances, Hollett says, freeing them up to hand out donations and be reimbursed for expenses "not directly connected with the member's responsibilities as a member in relation to the ordinary and proper representation of constituents and the public".
On occasion, Hollett breaks stories in his blog that find their way into mainstream media coverage within a day or two. I suspect that will be the case with today's entry.