Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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Op-Ed: Lawmakers may fail when it comes to ethics, but they try

I winced upon reading the results of The Hill's poll that found "(m)ore than two-thirds of voters think the ethical standards of politicians have declined over the past generation" and that a majority think they are "unethical" ("HILL POLL: Politicians, Congress unethical — and getting worse," June 13).

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Op-Ed: The Law-Abiding Congressional Majority

"There was something slightly hypocritical in Ruth Marcus's column on the ethics cases pending before Congress ["House of entitlement," op-ed, Aug. 4]. She acknowledged the public "misperception" that "most lawmakers" are "heedless of ethics rules." Yet The Post and others in the media perpetuate that myth."

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Mistrust of Grassroots Advocacy Can Be Avoided

In a May 11, 2010 guest column in Roll Call, titled "Mistrust Unavoidable in Grass-Roots Efforts," (subscription required) Amy Showalter and Kelton Rhoads asserted that efforts among grassroots practitioners to develop a "code of ethics" or "code of conduct" were unnecessary.

CMF has been working on this issue for several years. Through extensive research, we believe that it is possible for grassroots advocacy campaigns that adhere to a voluntary code of ethics to engender the trust that the vast majority of them deserve. Perhaps the biggest benefit of a code of ethics would be the ability for ethical, best-practice practitioners to distinguish themselves and their campaigns from those that seek to influence policy at any cost, ethical or not.

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Inside of Capitol Dome

CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry.

Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

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