Democratic candidate for governor Brandon Presley has released the final planks of his ethics plan as part of the campaign. The final plank would strengthen the Ethics Commission so Mississippians have an independent watchdog and will restore integrity to the governor’s office.
“It is our duty, as public servants, to serve the people openly and honestly,” said Presley. “As governor, I will continue to work with ethics experts and continually fight anybody and anything so Mississippians have the open and transparent government they deserve. We can return power to the people and provide hope all across our state.”
The third plank of Commissioner Presley’s War on Corruption plan – to have a strong, nonpartisan watchdog – includes:
- Transfering all campaign finance reporting duties and enforcement from the Secretary of State’s office to the Ethics Commission;
- Empowering the Ethics Commission to conduct random audits of candidates’ campaign finance reports, contributions, and expenditures;
- Requiring campaign finance reports to be available, submitted online, easily accessible to the public, and due every 30 days in an election year and quarterly in non-election years;
The fourth, and final, plank of Commissioner Presley’s War on Corruption plan – to restore integrity to the governor’s office – includes:
- Establishing a “Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Transparency and Accountability” composed of private citizens and good governance experts. The Task Force shall recommend to the governor and legislature specific action items to clean up state government;
- Support legislation to prohibit companies seeking a license, permit, or non-competitive contract, along with their agents, PACs, and employees, from donating more than $250 to political campaigns from the date of solicitation and/or for 12 months after the final award is made;
- Requiring the governor’s office and all state agencies to keep records of all meetings with lobbyists and companies and individuals lobbying the government for contracts or legislation that benefits them.
In the first plank of Presley’s bold ethics plan, he proposed holding every state agency responsible for timely public records request responses and permanently reauthorizing the Public Records Act – both of which could have let Mississippians learn about this scandal much sooner than how this corrupt story unfolded.
In the second plank of the ethics plan, Presley proposed measures to make sure what he called “Tategate” never happens again and actually hold those involved in the largest public corruption scandal accountable.
“As governor, I will tell the special interests, lobbyists, and good ol’ boys that the party is over,” said Presley. “We’re going to make the big campaign check writers mad because you deserve a governor who will fight to put the government back on the side of working families, not the giant corporations – and that starts with declaring war on corruption.”