State law requires a lot more detail than that when legislators spend the money that was given to them by people who probably want to influence their votes. Details that show, for instance, that the expenditures are actually related to running for or holding office, and not to cover personal expenses.
So at some point, the
And oh what those statements revealed, beyond
The bank statements for 2013, 2014 and 2015 revealed four more checks written to
The committee also found
Last month, the committee ordered
Perhaps he didn't, but he couldn't provide documentation to prove he spent the money legally -- as state law requires. And frankly, the details in this case smell a lot like the case of then-House Speaker
It turned out that
For all of the
I'm not talking about obvious violations: donations from lobbyists, or over the limit. This marks the sixth time in six years that the committee has spotted red flags, asked questions, asked for documentation, gone through the tedious process of matching up lines on campaign finance reports with bank and credit card statements -- and found that they don't match.
Unfortunately, this usually happens because the violator asks a question or tells the committee something that makes it clear he was violating the law. Otherwise, the violations might have gone undetected.
In April, the
That is extremely good, because it really doesn't matter who decides whether legislators are guilty or innocent of charges brought against them if no one spots the violations and brings charges.
Unfortunately, this is just a committee rule, which the committee could rescind with a snap of its fingers.
That's not good enough.
Either this requirement or something like it -- the House committee requires representatives to provide bank statements when they are selected for a random audit -- needs to be written into state law, where it applies not just to the
And that needs to happen before we have another case like
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