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NCJ Number: 69049 Find in a Library
Title: POLLS - CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT
Journal: PUBLIC OPINION QUARTERLY  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:(1973-74)  Pages:628-644
Author(s): H ERSKINE
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 17
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESULTS ARE REPORTED FROM POLLS ON THE PUBLIC'S PERCEPTION OF GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION THROUGH SIX PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATIONS--ROOSEVELT, TRUMAN, EISENHOWER, KENNEDY, JOHNSON, AND NIXON.
Abstract: IN ROOSEVELT'S DAY, SEVERAL POLL ITEMS SHOWED THAT MOST PEOPLE BELIEVED POLITICS ENTERED INTO THE DISTRIBUTION OF WELFARE FUNDS, BUT THAT WAS LAST MENTIONED IN 1938. IN THE ROOSEVELT ERA, POLLSTERS AND PRESUMABLY THE PUBLIC SHOWED LITTLE INTEREST IN THE ADMINISTRATION'S POSSIBLE MALFEASANCE. DURING THE TRUMAN YEARS, CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS EXPOSED FINANCIAL SCANDALS IN THE TREASURY, THE COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION, AND THE RECONSTRUCTION FINANCE CORPORATION. BY 1952, 86 PERCENT OF THE PUBLIC KNEW OF TRUMAN'S PROBLEMS, AND 58 PERCENT BELIEVED HE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. IN THE EISENHOWER ADMINISTRATION, THERE WERE STOCKPILING SCANDALS, THE DIXON-YATES CONFLICT OF INTEREST CASE, AND THE ADAMS-GOLDFINE ISSUE. AT LEAST ONCE, THE PUBLIC OVERWHELMINGLY BACKED EISENHOWER'S REFUSAL TO DELIVER CONFIDENTIAL PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS TO CONGRESS (66 PERCENT). POLLSTERS INCLUDED ONLY FIVE QUESTIONS ON CORRUPTION DURING EISENHOWER'S 8 YEARS IN OFFICE. FOR JOHN KENNEDY'S 3 YEARS IN OFFICE, THE POLLS DID NOT INQUIRE INTO CORRUPT PRACTICES. JOHNSON BEGAN HIS TERM WITH A HIGH RATING ON KEEPING CORRUPT PRACTICES OUT OF HIS ADMINISTRATION (69 PERCENT FAVORABLE IN 1964). HIS SCORE CRUMBLED AFTER THE BOBBY BAKER REVELATIONS. THE RATING OF THE SENATE, HOWEVER, FELL MORE THAN DID THE PRESIDENT'S AS A RESULT OF THE BAKER SCANDAL. POLLS AS OF AUGUST 1973 TEND TO SHOW THAT THE PUBLIC VIEWS NIXON'S WATERGATE ACTIVITIES AS FAR MORE SERIOUS THAN ROUTINE POLITICAL SHENANIGANS. THIRTY-NINE PERCENT REFUSED TO CONSIDER WATERGATE AS TYPICAL OF THE KIND OF ACTIVITIES IN WHICH BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES ENGAGE, AND 57 PERCENT CONSIDERED IT THE WORST SCANDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY. POLL DATA ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Corruption of public officials; Federal government; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Surveys
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69049

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