Ethics Dunce: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson

From the “What was he thinking?” files:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says that he is considering whether to pardon Henry McCarty, a.k.a. William Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid (1859-1871), because in 1879 one of Richardson’s predecessors, Gen. Lew Wallace (who, among other things, presided over the trial of the Lincoln conspirators, headed the military tribunal that condemned the Confederate commandant of the infamous Andersonville prison camp, and wrote Ben-Hur,)  reneged on a deal to grant Billy amnesty in exchange for some helpful grand jury testimony in the prosecution of vigilantes.

Of course, when Billy didn’t receive his pay-off quickly enough, he escaped from jail and killed two deputies in the process. He was that kind of guy. Continue reading

Rep. Kirk’s False Award

Thanks to Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk’s revelation that he has been knowingly misrepresenting (or “lying about”) the nature of a military honor on his official biography for years, following close on the heels of the Richard Blumenthal scandal, we must answer the question: how much dishonesty should the public tolerate in candidates for the U.S. Senate?

How about “none”? Continue reading

CREW’s Depressing “Worst Governors” List

The Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington released its list of “America’s Worst Governors” this week, and as with most things CREW does, it is well-researched, informative, and depressing. Also just a teeny bit biased.

Mostly it is depressing. That so many of the leaders of our states engage in such egregiously unethical conduct–and CREW’s list is far from complete—shows how deeply corrupt the nation’s political culture remains, and what a herculean job lies ahead if we ever hope to change it. It is also depressing when one reflects on how frequently our presidents are recruited from the ranks of governors. Continue reading