Wednesday, December 5, 2012

#MO8: Jumpin' Jo Ann Emerson was in Job Talks Days after Re-election

The Sunlight Foundation's Reporting Group has found that Jo Ann Emerson was in formal talks with electric co-op days after her re-election:
On Nov. 19, nine business days after she won reelection with 72 percent of the vote, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., began final negotiations for a new job with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, official documents show.

According to ethics rules set in place meant to avoid conflict of interest, Members of Congress are required to file disclosures with the House Ethics Committee and the Senate Office of Public Records within three business days after they begin to negotiate for a future job while they are still in Congress. However, the definition of "negotiation" is left ambiguous and leaves room for "preliminary or exploratory" talks before any report is required. Reports are filed on paper at the ethics committees offices and, while available to the public, are not posted online.

While the stamp date on the document shows that disclosure was filed on Nov. 16, Emerson appears to have signed the document on Nov. 23. The Reporting Group contacted her office and the ethics committee for a clarification and will update this post if more information is provided.
The Sunlight Foundation has obtained copies of documents Emerson filed with the House Ethics Committee as well as similar documents related to other members who are seeking employment outside of Congress. Those documents are available on Scribd:
Negotiation Docs

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