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NCJ Number: 65436 Find in a Library
Title: SOME ETHICAL PROBLEMS OF CONGRESS
Journal: ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE  Volume:363  Dated:(JANUARY 1966)  Pages:12-22
Author(s): J S CLARK
Corporate Author: American Academy of Political and Social Science
United States of America
Date Published: 1966
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: American Academy of Political and Social Science
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A U.S. SENATOR DISCUSSES SOME OF THE ETHICAL PROBLEMS OF CONGRESS.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH PRESIDENT JOHNSON ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER SETTING HIGH STANDARDS FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, CONGRESS HAS LAGGED BEHIND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IN IMPLEMENTING THESE STANDARDS BECAUSE THE ETHICAL PROBLEMS OF A MEMBER OF CONGRESS ARE BOTH VARIED AND COMPLEX. AMONG THESE ARE OBLIGATIONS INCURRED DURING THE CAMPAIGN, PRESSURES FROM CONSTITUENTS BOTH AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS GROUPS, CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE NATIONAL INTEREST AND THAT OF A CONGRESSMAN'S DISTRICT, IMPROPER ETHICAL CONDUCT BY COLLEAGUES, AND OCCASIONAL CONFLICT BETWEEN THE REAL INTERESTS OF CONSTITUENTS AND THEIR EXPRESSED IDEAS. REFORM IS NEDED TO RAISE THESE ETHICAL STANDARDS AND IMPROVE THE REPUTATION OF CONGRESS WITH THE PUBLIC. LEGISLATION IS NEEDED TO REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE OF CONGRESSMEN'S ASSETS AND DEBTS AND TO OVERHAUL OBSOLETE LAWS DEALING WITH THE FINANCING OF ELECTION CAMPAIGNS. THE 'ERRAND-BOY' ASPECTS OF THE CONGRESSMAN'S JOB AND POLITICAL PATRONAGE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL SHOULD BE ELIMINATED. HOWEVER, IT IS UNREASONABLE TO EXPECT THE VALUES AND PRACTICES DISPLAYED BY POLITICIANS TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN THOSE WHICH CHARACTERIZE OTHER PROFESSIONALS. IF THE ETHICAL PRACTICE OF POLITICS IS NOT AT AS HIGH A LEVEL AS IT SHOULD BE, THE FAULT LIES WITH THE POLITICIAN. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED-MJW)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Code of ethics; Conflict of interest; Congressional information; Corruption of public officials; Federal government; Professional conduct and ethics
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65436

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