Senator Montalbano’s Lawyer to Public: My Client’s Conflicts of Interest Are None of Your Business
This one is cute. The lawyer for Senate President Joseph Montalbano is arguing that requiring public officials to file any mandatory conflict of interest disclosure is unconstitutional. From W. Zachary Malinowski in today’s Projo…
[Max Wistow] has said that Montalbano’s failure to disclose the income was inadvertent, and he has raised several defenses against the other charges, including the assertion that the mandatory filing of disclosures of potential conflict of interest amounts to self-incrimination.Senator Montalbano is the subject of eight ethics commission complaints.
Campaign finance reform laws have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that the government has a compelling interest in preventing “the appearance of corruption”. It will be interesting see if the political class is able to twist the law to protect a “right” of politicians to hide their conflicts-of-interest at the same time they’ve used it to limit the free speech rights of regular citizens.
And one other thing: if the best defense Mr. Wistow has is trying to suppress the evidence of Senator Montalbano’s conflict-of-interest problem, doesn’t that mean the evidence must be pretty strong?