April 28, 2011

Transparency Review (4/25 - 4/29)

• Despite his resignation, the Senate Ethics Committee still appears likely to release some sort of public statement detailing what it found during the course of its investigation of Sen. John Ensign. The investigation focused on two issues in particular: The $96,000 payment John Ensign's parents made to Doug and Cynthia Hampton and Ensign's role in helping Doug Hampton evade a one-year lobbying ban.

• NPRI's Karen Gray reports on the Nevada Ethics Commission's finding that the superintendent of the Clark County School District "is not a public officer as defined by Nevada's ethics laws, nor subject to state financial-disclosure rules."

• The US Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday regarding a Nevada ethics case that will decide just how much free speech protection elected officials deserve when casting votes. SCOTUSblog has a great overview of the case and how the Court's decision could impact conflict-of-interest statutes across the nation.

• Two campaign finance reform bills championed by Secretary of State Ross Miller were approved by the Nevada Assembly this week. Assembly bills 81 and 452 contain many provisions, including restrictions on the creation of PACs used to circumvent contribution limits and requiring candidates to file electronic campaign reports, respectively.