House Shoots Down Resolution To Form Ethics Committee

It was entertaining today to listen to Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks) lose his cool on the floor of the state House today while arguing in favor HCR3060 to create a state ethics commission to oversee the Legislative and Executive branches.

Why was it entertaining? For one thing, Mock was clearly auditioning for his next appearance on MSNBC. For another, Mock himself has ethics issue including the fact that he’s been living outside of his district for about a year now and he took a strange trip to Turkey paid for by a controversial Islamic group shortly after the 2013 session (a number of other lawmakers, both Republican and Demcorat, were with him).

Plus, the idea of an ethics commission is kind of stupid. After all, when was the last time an ethics commission like that accomplished anything of substance? They don’t, usually. Rather, they are vehicles for partisan grandstanding and smear campaigns at worst. At best, they simply react after the fact to revelations made in the media.

I’m not a proponent of ethics commissions because I feel they’re a waste of time. I prefer transparency. Require that politicians do their business in public, and then let the voters decide at the ballot box what is and is not ethical.

By the way, during his floor rant Rep. Mock referenced an unnamed colleague in the Senate chamber who had accepted $2,000 in campaign contributions from a foreign source.

lehodowski

Mr. Ledohowski owns Canad Inns which has a large property attached to the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

I’m not sure why Mock brought it up in terms of an ethics issue. While perhaps some may find taking a contribution from a foreign citizen to be objectionable, I don’t believe it’s currently illegal under state law (unless I’m missing something).

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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