Amid alleged unethical conduct involving campaign fund-raising, Oklahoma Speaker of the House Lance Cargill is now pushing through an ethics reform bill, and all sides are taking a wait-and-see approach.
"Obviously, this is an issue the speaker had to deal with," said Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, an outspoken critic of Cargill. "I've been assured he's going to deal with it in good faith. For now, I'm going to take him at his word."
House Bill 2110 includes:
" proposed new rules on where contributions can be accepted,
" new reporting requirements and
" restrictions on out-of-state contributors.
The bill also:
" strikes the requirement of only reporting contributions of more than $50,
" strikes the requirement of not accepting a contribution of more than $50 from an anonymous donor,
" prohibits accepting contributions at the state Capitol at any time,
" mandates candidates and committees submit monthly contribution and expenditure reports, and
" requires legislators, their staff and lobbyists to attend annual ethics training seminars at the Capitol.
The Oklahoma Ethics Commission has not publicly commented. The speaker's office said the commission has helped with questions on writing the bill and getting details correct.
"I'm absolutely committed to ensuring that Oklahomans have an honest and open government, and I believe we can achieve that goal within a positive bipartisan framework," Cargill said in a press release. "We'll be working with leaders from both parties in the House and Senate to craft a strong ethics reform package that will make the state Capitol more open and accessible than ever before." "Scott Cooper