Ethics Complaints and the Power of Precognition

Excellect observation from 


The Daily News in an op-ed piece yesterday said something interesting.

Alaska citizens have a right to file ethics complaints against their elected representatives. State law guarantees it. But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right — and may put it at risk.

Score political points?  Abuse their rights as citizens?  Wow.  That’s a fairly strong accusation.  And it makes the assumption, of course, that the complaints are frivolous, and without merit.  It sounds like something we ought to know.  But how do we determine if the complaints are indeed frivolous?  Well, we could either take the word of the ADN editorial staff, or perhaps…there’s another way….

Guess what?  There is actually a procedure for making that determination.  And that procedure goes something like this:

The citizen who files the ethics complaint puts together their paperwork, and cites the specific part(s) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act that they believe have been violated.  Then that person brings their complaint to the Department of Law.

The Department of Law makes sure that all the basics are covered, then they stamp it, and take it in.  Then the complaint goes to the Personnel Board (which this unethical gov has appoint 2 of 3).  The Personnel Board then hires an investigator to investigate. They ask all kinds of questions, make phone calls, do research, and gather whatever new information that they need to make a determination about whether things should proceed to the next level.   That investigator will decide if the case does or does not have merit. That investigator will decide whether the investigation goes forward or not.  If the complaint is completely “bogus,” as the governor’s office is fond of saying, then the investigator can dismiss it outright.  If the complaint is the result of someone abusing their rights, or is without merit, it gets tossed out. Done.

If, however, the complaint is not “bogus,” and the investigator thinks that there’s something to it,  they writes up a nice report, states their findings and recommends a hearing.  Then the Personnel Board reads the recommendation, holds the hearing and comes to a conclusion.

So that’s the story of how we find out if a complaint is being used “to score political points” or whether it’s actually got merit.

And right now, as you read this, there are investigators on the case who are making those determinations.  You can imagine them in their snazzy tweed overcoats and those Sherlock Holmes hats with the flaps over their ears, wielding giant magnifying glasses, and investigating their little hearts out.

So, unless somehow the editorial board of the Anchorage Daily News has not only permeated the thought process of all the investigators working on these ethics complaints, but has also acquired the power of precognition, they actually don’t know whether these complaints are frivolous or not.  And generally, if you don’t actually know the facts, it’s prudent not to act like you do, nevermind write a whole editorial about it.

And if they have acquired these superhuman skills, may I humbly suggest that they apply them to some loftier humanitarian purpose than writing op-ed pieces for the Anchorage Daily News.


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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ken
    May 04, 2009 @ 20:05:00

    [هذا هو الحكم]


  2. JBodine
    May 05, 2009 @ 07:41:00

    From the ADN op-ed:
    State ethics law is not a megaphone for crying foul every time the governor or any other elected official does something someone doesn't like. Complaints are supposed to be confidential until an investigation finds probable cause. That limited confidentiality is supposed to prevent undue publicity and political harm from frivolous complaints.
    However their purpose was exposed:
    Even Shannyn Moore admits their campaign is coordinated:

    Right after the nomination of Sarah Palin for VP, Wasilla blogger, musician, professor, and all around renaissance man, Phil Munger, threw a party at his home-the first of many. Secrecies were sworn; we were not alone in front of our computers-we had each other; Mudflats, Immoral Minority, Writing Raven, Celtic Diva, Progressive Alaska, Alaska Report, What Do I Know, and myself, Just a Girl From Homer. Documentary crews interviewed us and protected anonymous identities at the time.What we were going up against was so much bigger than any one of us. We'd email or call each other daily. We'd comment on each other's blogs.
    Sherry, you posted "lucky 13", since 6 have been dismissed so far, why don't you say 7. Because it's the number filed you want, so you can say she is unethical. The fact that they are frivilous and will be dismissed is unimportant to the Palin Haters, its the numbers for political ads to protect the ONE.


  3. Laurie
    May 06, 2009 @ 06:06:00

    @jbodine…yep…bloggers have united to tell the truth about Palin.


  4. JBodine
    May 06, 2009 @ 06:34:00

    Laurie, help me out here, list one truth about Palin the bloggers you cite is telling . I dare you.


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