May 12

The Muskogee Phoenix on the Ethics Commission:

Legislators can use the excuse this year that the state did not have enough revenue to properly fund the Ethics Commission.


May 12
The Muskogee Phoenix on the Ethics Commission:
Legislators can use the excuse this year that the state did not have enough revenue to properly fund the Ethics Commission.
But given legislators’ long history of not adequately funding the commission, that excuse becomes just another excuse.
The Ethics Commission says it can’t begin to investigate thoroughly the number of complaints it receives.
It asked for an additional investigator; it only has one. The commission asked for a $369,000 increase in its budget and received less than half, $150,000.
What it did receive from the Legislature was $50,000 for an unneeded software system that commissioners say they told legislators was incompatible with the commission’s software.
That makes little sense, and it’s hypocritical for legislators to say that this state values ethical behavior, yet not hold each other accountable.
Federal prosecutors have convicted one former legislator and indicted two others, and questions have been raised about last year’s political campaign funding dealings by the former speaker of the House and others.
We need an effective Ethics Commission, one that has the ability to perform its duties. There’s no excuse for having an office that can’t do its job.