Restoring Accountability to State Government
The conflicts of interest that have plagued Attorney General Jay Nixon's office would be easier to identify and fix under a solution proposed by Kenny Hulshof today. Hulshof's government accountability plan would increase transparency and accountability for elected officials and state employees.
Hulshof would create the office of Inspector General (IG). The IG would be charged with uncovering fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption throughout state government. Complaints regarding the management and operation of state government would be handled by the IG. The IG would have the option of prosecuting charges before the Missouri Ethics Commission or filing criminal charges in Cole County. Thirteen states currently have an acting IG.
The plan would also bring needed transparency to government contracts. These contracts would be subject to open, competitive bidding in order to avoid the conflicts of interest that continue to characterize Jay Nixon's tenure as attorney general.
"Faith in state government has waned because of little accountability and blind partisanship," Hulshof said. "It's time to restore the people's trust in Jefferson City. We can do that by shining a bright light upon all government activity and aggressively pursuing those who break the rules."
The list of Jay Nixon's ethical troubles is long. Here is a sampling:
* Nixon took money from a company he was investigating for the devastating Taum Sauk flood.
* Nixon held a fundraiser with an insurance executive while the state was suing that insurance company.
* Nixon used his position as attorney general to protect a family sewage plant currently being sued for polluting Missouri waterways.
* Nixon was caught using state resources for political purposes, in violation of state law.
* Nixon held political fundraisers with casino interests on the same day they were up for a state license.
"No elected official should be allowed to betray the public's trust," Hulshof stated. "Unfortunately, we have seen the attorney general do it over and over again. The answer can be found in strong accountability measures and increased transparency, to make sure these kinds of abuses stop once and for all."