Announced ethics allegations show ethics panel serious about enforcement
- Dale Eisman
When the Democrats won control of Congress in 2006, party leaders pledged to pass and enforce tough ethical standards.
With the announced allegations and pending trials against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), it appears that they are living up to that vow.
The House speaker and the Congress in 2008 created the quasi-independent Office of Congressional Ethics to help restore function and credibility to an ethics enforcement process that had gone to seed. Now, for the first time in years, there is clear evidence that the House Ethics Committee is taking seriously ethics enforcement, though it is not clear to us why it took so long.
We hope the trials of Reps. Rangel and Waters are conducted with professionalism and speed.
We are sensitive to concerns about the even-handedness of the House Ethics Committee investigative process. We hope as the Ethics Committee moves forward, it demonstrates that it operates without regard to political affiliation, seniority, gender, race, religion and or sexuality.
Ethics enforcement must be free of any hint of discrimination.