Remember that the House Ethics Committee maintains a very narrow definition of “ethics.” Almost all serious ethics allegations and investigations in Congress involve financial misconduct, employment shenanigans, actual criminal conduct or blatant conflicts of interest. The prohibition against sexual relations with staff was relatively recently added, and even more recently taken seriously, thanks to the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck. If the House really was concerned with promoting ethics rather than compliance, it would bring more investigations based on #1 in the House Code of Conduct:
1. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.
It is fair to say, I think, that this standard has been openly abandoned by both parties.
Here are the current open investigations:
Representative Alcee L. Hastings, (D-Florida),
Alcee is my favorite unethical House member, and has been for years. He was impeached and removed from the federal bench in 1989 after the Senate found him guilty of eight impeachment articles, including one charging that he had conspired to receive a $150,000 bribe. Yes, his constituents have shown themselves unworthy of Democracy. Now he is being accused of violating House rules by having a personal relationship with a member of his staff, and get this: it is with the lawyer who defended him in his impeachment trial. Hastings, who is 83, admits the relationship with Patricia Williams, whom he has had on his staff for years. They even bought a $700,000 house togethet bought a house near Boynton Beach. Hastings still owes legal fees to her for the work on his impeachment defense, raising another ethics issue regarding inappropriate gifts or “forbearance.” is seeking the payment of debts.
As we know by now, Representative Katie Hill of California, a first-term Democrat, had a sexual relationship with a member of her congressional staff and had to resign as a result—well, that and the public release of kinky nude photographs inconsistent with House Code of Conduct #1.
Representative Michael F. Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam) Continue reading