Raleigh – Sen. Ralph Hise has pending ethics complaints before the state Board of Elections for a number of campaign finance and ethics violations, including illegally paying himself more than $10,000 from his campaign account and failing to disclose a number of contributions from PACs.
But that didn’t stop him from shepherding through the Senate sweeping changes to the very same state agency responsible for investigating those violations.
A constitutional amendment that just cleared the committee Sen. Hise chairs would make fundamental changes to the state Board of Elections. In particular, it would change the board to a 4-4 partisan split, dooming it to gridlock and removing any teeth that board has to go after politicians who abuse their power – politicians like Sen. Hise.
This isn’t the first time Sen. Hise has thrown ethics out the window to undermine those who are actively investigating him. Over the past year, Sen. Hise has pushed through the Senate different changes to the Board of Elections, including Senate Bill 68, which took power away from the governor and the elections board and was challenged in court.
The violations allegedly committed by Sen. Hise are serious and pending. But instead of recusing himself, Sen. Hise would rather undermine the agency investigating him.
“Senator Hise should immediately step back from this constitutional amendment and disclose his clear conflicts of interest,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “His refusal to recuse himself shows he’s willing to abuse the power of his office to undermine anyone that tries to hold him accountable. It’s clear the only thing motivating Sen. Hise is how he can rig the system for his own personal benefit and those of his big-money donors.”