By Codi Peterson, Marketing —
In order to ensure integrity and honesty, The US Senate Select Committee on Ethics (SEC) is charged with investigating unethical behavior within the United States Senate. In lieu of the many scandals exposed in the media, it is assumed that this committee would have plenty to do. But they haven’t met as a group in over six years.
Corruption in the SEC?
The SEC is composed of powerful people—senators who are well versed in the language of reform and debate. However, as powerful and commanding as they may be, they have not met as a group in several years, and they haven’t proposed or even considered a bill regarding ethics within the Senate for as long as anyone can remember. In addition, what’s even more curious is the recent conviction of the former chairman of the SEC, John L. Sampson. He was convicted for obstructing evidence in an investigation of embezzlement accusations made against him.
Some speculate that the SEC is the perfect committee under which to protect and hide any corruption that may exist within the Senate. The executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group, said, “It is a body bent on self-protection and so you have two different committees in two different houses bent on self-protection.” One of the core values of our government is that of checks and balances, and this committee seems to be in direct violation of that core value. If we were to stay true to a system of checks and balances, then we would have an outside organization—that has no ties to the Senate—investigate ethical behavior and corruption.
Take a Stand
In this tangled web of pointing fingers, it’s time that “We the People” take a stand. Every time we elect a government official, we invest in them. We invest our tax dollars that supply their paycheck and we invest our time and energy coping with their decisions. I think that government officials sometimes forget that they are our public servants. We are the “employers”—they the “employees.” We deserve to know if they are engaged in corruption and unethical behavior. We need to develop a system to make them accountable to us.
Creating a Sense of Accountability
We could start creating a sense of accountability by requiring public servants to submit to regular lie detection tests such as polygraph exams or EyeDetect tests. These tests could probe them by asking questions regarding involvement in fraud, embezzlement, sharing of top-secret information, etc. These lie detection methods have been proven to be at least 85% accurate. Any lies detected on the tests would be ground for us to launch an investigation. This would also serve as a pre-screening system for our government officials. If the candidates have been involved in corruption, the people deserve to know that before election day. We deserve to know the truth about our elected officials.