We’ve long complained about the Florida Democratic Party’s unwillingness to attack the most obvious potentially positive campaign issue in Florida: the rampant corruption and cronyism that has become a trademark of one party rule in Tallahassee. Last week the FDP ran an effective ad for Dwight Dudley talking about the “culture of corruption” in Tallahassee. Watch the ad below:
The FDP is beginning to understand that irrespective of national politics and other hot button issues, ethics and good government make the RPOF easy targets. For whatever reason the FDP in previous cycle didn’t take on this culture of Republican entitlement and cronyism the way they should. Here at TPH we’ve tried to emphasize this point and need to give credit to the party. They listened to us and others that have pushed this train of thought and the party has adjusted their campaign strategy accordingly. For this the party deserves full credit.
Also, in recent days, Mike Clelland, the excellent Democratic nominee against the ethically challenged Chris Dorworth has seized upon this theme offering a thoughtful discussion regarding ethics and financial disclosure for public officials. Clelland’s release is found after the jump.
Longwood, FL—September 25, 2012—Michael Clelland, Candidate for the Florida House in District 29 against Rep. Chris Dorworth, today announced his support of a bi-partisan ethics reform agenda for legislators and other government officials in Florida.
“According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Florida led the U.S. in federal public corruption convictions between 2000 and 2010,” said Clelland. “In the category of public corruption, Florida was number one. That’s completely unacceptable. It’s bad for our economy and impacts our ability to attract investment. Today, I’m announcing my support for specific policy recommendations made by Integrity Florida, a nonpartisan research institute that specializes in issues related to government corruption.”
Clelland voiced his support for three specific recommendations that he said were “common sense and not something that ought to be controversial.” The proposals Clelland announced are:
- Florida should adopt Louisiana’s financial disclosure form which is more comprehensive than the forms we currently use.
- The public should have access to an online, searchable database of state officials’ financial disclosure information, potential voting conflicts, and gifts received.
- Florida should require top officials to disclose major transactions: Require all cabinet officials, state legislators, state agency heads, and local elected officials to disclose details of all major financial transactions over $1,000 within the previous year, including stock trades, property transactions and changes in business ownership.
“These are questions that impact the trust that people have in the system. Floridians deserve a state government that is open, ethical, responsive, and accountable to the people of the state.”
Clelland’s proposals are based on recommendations presented by Integrity Florida in a series of online research papers. He acknowledged that if his campaign is successful, he’ll be working in an environment dominated by Republicans. “I have a long history of bridging the gap between opposing sides. These are workable ideas that Democrats and Republicans of good faith will support in Tallahassee.”