Defend democracy in the South.

ethics

INSTITUTE INDEX: Rick Perry's oily plans for an authoritarian America

January 6, 2022 - A text sent to the Trump White House the day after the 2020 election outlining a strategy to have the Supreme Court decide the outcome of the presidential race reportedly came from the phone of former Energy Secretary and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Championing the election's overthrow didn't dim Perry's job prospects, though: He resigned his Trump administration post that December and the following month became a director for the general partner of Energy Transfer, the Dallas-based pipeline company led by billionaire Trump backer and longtime Perry associate Kelcy Warren, whose interests Perry profitably championed in Washington.

Georgia probe highlights political problems with state ethics commissions

June 5, 2019 - The Republican-led Georgia ethics commission is investigating the campaign of 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and several groups that focused on mobilizing minority voters. The probe has sparked accusations that the GOP-led commission is inappropriately engaged in partisan politics — and that's neither a new concern for Georgia nor limited to the state.

Secret-money courts group accused of libel in Arkansas

May 18, 2018 - An Arkansas judge blocked an election ad by the conservative Judicial Crisis Network attacking a state Supreme Court judge, citing libel concerns. If the group, which spends millions to influence state and federal courts, appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, its spending would present an ethical dilemma for Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Virginia congressman behind ethics rollback attempt accused of conflict of interest over pipeline

January 4, 2017 - Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte led an unsuccessful effort this week to roll back the powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics. The move came as the nation is about to have a GOP president with numerous potential conflicts of interest, but Goodlatte was also recently accused of his own financial conflicts regarding a natural gas pipeline planned for his state.

Gov. McCrory's mysterious role in NC sweepstakes scandal

August 21, 2015 - A two-year investigation by North Carolina's elections board found no campaign finance violations by indicted video poker owners and their lobbyists, but questions remain about other possibly illegal activity by the industry — and about its relationship to Gov. Pat McCrory.

DRIVE TO DRILL: The growing resistance to Atlantic oil and gas drilling

August 14, 2015 - Southern governors, working in concert with energy industry lobbyists, are pressing the Obama administration to open ocean waters off the East Coast from Virginia to Georgia to oil and gas development. But a burgeoning grassroots movement bringing together environmentalists, business leaders and coastal residents is gaining momentum as it fights to block drilling in the Atlantic.