Friday, August 11, 2006

We Need Ethics Reform in Congress

As I travel the district I often hear that many people have lost interest in the political process. I have often wondered: why? People feel that they don't have a voice, that it does not matter what they say or do because the lobbyists in Washington are going to get what they want anyway so one might as well just be apathetic. This is exactly the attitude that the special interests in Washington want--voters to feel powerless and let the first pigs that can rout their way to the trough to get the goods. This is a very dangerous trend and leads to destabilization of our democracy. That is why I stand for comprehensive ethics reform.

I call on my opponent to do the same.

  • We need an independent commission to investigate Ethics misconduct in Congress.
  • We need to impose an effective gift and travel ban.
  • We need to end the money chase. This means public financing for candidates running for federal office.
  • We need to slow the revolving door. This means effective time limits from jumping from K Street into Congress or senior staff positions or from Congress or senior staff positions to K Street. David Safavian was a gambling lobbyist working for Jack Abramoff when Congressman Cannon hired him to be the 3rd District's Chief of Staff. Then after Congressman Cannon took money from gambling interests and then then voted on gambling legislation Safavian went back to Abramoff and his other gambling clients. Later Abramhoff took a deal and is now in prison. Safavian took another job with the administration, was later indicted, went to trial and was convicted and is now in federal prison. The Third District deserves better.
  • We need to shine a light on lobbyist activities. Sunlight is always the best disinfectant.

For more on this topic visit Common Cause.

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