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Archive for March 1st, 2010

And the punch line? An honest Congress

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I know, I know. The two words leave you ROTFL: Congressional ethics.

But this gets funnier. First, House members determine the legal but unsavory and corrupt behaviors that keep them collecting that $174,000 paycheck with generous federal health and retirement bennies. Then they reverse-engineer the ethics code to make all those behaviors ethical. Every now and then they pass serious, consequential ethics reform and lard up a press release touting it, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi, freshly minted as House speaker, did three years ago:

House Democrats got straight to work this week by passing the toughest Congressional ethics reform in history.  We have broken the link between lobbyists and legislation: banning gifts and travel from lobbyists and organizations that retain or employ them, banning travel on corporate jets, shutting down the K Street project, subjecting all earmarks to the full light of day …

Oh, don’t stop there, House felons solons. When public outrage rises again, given that Pelosi’s “serious and substantive steps to ensure Congress governs with the highest ethical steps” didn’t work out so well, pass even more ethics reform. This time, pass a bill in 2008 that creates what Common Cause said was “a monumentally important resolution to create an independent, bipartisan panel of non-lawmakers to help review and investigate possible ethics violations by House members.” [emphasis added]

That’s not working out so well either. The House now has two ethics panels that produce more conflict between them than censure or (better yet) strong cases leading to removal of corrupt House members.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 1, 2010 at 9:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized