Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ethicsgate?

Political activist Gene Stilp is at it again.  This time, he raises a concern brought forward in this forum in December of 2013.

Mr. Stilp's complaint takes ten actions dealing with the practice of State Legislators using taxpayer funds as an "incumbent protection program."  In essence, he alleges State Legislators are using taxpayer funds to communicate with voters in areas in which they do not represent and will not represent until and unless they are successful in their 2014 elections.

Stilp calls for an investigation by the Office of Attorney General, Department of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service.  He also filed a complaint with the PA State Ethics Commission, put in several right to know requests, and made a call to correct this action legislatively.

As was made clear in December, these expenditures are questionable at best and raw expenditures of taxpayer funds to influence an election at worst.  There are occasions when a legislator may incur an expense outside of their district based on their committee assignments, on fact finding missions, or other ventures which enhance their current district or make them a more effective legislator but these instances of expenditures outside of their district are rare occurrences.

No member of the legislature should be dispersing taxpayer funds into an area they do not currently represent unless they can demonstrate a clear benefit for their current constituents.

h/t: KeystoneReport

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