|Rep. Eric Turner|
The Indianapolis Star reported Monday that Turner, the second most-powerful Republican in the Indiana House, publicly made it look like he was practicing good ethics by not voting in the overturn of a moratorium against new nursing care facilities in Indiana while lobbying for the overturn in caucus meetings. Two anonymous Republican lawmakers leaked the information to the Star.
The thing is that Rep. Turner co-founded health care facility operator Mainstreet Property Group, who led the opposition to the moratorium, according to the Star. Turner's son, Zeke, chairs the company, and his daughter, Jessaca, lobbies for Mainstreet. The moratorium pushed by existing nursing homes and health care facilities would have potentially harmed Mainstreet's business interests by stopping or delaying the construction of new nursing homes, the Star reports.
In response to the news of Turner's alleged behind-the-scenes actions, Democrats fired off a letter requesting an ethics investigation into Turner's activities on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Indiana Democratic Party Chair John Zody requested that the House look into Turner's actions to see if they violated Indiana's legislative ethics rules.
If this is all true, first of all bravo to the fellow Republicans that brought it to light. Secondly, this is the worst kind of deception by a politician. If what is alleged is the way it happened, Turner was clearly trying to stay above board and look to his constituents as if he was doing the right thing while potentially doing the exact opposite in private. Hopefully, Brian Bosma and the rest of the House will look into this matter. This will certainly bear watching.