Depressing Fun From CREW: “Are You More Ethical Than A Member of Congress?”

And yet, it once was even worse...

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have a neat little feature on their website, an interactive survey entitled, “Are You More Ethical Than A Member of Congress?” It is well done, pointed, educational, and, if you hadn’t already figured out that the ethics on Capital Hill (and the character of the elected officials displaying them is beyond redemption, really depressing.

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that if you aren’t more ethical than a member of Congress, you are probably either in jail, or should be.

You can take the survey here.


One thought on “Depressing Fun From CREW: “Are You More Ethical Than A Member of Congress?”

  1. Some of those were shocking, but some not so shocking. On the childcare one, I can see why people would charge that to the campaign. To begin with, it it probably done fairly commonly (yes, I know, the just because everybody does it…). They probably also have a campaign manager who tells them that it is allowed (and it may be). It also doesn’t seem that unreasonable in light of the fact that my employer DOES pay for childcare for evening events that are mandatory. At my church, childcare is also provided during church meetings and even for some work-day type activities. So, you have an activity that employers and other groups routinely reimburse people for and it is allowed. I can see why people would do it.

    One charge that is on the survey that I am not sure I am against is the salary. I know, I know… but give me a minute to explain. If campaigns were allowed to pay candidates a salary, it could open campaigns up to new candidates. And do we need some new candidates… One of the problems of running for public office is that you have to be rich. I couldn’t do it because I don’t have enough money to quit or take a leave of absence from my job (which they do require, its in my contract) to campaign. If the campaigns could cover candidates’ expenses while running for office, it could open up political office to a lot of people who are effectively shut out of politics for financial reasons. If the amount allowed was a modest, fixed amount (say $3000/month), it would be enough to allow most middle-class people run for major offices, without being a large enough amount to be an enticement to get people to run for office for the money. If the fact that candidates paid themselves from the campaign contributions, I’m not sure people would mind (if it wasn’t extravagant).

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