Democrats Backstepping on Ethics Reform?

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Democrats ran on cleaning up ethics violations and corruption in government. Now, some are back stepping, and an internal feud is building. At the center of the looming conflict, Sen. Barack Obama is calling for an independent ethics commission, and in opposition, is Sen. Diane Feinstein who says this can be handled in a bi-partisan way by the recipients of obscene sums of legal bribes for their reelection by special interests and lobbyists.

The NY Time's David D. Kirkpatrick has an excellent article written yesterday, providing a lot of information on the players and background of this looming inter-, and intra-party fight which is going to scare the bejeesus out of a number of politicians both Republican and Democratic, whose own affairs and actions in the Congress may not stand up to independent scrutiny.

Exit polls from Nov. 7's elections revealed that voters ranked ethics and corruption in government as their greatest area of concern beating out the war in Iraq by 1 percentage point at 40%. Only 39% of respondents indicated the Iraq War was their primary concern. Logically, the voters are right to put ethics and corruption as their top concern, because it affects all other legislation and policy making government more expensive, more inefficient, and less able to address the nation's and the people's needs.

Many organizations like Common Cause, People for the American Way, and Vote Out Incumbents Democracy will be watching this issue intently for signs indicating that another anti-incumbent organized campaign must be delivered to Independent voters for the 2008 election cycle. There can be no real ethics reform unless, and until, legal bribery by special interests and campaign financiers is ended. The 2006 mid-term elections set new records for the dollar amounts of legal bribes delivered to the parties, PACs, and candidates.

A great many of our Senators and Representatives are going to try a little shell game with the American public. They are going to try to make lobbyist paid meals and transportation for Congress persons the centerpiece for ethics reform leaving campaign finance reform untouched. This is tantamount to treating the scratch on the leg of a patient who has fallen while ignoring their sucking chest wound having been impaled front to back by an iron fence rod.

My advice to Democrats is this. Follow Barack Obama's lead on this and secure the respect and credibility of the Independent and swing voters in 2008 which your party will desperately need to remain in power. Follow Diane Feinstein's path at your peril, giving Republicans the opportunity to make this 2008 campaign issue theirs to defeat you with. Millions of voters who are members, supporters, and followers of the above linked organizations will be watching this issue closely to see who is next to get the boot in 2008.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on November 19, 2006 1:54 PM.

Put On a Happy Face was the previous entry in this blog.

No End to Wasted Tax Dollars is the next entry in this blog.

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