Oxendine: Give state ethics commission its independence

State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, a Republican candidate for governor, this afternoon is pushing out his approach to ethics reform at the state Capitol.

It’s short, so we offer his press release in its entirety:

“It is unconscionable for our Georgia Ethics Commission to have to beg for money from the very people that they are trying to watch over,” said John Oxendine. “I have some ideas that I hope the legislature will thoughtfully consider.”

“First, the Ethics Commission should be established as an independent body with a funding mechanism which is free from political interference. This minimum funding can be accomplished in part by an appropriate lobbyist registration fee assessed to for-profit lobbyists.

Also, any candidate for state office should pay at qualifying a dedicated fee which will be used to fund the operation of the Ethics Commission. An exemption to this fee should be made available for individuals and entities who can demonstrate financial hardship. In addition to the revenue generated from these fees, a minimum funding level should be established for the commission and protected from legislative intervention.

“While I recognize that this will not provide all that is required, I see this as an important first step to provide an independent source of funding for the oversight work of the Ethics Commission.

“Second, in addition to adequate enforcement powers, the Ethics Commission’s emphasis should continue to be focused on providing absolute transparency for government activities. The Commission should work to make more records available to the public over the internet and make the Commission a reliable repository of user-friendly information related to government activities.

“Third, the Ethics Commission’s rule-making authority should be re-established so that any statutes not clearly defined will receive additional clarification.

“Fourth, newly elected state legislative and executive officials must complete an ethics course within 120 days of the certified results of their election. This course will be developed within our University System, and will educate public officials not only on the existing laws related to ethics, but provide guidance on what is expected of us as public servants.

“Finally, a clearly defined statutory code of ethics should be reviewed and updated. The State Ethics Commission should be given appropriate authority to investigate any violation of the code.

“I trust we can all agree on the importance of well-defined ethics laws and an independent body to enforce them,” said Oxendine. “I think these simple changes will allow for meaningful oversight and establish the Ethics Commission as an independent body. I applaud the members of the General Assembly for their hard work on this matter and offer any assistance going forward.”

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21 comments Add your comment

RUKidding

January 29th, 2010
1:07 pm

Ox talking about ethics? No mention of limits. The good news is we know Ox’s price. It’s about $120,000. Could be $120,000 in illegal contribution funneled through his hunting buddy. Or $103,000 from numerous family members to get help from Blue Cross, then you add in trips to the Oscars, and hunting trip that adds up to about $120,000.

Wonder if the price goes up if by some miracle the buffoon gets elected Governor.

GoOx

January 29th, 2010
1:14 pm

Once again, my man Ox leading the way. He’s the only one who has a creative approach for funding the Ethics Commission.

DannyX

January 29th, 2010
1:28 pm

How is Ox leading the way GoOx? It seems your man needs to personally address a certain hunting trip before he talks about ethics.

Lets hope Oxendine doesn’t start advocating that our elected officials exhibit common sense because Ox’s common sense seems to be as lacking as his ethics.

Which is worse, Oxendines ethics lapses or his common sense lapses?

A candidate for Governor should have the common sense not to go on a hunting trip with the man who contributed illegally to his campaign, a man who also runs a business Oxendine currently regulates.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

January 29th, 2010
1:35 pm

Yeah GoOx, your man Cheney is leading the way for the Insurance Cartels!

Hooray! Let’s all be slaves to Insurance Companies! YAY!

GoOx

January 29th, 2010
1:55 pm

My man Ox is the only one who wants the ethics commission out from under the thumb of the people that they review – that’s what I call leading the way. The liberal AJC is falsely accusing my man Ox of illegal campaign contributions. My man Ox is on the record saying he knew nothing about those contributions, and being the true leader that he is, returned the money.

Just because your elected official doesn’t mean you have to stop hunting with or going on trips with your friends. My man Ox is beyond reproach.

Doh!

January 29th, 2010
1:56 pm

This is too funny! Wasn’t the Insurance Commissioner at a Health Insurance CEO’s property hunting. And now he’s talking about ethics. People see right through this guy. You shouldn’t be hunting on the property of someone you regulate, ya big dummy!

WAW

January 29th, 2010
1:58 pm

Until the Republican takeover, the Ethics Commission was independent and had oversight. Sonny and company ran off the Board and employees and put in their stoolies. Republicans can’t turn down money and/or sex.

Atlanta Born

January 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

Wow! Looks like the Ox came up with an idea that actually makes sense. Still not sure about him, but this seems like a pretty good idea to me.

Safe Hunting

January 29th, 2010
2:25 pm

If Ox’s law get’s passed will he ignore it like he did the law that required him to take a hunting safety course?

Capitol Hack

January 29th, 2010
2:57 pm

Which Oxendine is addressing ethics today? Is this Oxendine the Insurance Commissioner, or Oxendine the Candidate? If it’s Ox the Commissioner, we’re just giggling. If it’s Ox the Candidate, we’ll assume he’s on state furlough today? Hmm? Oh,I see – it’s just a press release, so he’s not campaigning on state time, right? That would be unethical.

James

January 29th, 2010
5:09 pm

Anyone else get skeeved out every time “GoOx” refers to Oxendine as “My man Ox?”

*shudder*

professional skeptic

January 29th, 2010
5:31 pm

If anybody would suggest that the ethics commission should be bought and paid for by lobbyists, it would be ol’ Ox.

Wounded Warrior

January 29th, 2010
11:04 pm

Oxendufus got a DUI in 2002 while using a state police car for personal reasons. Ethics? yeah, right, Since when is he the front runner? He is the front runner of laughable, idiot things he does. If I drive on my land, I don’t need a license. Hunting, you need it anywhere in GA, just like a fishing license. He must have forgotten about that.

The Late Maynord Jackson

January 30th, 2010
6:50 am

The Ox is the Jackson Machines MAN. He has our ETHICS, you go OX.

VOTE ROY BARNES EARLY & OFTEN..

General Sherman

January 31st, 2010
11:37 am

Ethics my butt,when did any politician democrat or republican have any? SNAFU IS THE NORM FOR ALL OF THEM!

Montana L

January 31st, 2010
11:45 am

This makes so much sense, I’d like to know who The Ox cribbed it from. I’d like to vote for that person.

woodshed guy

February 1st, 2010
9:30 am

If you don’t know anything about hunting, go quail hunting with your back pocket friend. If you don’t have a clue about ethics, take somebodys ideas and make them yours. If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance then baffle them with BS.

woodshed guy

February 1st, 2010
9:43 am

Does anyone really believe that the Ox is an Honest John? Who do you think he works for and where is his committment to ethics? I don’t think I can vote ffor Foxendine.

Turtle4Georgia

February 1st, 2010
4:56 pm

Now to state that we don’t have problems would be an understatement. I see a lot of people making accusations, but I don’t see any solutions. In 25 years in business, I have yet to meet that perfect person you are looking for. Maybe we could look at your ethics woodshed guy, or James, or Doh! I have made mistakes, and I ask any of you to step forward if you haven’t because I would have to bow down to you. I would like to see people who want to have children qualify that they have the work ethic, a track record consistent with the ability to raise a child. Unfortunately, the Constitution won’t allow that. So, what we are talking about character and not just about one item, but over a period of time. Where are we going to get independence in Government? Is there any there now? There are three things that I would ask all the people who sit on their butt and do not engage their representatives or ask their friends in other states to do the same. Sign up to hermancain.com and you will get notifications when bills that we do not know about go to the floor. Put all three of your representatives phone and cell numbers in your cell phone. When you get a notice, call your representatives immediately. Finally, write a letter every month that addresses three items. 1) Fair Tax – Do you want jobs to come flying back to this country? Start with that. Both Federal and State. 2) Demand that all appropriations are audited by an independent (non-government workers) for outcomes and efficiency. 3) Demand a balanced budget. The reason we are here today and our country/state is in trouble is because WE THE PEOPLE are not involved and until we are I suggest we start with the big three, Taxes, Expenditures, and a Balanced Budget. Now Mr. Oxendine is in favor of all three of these and any person we elect can’t do it alone, they need the people’s support or else they will fail. This is as much our fault as anyone’s. In addition, there is a group of common people looking at everything from Law Enforcement, Business Development, Education, etc. in order to find ways to make progress on these issues that are the most effective and cost the least amount of money. That group was put together by John Oxendine. If I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and feel proud of what I accomplished the previous day and also feel proud of how I treated people, then that is a pretty good start to another day. If anyone wants to talk about character, lets look back to our Founding Fathers and I ask you to help me with suggestions that would make a difference that have worked elsewhere and at least have a little bit of a track record. Or do we want to keep fingerpointing and snipping and let the establishment keep doing what it is doing. Mr. Oxendine as far as I can tell has run his department pretty efficiently and doesn’t spend money foolishly. Campaign Finance reform was just ruled in part unconstitutional so we are going to have to do the best with the rules that we have to follow. But united we can make significant change, divided we fail. I am an independent. It is my only way of telling both parties that to put it mildly that I am dissappointed and many of us feel the same way. An Attorney General, who is elected in this state and the Governor can’t tell what to do, that will sue the Federal Government over states rights would be nice in this election too and I have asked Mr. Oxendine if he would support suing the Feds over states right and it was an emphatic yes. I ask you for any suggestions you have. Just trying to do the right thing to turn things around. HELP

[...] is likely to have several effects. First, it jeopardizes an effort Oxendine had started last week to strengthen his image as a champion of ethics [...]

Zachary

February 2nd, 2010
5:06 pm

If you’re looking at the subject of ethics, let’s start with the basics. Plumbing is an excellent place to start.

Anatomically, let’s first esbablish the fact that John Oxendine is indeed a man. Yeah, we all know Ox is a dick but does he really have one?

Oxendine has elaborated the fact that Jake, his newborn son, is all boy. At least for me, bells started ringing. Wouldn’t the average person just assume a newborn boy named Jake is all boy? Why is this fact even mentioned? Duh!

When an effeminate, sissy, right-wing Republican mentions he’s a family man; honors traditional values and marriage; blah, blah, blah; you begin to question the hype.

So Ivy Adams Oxendine lived in the same house for almost 20-years. Do read Oxendine’s Web site. Big deal! Does this fact make her qualified to be the governor’s wife? Lots of folks have lived in the same house for a long period of time.

This type of ethics in advertising is something I can live without.