"I thank Chairman Steuerwald and the House Ethics Committee for conducting a thorough review of the facts and I was pleased to answer the questions presented to me. I am confident the Ethics Committee will conclude that I have acted within the House Rules and the House Code of Ethics, as I have for my entire 24 year legislative career."Sure, Turner has reason to be confident of his exoneration, and it's not just the dirty laundry he could expose on the most powerful member of the esteemed body if the leadership doesn't leave him alone. It's pretty much impossible to violate ethics rules written by corrupt, self-dealing lawmakers who want to ensure that lawmakers can continue getting rich from service in the legislature just like they have for decades in Indiana while pretending to be part-time public servants who are generously giving their services to Hoosiers for a small annual salary, if you exclude their generous per diem, health care and retirement perks, not to mention the thousands of dollars in entertainment spent on each of them and their family members annually on average by State House lobbyists. Oh, and don't forget all the lawmakers and their spouses who are given high-paying, no-work, no-show jobs and under-the-table consulting work following their election to the legislature by businesses and organizations with an interest in the people's business they transact as state lawmakers. They all complain about the sacrifices they make to serve in the General Assembly, but the standard of living for most lawmakers seems to improve substantially after they become lawmakers. Numerous lawmakers have enjoyed lucrative post-legislative careers as lobbyists working for the very people they had just performed specific public acts to benefit. As fellow blogger Doug Masson commented, "Good work if you can get it."
Here's something you can take to the bank. The most self-dealing lawmakers never, ever honestly fill out those financial disclosure statements they are required to file annually. I've discussed quite often how useless these statements are that are filed by members of the Indianapolis City-County Council. The House ethics rules, like the City-County Council's ethic rules, for economic interest disclosure are written very loosely by design to allow members room to drive an 18-wheeler through them. Members who choose not to comply with the loose requirements know that there is no punishment for non-compliance because their colleagues don't take ethics rules seriously and aren't about to open up scrutiny of their own actions by singling out any one member for punishment for non-compliance.