IA-Gov: Iowa Campaign Ethics Board to Investigate Jim Nussle

Press release from the Iowa Democratic Party just out:

"The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted today to investigate gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle's campaign for potentially violating state campaign finance compliance laws.

"We applaud the Ethics Board's decision to investigate the campaign filings of Jim Nussle. The board has confirmed our belief that the Nussle campaign engaged in potentially unscrupulous financial activities that misled Iowans. Iowa's campaign finance reporting laws were established to shine a light on the financial activities of candidates for public office, and this investigation will do just that," said Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Mike Milligan.

Last month, the Iowa Democratic Party filed a formal ethics complaint against the Nussle campaign with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. There are three areas of concern that warrant an investigation into ethics violations:

1. Mr. Nussle's state finance report fails to show any in-kind donations from the federal "Nussle for Congress Committee," while six individuals were simultaneously paid out of both accounts.

2. The development costs of Nussle's gubernatorial campaign website may have been paid for by the congressional campaign account, with no record of an in- kind donation to the gubernatorial campaign account.

3. Three congressional campaign expenditures, totaling $33,839.69 for media-production, were made to McCarthy Marcus Hennings in 2005. The official announcement tour of his bid for Governor was accompanied by a video. However, in the gubernatorial campaign state report there is no report of video or media production expenses to McCarthy Marcus Hennings until two months after his announcement."

You can find the full text of the original letter of complaint below the fold (my original post on the filing of the complaint is here).  I'm glad to see the IECDB is taking this seriously and has now moved to investigate Nussle.  This definitely isn't the type of the publicity the Nussle campaign's been looking for -- since, as Bacon notes, they've been relatively invisible the last month or so.

And I hope to hear Kyle's thoughts on the IECDB's decision to investigate -- he wasn't too optimistic when the IDP filed their original complaint, but maybe this means that the IECDB is serious about enforcing campaign finance laws and will be willing to push for or adopt changes (if, of course, they can get the legislature to issue the changes).

Cross-posted at Political Forecast.

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The strange (un)ethical history of Nancy Pelosi

I'm taking a look at the Senate proceedings yesterday on the [not too much] ethics [thank you] bill S 2349.

And, while scanning the Congressional Record (page S1877), I find reprinted an article from the WSJ of September 30 1993.

Apparently, then Rep, now Sen, Inhofe (for it was he!) had introduced an amendment to some other ethics bill designed to end the then current practice of secrecy for those signing discharge petitions:

Rep. Inhofe took a big step toward ending such hypocrisy Tuesday, when Congress voted 384 to 40 for his proposal to end the secrecy of discharge petitions. Constituents will now know who's signed up for the procedures necessary to discharge a bill from committee and force a vote; Members will no longer be able to posture one way and act another on bills popular with the public but unpopular with fellow legislators. Rep. Inhofe's overwhelming majority, after the difficulty he had signing up 218 Members to discharge his own proposal, is itself testimony to the difference between smoke-filled rooms and the light of day.

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Ethics: Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it's a good idea

For all their miracle work in framing our national political discourse to suit their own ends in the last few years, I've lately realized the extent to which the GOP have lowered the bar for ethical conduct by the executive branch of our government.  Every day, it seems, brings us some new revelation of some new outrage against our laws, our constitution, our ideals, and our citizenry. The first GOP response seems generally to be an explanation of said outrage's legality.  This of course, provokes the Dems into a lengthy argument over the legality of such things as domestic wiretapping, torture as good public policy, teaching creationism in public schools, and using white phosphorus, or depleted uranium in Iraq.  While I'm as keyed into the Impeachment Watch as anyone else, I can't help realizing that in all of this debate over what is legal and what is not, the larger questions are getting left out of the conversation. Questions of our national ideals, best interests, and even security are falling by the wayside. When did the question of: "Is this legal," supercede that of, "is this a good idea?" 

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Kirsten Gillibrand and Ethics in Congress

It's been a really busy time for me the last few months and I've been remiss in letting folks know about the really fantastic candidate running for office in my congressional district. Her name is Kirsten Gillibrand and she is exactly the kind of Democrat we want to send to Washington.

Two weeks ago Kirsten made a pledge to all the people of New York's 20th Congressional District. This pledge goes far beyond an currently proposed standards or reforms. It is her statement of the kind of congresswoman she will be if elected.

I want to share this with you and then ask for your help in getting Kirsten elected.

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L. Tammy Duckworth & Energy

According to the New York Times, L. Tammy Duckworth owns an SUV.  

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