Monday, August 20, 2007

Louisiana Style Ethics

When Sen. Robert Adley (D-Benton) filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Mike Powell (R-Shreveport) regarding work done for the Jerry Jones Shreveport mayoral campaign, the devil was in the details -- and still is.
Powell has said there is nothing to this and that he didn't do the work. Instead, he says it was his daughter. But just what kind of ethics review is behind closed doors ? (Reference is an Aug. 19 story by Marsha Shuler - Advocate Capitol News Bureau.)
Talk show comments by Elliot Stonecipher led to this complaint. The political analyst called attention to a trend in poorly filed campaign reports. pointed out Adley’s concerns in May (scroll down). This local concern was referenced in Gambit Weekly’s review of ethical issues that “paint Louisiana as a political backwater, if not a cesspool of corruption, cronyism and incompetence.”
We are still waiting on details regarding the review of the Adley complaint.
As Stonecipher says, it may be an innocent happenstance. Stonecipher may be suggesting this only as a remote possibility. As large as Powell’s family is, his children will be into everything. A Louisiana political tradition or something else?
The public deserves the details so we can watch the roots of our politics grow. The public has a right to know if elected officials are hiding inside the campaigns of others. When campaign reports are detailed, the public can develop their own questions and get their own answers.
Where do we go from here?
Consider what columnist John Maginnis poses on ethics.
In other ethics news: Today’s Times-Picayune editorial highlights another blow to our state’s reputation.

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