E.W. Jackson appeared on “HearSay”, a local Hampton Roads talk show hosted by Cathy Lewis on Tuesday. What he had to say about all of the calls of late for a special session on ethics reform is very interesting and very, very true:
“I think that we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, rather than always simply looking for ways to change the law to make people do what they already know is right”, Jackson said, “we can pass all of the laws we want, if people are committed to violating rules of ethics, they are going to do that. But if people are committed to living at a higher standard than any rules or laws we can hold them to, we are not going to have any problems”.
Nailed it! It really is sad that we would even have to discuss making more laws to keep our elected officials in check. What we really should be discussing, is how we weed out those without the morals to just do the right thing?
While I understand the good intentions of Ken Cuccinelli and others calling for a special session on ethics reform, what good will it do?
No matter what laws we pass, sleezy politicians will always find a way to be sleezy. Why is it too much to just expect the highest of ethics from our elected officials?
I’m sure Governor McDonnell, along with others who have been caught up in similar incidents, did not get into politics for personal gain. No, they got into politics because they wanted to make a difference and help to better the lives of their constituents.
So what happened? Whether it’s just the corruption of being in power, or just not paying enough attention to their personal finances and friends, there is no excuse. When you take that first step to run for office, you acknowledge the huge magnitude of responsibility that is on your shoulders to lead your people by an example. When you violate that, you are setting an extremely poor example.
Do not misrepresent what I have written. I do not view Gov. McDonnell as a bad person, but I definitely believe we need to pay closer attention to who we are nominating and voting for in our elections.
More laws will not fix this issue; men and Women with morals WILL. As an elected offical, you HAVE to hold yourself to the highest level of responsiblity possible, and avoid ANYTHING that could tarnish your name.
Jackson was right.