Members of the state Ethics Commission continued a discussion Wednesday on ways to prevent the filing of complaints against candidates from influencing elections.
The filing of complaints weeks before an election can become “a political football that has nothing to do with the reasons that which a complaint might be filed and everything to do with partisan politics,” commission Chairman Karen Long said.
“We need to look at a blackout period or something similar to a blackout period to give integrity to the process,” she said.
Commissioners talked more about a proposed rule by Commissioner Jo Pettigrew that would provide for a blackout period in which complaints couldn't be filed.
She said she was bothered by the filing of several ethics complaints in the days before the June 26 primary; Ethics Commission members and staff are prohibited from commenting on complaints and commissioners, who meet monthly, are hard pressed to take action on complaints filed a month before an election.
All the complaints filed against candidates in the days before the June primary were dismissed, but not until three days after the election. Commissioners dismissed the seven complaints because no ethics violations occurred. They all involved alleged errors in campaign reports.
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