Instead of Vermont leading the way in this regard though, we are one of three states without conflict of interest laws, one of three states without financial disclosure laws, and one of seven states without an ethics commission.

For all of these reasons, I began efforts in 2013 to create an independent ethics commission, and establish a code of conduct for all statewide elected officials, appointed officials in the executive branch, and all state lawmakers. I introduced legislation, testified in front of committees, and wrote op-ed after op-ed. Yet, almost four years later, because of strong opposition from the Democratic majority in the Legislature, and no support from Shumlin or his staff, we have no laws in place.

So, to now see Democrats waving the flag of ethics reform - after years of opposition - smacks of political opportunism.  After all, when they had the opportunity to speak up and act, they refused.