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April 15, 2005

Congressional Nepotism « Media Distortions » « Politics As Usual »

My friend Jo sent me an article/editorial commenting on Rep. Sanders' practice of hiring family members, the issue that Democrats are criticizing Rep. Tom DeLay for (covered previously here.

The editorial states (in excerpt):

None of this is illegal. The story did not state, or imply, that Rep. Sanders broke the law by hiring family members. An Associated Press story in Thursday's paper points out that employing relatives is common practice among the nation's lawmakers. It says about four dozen senators and representatives have hired family members for their campaign and political groups.

Of course, just because something is common practice and doesn't break the law, doesn't mean it's totally kosher. Watchdog groups are rightly concerned. Even if family members earn their pay, there still remains the appearance of impropriety. Given the power that elected officials wield and the fact that they serve at the pleasure of their taxpaying constituents, there's nothing wrong with holding them to higher standards. We're not talking about a small contractor who hires his son over summer vacation and doesn't mind paying him a little extra.

I think the Banner has it exactly right with Rep. Sanders, and so probably with Rep. DeLay

Not illegal, probably not inethical...but very hard to defend, and probably best if politicians stopped doing it. would have been nice for someone to write such an editorial in defense* of Rep. DeLay, but since Democrats consider him the Anti-Christ, I don't think anyone in a non-conservative publication (which is 99% of them) would dare.

*this article in the Banner is hardly a defense. However, we don't have Democrats up in arms trying to bring Rep. Sanders up on ethical charges to kick him out of Congress.

I agree with the article completely: it's really not right, even if not illegal or inethical, and so politicians should stop doing it. But Democrats should stop hounding DeLay about it, either.

Posted by Nathan at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)
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