Sunday, February 21, 2010
We Don't Need No Stinking Ethics
The Arkansas Ethics Commission will conduct a 2-hour training session in Fayetteville on March 12 for political candidates and other persons subject to the state’s laws on campaign finance and disclosure. They should have plenty of customers among our politicians who are generally unfamiliar with ethics laws and such, but they find much comfort in claiming ignorance as a convenient excuse.
Benton County Judge David Bisbee could learn that it is unethical to reject a low bid and throw the money to your own construction company to remodel offices in the courthouse. Representative Mark Martin could learn how to stop lying about being a good steward of the taxpayers' money while pocketing more than $56,000 in expense accounts, the highest among Northwest Arkansas legislators. Congressman John Boozman could learn to stop claiming credit for federal grants that he voted against.
Fayetteville Alderman Matthew Petty could learn not to steal someone's tricycle and wreck it. Alderman Robert Rhoads could learn to file his financial ethics forms on time and before reporters start asking questions. Alderman Brenda Thiel could learn to recuse from voting on her boyfriend's $90,000 salary. A&P Commissioner Bob Davis could learn that it is unethical to get a no-bid contract to sell insurance to the A&P Commission. A&P Director Marilyn Heifner could learn not to hire family members without advertising the position.
Perry Webb and the Springdale Cowbirds could learn to pay their taxes and stop using public funds for exotic junkets and expensive personal items. UA coaches could learn not to take money (aka kickbacks) for endorsing various brands of equipment and requiring the student athletes to wear the logos.
None of these people will show up for the training.