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Clean The House: Government Ethics Watch

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Judge For Yourself [Jan. 5th, 2005|09:58 pm]
Clean The House: Government Ethics Watch


Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), chair of the House Republican Conference wrote this opinion piece in the USA Today, that I found via Yahoo! She is justifying the House ethics rule requiring a full majority vote of the ten-member House Ethics Committee (5 Republican, 5 Democrat), where the old rule started the investigation with only five votes.

I think it is self-serving of her to write this. What she leaves out: though it does now keep one party from unfairly ordering an investigation by tying the vote in the ethics committee, it gives one party too much power to block an investigation. In fact, in the past few years the ethics committee has done nothing. No, I don't mean nothing about investigating complaints, I mean they have done nothing. The process that she says was improved will further deter members from bothering to submit complaints, because they know nothing will happen with the complaint now.

It is fair to hold elected officials to a higher standard because they claim it in order to get elected in the first place. Lo and beware the cry of due process and presumption of innocence when someone really probes into the ethics of their leader.