While his peers in Congress take a historic step forward in voting for ethics reform, John Kline (sigh-once again) doesn't 'walk his talk' by voting against the measure. This blog asked the question earlier this month, 'Will Congressman John Kline support ethics reform?'. We asked that you call on Kline to voice your support for this bill that would establish an independent panel empowered to initiate investigations of alleged misconduct by members of the chamber. "The six members of the new Office of Congressional Ethics would have the authority to initiate preliminary reviews of allegations against House members, conduct investigations and refer their findings to the House ethics committee along with a public report.” [Washington Post, 3/12/08]
Compare Congressman Kline’s lack of leadership role regarding ethics with Congressman Tim Walz regarding this issue. Mr. Walz is very vocal in saying that an independent ethic commission should replace the House Ethics Committee. As Tim says “I’m uncomfortable with members policing their own members”. Representatives Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz voted for the measure, as did retiring Republican Representative Jim Ramstad.
But really it's not much of a surprise that Congressman Walz has taken the lead in this issue. Walz in less than 6 months broke Kline’s 5 year record for face-to-face town meetings, and is truly motivated instead of wrapping himself in the flag, relying on his old military record and refusing to work in WA,DC for much needed projects in his district.