Outsider Ethics

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In a move both symbolically significant and indicative of a grudging willingness to change, the House of Representatives has voted to create an independent ethics office composed of six nonpartisan officials tasked with fielding ethics allegations and reporting out to the public on what allegations have merit.

With an eye towards the public mandate to do something about corruption on which this Congress was elected, the House has taken another step forwards towards scrubbing out Jack Abramoff's footprints on the Capitol steps:

Effective oversight by credible professionals should ease members’ fears of partisan witch hunts. It may even help repair the tattered reputation of the House ethics committee that averted its eyes from Jack Abramoff, the imprisoned superlobbyist. There are now two members of Congress serving time, two under indictments and others being investigated in that mess.