Monday, December 08, 2008

Application Gate

It is highly unethical for elected officials to conduct outside business on state time. That is exactly what Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom did.

House Speaker Ray Sansom, R-Destin, sought an $110,000 per-year job at Northwest Florida State College by faxing in his application from his state office, this public document shows.

His communications director acknowledged that it was “not appropriate” for a lawmaker to use his public office to conduct private business, but explained the move as an “innocent mistake.”

Sanson is blaming a staffer for sending out the application. That doesn't pass the B.S. test. The job was never advertised and Sansom was hired the same day the application was submitted. The media needs to ask how did Sansom know about the job and why didn't the board of trustees seek other candidates? The Sansom application was late and didn't show up on the public notice of the school meeting agenda.

This avoidance of public scrutiny has been seen before from Sansom. The Speaker failed to put in a Community Budget Issue Request for Jay Odom's hanger. That means there is no record of a public budget request. Sansom got the funding by earmarking it for school construction projects. Sansom is going out of his way to avoid transparency. It makes me wish the the feds investigate the Speaker. This nonsense has gone on too long.

Update: Sansom gave this jaw-dropping quote to AP.

"I believe that after years in office people would know that I would not do anything to get something funded for a job or to better myself. I believe in what we're doing."

Most "people" can't name their Congressional represntative. How can they possibly know Sansom can be trusted. Sansom needs to answer questions about how he got NFW State College job and themoney he earmarked for the hanger. He has done neither.

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