Ethics, Shmethics: SOMEBODY on Jones Street got some ‘splainin’ to do!

Splainin'ToDo-8x6The folks over at Exile on Jones Street singled out an interesting piece of legislation that made me — just like Arsenio Hall used to do — say ‘Hmmmmm.’

Mecklenburg County Senator Malcolm Graham (D) has apparently introduced legislation exempting the members of the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization from state ethics (read: financial disclosure) requirements.    Why on Earth would you do something like this?  Especially in an area — like Charlotte — that is a cash cow for developers of all stripes? 

Just for giggles,  HERE are the members of MUMPO and HERE are the members of the organization’s Technical Coordinating Committee.   Perhaps some of our politically-plugged in readers in that part of the state can clue us in on any specific reasons why an exemption from ethics rules is being sought for JUST THIS organization.    According to the MUMPO web site, some of the projects under the group’s jurisdiction include the controversial Garden Parkway and the Red Line and quite possibly those HOT lanes that have people up in arms these days.

Some friends of mine — former and current Jones Street insiders — tell me that it is a popular tactic by “the honorables” to pass off legislation desired by a crony / donor  to a colleague to introduce and shepherd through the chamber when said “honorable” wishes to keep his or her fingerprints off of it and avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.  Hmmmm …