NewsPublic AffairsPolitics / August 26, 2014

Democratic Candidate For State Auditor Proposes 'Sweeping Ethics Reform'

Brandon Smith
Democratic Candidate For State Auditor Proposes 'Sweeping Ethics Reform'

Democratic candidate for State Auditor Michael Claytor.

Michael Claytor via Facebook

The Democrat running for state auditor is proposing what he calls “sweeping ethics reform.”  Michael Claytor says under Gov. Mike Pence, ethics has left the statehouse, and he is calling attention to what he considers several recent ethical lapses in state government.

He points to recent investigations into former Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, Indiana Department of Transportation Chief of Staff Troy Woodruff, and GOP lawmaker Eric Turner as examples of ethical problems.

Claytor is calling for Indiana to strengthen its financial disclosure policies, which he says require only the bare minimum, and also wants to add some teeth to the state’s conflict of interest statute.

“It doesn’t say you can’t have a conflict, it says you just have to tell about it," Cantor said. "That is another point that is just ridiculous.”

State Republican Party Chair Tim Berry says those are issues for the legislature and Claytor needs to figure out what the State Auditor does.

“I think, quite frankly, he’s searching for something because he’s not been able to gain any coverage anywhere else and any traction as a candidate doing anything else because we’re so well served by the incumbent auditor today,” Berry said.

Claytor says the State Auditor’s office is in charge of the state’s transparency site and he would make all non-legally protected financial data available for the public.  Berry notes Indiana’s transparency portal has been named the best in the nation.