Doing The Right Thing
We need more representatives in Congress who are willing to stand up and do the right thing.
That's the conclusion of an ethics think-tank hosted by Peter Goldmark in Spokane Thursday, July 13. Fifteen participants represented interests including public service, law, politics and ethics leadership.
Goldmark took the opportunity to restate his campaign kickoff pledge: "I will accept no gifts, favors, meals or trips from lobbyists--nothing of value. I challenge my opponent to take that same stand."
Nearly $2.28 billion was spent last year on lobbying at the federal level. There are 65 lobbyists for every member of Congress. "Washington is teeming with lobbyists and the money that brings them there. And you can be sure that those who employ the lobbyists are getting their money back," Goldmark said.
"Until we have a Congress free of the grip of big money interests, the opportunity for individual citizens to make their voice heard is going to be affected," Goldmark said.
Gonzaga law professor John Maurice said ethics reform must start at home. "The solution will start with you and with other like-minded candidates," he told Goldmark. "Our leaders have to stand up and say 'I will resist the temptation.' And one by one by one by one, we will find candidates willing to take a stand for ethical leadership."
"The message is a simple one," said Jan Polek, a former legislative candidate. "Do the right thing."