Below is a press release from the Oregon Republican Party:
SECOND ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST RICK METSGER
PRESS RELEASE 10/26/06: “Metsger took the check then took a walk to conceal disclosing his conflicts of interest. That’s not right.”
Salem — In the second ethics violation complaint filed against Senator Rick Metsger (D-Welches) this week, a Salem attorney disclosed that Metsger has been dodging conflict of interest laws. As a legislator, Metsger is required by law to declare conflicts of interests on legislation where he has a personal financial interest.
Metsger was absent for only four votes during the 2005 legislative session, but each of those four votes was of interest to one or more of his business clients. Metsger was on the Senate floor for every vote before and every vote after the bills in question, but mysteriously disappeared when his client’s interest was at stake. This is blatant disregard for the conflict of interest laws designed to provide transparency in the legislative process. The public deserves to see the personal and financial ties Metsger has to special interests.
“Rick Metsger has erased the line between his legislative responsibilities and his personal profit,” said Amy Langdon, Executive Director of the Oregon Republican Party. “How can he be representing the people of his district when special interests are paying his bills and obviously affecting when he does and does not vote?”
Since becoming a State Senator, Metsger has started working for several clients with significant interest in the state legislature. These include the Metropolitan Portland Homebuilders Association, Credit Union Association of Oregon, Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors, Diageo North America, and Kapok Administrative Services which has direct ties to the Columbia River Bar Pilots Association.
“Oregon’s conflict of interest laws call on legislators to disclose potential conflicts, while still requiring them to vote,” noted Langdon. “Metsger took the check then took a walk to conceal disclosing his conflicts of interest. That’s not right.”
Metsger has also taken significant campaign contributions from each of these groups and industries (see attached summary).
Rick Metsger has already admitted to one ethics law violation. Metsger admits receiving payment of $1,400 plus expenses from the Beer and Wine Distributors to appear at their conference in Maui, yet he failed to report the income on his Statement of Economic Interest.
CONTACT: 503.587.9233 [email protected]
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