Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Blunt Administration has Ethics Problems, Too

Since I remember the start of my blog-life as a fit thrown at Matt Blunt, lets observe the blog-o-versary by doing just that...

(Cross-posted from Watching Those We Chose)

With all the outrages going on at the national level, I have been woefully remiss in taking my juvenile delinquent governor and Republican-controlled state house to task.

Ethics violations and obstruction of justice isn’t just a D.C. phenomenon, you know. The state of Missouri, with Matt-son-of-Blunt acting as governor - I won’t say he’s in the mansion as his not-from-Missouri wife turned her nose up at the Governor’s Mansion, so the Boy Blunder commutes from Springfield to Jeff City in a six-suburban convoy five days a week.

Because Melanie “doesn’t like the mansion.”

I’m sure, given the questions about just how young Matty manages the monthly nut on the Springfield digs on his state salary, you damn sure know that he isn’t footing the bill for the petrol for those six Suburbans out of his pocket, he’s gassing ‘em up a couple of times a day out of mine.

A hundred and forty miles. Each way. Six Suburbans. That’s a lot of cash and a lot of carbon. If I did the stoichiometry for the carbon emissions, I would set my hair alight. At least those emissions would be from the biological carbon cycle...

But that isn’t even what I’m here to complain about today. I just can’t mention Matt career-fading-fast Blunt without bringing that up…

Like I said at the top, Washington has no monopoly on ethics violations. Hell, the Matt Blunt administration is one giant ethics violation.

Yesterday, young Master Blunt’s Chief of Staff, Ed Martin, fired off a letter in which he viciously attacked Missouri’s Democratic Attorney General and next Governor, Jay Nixon.

But there are a couple of problems with Martin’s screed.

First, he cited an investigation in which Nixon was exonerated of any wrongdoing, and a report that was issued in September.

The following cases were dismissed against these Respondents as the allegations were unsubstantiated:

06C147 Mike Sanders, Jackson Co
06E112 Nixon for Governor Committee
06E112A Jeremiah Nixon, Cole Co
06E112G Ameren UE Pac
06E118 Ameren UE
06C172 Sandra Reeves, Clay Co

But of course, Martin didn’t point that bit up, just that some sorehead filed a grievance and wasted the commissions time and the states money. Except he wasn’t honest in his phraseology like I just was.

But his screed highlighted another problem. He knew details of the Ethics Commission meeting that are supposed to be confidential. From the Ethics Commission website:
Complaint Process

The Missouri Ethics Commission is given the statutory authority to investigate complaints made against elected and appointed officials. The complaint process and all investigations by the commission are confidential. All complaints filed must be in writing, must be filed by a natural person, and the person's signature must be notarized. The commission has jurisdiction to review complaints alleging violations of: the requirements imposed on lobbyists; the financial interest disclosure requirements; the campaign finance disclosure requirements; any code of conduct promulgated by any department, division, or agency of state government, or by state institutions of higher education; the conflict of interest laws; and the provisions of the constitution or state statute or order, ordinance or resolution of any political subdivision.

And the Missouri Revised Statutes:

Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 105
Public Officers and Employees--Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 105.955

August 28, 2006

Ethics commission established--appointment--qualifications --terms--vacancies--removal--restrictions--compensation --administrative secretary--filings required--investigators --powers and duties of commission--advisory opinions, effect--audits.

105.955. 1. A bipartisan "Missouri Ethics Commission", composed of six members, is hereby established. The commission shall be assigned to the office of administration with supervision by the office of administration only for budgeting and reporting as provided by subdivisions (4) and (5) of subsection 6 of section 1 of the Reorganization Act of 1974. Supervision by the office of administration shall not extend to matters relating to policies, regulative functions or appeals from decisions of the commission, and the commissioner of administration, any employee of the office of administration, or the governor, either directly or indirectly, shall not participate or interfere with the activities of the commission in any manner not specifically provided by law and shall not in any manner interfere with the budget request of or withhold any moneys appropriated to the commission by the general assembly. All members of the commission shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate from lists submitted pursuant to this section. Each congressional district committee of the political parties having the two highest number of votes cast for their candidate for governor at the last gubernatorial election shall submit two names of eligible nominees for membership on the commission to the governor, and the governor shall select six members from such nominees to serve on the commission.

Mr. Martin needs to answer some questions about this.

And he needs to swear an oath first.

No comments: