Our government is corrupt and needs oversight by a concerned public. The public could start by insisting that the Congressional Ethics Panel do its job and do it in a timely manner. Their self-monitoring ethics panel takes more than a year or years to come to a conclusion and then does little or nothing in the way of discipline if the member under investigation is found guilty.
One typical case that is under review concerns Representative Tim Bishop of CD-1, Long island.
Over a year ago, during his re-election campaign, a complaint was filed with the Congressional Ethics Panel stating that Bishop asked a constituent for a donation in exchange for his help. The help provided was a permit for a fireworks display. The constituent was pushed into making a campaign donation.
Not to get too much off track, but I know of someone who received legitimate help from Bishop and was then solicited for campaign donations by his office staff until he finally acquiesced and bought $2,000 worth of tickets for a fundraiser.
Quid pro quo is not legal or ethical.
The Office of Congressional Ethics – a six-member panel – finally came up with a decision but it is being kept secret. Action will be taken by September 11th, conveniently in between the election cycle.
The man who filed the complaint – Robert Creighton – was never contacted by the panel prior to their findings being reached.
Congress routinely refers hot button issues concerning corruption by congressmen to this panel knowing it will be delayed until the smoke has cleared and it is out of the news.
Complaints against Michele Bachmann, Peter Roskam and John Tierney have also dragged along for an unacceptable length of time and will reach meaningless conclusions in September.