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The same week former State Rep. Michael Decker pled guilty to taking a $50,000 bribe to switch parties and vote for Democrat Jim Black for Speaker of the House – Governor Easley signed the legislature’s new ethics bill into law. Easley said this bill “is a powerful first step at establishing clear ethical standards…” (The News and Observer, 8/5/06).

Sounds encouraging? However, remember, this bill is not much different from the bill the head of Easley’s Ethics Commission, retired Judge Robert Farmer, described as “just pretend ethics.”

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