The Alabama Ethics Commission is failing us

August 1, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Ethics Commission has become a joke.

Let’s all stop pretending that this five-man panel, along with its Executive Director and legal counsel, are any sort of a defense against corrupt public servants or a means to punish public corruption.

They’re not.

Not consistently.

And not without an air of corruption and good-ol’-boy backroom dealing surrounding nearly everything they do.

Need examples?

Well, first off, read Bill and Susan Britt’s interview with outgoing commissioner Stewart Tankersley. Secondly, consider all of the problems this bunch has created when a simple, straightforward interpretation of law was all anyone expected.
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Tankersley Exit Interview Part 1: Success, collusion, and dismay

July 31, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

As a soldier, physician, and man of faith, Dr. Stewart Hill Tankersley holds firm to his beliefs on right and wrong. As he ends his five-year service on the State’s Ethics Commission, he’s convinced there has been progress, but there are still many obstacles to restoring public confidence in the State’s elected leaders. In just two years, the State has seen the fall of Mike Hubbard, the Speaker of the House, convicted on 12 felony counts of public corruption, and Governor Robert Bentley, resigning in disgrace after accepting a plea to campaign finance violations.
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Some are using a stalking horse to undermine ethics laws

January 10, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The greatest challenge before the Alabama State Legislature when it returns in February is not the budget, schools or Medicaid. It is the slight of hand chicanery used to undermine the State’s ethics laws.

Since the conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, a coordinated effort has been underway to weaken those laws, with particular focus on how they identify a “principal.” Read More

Ethics Commission withdraws McCalla opinion after charities line-up

December 8, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In a unanimous vote on September 1, 2016, the Alabama Ethics Commission issued advisory opinion 2016-24, which it believed clarified the question regarding public officials soliciting lobbyists and principals for contributions to a charitable organization, operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The issue was raised by the nonprofit group, Friends of McCalla.

After approving the opinion in a 5-0 vote, the Commission gave a 30-day window for public comment; however, it was extended past the 30 days to December 7.
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