Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lee Clark Apologizes for Campaign Violations

March 4, 2008

Anchorage Daily News:
“Alaskans are right to be disappointed and upset with me. I today pled guilty to a federal offense, predicated upon what were in essence violations of Alaska campaign finance laws, which I committed by requesting pre-primary and primary campaign contributions from VECO."

“It is ethically and morally wrong for a public official to violate Alaska’s laws under any circumstance. It is particularly wrong when it involves a request for campaign funds from a company such as VECO, which was supporting important legislation then before the Administration and the Legislature. No one is more aware of my inappropriate conduct than I am. For this I sincerely apologize to all Alaskans."

"I specifically apologize to then candidates for governor in the 2006 Republican primary, John Binkley and Sarah Palin. Nothing can justify breaking Alaska's campaign finance laws to unfairly benefit one candidate. Such actions hit at the heart of our democratic system by making the public cynical about government."

"Not only were my violations of Alaska's campaign finance laws wrong and unethical, they were stupid. They were a shortcut to raising campaign funds because I saw myself as "too busy" to make the phone calls that I could have made to potential contributors to legally raise the money. I should have drawn a line between my job and the campaign and simply left fundraising to the campaign fundraisers. For this I especially apologize to my family for whom what was to have been four years of public service has been transformed into a nightmare."

It's refreshing to note that the majority of elected officials in this nation are willing to take full responsibility for their behavior and decisions, without attacking the character and motivations of the indivduals who filed campaign complaints against them.

Lee Clark made a mistake - but, he possessed the maturity and ethical backbone to admit that he made a mistake, openly, to the entire state of Alaska.

Read the full story here:


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