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Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser just sent a letter to her colleagues (but mostly to At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange) asking them not to support any emergency legislation having to do with ethics and good government.
Bowser is holding a committee hearing later this month on the multitude of ethics-related legislation and has promised to introduce a comprehensive ethics package by the end of this year. Bowser says the hearing is a “critical step” that shouldn’t be skipped over.
Orange apparently has other ideas. He’s indicated he’s going to introduce emergency legislation at tomorrow’s council session to set up an ethics “task force” to study the city’s ethics laws and recommend changes.
“Now is the time for a serious, deliberate discussion of the nine bills that sit in my committee, not for knee-jerk solutions or political pandering,” says Bowser.
Orange couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but Bowser’s indirect dig isn’t the first time someone’s accused him of pandering.
Update: Orange tells LL that he’s fully supportive of Bowser’s efforts, but says he also wants a separate task force, headed by the attorney general, to develop its own suggestions for ethical reform independent of the council.
“There’s a feeling in the public that this body cannot police itself,” says Orange.
Despite Bowser’s objections, Orange says he still plans on bringing up his emergency legislation for a vote tomorrow.