Paying hush money to hide misbehavior

Print Article

So now we know: Congress uses your money to protect its own.

TWO HUNDRED SIXTY settled cases. Fifteen million dollars in payouts. No disclosures.

That's the toll in recent years for sexual harassment and other workplace discrimination instances in the United States Congress, according to elected members who are seeking a thorough reform of the antiquated system that serves primarily to protect incumbent politicians. Under that system when an accusation is leveled in Congress, the victim first must undergo a month of counseling. Then, unless the accusation is withdrawn, the matter moves to closed-door negotiation. If a settlement takes place a binding non-disclosure agreement is executed.

Congressional women pressing for reform now say two sitting members - a Republican and a Democrat - currently stand accused of sexual harassment.

Who knew? Bipartisanship is not dead.

THOSE WHO ASK their fellow Americans to hand them the reins of leadership should be held to a higher standard than ordinary citizens. Misconduct never should be tolerated - or hidden.

The idea that taxpayer hush money is paid out and non-disclosure is insisted upon to protect misbehaving public officials is repugnant. How long has this sort of thing been hidden at the Capitol?

We still believe this: Most people who go to Washington to serve in Congress are decent, well-meaning individuals. But they should be ashamed for apparently being complicit in covering up the misdeeds of others. That's why transparency is essential to freedom. Not because daylight makes bad people good, but because it makes their misbehavior harder to hide.

Print Article

Read More Editorials

Well, don't start spending that yet

December 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Politicians likely over-promising about how tax plan will pay off for wage-earners. IT'S BEEN MORE THAN 30 years since the last sweeping federal reform of the tax code. This is overdue. As for th...

Comments

Read More

Watershed moment in Alabama election

December 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Senate vote restores some faith voters are still capable of saying, "Enough." THIS IS ONE of those moments. A pulp novelist couldn't make this stuff up. A man accused of molesting underage girls ...

Comments

Read More

Sometimes, leaks serve the people

December 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Seeing behind the curtain often reveals the ugly side of politics. AS WISCONSIN'S Attorney General Brad Schimel reported on his department's investigation about leaked documents from the now-close...

Comments

Read More

Judge Jim Daley: Fair and honest

December 08, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Retiring judge has served the citizens of Rock County with distinction. ONE OF ROCK COUNTY'S best and brightest announced this week his intention to retire, and every citizen should appreciate his...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2017 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X