Vail Valley Voices: Corrosion of ethics at play |

Vail Valley Voices: Corrosion of ethics at play

Dick Gustafson
Vail, CO Colorado

The definition of ethics: The code of conduct, a set of moral principles, values, or the science of human character.

The definition of crime is the breach of public laws, a sin, evil, a wrongdoing.

Responsibility means accountable, liable and answerable.

What is happening in our government today that inspires our attention to these three words?

First there is the current economic recession. One of the major causes of the bursting of the real estate bubble was the pressure put on Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac to make subprime real estate mortgage loans to people who were not qualified for the loan and who had no ability to make the payments required.

The pressure was unethical and maybe even criminal behavior. Those who pressured this irresponsible behavior center around two elected officials. They are U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. Even today, neither will accept the responsibility for their involvement, and Frank even dares to take credit for any hints of recovery.

There are many other activities that border on criminal behavior. They are certainly clear violations of ethics. It is illegal to buy, sell or trade jobs or other items of value in the government for political gain.

It has happened in Pennsylvania in the Specter-Sestak race and even here in Colorado (Bennet-Romanoff).

U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak was contacted by former President Clinton, no casual messenger, to drop out of the primary race for Senate so Arlen Specter would be secure and not face a primary race. Specter was Obama’s choice for Democratic candidate for senator. Clinton’s action was undoubtedly requested by Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s agent.

Emanuel also contacted Andrew Romanoff in Colorado requesting he not run against Michael Bennet as a favor to Bennet for his vote for the Obamacare bill. People excuse this behavior as typical of Chicago politics, but now that it has become a standard of conduct in Washington, D.C., it is time to improve the level of ethical conduct.

Excuse it or not, depending on the specific details, these actions can be reason to accuse the president of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

If proven, both contacts are impeachable offenses. Mr. Emanuel, as a presidential appointee, can be fired and could serve time in prison. There have been other reports of similar activities in other states.

Sestak avoided his responsibility by stonewalling on the facts until long after the fact and after he apparently was able to coordinate stories with the White House. He may not have committed a crime, but his ethics should be questioned.

Bennet did not report the contact at all. It is interesting that in both the Pennsylvania primary race and the recent Colorado Democratic Assembly, the candidates selected by Obama and Emanuel lost. All of the most recent races where Democrats faced Republican candidates where Obama campaigned for the Democrats – all three also lost.

Many other examples of congressmen and senators of both parties have been exposed, but there are too many to itemize. This is no excuse for the poor behavior of our elected officials, especially now when there are so many threats to our country, both from the outside and the inside.

Abraham Lincoln said that no foreign enemy will ever make a footprint on the Blue Ridge, but if we are ever defeated it will be from within.

When our president apologizes for his country to our enemies, reduces our armaments, insults our allies, refuses to protect our borders, spends our country into bankruptcy, ignores the Constitution, helps to create what Glenn Beck calls “Crime Inc.,” hires more Marxists, Maoists, globalists and progressives than any other political philosophies in his advisory staff and Cabinet, it is time for citizens, we the people, to become more alert.

It is easy to become complacent and lax as our country is being dismantled, but think how hard it will be to put it back together when your freedoms are gone. This is a point of no return.

God bless America before we lose it.

Dick Gustafson, of Vail, is a former Eagle County commissioner.

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