Lying is universal--we all do it; we all must do it. Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own...--Mark Twain
Mark Twain is right, we all do it and some better than others. But his premise is that it should not ever be based in harmful deception and we can think of a few that apparently never read Mr. Twain's masterpiece of an essay.
Senator Trip Pittman continues his nonsensical campaign of deceit about whether or not he committed any wrongdoing over his deliberate looting of $639,000.00 in BP funds. He now declares "it's no longer a news story" and the "baseless ethics complaint" against him is "an abuse of the process": (he ought to know a thing or two about abusing the process)
“This same individual has submitted the exact same letter several times now,” Pittman said in an e-mail Thursday. “At this point, it is no longer news and his desperation is becoming even more obvious. Anyone with even a basic understanding of law would understand the previous provisions govern this case. He should be ashamed for abusing the ethics process by filing the same bogus claims again in order to air his political grudges.”
Mod Mobilian hits back at him with a big stick that's well-deserved and right on the mark. Pittman, who doesn't possess the ability of a fly in understanding what ethics are, treads on shaky ground with any comments that start out with: "Anyone with even a basic understanding..."
Hmmm....Big mouth, big arrogance, big tractors, maybe someone is overcompensating for a lack of size in other areas. One would be his brain, you pick the other one.
James Sumner the director of the (no) Ethics Commission has Pittman all wrapped up nice and warm in the protection his pick-and-chose-who-we're-going-to-go-after commission that he claims serves Alabama well at a bargain price.
Sumner writing for the Alabama State Bar in 1999:
"Do the citizens of Alabama get their money’s worth as a result of our efforts?
The Commission’s budget is less than one-tenth of one percent of the state’s General Fund Budget. The annual cost of operating the Commission for each of the 200,000 covered public officials and employees is $469.
The cost per citizen of the state is only 22 cents. What a tremendous bargain to ensure the integrity of our governments at every level throughout the state."
What's that old adage about getting what you pay for?
Former policy adviser to Riley, and newly elected Senator Bryan Taylor-R, has put himself in a questionable situation by steering $100,000.00 to his law firm and in doing so, he pushed the standards of no "double dipping" in the ethics laws to a breaking point. Sumner is giving him a break though, and passing the authority down the hall to the AG's office, but not before he had a few things to say in Taylor's defense:
Sumner said there won't be an opinion on the issue from his office because the provisions of "double dipping" in the new ethics law fall under the attorney general's office.
Because of that, Sumner said he may have given Taylor the impression Thursday the issue was moot.
"I talked to him on the telephone and I probably did say to Bryan that I didn't think an opinion was necessary," said Sumner.
Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville saw it differently and said Taylor's relationship raised a "red flag."
"Today we saw a law firm that has a sitting senator (Taylor) on it," he said. "I'm not saying anything inappropriate is done, but there is a circle of influence that comes with having a sitting senator in your firm. That senator has access to all of us on an absolute regular basis. He's in the chamber. There could be some undue pressure that a department might want to pick a law firm that has sitting senator because a sitting senator has influence behind the curtain that nobody else has."
Bradley Byrne-R pulled a similar trick when he was a sitting state senator and steered no bid contacts to a law firm he later joined after being defeated by Mule Bentley in the republican 'goobernatorial' runoff election, and here's what Sumner had to say:
Jim Sumner, executive director of the State Ethics Commission, said he sees no ethics law problem with Byrne's new position.
Here's a few previously cast pearls of wisdom from the swine of ethics Sumner:
"The ethics commission has been wandering around in the wilderness for a long, long time, but based on everything I'm seeing and reading, I believe we are close to reaching the Promised Land."
"Life as we have known it in the past no longer exists. There’s nothing more powerful in government, than having the harsh glare of sunlight on government and money.”
You're right about one thing Mr. Sumner, you and your commission have been wandering around in wilderness for a long time, and it's time you came in from the woods and read a few good books starting with Twain's essay.
Because you sir, are an ignoble liar, and fail to realize that people can fact check what you've done and said, and in the end your 'artwork' looks more like finger-painting than a masterpiece.
So Say We The Opinion Board Of The Vincent Alabama ConfidentialSubscribe in a reader