In the political realm, corruption – and allegations thereof – knows no party. As the internal upheaval between establishment Republicans and conservatives in the party wears on, accusations abound regarding perceived inappropriate behavior.
One of the most recent charges was recently levied by Tea Party-backed Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, who will face off against Sen. John Cornyn in next month’s Republican primary.
Stockman officially filed papers to begin a Senate Ethics Committee investigation of his opponent this week, citing a number of factors he believes show Cornyn improperly used his position to advance his reelection bid.
The evidence, he explains, is found in at least 24 Twitter posts on his official page that shared content from his campaign account. These updates, which include content including photographs and endorsements, violate ethics rules against a senator using his or her office to promote a campaign, Stockman’s complaint contends.
This is not the first time Cornyn has faced such allegations. Stockman claims the Senate minority whip admittedly filed inaccurate financial statements in four separate years.
A National Journal report from last June seems to support the assertion, stating “Cornyn disclosed that he had actually been collecting that $10,132 annual pension as far back as 2006” and “had not listed it on his original disclosure reports from 2006 to 2010.”
Stockman’s most recent action came just days after he filed a suit against Cornyn’s political action committee for allegedly spreading libelous information about him. According to court documents, the PAC has disseminated “some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded” in the county.
Cornyn has an enviable financial advantage over Stockman, who has used his widespread conservative support and unique campaigning style to attract much-needed media buzz about his candidacy. The current investigation launched by his campaign, however, sheds a spotlight on a recurring problem in modern American politics.
No matter the result of the ethics committee investigation, it is obvious that politicians in any party must be held accountable for their actions. After all, they are supposed to be working for the voters, not to advance their own self-interest.
–B. Christopher Agee
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