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Letter to the editor: Time for state officials’ conflict of interest to be penalized

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 12:01 am

In view of all the word- game playing being done in the past, and now with the Eric Turner’s case and Tony Bennett’s case, the rules need to be revised to stop these kinds of fiascos from happening again.

The rules need to address that any personal, business or financial involvement by any official in any way, shape or form is a conflict of interest at any stage of the process of becoming a law, not limited to just voting on or sponsoring a bill.

Penalties for violation of the ethical rules should be removal from office and turned over to the law enforcement officials for prosecuting to the fullest extent of the laws.

Plain and simple,y said Eric Turner had an enormous professional, financial and personal family interest in the nursing home bill as part owner, son’s business duties and daughter’s being a paid lobbyist and losses of millions in future profits.

Turner pointed to an ethics rule that says, “Every member shall give freely of his or her particular expertise during a discussion or debate upon a given proposition.”

You can bet your bottom dollar that any information he gave was slanted to not passing the bill because of the enormous personal financial losses he would face if it became law.

The word ethics means the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment.

The word ethical means conforming to both moral and professional standards of conduct.

The committee needs to establish a high set of standards for the Senate and House to ensure regaining the trust of the citizens of the state.

I feel that if you really dwell delve into the matter you’ll find where Eric Turner violated the rules of moral and professional conduct in this case.

I also feel that the Republicans need to establish a showing of ethical behavior, and non-partisanship, Ccommon sense and willingness to work with the common-sense Democrats to solving the problems of the state.

Over the past several years both political parties have shown an enormous asinine behavior in partisan politics, and this needs to stop.

They have penalized individual members for thinking and speaking out of the box of partisan politics, and the citizens lose any chance of beneficial results to improving the state.

Michael G. Radke, Columbia City