Tag Archive for 'ethics'

Do as we say, not as we do

Washington Post is reporting on how the Republicans are relaxing the ethics rules so that it would be harder to report ethics complaints against House representatives. Last month they changed the ethics rules so that their majority leader, Tom DeLay, could remain the majority leader even if indicted of accepting illegal campaign donations.

The ethics rules are, in part, designed to ensure the legislators are not unduly influenced by outsiders with which the legislators might have vested interests in. This is why state government officials and judges are supposed to recuse themselves when deciding on issues they have personal involvement in.

According to the Washington Post article the Clinton administration legislated that administration officials could not hold a lobbying position until five years after resigning from their administration position. Well, on his second term, just before his people started leaving the government, he overturned that law. How convenient.

The article outlines several high profile instances of vested interests, for example Bill Tauzin negotiating himself a lucrative lobbying position within the industry he was supposed to be regulating at the same time.

One has to wonder how these fine and upstanding politicians are supposed to reconcile relaxing ethics rules on themselves while trying to impose tougher penalties on questionable business practises in the insurance and financial services industry.

And they wonder why people are turned off by politics. It seems that they only have to look in the mirror. They’d see a person more interested in serving his/her own interests, increasingly often, at the expense of the interest of the people s/he is supposed to represent.