A California congressman helped secure tax breaks for racehorse owners — then purchased seven horses for himself when the new rules kicked in.
A Wyoming congresswoman co-sponsored legislation to double the life span of federal grazing permits that ranchers such as her husband rely on to feed cattle.
And a Pennsylvania congressman co-sponsored a natural gas bill as Exxon Mobil negotiated a deal that paid millions for his wife’s shares in two natural gas companies founded by her great-great-grandfather.
Those lawmakers were among 73 members of Congress who have sponsored or co-sponsored legislation in recent years that could benefit businesses or industries in which either they or their family members are involved or invested, according to a Washington Post analysis. The findings emerge from an examination by The Post of financial disclosure forms and public records for all 535 members of the House and Senate.
The practice is both legal and permitted under the ethics rules that Congress has written for itself, which allow lawmakers to take actions that benefit themselves or their families except when they are the lone beneficiaries. The financial disclosure system Congress has implemented also does not require the legislators to identify potential conflicts at the time that they take official actions that intersect or overlap with their investments. ...WaPo
If we decide this is beyond the pale -- if -- then shouldn't we start with abolishing the ability for Congress to set up its own ethics rules? Where are moral standards in all this? For that matter, where is the American voter?
Of course, let's not forget that lying is "good politics." If you had forgotten this hard fact, you got a reminder over the weekend.
This morning on Meet The Press, Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs confronted Newt Gingrich on a fundamental inconsistency in Romney’s description of his tax plan. During the primary debates, Romney insisted that everyone in America would get a 20% tax cut, including the 1%. But last week’s during his debate with Obama, Romney insisted that his tax cut would not reduce taxes at all for wealthy Americans.
Gingrich acknowledged the clear inconsistency, saying “I think it’s clear he changed.” He described the change as “good politics.” ...Think Progress