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January 30th, 2008
05:55 PM ET

Ethics violations & our government?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: AP) 

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In case you're not convinced our government is broken, consider this: A new study shows that almost 60% of government employees at all levels - federal, state and local - say they've seen violations of ethical standards, policies or laws at their workplaces in the last year. This includes everything from conflicts of interest, abusive behavior, altering documents and financial records to lying to employees, vendors or the public.

And apparently it's worse at the state and local levels. The nonprofit research group "Ethics Resource Center" found 63% of those at the local level witnessed at least one kind of misconduct. At the state level, it was 57%, and 52% at the federal level.

And it's going to get worse. The head of this group says it looks like we're headed toward more ethical misconduct in government in the future, not less.

They found that 30% of the incidents go unreported. One reason for that is some employees who reported misconduct said they experienced retaliation. Researchers also say there aren't enough systems in place to stop these problems once they're exposed.

The center says the answer to this problem is what it calls a "strong ethical culture." A lovely idea to be sure. But when you watch example after example of government dishonesty and abuse go uninvestigated and unpunished, what's the message? That it doesn't matter because no one will do anything about it anyway.

Here’s my question to you: Does it surprise you that almost 60% of government employees at all levels say they've seen ethics violations at work?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Ethics
January 30th, 2008
05:17 PM ET

How can Romney catch McCain?

 Mitt and Ann Romney in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mitt and Ann Romney in St. Petersburg, Florida.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's too soon to compare him to Secretariat, but as John McCain moves toward the backstretch in the presidential horserace, he's beginning to open up a lead that will make him tough to catch.

Giuliani's gone, a casualty of one of the biggest miscalculations in American politics. Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul are still around but are irrelevant. Only Mitt Romney has a shot, and it's a bit of a longshot. Nevertheless, Romney is vowing to carry his campaign into the 21 states where Republicans will vote on Super Tuesday next week.

In his concession speech last night, Romney called on conservatives to support him - as he promised to cut federal spending, end illegal immigration, and teach children "that before they have babies, they should get married."

With the Republican field now smaller, Romney's campaign thinks they'll be able to better highlight the differences between his business background and McCain's Washington insider status.

But Romney's got his work cut out for him. Heading into Super Tuesday, McCain now has momentum, and he has the most delegates. And it's possible Huckabee could hurt Romney by staying in and drawing some conservative voters, especially in the South, away from him.

This all means the next week will probably get even nastier between McCain and Romney than it's already been. Look for it to start tonight at the Republican debate in California.

Here’s my question to you: What does Mitt Romney have to do to catch John McCain?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: John McCain
January 30th, 2008
02:07 PM ET

Why won't we vote to really change things?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: AP) 

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The two apparent front-runners are now Hillary Clinton and John McCain. If nothing changes, this is the choice we will have for president of the United States.

Hillary is part of the monopoly on the White House between the Clintons and the Bushes that goes back 28 years. Her husband is a two-term president, she's a former first lady and current member of the Senate. She's a poster girl for the Washington establishment.

McCain has been a part of Washington for 26 years. A two-term congressman, he's been a senator since 1986. He's been running for president for the last eight years. Another Washington insider.

Ask anyone what they think of our government and most people will be happy to tell you. They are angry. I get thousands of letters a week from people angry about health care, immigration, the war, the economy, you name it. The consensus is our government is broken and our country is in trouble.

The problems they complain about exist solely because of the actions of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington. The political establishment, if you will, that is in bed with the lobbyists and the corporations and, quite frankly, couldn't care less about you.

Except now, at election time, when they need you. They travel the country spewing the same tired rhetoric we have heard for years. And like lemmings, we appear to be on the brink of continuing to send one of them to the White House. Somebody said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well?

Here’s my question to you: When it comes right down to it, why won't we vote to really change things?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: General Election