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What is the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington?
This organization is one for which I was not familiar and I am not sure how I discovered it but I am glad I did. The mission is one who targets government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interest. It is an organization who is dedicated to hold politicians accountable for their actions. This mission appears to be lacking in many but not all of the media sources for which we are exposed to on a daily basis. The actions or inactions of the present Congress or at least some elected officials appear to vote with their political party the majority of the time. Today more than ever we must hold our politicians accountable for the decisions they make.
This is a non-profit organization and one which aims to ensure honesty and integrity in public officials regardless of party affiliation. The activities and issues in the news at least some of the time will find this organization involved in bringing it to the public’s attention though they are not identified. Whether this organization or others like it bring the principles of ethics and integrity to public officials is an important task and one which needs to be widened at the state and local level if it has not already been done.
The scope and breath of issues for which this organization is involved would blow your mind. Examples of some of the issues in which they are involved include public corruption, reforming a broken Senate and earmark reform to name a few. The aspect of reforming a broken Senate involves the right of all legislation to receive an up or down vote. This aspects seems to be
missing in the present Senate in reference to the way proposed legislation is either present or not presented based on the current structure and rules. The principle of allowing an up or down vote on any legislation should be in place regardless of which political party is in power in either house of Congress.
Another aspect of this organization allows individuals to submit issues for investigation by this organization. It is an important aspect which seems to not get the exposure it deserves. Many times we as individuals are not happy with issues that surface within government operations by elected officials. The option to provide an avenue to submit concerns which we feel need to be investigated is an important and positive element of this organization and others like it.
We as individuals have a right to expect our elected officials to take responsibility for their actions and to provide an atmosphere of ethics in all they do in conjunction with their elected responsibilities. The mission of this organization is to focus on those individuals who lack these elements of character in carrying out their responsibilities and I applaud their efforts. Instilling ethics in the political process in Washington and other levels of government is an important responsibility. To advance their mission this organization uses litigation, ethics complaints, federal election commission complaints and freedom of information act requests to name a few.
We as citizens must support this organization in holding politicians accountable for their actions through our votes come election time. There are many fine individuals who hold elected office and others that do not put the interest of the people first. We as voters must be cognizant of those who put their interest or their political party interest above the people and tell them through our votes they are fired. Before we make our voting decisions this year let us look at the records of those who serve us to determine if they are truly representing us the voters or their political party. If the right decision on legislation falls in line with their political party position, they should support them through their vote, if not they should not vote with their party. Elected officials need to make their own decisions on issues before them and not let political parties direct or force them to vote certain ways. This is what we as voters who elected them expect.