Today the Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) released a report saying that Senator John Morse violated Amendment 41. Well…not in so many words. They released an advisory opinion stating that Senator Grantham (who requested an opinion per the law) may not accept travel funds from the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF), the exact same organization that paid for Morse's Party in Peking, because the SLLF receives more than 5% of its funding from for-profit sources.
As we reported previously, Senator Morse went on a paid junket to China in November 2009 with the SLLF. What's worse for Morse is that it's not clear if a Chinese conglomerate named the PKU Founder Group, in conjunction with the Thornton Group, paid for the trip or if the SLLF did. Either way, today's advisory opinion means it doesn't matter. His trip violated Amendment 41.
The IEC told Senator Grantham he may not accept funds that were to cover "airfare, hotel, meals, tuition, books and reading materials and incidental expenses." Even more damning for John Morse is that Senator Grantham's expenses were going to be covered by a fund run by the SLLF that does not accept any for-profit funds.
But the IEC ruled that their are "constrained by the plain language of the Constitution that it is the organization that must receive less than 5% of its funding from for profit sources, and acceptance of these expenses is not permissible."
Senator Morse has got some 'splaining to do.