Truth and fiction

It may be cause for concern if people seeking political office misstated information or fail to list income sources on the one of the forms required to get listed on the ballot. The form in question is the SEC-1 Statement Of Financial Interests Form[1] which states “This Form is required to be filed pursuant to the provisions of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act, 65 Pa C.S. 1101 et seq. This form is considered deficient if any block is not completed, or signature is missing.” 

We sampled the filing forms of a few individuals yesterday at the Lancaster County Board of Elections and Registration Commission; all of these public records fall under the purview of the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law. We found several of the forms contained questionable, potentially incorrect or incomplete information. 

We also sampled the voting histories, too. It appears that several office seekers have not taken active roles in the past (in fact, the records show highly infrequent voting patterns for some). Citizens must be pleased that these office seekers have had the revelation to serve in the community service sector now and we applaud this. 

We share these observations from an on-line publication in Florida, (http://www.cityethics.org/) writing about political conduct in South Carolina: “The (Ethics Committee) staff should … hold required ethics training where the officials, lobbyists, candidates, and committee chairs are told about our political system and their role in it, and the responsibilities that come with that role. If they want power and the freedom to speak their minds, they have to recognize that these things come with obligations, including the obligation to file disclosure and campaign forms when they are due, so that their constituents can know what conflicts of interest they might have.”

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