What organization or activity allows its officers to accept personal financial donations from entities over whom they exercise over-sight authority, or are members of the boards that exercise that function or make rules pursuant to the regulation of these entities? Answer: The U.S. Congress. Is that not blatant conflict of interest? Of couse it is. But remember, it is not illegal. At least for our lawmakers. You try that in the private sector and see what happens.
Then, this organization (Congress) defers to those over whom they exercise oversight responsibility to write the rules pertaining to regulation of their particular activity. Sure some measure of expertise in their area is required and their input should be considered, but to just let them write the rules is, in the broadest sense of the matter, a conflict of interest.
Is it any wonder then that so many members of congress are compromised by ethical and moral malfeasence? The list is long and contains many prominent names. The various congressional bodies charged with enforcing ethical discipline among their members are basically toothless watchdogs created to give the impression of accountability. Let’s face it. These bodies are enablers. Our Congress is fundamentally corrupt, and the longer a politician is a member, the greater the chance he/she will be corrupted. Were need term limits and real and meaningful discipline and accountability from our politicians. Either that, or we need a revolution that incorporates civil disobedience in the finest tradition taught by Dr. Martin Luther King until congress reforms itself.
Jan D. Curran
Naples / Neuberg, Germany