GOP criticizes Democrats before meeting begins - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

GOP criticizes Democrats before meeting begins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A joint House-Senate panel began a two-day meeting today, aimed at working out proposals to tighten ethics laws in the state.

Just before it began in Nashville, House Republican Leader Bill Dunn of Knoxville blamed Democrats for blocking ethics legislation earlier this year.

The debate is becoming increasingly partisan as lawmakers try to bolster public confidence in them in the wake of the Tennessee Waltz public corruption probe.

Dunn also said he thinks it's time to force the Black Caucus of the Legislature -- which has no Republicans on it -- to fully disclose where it gets in funds ad how it spends them.

Unlike the Republican and Democratic causes, the Black Caucus doesn't register as a political action committee. The issue arose after a white representative from East Tennessee tried to join the Black Caucus.

The Republicans also called on the Democrats to support a full ban on cash campaign contributions and an end to lobbyists' gifts of meals to lawmakers.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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