McKee’s absolution shows it’s time to disband the Ethics Commission.

This is how appeals to the Ethics Commission often end, these days:

IanDon: Reax:

McKee - "This stunt was a waste of taxpayer resources"

 - "the lunch ... even if it’s legal, isn’t how people think government should work.” 

 - "To do business in Rhode Island, you should not need to go through this."

From personal experience, I can testify that the Ethics Commission combines the gradual accretion of ethical allowances with the possibility that the commission will completely disregard its precedence to suit its preferences of the moment.  Thus, it tends toward increasing permissiveness with a constant danger of being embarrassed, as a complainant, when the commission decides to change its mind on a whim.

The entire exercise has become one of giving approval to manifestly unethical conduct.  We should get rid of it and let voters decide what’s ethical without giving politicians recourse to a board of insiders who are happy to give them seals of approval.

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