The House Ethics Committee? Does Such a Thing Even Exist?

Posted by politicalpartypooper on March 1, 2010

First, there is this:

The House ethics committee ruled Friday that seven lawmakers who steered hundreds of millions of dollars in largely no-bid contracts to clients of a lobbying firm had not violated any rules or laws by also collecting large campaign donations from those contractors. Washington Post, February 27, 2010

Representatives Norm Dicks (D), Mary Kaptur (D), James Moran (D), Todd Tiahrt (R), Peter Visclosky (D),  C.W. Bill Young (R), and the late John Murtha (D), were exonerated of any wrong doing, despite having steered no-bid contracts to contributors.  John Murtha has appeared on my blog before for curious special earmarks and wasteful spending at his airport.

You can read the ethics committee’s report here.  Several earmark watchdog groups have cited certain passages within that report that indicate the donators believed their contributions helped them win the no-bid contracts. Nevertheless, the House Ethics Committee saw no problem in the process.

The House Ethics Committee?  A paradox if ever I’ve seen one.  What rational American believes that Congress can police itself?  Was this outcome ever in doubt?

In other news, Congressman Charles Rangel (D) was found to have violated the House “Gift Rule” when it was discovered that two of his trips to Caribbean resorts were paid for by private corporations.  However, Rangel refuses to step down as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Nancy Pelosi supports his decision, saying, “They have said he did not knowingly violate the rules.”  And pigs fly.

In my industry, we shy away from trips to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and other very warm, very nice vacation places for  industry retreats and symposiums paid for the group giving them because it looks like an ethics violation of gift acceptance, and we are taught to not even give an appearance of corruption.  Why is it that our elected officials do not get this?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck.  If you are attending a conference in the Caribbean as an elected official, don’t you think you ought to verify who paid for it, just to be certain?  Better yet, how about not going, because you and I both know what it looks like…

This is just more evidence of Washington corruption.  Here’s some advice for our friends in Washington:

If you don’t want the American people calling you corrupt, don’t do things that make it look like you are.  Pretty simple, right?    Ω


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