Ethics in government went out the window a long time ago. Politicians routinely lie to the media, and many believe that is OK.
A more concerning issue, however, is politicians’ willingness, not to just lie, but to cover up the lie, which can lead to a lot more issues.
Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton, proved he is willing to throw ethics to the wind when, last week, he asked Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, to delete a text message he sent in order to avoid telling the truth to the media.
Burton’s request came after he told the Mississippi Business Journal he had not talked to Moak or any House member asking them to allow a conference report for House Bill 1095 to clear the House, which would have sent it to Gov. Haley Barbour’s desk to await his signature.
Late language added to the bill would, among other things, change the educational requirements for becoming the deputy director of administration for Medicaid.
It has been speculated Burton, who does not have the current education requirements, wants the job.
So, Burton may want the job badly enough to lobby, via text message to another legislator, for a change in law to get it.
But when asked by the MBJ about it, he lied.
Then, he texted Moak again to ask for help in covering his tracks, which would allow Burton to never have to tell the truth.
It seems like a lot to go through to conceal interest in a job.
When told the MBJ had copies of the texts, Burton changed his tune, admitting to lobbying for the bill with a text. Yet, he denied he had been given assurances the deputy director job would be his.
Asked again about the job, he said, “Anything’s possible. Would I take the job if offered? I might.”
The bottom line is Burton proved he is willing to resort to regretful, at best, activities to further his cause.
We aren’t accusing Burton of anything other than being slimy and despicable, but we do believe a servant of the people should not act in this way.
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