Amy Wasyluka, the Democratic candidate for Senate District Two said on Monday that, “Transparency and adherence to our ethics laws are more important now than ever.” Wasyluka slammed her Republican opponent, Tom Butler, for not filing his state required ‘Statement of Economic Interests’ before the April 1 deadline.
“The Alabama Code requires Candidates for public office to “file a completed statement of economic interests for the previous calendar year […] simultaneously with the date such candidate files his or her qualifying papers,” Wasyluka continued. “Alabama Ethics law does not require a second filing so long as “a current statement of economic interests is on file with the commission.””
“The requirement that candidates file a Statement of Economic Interests is an important tool to stopping the cycle of corruption and ethics violations that has plagued Alabama.” Wasyluka stated. “By filing a Statement of Economic Interests a candidate provides their voters with basic information about their income and indebtedness. This disclosure allows voters to know if a candidate has significant conflicts of interest, such as a major stake in an industry that the legislature regulates or an income from a lobbying organization. Over the past few years elected leaders in all three branches of Alabama’s government have been forced out over ethics violations. When this happens, the public loses faith in our government. It is this faith that we must start earning back.”
“One of the ways our campaign has sought to do that is by being transparent in our stances, in our availability to the community, in our willingness to debate — and — in our ethics filings,” Wasyluka said.
“Right now, you can search the Alabama Ethics Commission and see our Statement of Economic Interests for both years 2016 and 2017. We have filed a Statement of Economic Interests every year we have been campaigning — our opponent has not. Although he filed a Statement of Economic Interests covering the year 2016, he failed to file one covering the year 2017.”
“If we want a more transparent Alabama, then it is time we choose leaders who lead by example,” Wasyluka concluded.
The position of the Alabama Ethics Commission is that once you are certified as a candidate, you do not lose that certification even if you miss the April deadline. The position of the Secretary of State’s office is that they do not enforce Ethics Commission regulations. That was litigated in House District 30 in Gadsden; but the judge has ruled in two separate lawsuits that the courts do not have jurisdiction.
Amy Wasyluka is an attorney, a mother, and a cancer survivor.
Tom Butler served several terms in the state Senate representing North Alabama in the State Senate as a Democrat, before being unseated in 2010 by former Marine Bill Holtzcaw. Holtzclaw is not seeking re-election.
Senate District Two covers portions of Limestone and Madison Counties.
This is one of the fastest growing Districts in the state.
The general election will be on November 6, 2018.