Yesterday I brought to your attention the fact that Colorado Governor Bill Ritter publicly thanked the Independence Institute — and speaking of thanks, thankfully no one (to the best of my knowledge) was hurt from overreacting to the shock while driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery. Read Jessica Corry’s new piece in the Denver section of the Huffington Post to find out exactly what sort of ethical shortcoming Bill Ritter had:
Ahh, wouldn’t it be nice? When you fail to comply with a law, just rewrite it. This is the strategy of Gov. Bill Ritter, a Colorado Democrat and former elected district attorney, who was questioned publicly this week after failing to enforce a major ethics executive order.
Under the mandate, put into place by previous Gov. Bill Owens, all members of a governor’s cabinet and senior staff must submit annual conflicts of interest reports. This means that at least 30 reports should have been filed nearly three years into Ritter’s tenure. But a little recent digging by the Independence Institute, where I am a policy analyst, has revealed that just one such report was ever filed.
For nearly three years, Bill Ritter has had the choice to:
- Follow the 1999 executive order
- Rescind the 1999 executive order
- Ignore the 1999 executive order
And he chose door number three. Sad that it took a dose of public shame for Bill Ritter to finally do the right thing. Bad advice? Bad judgment? Poor ethics? Whatever the case, this scenario offers another instance of Ritter failing to provide strong leadership. The clock is ticking down to the 2010 election … can’t get here soon enough.