Senators Elena Smith and Mark Lizarraga also spoke on the matter of the Integrity Commission. According to Smith, aside from the very first year of her becoming a senator, she has been on time with filing her reports to the commission. She explained that the late report was out of her control. According to Lizarraga, he believes everyone with some type of government power should be required to file with the commission.
Elena Smith, Senator: “Since I have been at the Senate I have filed every year I want to make that very clear.”
Reporter: On time ?
Elena Smith, Senator: “Not on time. The first year I filed I did a late filing because there were some issues and I had been questioning what happens to the institutions who when you request documents from them you don’t get them within the required time ? Because for me for the first year I got back my documents from one institution almost the end of the year, almost a year late. The unfortunate thing is that it wasn’t my fault because I cannot submit an incomplete filing and so because I couldn’t complete my filling because of that document that I needed from that institution I was charged all of those days or months for my late filing the first time around and I kept asking how is it that we can hold those institutions accountable because they should know that we must file and so if I submit my document to you from January and it is due the end of February there is enough time for you to prepare. Listen to me I’m not rich. I’m not a politician so I don’t have a lot of houses, lot of bank accounts, a lot of vehicles, lot of people who I put my money into their bank accounts to hold for me, I don’t have none of that. I barely have enough so it shouldn’t take long for them to give me my report of my accounts.”
Mark Lizarraga, Senator: “This year I just got a couple of letters a day ago from two institutions that I had requested them from so I’m pressed to file by the end of the month as well and I have been filing since 2011 much to my disgust when I found out- because it’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of paper work and a lot of time to compile- much to my disgust when I heard that only reports from 2016 onward would be looked at which to me is contrary to the law by the way because the law is very clear that you should file for the year before you get into office until after you leave. I think as well that many people that should file, for example me noh spend money for government and I don’t receive money for government, why should I file? Matters not, that is the law we have to do it.”