You can't fire the cop and say you are against crime!Submitted by Elisabeth Thu Dec 02 2010 13:15:00 GMT-0500 (EST)
Today, we joined with an interesting and diverse array of groups (Judicial Watch, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Common Cause, Democracy21, U.S. PIRG, CREW, Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen) for a press conference calling on Speaker-elect John Boehner to retain the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) in the upcoming 112th Congress. The League is deeply concerned that many in Congress, apparently wishing to return to a time when there was no meaningful ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, have called for steps that would substantially weaken the OCE.
In this year's elections, the American people did not vote for less ethics and more corruption. You can’t fire the cop and then say you’re against crime. The retention of a strong and effective Office of Congressional Ethics is essential to regaining the public’s trust.
The retention of the OCE -- or its demise -- will signal the direction the new leadership will be taking the House of Representatives on ethics issues. The League urged that the OCE not be weakened in any way. The group said that the OCE must retain its independent, bipartisan leadership structure, the ability to issue public reports, begin investigations on its own initiative, and hire and supervise an independent staff. The League also called for strengthening the OCE by ensuring that it has access to subpoena power.