Legislator's Comics Collection Not an Ethics Violation

A critical controversy seems to have been averted in Tennessee this week, where a Republican member of the state's House of Representatives has been cleared of any wrongdoing following questions about Majority Leader Jason Mumpower failure to report a comic book collection amongst his valuable assets.

Bruce Androphy, executive director of the state Ethics Commission, told the Associated Press that mandatory disclosure requirements for elected officials are meant to reveal financial investments that could pose possible conflicts of interest, and that "a comic book collection doesn't appear to raise those sorts of concerns."

Androphy was asked the question after an anonymous person emailed a reporter with the suggestion that Mumpower's undeclared collection may constitute some manner of ehtics breach.

Bristol-based Mumpower, who's seeking to become Speaker as his support grows within the new Republican majority in the Tenneessee House, is reported to have amassed more than 17,000 comic books, a collection he's cultivated from the age of 12. "I have no idea of the value," he told Knoxville's News Sentinal, adding that as far as he knows, he doesn't own any high-value comics -- but even if he did, Mumpower would not seek a profit and "may want to be buried with them or leave them to his family or something."

The revelation of Mumpower's enormous comics collection comes days after Britain's Telegraph reported that U.S. President Elect Barack Obama collects comic books featuring Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian.

"There are two things Barack Obama and I have in common," Mumpower sad. "We both collect comic books, and we both have big ears."

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