Hawley Buys In To Ethics Reform, Notably After Receiving $6.5 Million

Newly inaugurated Attorney General Josh Hawley is following Gov. Greitens' lead and implementing new ethics rules. 

From the KC Star

As his first official act since becoming attorney general, Republican Josh Hawley on Tuesday implemented a new ethics policy for his employees that prohibits them from accepting gifts from lobbyists.

“I said I would be part of the solution in Jefferson City, not part of the problem. And I said I’d take on the culture of corruption,” Hawley said Tuesday in an interview with The Star. “I think this shows that we’re serious about it. This is the first thing I’ve done in this office.”

Hawley also will not accept campaign contributions from anyone who has a pending bid or application for state contract on which the attorney general’s office has decision-making authority. Lastly, Hawley won’t accept any contribution from someone under investigation by the attorney general’s office.

This forward step should be laudable. Except, of course, Hawley is following Greitens in hypocrisy too. 

Last October, Tony Messenger with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, followed the money -- and court records -- funneled into Josh Hawley's campaign. 

To date, Humphreys and members of his family — they own Joplin-based TAMKO Building Products — have given at least $3.5 million to Hawley’s campaign.

The actual number, though, could be even higher. That’s because Hawley has also received more than $3 million from an arm of the Republican Attorney Generals Association.

Donors to RAGA might not be known until after the election. Viewed together, the $6.5 million is more than 90 percent of what Hawley has raised.

 Humphreys has more than just an anti-worker agenda on the brain.

In September 2007, the Jonesburg United Methodist Church bought Heritage Series Shingles from TAMKO for its roof. The shingles, according to court records, were marketed as being “durable, reliable and free from defects for at least 30 years.” By 2013, the Jonesburg church had leaks in its ceiling it attributed to the failed shingles.

Around the same time, another Jasper County man, Lee Hobbs, was having similar issues with the same kinds of shingles. Many other homeowners reported similar problems.

In April 2014, Jonesburg and Hobbs filed a class action lawsuit against TAMKO, alleging a violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practicing Act. The company argued that the plaintiffs didn’t have a right to sue because every package of TAMKO shingles contains an “arbitration clause” on its wrapping. Lawyers for Humphreys’ company sought to force Jonesburg, Hobbs and the other class members into arbitration.

The Southern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals agreed with the church.

The class action lawsuit against Humphreys could be heard at the US Supreme court. If so, it turns out that the person who could stop the case from moving forward is... the Missouri Attorney General.

Hawley already took plenty of money from a single family who has a vested interest in the decisions of Missouri's attorney general. Implementing these rules is great, but will the AG hold himself to his own standard?

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