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July 1, 2014

When I pay the salary of an employee, I hold both myself and them strong accountable for their behavior.  Apparently, as a taxpayer, I get less of that these days. Thanks to Hot Air for the pointer.

It’s going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers’ annual financial-disclosure forms.

The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journaluncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings.

“This is such an obvious effort to avoid accountability,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There’s no legitimate reason. There’s no good reason for it.”

Honestly, I’m not going to get in high dudgeon about it.  But it does frost me that pretty much any side of politics is interested in being less transparent rather than more.  I doubt this will get a lot of play from either side given the volume of Hobby Lobby that’s going on this week.  But I’d hope that a few more people take note and voice at least a little displeasure.

Updated: I saw it tweeted at NRO, and Ed Morrissey is picking it up.  Maybe we’ll see some of the news sources start to sniff it more.

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