Parade Magazine's "Intelligence Report" has an interview this weekend with CREW's Executive Director Melanie Sloan. The subject is "Keeping Politicians Honest," a subject Melanie knows a lot about. The first line of the first answer really sums up the situation in Congress:
What do you think is the best way to curb political corruption?
The culture in Congress is that it’s acceptable to trade assistance for campaign contributions. That’s why I’m a big proponent of public campaign financing. Without it, politicians spend so much time raising money. Until we break the link between legislation and donations, we’ll never fix that problem.
What is CREW working on now?
The Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations can sponsor campaign ads, so we want to make sure that voters know who’s really behind the ads as Election Day gets closer. If companies want to participate in political activity, that’s fine. But they must be up-front about it.
What should people do if they suspect their representative is engaged in unethical activity?
Call his or her office and demand an explanation. We elect them and we can vote them out. We should force politicians to model the values we have a right to expect from them, like honesty and integrity. It’s up to us to collectively fix the problem.