The Ethics of Opacity

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The members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are seeing red. They are outraged — outraged! — that the independent Office of Congressional Ethics spent so much time investigating CBC members last year. CBC member Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) was moved to introduce a resolution (co-sponsored by another 19 CBC members) that would prohibit the ethics office from releasing certain of its investigative reports to the public. The resolution also calls for barring the ethics office from starting its own inquiries unless someone with “personal knowledge” of wrongdoing submits a formal sworn complaint. No whistleblowers allowed!

Yeah, that will help keep the Congresspeople honest.

Rep. Fudge is very annoyed that the Office of Congressional Ethics nailed her own chief of staff, one Dawn Kelly Mobley, for improper action regarding corporate sponsorship of congressional trips to the Caribbean. But instead of trying to muzzle what few institutions there are to ensure ethical behavior in Congress, perhaps Fudge should try urging her colleagues to be more honest. Just a thought.

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