The Clarion Ledger today is reporting that the State Ethics Commission, headed by Tom Hood (brother of Barbour political foe, AG Jim Hood), is conducting an investigation into an illegal leak of information surrounding Haley Barbour’s ‘blind trust’. Of course, the Ethics Commission was courageous enough to announce the investigation into its own potential wrongdoing on the Friday afternoon before the Labor Day holiday.
On Saturday, September 1, the Commission has now published the Ethics Opinion requested by Barbour in January upon recieving written permission to do so. Of course, the details of the documents were already in the public domain through the Bloomberg report. A read of the opinion gives a very clear indication that Barbour came to the Commission with clean hands and was found to be operating ethically and within the bounds and spirit of the law.
The facts surrounding this issue, according to the article, was that Barbour went to the Ethics Commission voluntarily in January 2007 to seek an opinion about his blind trust. Documents about the blind trust and the opinion were anonymously leaked, in clear violation of the state law, by someone who had access to that information at the State Ethics Commission to a Bloomberg reporter who then published the story.
The Commissioners on the Ethics Committee include appointees from Governor Barbour, Speekah McCoy, Chief Justice Smith and Lt. Governor Tuck.
From the Clarion Ledger article . . . .
Asked if he leaked it, Tom Hood, the commission’s executive director and the brother of Democratic state Attorney General Jim Hood, said, “Absolutely not.”
Tom Hood also said he has “no reason to believe” any of the eight commission members leaked the details, and added, “I have full confidence in each of them.”
Commission member Bill Wheeler would not say how he or his colleagues voted on Barbour’s opinion request. Wheeler, a law partner of Jamie Franks, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, said he did not leak the information.
Let’s hope the political moonbats and general haters of Barbour that have gone ga-ga over Barbour’s information address the investigation of actually illegality (the leak of information) with the same zeal that they promoted the insinuation of illegality (the insinuation that Barbour provided political favor to those who benefited a trust he did not control).
We will definitely be watching this story as well as the reactions of those who had previously been watching this story for the latest information and documented hypocrisy.