Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ethics Committee Whitewashes Evan Bayh Violations

Back in March we reported on the ethics complaint filed against Evan Bayh by Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government. Judicial Watch revealed that Bayh failed to disclose his role as a director of the Evan and Susan Bayh Foundation from 2002, the year he was first named a director, until 2005, the most recent year for which this information is available. Well, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch reports today in The National Ledger
that the Senate Ethics Committee has determined that no ethics violations had occured because the omissions were an innocent oversight. From the article...

Well, Judicial Watch finally received responses from the Senate Ethics Committee as to whether or not there will be any punishments doled out for the violations. Want to take a guess at their response? If you guessed “no,” you were right. Here’s the committee’s reasoning: In both cases, the committee concluded that the omissions were “inadvertent.”

Do any of you seriously believe Clinton and Bayh simply “forgot” they served on family foundations? Highly unlikely. In the case of the Clinton Family Foundation, for example, the Clintons have been able to write off more than $5 million from their taxable personal income since its founding in 2001. That’s a hard number to ignore. Does anyone think Clinton and Bayh misunderstood the question or didn’t know they were supposed to report? I don’t think so. Here’s how the question is phrased on the forms: “Do you hold any reportable positions on or before the date of filing of the current calendar year?'" Seems pretty clear to me.

No comments: