Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oh no, nothing improper here....

When I was growing up, my parents gave me a rule of thumb when considering whether a course of action was immoral: ask yourself, they said, whether the action might reasonably be construed as improper.  This was the "appearance of impropriety" standard, and it's a standard that virtually no politician practices.  A great example of this can be found in a post at The Beacon yesterday.  Apparently the Postal Service is selling off properties and recently changed their policy on the use of real estate agencies.  The USPS has always used multiple real estate agencies in the past, but that changed two years ago when the agency contracted with just a single organization to move their properties.  And guess who owns this firm? California Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband.  From the article:
Even if there was no direct influence, the fact that Congress oversees the USPS, coupled with the fact that it is common knowledge that Feinstein and Blum are married, means that there must be a conflict of interest here. Regardless of the law, it is unethical for Blum to receive this contract from the USPS, and the deal is especially dubious because it is an unprecedented exclusive contract.
Appearance of impropriety much? Don't you just love politicians?