Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Political Party Truce

Have you heard about the nation's political parties' ethics truce? Democrat and Republican parties have for several years had an unwritten understanding to keep quiet about each other’s unethical little doings. Try googling this: "you kill my dog, I'll kill your cat." House of Representatives John Doolittle (R) made that statement after Chris Bell (D) said he would send a complaint about Tom DeLay (R) to the House ethics committee. Pretty funny huh? I read the story recently, but it was written in 2004, by Charles Babington.

It seems oversights committees are more interested in appearing to be ethical, than they are in actually policing unethical behavior. They create committees to ensure what they call "public confidence." The average "Joe " translation for that term is "continued flow of tax money."

In an article "Watchdogs on Short Leashes: Electorate: the ultimate judge," published on the eve of 2002 on the website of the Center For Public Integrity, there was information regarding the Maine Ethics Commission. Apparently, the Commission’s own executive director had doubts about the legislative oversights Commission:

Bill Hain, executive director of the Maine Commission on Governmental and Election Practices, said the legislature created his commission to placate the public rather than to have meaningful oversight of the legislature. (Vogel and Rush, 2001).

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