The Big Question: Should the House ethics process change?



Meredith McGehee, Policy Director at the Campaign Legal Center, said:
The basic answer is no.  The addition of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) has brought a breath of fresh air into the stale, backroom machinations that have characterized the congressional ethics process for too long.  Speaker Pelosi deserves credit for having put her political muscle into creating the OCE and she should not back down now simply because it is doing its job.  The OCE has revealed just how pathetic the House ethics committee has performed.  If these attempts to derail the OCE are successful, they would constitute significant backtracking for the Congress and especially for the Democrats who campaigned on a improved ethical standing and process.

Dick Morris, Pundits Blog Contributor, said:
Yes.  Congress should establish a special prosecutor's office for the legislative branch with a head appointed by the US Supreme Court with a permanent nonpartisan professional staff.  It should have subpoena power and the ability to empanel a grand jury.


Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:
The idea that there is going to be a crackdown on influence-peddling in Washington is nothing but a sick joke.

Until and unless there is a complete separation of economy and state, just as there is supposed to be a complete separation of religion and the state -- and for the same reasons -- corruption is inevitable. As Rep. Ron Paul put it in response to the Washington Post's pathetic attempt to smear him because he's an advocate of the gold standard, has investments in the precious metal, and serves on a committee dealing with monetary policy:

"He said the real solution would be to cut government's influence over the private sector, making it harder for congressional decisions to have an impact on the markets.

"'Government is so involved in everything we do in this economy,' he said. 'The only solution is getting the government out of things it should not be doing.'"


Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.org, said:
Even far beyond the Beltway, we see a big need for a better House ethics process.

However, we just need a little help for ourselves via professional fact-checking, and the folks at PolitiFact.com are doing just that. We need that to expand in a really big way.