Friday, August 29, 2008

My Ethics Investigation

Time to come clean: In 2001, I was under investigation by the State Ethics Commission. I was also under investigation by the Secretary of State. Why? Because someone filed a complaint against me. So, by law, both groups had to investigate the claim. Thus, I was under an ethics investigation.

Frankly, such investigations are a dime a dozen and are common tactics by political hacks ON BOTH SIDES. The reason is because it is simple to file one, the government agency has to investigate, and while they are doing so the opposition can scream and yell "Hey, he/she is under investigation!!"

Here are the particulars of my investigation: During the 2001 Oregon Legislative Session, I was the communication director for House Majority Leader Karen Minnis. As part of my job, I wrote speeches, talking points and press releases about the redistricting plans working their way through the legislature. I was probably one of the top 5 Republicans who understood the plans because I had to be able to condense their complexity into the various written formats. A copy of my talking points about one of the plans made its way to a Republican activist who emailed it out to her (very) large list. She sent it because the legislature was doing public hearings across the state.

Some guy in Salem filed an ethics complaint and a Secretary of State election complaint against me (saying I was using my position for partisan, remember, I was working for the PARTISAN leader in the House...). The main Capitol correspondent for the Salem Statesman-Journal even did a story on the complaint.

The Ethics commission threw it out faster than curdled milk. The Secretary of State (a Democrat btw) also exonerated me. And when I asked the Statesman-Journal reporter when he was going to run the story about my exoneration? Yeah, that would be never.

Are there real violations that need to be uncovered? Absolutely. And the government should investigate reports. But people also need to understand that this is a common political tactic.

Why do I bring this up now? Because that is one of the arguments you'll hear against Gov. Sarah Palin. That she is under an ethics investigation. So, in addition to being a fisherman like Gov. Palin, we share an ethics investigation.

Palin has pissed a lot of people off in Alaska. A lot of them are political insiders, especially within her own Republican Party. She defeated the incumbent Republican governor in the Primary on her way to defeating a former Democrat governor in the General. At every level she's served she hasn't been afraid to clean house and call out corruption. She's made enemies.

Some day, maybe I'll blog about how a former writer for a lefty newspaper in Portland (who later worked for the governor) was digging around for "dirt" on me at the same time.

Geez, wonder why my wife wants me out of politics.


At 5:28 AM, Blogger chief said...

The difference is you didn't do anything wrong, and we don't (yet) know that about Palin. Maybe she is telling the truth. But she already had to make a significant back-track on her version of the story (since it appears her staffers did put pressure on).

I don't think there is much here anyway, but it's a relevant point.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger MUD said...

I have a saying, "Wear a smile and make the bastards wonder what you have been up to." As dull and boring as I am, I beg people to start juicy rumors so I will appear more alive. MUD


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