Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cannon Brothers' Ethics Questioned

A story ran all over the country today about the ethical considerations of Joe Cannon, Utah State Republican Party Chairman lobbying his Brother and former business partner Rep. Chris Cannon. See the SL Tribune here. On KSL's Nightside Project Chris Cannon was asked if he would stop letting Joe Cannon lobby him. Chris Cannon said "No."

Let me tell you why congressional ethics rules are important and should not be just discarded. Congress has ethics rules prohibiting appearances of impropriety and conflicts of interest so the American people don't lose faith in the system. It is not the issue as to whether or not they do anything that is improper it is the appearance of impropriety that does the system in. Federal Judges recuse themselves from cases all the time for merely appearances and not actual real bias or conflicts. In fact, they are ethically obliged to do so. The same applies for our members of Congress.

Rep. Cannon says that Joe Cannon works for one of the "biggest law firms in the world." If Joe Cannon's firm is so huge, why can't they send over another lobbyist to avoid the ethical questions? It better not be because it is inconvenient, you don't dodge your ethics because of convenience.

Rep. Cannon says he cannot control his brother. Well a congressman can control his office and Joe Cannon's firm has other lobbyists. I call on Rep. Cannon to do the right thing and take the less convenient course and avoid the appearance of impropriety

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