Friday, March 28, 2008

"Let's Just Pretend We're Ethical, Okay?"

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OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maggie Duncan
March 12, 2008 (202) 263-1332
www.lwv.org mduncan@lwv.org

League Expresses Concern With New Ethics Procedures

Office of Congressional Ethics “Will Prove Inadequate” Due to Lack of Subpoena Power

Washington, DC– The League of Women Voters today expressed concerns about the new ethics procedures passed by a House vote of 229 to 182 last night.

“This does not provide the independent ethics enforcement process that is needed to clean up the House and protect the public interest,” said Mary G. Wilson, national president of the League of Women Voters.

“The investigative powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics are simply insufficient,” Wilson continued. “Without access to subpoena power, investigators will not be able to compel cooperation from outside entities and individuals, congressional staff and Members,” she said.

“Voters in 2006 clearly reacted to the ‘business as usual’ approach that Congress took to the scandals that plagued the House. Voters continue to have high expectations for ethics reform. They want changes that will be strong and effective,” Wilson said. “This agreement falls short,” she said.

“This proposal will prove to be inadequate and will have to be revisited, probably when the next wave of public scandals arrives,” Wilson said.

“The League is disappointed that this proposal is the best the House is willing, or able, to achieve,” Wilson concluded.
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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With more than 88 years of experience and 850 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.
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