In New Poll on Ethics, Public Ranks Congress Lower Than Pirates
In a troubling omen for the upcoming midterm elections, a new poll on ethics released today indicates that the public for the first time ranks congressmen lower than pirates, says The Borowitz Report.
The poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, asked likely voters to rate one hundred different professions according to their ethics. Congressmen, near the bottom of the list, bested only crack dealers and lawyers.
“Over and over again, pirates received higher marks than congressmen in this survey,” said Crandall Pritchard, who supervised the poll for the University of Minnesota. “We heard comments like, ‘Sure, pirates make people walk the plank and will slit their throats for a doubloon, but at least they would keep their hands off congressional pages.”
Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, under fire of late because of the congressional page scandal, said that the poll showing that pirates are more ethical than congressmen is mush ado about nothing: “I don’t think this reflects the unpopularity of Congress so much as it reflects the surging popularity of pirates.” popularity of pirates.”
Paper Advises Support of Ethics Bill Unlikely to Be Passed
“Though it is unlikely that it will be acted upon by the current Congress,” The Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times advises Wisconsin’s House members should sign on as co-sponsors of the “genuine federal lobbying reform bill introduced last week by U.S. Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Marty Meehan, D-Mass.” in response to recent revelations of lobbying and ethics abuses sweeping Capitol Hill.
“Though it is unlikely that it will be acted upon by the current Congress, Shays-Meehan bill now. Then voters will know in November whether their representatives are part of the problem in Washington or part of the solution.”
Or just part of the game.
Politicians and Policy Wonks Attend Ethics Camp. But No S’mores
Politicians have nothing on Ethics Crisis’ anonymous ethics confessions. That’s why it’s refreshing to read that instead of clipboard and whistles, counselors at Ethics and Leadership Camp for politicians and public officials wore “moral compasses” around their necks, in an effort to create “a culture of ethics and accountability,” according to Judy Nadler, a former mayor of Santa Clara and a senior fellow at the university’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the host and sponsor.
The New York Times reports that the two dozen or so campers — including local city council members and ethics officers from Texas and Arizona — were “a veritable optimists’ club.”
Dean J. Chu, a council member from nearby Sunnyvale, chose to go to camp “as a continuing reminder of how you should behave.” Mr. Chu added, “Unfortunately, the kind of people attending are not the ones who need to.”
Time’s Up! No Action on Connecticut Ethics Bill
The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut State legislature went home without acting on ethics legislation that included campaign finance reform.
Rep. Christopher L. Caruso, chairman of the Government Administration and Elections Committee and one of the leading supporters of the ethics measure said:
“So far, the actions of this assembly show we are not taking [ethics] seriously”
Democrats accused Republicans of filibustering the legislation, but Republicans responded that the meeting was too short to consider the bills.
House Ethics Committee Investigates Itself
The top Democrat on the House Ethics Committee, Alan Mollohan, will leave the panel – at least temporarily – while he defends his own financial conduct, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday.
The House Ethics Committee, which has been unable to agree on what to investigate for the past year and a half, will now investigate itself.
Since the beginning of last year, the leaders fought over internal rules and staffing, and in a recent meeting discussed – but were unable to agree – on launching any new investigations.
USA Today: Unending ethics scandals beset Congress
A USA Today editorial ntoes:
Beyond the arrogance of individual members is the arrogance of Congress as a whole – the attitude that it can safely ignore or finesse public outrage over its sleazy links with lobbyists, contractors and others trying to manipulate the system for private gain.
The lesson should be obvious: Voters’ tolerance for congressional arrogance does have its limits.
Not so far.