Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Legislator loophole" - Governor LePage proposes to close it

Legislators and government officials, may soon have to disclose more details about their ties to companies which receive government monies. From the 12-15-11 article:  
Current law only requires that legislators or high-level state employees report state purchases of goods or services worth more than $1,000 directly from the individual legislator or family member, not from a corporation or entity for which the legislator or family member works.

A report by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting  apparently is what prompted Governor LePage to propose the legislation. The story by Naomi Shalit and John CristieIt looks like in a seven year period, 2003-2010, an average of 34 million dollars per year was received by companies owned by legislators or immediate family members of legislators, or by companies which employed them.

Another loophole exists; and the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, Jonathan Wayne, doesn't believe that it can be closed until 2013. It's that the deadline for legislators to report such affiliations with companies which receive government money, often comes due after the legislator has left it never gets filed. From  the January 4, 2012 story
There is no disclosure form on file, for example, for the last month and a half that Kurt Adams served as chairman of the Public Utilities Commission in 2008.
This link from one of the stories  shows the names of the Maine officials and legislators whose companies, or companies owned, or partly owned or run by family members, were the major benefactors of our hard-earned tax dollars.

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