Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate’s Financial Connections Pose Conflict Problems
John Pelissero, a senior scholar in government at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said it is important for candidates running for executive office to rid themselves of any appearance of a conflict of interest.
"Candidates can achieve that by either divesting the assets or placing them in a blind trust managed by an independent third party with no consultation with the candidate."
“Understandably, they’ve been in the private sector where they’ve raised money and income from these kinds of holdings, all of which is perfectly legal and above board,” he said. “But what you want to do in public office, as a governor, for example, is to assure the public that the public interest is what is first and foremost in your mind.
“Unlike a state legislator, who might also have holdings like this, they could just recuse themselves from voting on or participating in discussions about regulation of the cannabis industry. But an executive can’t do that. An executive has to make decisions.”
May 3, 2022
Susan Walsh/Associated Press