Monthly Archives: August 2021

Hagerty names Telle as new chief of staff

Bill Hagerty speaks at Nashville event on Dec. 3, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Freshman Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Nashville) has named a new chief of staff and made some other personnel updates. Here’s the release from Hagerty’s office:

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today is announcing the appointment of Adam Telle to serve as Chief of Staff for his U.S. Senate office after John Rader’s departure to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

“I am fortunate to have someone of Adam’s experience and talent on my staff, and I am confident he will continue to excel as he takes on this new role,” said Senator Hagerty. “Since I took office, Adam has been an integral part of my team as my Legislative Director and Chief Advisor. With his-almost two decades of Capitol Hill experience, including his time in the Executive Branch, Adam has put together an incredibly talented team that has helped me advance the interests of Tennesseans, hold the Biden Administration accountable, and pursue an agenda that puts the American worker first. Adam’s appointment will ensure continuity and a seamless transition as John Rader departs following his exceptional service.”

Prior to returning to Capitol Hill in January, Telle led the White House Office of Legislative Affairs’ Senate team, where he also managed all national security and appropriations matters. Previously, Telle was the chief staff member on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee, serving under the chairmanship of U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Boozman (R-AR), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). He also spent 10 years in Cochran’s office, where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and the top national security staffer. Telle began his Senate career in Shelby’s office. He is a native of Northport, Alabama, and holds degrees in computer science and communication from Mississippi State University. Telle spent childhood summers in Sevier County, Tennessee, where his parents were married, and Telle himself was married in Nashville on the campus of Vanderbilt University, his wife’s alma mater. His dog, “B.B.,” is from Murfreesboro.

Telle is succeeding Rader, a longtime Hagerty confidant, colleague, and friend.

“I cannot thank John Rader enough for his counsel and tireless work this year as my Chief of Staff, and for his decades of friendship. There is no one more committed to advancing conservative policies that ensure we pass on a better, stronger nation to our children and grandchildren. John and I have worked together before, and I am confident we will work together again someday. John loves Tennessee, and on behalf of the citizens of our state, I thank him for his years of government service—I am forever grateful for John’s selfless service,” Senator Hagerty concluded.

In addition to Telle’s appointment, Hagerty is also announcing the following staff appointments:

Matt Apple, of Winfield, PA, to serve as Legislative Correspondent in the Washington, D.C. office.

Kay Durham, of Nashville, TN, to serve as Assistant to the State Director in the Nashville office.

Madison Graham, of Atlanta, GA, and a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, alumnus, to serve as Staff Assistant in the Washington, D.C. office.

Nels Nordquist, of Alexandria, VA, to serve as Legislative Fellow in the Washington, D.C. office.

Amy Winstead, of Jackson, TN, to serve as caseworker in the Jackson office.

Sexton names House redistricting committee

Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) presides over a House floor session on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) has named the membership of the House Select Committee on Redistricting.

The panel will be led by Deputy Speaker Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville). Speaker Pro Tem Pat Marsh is the vice chair. Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) will serve as East Tennessee coordinator, while Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville) and Gary Hicks (R-Rogersville) will oversee the East and Middle grand divisions, respectively.

Four of the committee’s 16 members are Democrats.

Here’s the full release from Sexton’s office:

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) today announced the first-ever bipartisan House Select Committee on Redistricting. The announcement comes after a prolonged delay by the U.S. Census Bureau in releasing state-level redistricting data.

The bipartisan committee consists of 16 House members, including four Democratic members. Deputy Speaker Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) will chair the committee, and Speaker Pro Tempore Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville) is the committee’s vice-chair.

Additional committee members include:

Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain)

Rep. Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville) 

Rep. Gary Hicks (R-Rogersville)

Rep. Karen Camper (D- Memphis)

Rep. John Crawford (R-Bristol/Kingsport)

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby)

Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville)

Rep. John Holsclaw (R-Elizabethton)

Rep. William Lamberth (R-Portland)

Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis)

Rep. Lowell Russell (R-Vonore)

Rep. Sam Whitson (R-Franklin)

Rep. Ryan Williams (R- Cookeville)

Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston)

“As we continue reviewing the long-awaited statewide data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, I am excited to announce the first-ever bipartisan House Select Committee on Redistricting,” said Speaker Sexton. “The makeup of this panel is representative of the distinctive voices of Tennesseans from across all three grand divisions of our state. I appreciate both my Republican and Democratic colleagues for their work as part of this panel, which will play a critical role in a transparent, public process that will produce both fair and constitutional redistricting plans representative of all Tennesseans.”

House Ethics Counsel Doug Himes will serve as counsel for the committee. The date of the first meeting of the bipartisan House Select Committee on Redistricting has not yet been determined.

For additional information on the redistricting process in the Tennessee House of Representatives, please click here

Cameron Sexton is the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. A former Republican Caucus Chairman, Majority Whip, and House Health Committee Chairman, Sexton resides in Crossville. He is in his sixth term serving House District 25, including Cumberland, Putnam, and Van Buren Counties.

New edition alert: Events overtake special session push, redistricting committee named

Gov. Bill Lee tours flood damage in Waverly on Aug. 22, 2021. (Image credit: State of Tennessee)

In this week’s print edition of The Tennessee Journal:

— Special session talk fades as COVID-19 infections surge past 1 million.

— Sexton names redistricting committee, taps Arnold as chief of staff.

— From the campaign trail: Democrats join governor’s race, but record for second-term challenges isn’t strong.

— Legal update: Page to head Supreme Court after Bivins’ five years as chief justice, Bone firm merged.

— Obituary: Anti-income tax leader and vaccine skeptic Valentine dies of COVID-19.

Also:

Gardenhire dodges COVID-19 for eighth time, UTC administrator who fired public radio reporter resigns after harassment probe, and phishing emails from the House speaker.

Access the your copy of the TNJ here or subscribe here.

Lamberth hires California GOP aide, Farm Bureau political director as top adviser

State House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) is hiring his new chief adviser from California. Mike Zimmerman, a former aide to three Republican leaders in the Golden State’s legislature, will succeed James Dunn, who is now executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

Zimmerman’s most recent position has been political director for the California Farm Bureau Federation in Sacramento.

Here’s the full email from Lamberth to members of the House Republican Caucus:

Dear Friends, 

I am pleased to announce Mike Zimmerman will be joining our Caucus as Chief Advisor to the Majority Leader. 

Mike is extremely well qualified with more than 20 years of legislative experience serving as Political Director, Deputy Chief of Staff and as Chief of Staff for three different Republican Leaders in the California General Assembly.  As Chief of Staff, Mike managed more than 80 employees who worked in policy, communications, and constituent services. His areas of expertise include public policy, state government, fiscal oversight, and political campaigning.  

He is leaving his current position as director of political affairs for the California Farm Bureau Federation in Sacramento where he has served since 2018. Mike is moving to Tennessee with his wife and 8-month-old son to be closer to family in Williamson County and to raise his son in a state that shares his conservative values. His first day with us is Wednesday, Sept. 8th.

Having served in leadership support positions for the minority party in a blue state, Mike brings an invaluable and unique perspective. I am confident he will serve you well and will send his contact information once he officially begins this new role. Mike will be reaching out to every one of you to meet within the next few weeks whenever you happen to be in Nashville. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you and thank you for all that you do every day to strengthen our great state. 

Harshbarger says she will get Trump endorsement, backing from Club for Growth

A year ago, the Club for Growth was buying copious amounts of TV advertising time to bash Diana Harshbarger, the frontrunner (and eventual winner) in a crowded Republican primary for the open 1st Congressional District seat. Fast forward to last week, and Harshbarger was boasting of gaining former President Donald Trump’s help in getting the Club for Growth to endorse her re-election bid in 2022.

Harshbarger said in a meeting with Trump last week he promised to deliver a public endorsement of her. She said he also called Club for Growth President David McIntosh to to tell him to get behind Harshbarger as well. Per Harshbargers telling at the Greene County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday, McIntosh’s response was “Yes, sir.”

Here is what Harshbarger said about her encounter with Trump, according to a recording obtained by The Tennessee Journal:

“He said, ‘I am going to call David McIntosh.’ And I said, ‘By all means do that.’ And he said, ‘David, I have Diana Harshbarger here and I heard you didn’t like her last time. I think you are going to like her this time. She has voted with me 100% of the time.’ And he said, ‘Let me get her in the room.’ And I came in the room and he put it on speakerphone and he said ‘David, here’s Diana.’ I said ‘Well hey, David’ — because he wouldn’t return my calls.

“President Trump said ‘I’m going to give her my full and complete endorsement … I want to tell you to tell her you are going to give her a full and complete endorsement.’ I said, ‘That’s awesome.’ He goes ‘Yes sir, I’ll do it.’ He said, ‘Thanks Dave.’ I said ‘Thank you, David.’

Anyway, what he said was that ‘we don’t want this lost in the fervor of all this news and everything.’ And he goes, ‘I want to make sure this goes out next week.’  And he said,  ‘I want people to know that I’ve endorsed you. I’m 128 and 2.'”

Page to take over as chief justice of Tennessee Supreme Court

The state Supreme Court has elected Roger Page as its new chief justice. He succeeds Jeff Bivins, who has presided over the court since 2016. Both justices were appointed to the state’s highest court by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

The change in leadership comes as the state prepares for judicial elections in August 2022, followed by the Supreme Court’s appointment of the state’s next attorney general. Current AG Herbert Slatery hasn’t said whether he will apply for another eight-year term.

Here’s the full release from the Adminstrative Office of the Courts:

Nashville Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger A. Page has been elected Chief Justice by his colleagues for a term that begins September 1, 2021. Justice Page succeeds Justice Jeff Bivins, who has served as chief justice since September 2016.

“It is an honor to serve as chief justice and a responsibility that I do not take lightly,” Justice Page said. “Our Supreme Court has over 100 years of judicial experience and is well-prepared to take on the serious and complex issues as the law continues to be amended and revised, to grow and evolve.” 

Justice Page will be sworn-in by Justice Connie Clark in a small ceremony to be held in the courtroom he presided over in the Madison County Criminal Justice Complex on September 1 at 1:30 p.m.  In order to accommodate members of the judicial family, the bar, state leaders, and policymakers, the event will be livestreamed at: https://www.youtube.com/user/TNCourts/featured.

The location and day are not without personal meaning.  Justice Page was ceremoniously sworn-in as a trial judge by federal Judge Julia Smith Gibbons, for whom he clerked after law school, in the same courtroom exactly 23 years ago to the day.

“I began my judicial career in that courtroom and served the community I grew up in as a trial judge for more than thirteen years,” he said. “It means so much to be able to step back into that courtroom to take the oath as chief justice in front of my family. They have given me unconditional support every step of the way.” 

Justice Page graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and worked as a pharmacist in Memphis before he  earned his law degree from the University of Memphis, graduating fourth in his class.  He began his judicial career when he was elected Circuit Court Judge in 1998 for the 26th Judicial District, which includes Chester, Henderson, and Madison counties.

He was appointed to the Court of Criminal Appeals by former Governor Bill Haslam in 2011.  In 2016, Governor Haslam appointed him to the Supreme Court.  For the first time in thirty years, a rural West Tennessean will serve as chief justice.

Justice Page was raised on the family farm in Mifflin,  Chester County, Tennessee, with West Tennessee  roots going back seven generations. His mother and his aunt will join his wife, retired Chancellor Carol McCoy, and two sons and their spouses for the swearing-in ceremony. He also has three grandchildren with another one expected in January 2022. 

“The Supreme Court serves the entire State, and the judiciary significantly reflects the diverse collection of viewpoints, backgrounds, and perspectives at all levels of justice,” Justice Page said. “From big cities and urban neighborhoods to sprawling suburbs to rural farms, small river towns, and communities settled atop mountain ridges, our State encompasses all views.” 

Across the state, the court system is still responding to and recovering from the pandemic, during which jury trials were postponed. On a positive note, judges and their court staff quickly adopted new technologies to ensure courts always remained open and accessible and that cases moved forward as much as possible. New and expanding technologies, together with strategies to increase the use of senior and retired judges as well as alternative dispute resolution, have provided judges with an array of resources.

Justice Page will continue to emphasize the Supreme Court’s prized Access to Justice initiative.  It focuses on civil actions when litigants do not have the right to an attorney and  is critical to the state’s economic growth and the personal stability of its citizens.  

“Courts need to be open, fair, efficient, and accessible to everyone in our state,” Justice Page said. “We have made strides by shoring up the guardian ad litem program and creating the appellate public defender’s office, but there is more work to be done. The equitable, effective, and professional administration of justice benefits everyone from litigants to victims to defendants to taxpayers to communities. Our present opportunity to invest in efficient changes will promote a positive effect on generations to come.”

Expanding access to the courts in rural communities is an issue Justice Page will stress during his term as Chief Justice. One aspect of Access to Justice is expanding high speed internet access into all rural counties of the State.  Justice Page supports judicial efficiency and recognizes that Governor Bill Lee’s efforts in that area will allow courts to expand remote hearings and e-filing, allowing every citizen in the State to have equal access and participation in the judicial system.

“Chief Justice Bivins did a tremendous job leading the Supreme Court and the judiciary,” Justice Page said. “It was extremely challenging at times, and he rose to the occasion, providing clear direction and effective and innovative solutions. While there is uncertainty about where we are headed, I am confident we have a solid blueprint to work with going forward.”

Biden declares major disaster following Tennessee flooding

Damage from heavy flooding in seen in Waverly on Aug. 22, 2021. (Image credit: State of Tennessee)

President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster following the fatal flooding in Humphreys County over the weekend.

Here’s the release from the White House:

Yesterday, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Tennessee and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by a severe storm and flooding on August 21, 2021.

The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Humphreys County.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures in Humphreys County.

Lastly, Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Myra M. Shird as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after the assessments are fully completed.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT THE FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV.

Sexton hires Arnold as chief of staff

Rep. Cameron Sexton presides over his first session as House speaker on Aug. 23, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) has hired Sammie Arnold, an assistant commissioner at the Department of Economic and Community Development, as his chief of staff.

Arnold’s wife, Laine, is Gov. Bill Lee’s communications director. His first day in Sexton’s office is Sept. 1.

The chief of staff position has been open since Scott Gilmer left in January 2020. Holt Whitt served as interim chief until he was questioned by FBI agents in connection with a raid on three lawmakers’ homes and offices in January 2021. Whitt was placed on leave while the investigation was underway. He was hired as a senior adviser in the state Department of Human Resources in July after obtaining a letter from prosecutors saying he was considered a witness.

Here’s the full release from Sexton’s office.

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) today announced Sammie Arnold as his new Chief of Staff in the Tennessee House of Representatives.  

“I am excited to announce Sammie Arnold as my new Chief of Staff,” said Speaker Sexton. “I’ve known Sammie and his family for several years and have worked with him extensively throughout his time as a staffer with former Gov. Bill Haslam, as well as in his roles with our Department of Economic and Community Development. Sammie’s extensive knowledge of our Tennessee communities, experience in public policy, and working with the General Assembly over the years not only makes him a great choice for the position but will ensure a smooth transition without missing a beat.”  

A native of Dyersburg, Arnold most recently served as Assistant Commissioner of Community and Rural Development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD). In this role at TNECD, Arnold was tasked with overseeing the department’s efforts to boost investment and development in the state’s rural communities, emphasizing Tennessee’s distressed and at-risk counties.  

“It is an incredible honor to join Speaker Sexton and his team as Chief of Staff in the Tennessee House of Representatives,” said Arnold. “I have known and admired Speaker Sexton since he was first elected to the General Assembly, and no one is better equipped than he is to lead this body during this moment of unprecedented opportunity for our state. I look forward to working with him to ensure he and all of our members continue to serve their constituents with the utmost success.”  

Before joining TNECD, Arnold served as legislative liaison for former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. He was also a staffer on former Gov. Haslam’s successful gubernatorial campaign. Arnold earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee College of Law. He lives in Nashville with his wife Laine and daughter Magnolia.  

His first day as Chief of Staff is Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.  

Cameron Sexton is the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. A former Republican Caucus Chairman, Majority Whip, and House Health Committee Chairman, Sexton resides in Crossville. He is in his sixth term serving House District 25, which includes Cumberland, Putnam, and Van Buren Counties.  

Martin announces Democratic bid for governor

Physician Jason Martin is seeking the Democratic nomination for Tennessee governor. The Nashville pulmonary critical care specialist has been an outspoken critic of Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s COVID-19 policies.

UPDATE: Martin says he has raised $100,000 since forming his exploratory committee. Greeneville minister Casey Nicholson has also also made his Democratic bid official, per Stephen Elliott a the Nashville Scene. A third Democrat expressing plans to run is Carnita Atwater of Memphis.

See Martin’s fundraising email sent out Monday morning:

I’m Dr. Jason Martin, a father, husband, doctor, business owner, and advocate for Tennesseans.

Some of you have met me personally in the halls or waiting rooms of hospitals as I have cared for you or your loved ones in my ICUs. Some of you have probably seen me on your nightly news urging our elected officials to take the necessary steps to save lives in Tennessee. Some of you are my family, friends, and neighbors. And some of you may not know me at all!

I’m reaching out to you today to announce not my but our campaign for Governor, because now is the time for a leader in Tennessee to stop the division and start working to meet all of our needs. And yes, I said our campaign, because unlike most politicians, this campaign is not about my personal fame or popularity — our campaign is a collective movement for the people of Tennessee to reclaim what is ours.

I’m running for Governor of Tennessee because I want to help create a state that puts people first regardless of where they’re from, what they look like, or how they were raised. Will you join me on this journey by adding your name in support of our campaign today?

I have been in middle Tennessee for twenty years now, but I was raised in Southern Alabama in a place much like many of our communities in Tennessee. We had the same sweltering summers, spent on front porches, laughing with family, and swatting mosquitoes.

And just like many families in Tennessee, my family raised me through values rooted in hard work, faith, and community. My parents and step-parents worked long hours to give me every opportunity they were never afforded. And while they labored, my many aunts, uncles, and grandparents stepped in to raise me. Because of their sacrifices, we were able to change the story of our family in a single generation. Their hard work afforded me the opportunity to attend the best public schools and earn scholarships to propel me all the way to and through medical school at Vanderbilt University.

From there, I went on to serve those who served our country at Nashville Veteran Affairs Medical Center, train new healthcare professionals at Meharry Medical College, and treat ICU patients at Nashville General Hospital and now Sumner Regional Medical Center.

My experience as a doctor in cities and rural communities has made it abundantly clear to me that Tennessee’s health care system is incompetent, our economy isn’t supporting people to afford their families’ needs, and Governor Bill Lee is failing our students.

And then came the COVID-19 pandemic, throughout which Governor Lee has continued to abandon Tennesseans, fail to rise to the occasion, and refuse to meet the moment. Rather than leading with policies to keep children in schools, businesses open, and families safe, Lee went on a fringe extreme rampage, firing top COVID officials, eliminating the power for local school boards to protect their vulnerable students by requiring masks, and lying about the protections needed against the virus.

Before the pandemic and unfortunately during the pandemic, our leaders have sown division through culture wars and social issues to distract from the fact they have abandoned us.

As a critical care physician, I took an oath to “do no harm.” Right now, there are too many politicians out there like Governor Lee doing more harm than good for the people of Tennessee, and I’m running to change that.

Tennessee once had a reputation for our hospitality, volunteerism, and how we cared for our neighbors. However, for more than a decade now, our corrupt leaders have worked to divide us so that we abandon our values. That ends today with our campaign.

We can thrive with improved education for ALL Tennesseans.
We can thrive with better healthcare.
We can thrive by growing businesses that strengthen families.
And we can thrive by fortifying rural Tennessee and modernizing our infrastructure.
Together, Tennessee thrives.

Thanks so much,

Dr. Jason Martin

Complaint filed against Harshbarger for failing to make timely stock disclosures

The Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint against freshman Rep. Diana Harshbarger for failing to report hundreds of disclosures about stock transactions within the 45-day requirement. The Kingsport Republican’s chief of staff, Zac Rutherford, told Insider the congresswoman self-reported the transactions after realizing her advisers had failed to do so.

Here’s the release from the Campaign Legal Center:

WASHINGTON – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Diana Harshbarger for failure to comply with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.

In a periodic transaction report filed earlier this week, Rep. Harshbarger acknowledged over 700 trades that violate the STOCK Act due to the fact that they were not disclosed within the proper window of time. While the stocks are assets of her trust, this is not a blind trust, and the report concedes that she was notified of the transactions soon after they occurred.

“The reason we have the STOCK Act is to allow voters full, real-time awareness of interests held by elected officials that may conflict with their official duties. But we don’t currently have meaningful enforcement,” said Kedric Payne, general counsel and senior director of ethics at Campaign Legal Center. “Members of Congress cannot continue to shirk their responsibility and see a nominal fine as their only repercussion for denying voters transparency when it comes to their financial interests.”

The actions of Rep. Harshbarger follow a troubling, bipartisan trend. Already this year, CLC has filed similar complaints over violations of the STOCK Act by Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Tommy Tuberville as well as Reps. Pat Fallon, Blake Moore, and Tom Malinowski.

This is just one more example of an elected official ignoring the STOCK Act by failing to report a large volume of stock trades and facing little consequence. Because ethics proceedings lack significant transparency, it is next to impossible to determine what consequences, if any, members who commit such violations face.

What we are witnessing is the dismantling of the STOCK Act as members wait until their annual financial disclosures to reveal stock trades and are thus not held accountable for failing to provide real-time disclosure under the law. It is clear that the current ethics enforcement system, built on a foundation of self-policing in which members of Congress are responsible for enforcing their own ethics rules for their own colleagues, is not working.

As elected officials craft laws that directly impact the lives of all Americans, the public must be able to trust that their representatives are acting in the public’s interest, and not for their own financial gain.