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Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is defending
legislation to dismantle the state Ethics Commission, which was created after lawmakers took envelopes stuffed with cash in the "Tennessee Waltz" scandal. It's not an attempt to do away with a government watchdog, Ramsey asserts. It's a question of efficiency, he says.
"Keep in my mind if we do decide to merge these two and become one to actually save money and become more efficient, not one law in the state of Tennessee is going to be changed," he said. "The very ethics law that we passed back in 2005 will remain on the books. It's just a question of whether you need two boards doing almost the same thing."
Legislation to scuttle the commission and transfer its duties to the understaffed Registry of Election Finance cleared a House subcommittee this morning.