BY World's Editorial Writers
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
11/16/10 at 4:48 AM
As the Republicans prepare to take control of the House of Representatives, Rep. John Boehner, the apparent new speaker, and his fellow Republicans are making the rounds claiming that they are prepared to do the will of the people and make the chamber function again.
Sounds good. But on the same hand, there are reports that Boehner is considering disbanding the Office of Congressional Ethics. That sounds an awful lot like the business as usual that voters so abhor and the very thing that Republicans promised to abolish during the recent elections.
We can understand why the new speaker might want to get rid of the commission. It was, after all, established by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008. The OCE is a quasi-independent panel set up following the scandal involving super lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The office of nonpartisan professionals doesn't replace the House Ethics Committee but by issuing a series of critical reports involving ethics violations the OCE can be an important tool of the House committee.
Most new Republicans and tea party-affiliated members ought to be able to agree that the more ethics watchdogs, especially nonpartisan ones, the better.
The public voted for new leadership and new politics. What Boehner might be giving them is the same old, same old.