Saturday, September 06, 2014

Another ethically challenged politician: system encourages ethics violations

Elected public officials have lives outside their government roles ("dual roles").  This leads to many conflict of interest issues. An example below.

"Her campaign is using similar logic to explain another dual role: Ms. Van de Putte’s advocacy for minority-owned investment banking firms in the Legislature while serving on the advisory board of one of the companies, which later paid her $2,000 a month to consult for it.
There is no evidence that Ms. Van de Putte broke any rules, and her campaign says her dealings never posed a conflict of interest."
“This is a conflict of interest problem, clearly,” said Craig Holman, a government ethics expert at the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen, based in Washington. “But the structure of state government in Texas nurtures it.”
Texas' legislators get paid $ 7,200 per year and there are lax disclosure and ethics laws.  Raising the salaries may do little, but the lax laws need to be tightened up. However, what are the chances the fox will agree to new rules to protect the henhouse? 

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