It’s just a few hours into the new session of Congress and Representative Scott Tipton is already looking out for only himself.
In a surprise and unprecedented maneuver, Republicans voted behind closed doors to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. Rep. Tipton’s office, however, has refused to publicly disclose how the congressman voted.
The Office of Congressional Ethics – which investigates Republicans and Democrats equally for ethical wrongdoing – is a common-sense, nonpartisan and independent entity that plays an absolutely critical role in ensuring the highest ethical standards are maintained in the United States Congress. And yet, Republicans thought it worthwhile in their first action of the new Congress to do away with the ethics office. They didn’t even have the political courage to make the vote public.
The public backlash was so swift and resounding that within a day House leaders put their tails between their legs and walked back the plan. But the damage has been done, and now all of us deserve to know where our elected representatives stood.
But calls into Rep. Tipton’s office have received the cold shoulder. Voters across the 3rd Congressional District deserve to know if and why our congressman voted to do away with ethical oversight.
What does he have to hide? Is he representing us? Or just himself?