IBJNews

Ethics panel set to review Turner lobbying situation

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana House Ethics Committee is set to review the actions of a senior lawmaker who worked in private to block legislation that would have cost his family's company millions of dollars.

Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner fought a nursing home construction ban in the final days of the 2014 session. The Associated Press reported last week that Turner's 38-percent ownership stake in Mainstreet Property Group means he stands to receive $1 million or more on each new home that the company builds.

Turner has said he did nothing wrong and argues the ban wouldn't have caused him financial harm.

The ethics panel is scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon at the Statehouse. House ethics rules place limits on official actions, but Turner's actions came during private meetings of House Republicans.

Lawmakers said last-minute lobbying and promises about job creation killed the nursing-home legislation.

The ethics panel could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of unclear ethics rules and the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Elected Officials vs Business
    Sipper Slope - You need a few lessons in representative government and business vs government. Subject matter knowledge is good but there is a difference from using subject matter to debate and craft good public policy and using an elected position to further your private interests behind closed doors. Corporations are not public entities and are a "for profit" enterprise; government is not. In addition, subject matter expertise can be brought to bear on public policy via open hearings conducted by the legislative committees of jurisdiction. Surely, you don't believe what you have written.
  • Slipper Slope
    Really, how short sighted can you people be? I suspect nearly all legislation benefits or doesn't benefit a business interest. So the insurance agent legislator should not bring his knowledge of insurance to discussions? So the street contractor should not bring his knowledge of street repair to the discussion? So the lawyer should not bring his knowledge of the law to the discussion? You need subject matter experts to assist in legislation and many of these legislators have this expertise. If Turner was on a corporate board, he would have a disclosure requirement and would be required to recuse himself on a vote but it would not prevent him from discussing the matter. Why should the legislature be any different than a corporate board? This is a slippery slope if you ban all private discussion in such a manner there will be no discussion.
  • Remove Turner from Leadership
    I agree wholeheartedly with AP. I would go a step further and recommend that Turner be removed from any leadership/committee head position.
  • 2 Things
    IC 2-2.1-3-7 provides that the ethics committee: (3) may recommend whatever sanction is appropriate with respect to a particular member as will best maintain in the minds of the public a good opinion of the conduct and character of members of the general assembly; and (4) may recommend legislation to the general assembly relating to the conduct and ethics of members of the general assembly. At the very least, Turner's actions should be publically condemned and legislation should be proposed banning legislators from private caucuses regarding a vote to which one of the caucusing members is prohibited from voting under the ethics rules.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

  2. When the Indiana GOP was going around the State selling the Voucher bill they were promising people that the vouchers would only be for public charter schools. They lied. As usual.

  3. I am Mr. Morris Ray, a Legitimate And a Reputable money Lender. We lend funds out to individuals in need of financial assistance, we give loan to people that have a bad credit or in need of money to pay bills, to invest on business. Have you been looking for loan? you have not to worry, because you are in the right place i offer loan at low interest rate of 2% so if you are in need of a loan i want you to just contact me via this email Address: morris_ray123@outlook.com

  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

ADVERTISEMENT