“Unfortunately, the governor set a totally inappropriate tone by his dishonest and unethical conduct.
No, it's not about Republican Alabama Governor Bob Riley and the free Iron Bowl tickets his office accepted each of his eight years in office....including this year, as he was calling legislators back to Montgomery for an emergency session to consider ethics legislation.
The quote is from the New York State Ethics Commission Chair, discussing Democratic Governor David Patterson soliciting and accepting free tickets to the World Series. Patterson has been fined $62,125 for his action.
When I asked the new Speaker of The Alabama House, Mike Hubbard, why he didn't just refuse to accept PAC to PAC transfer political donations as a statement that he was taking the high road, he said he had to play by the same rules as other candidates to win.
That's not an argument you can make about the Iron Bowl tickets.
It wasn't illegal for Riley to take the 20 free tickets each year, and if may even still be legal despite all of the ethics bills passed in his emergency session.
But it certainly set a tone.
Republican Governor-Elect Bentley rejected the tickets offered to him.
Free tickets aren't.