April 17, 2016 – Bill Cotterell
One unintended consequence of Watergate, and the Florida follies that coincided with that wonderful era, was a bit of ethical reform – not just in government, but for the news media as well.
While the Nixon Administration was crumbling in the early to mid-1970s, Tallahassee saw a lieutenant governor, two Supreme Court justices and two Cabinet officers leave town under various ethical clouds. Another Cabinet member and a Public Service Commission member were defeated in primaries, and a U.S. Senator quit his re-election campaign.
A couple guys went to jail. The state Commission on Ethics and Gov. Reubin Askew’s “sunshine amendment,” requiring financial disclosure by public officials, grew out of that series of scandals. [READ MORE]