From the Blogosphere: The YearlyKos convention will feature a panel discussing ethics, corruption and movement politics. Members of the panel include Dave Johnson, David Sirota, Melanie Sloan and Joe Trippi.
A strong democracy requires strong ethics on the part of its leaders, and control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Presidency and the Supreme Court comes with the responsibility for oversight and enforcement of the country’s laws and regulations. This panel will examine ethics in today’s government, and discuss the policies that could be addressed, such as lobbying reform and the public financing of elections.
“There is a strong case to be made that the progressive movement cannot fully achieve its goals unless the political process is cleaned up,” said David Sirota. “That means we must make the political reform agenda a major priority in everything we as a movement do.”
The public is aware of an ever-increasing assortment of scandals and corruption involving members of Congress, with new details being reported weekly. Progressives wanting to see their ideas enacted will first have to ensure that the country’s political process is able to support change, and cleaning up the government is the first step in achieving that goal.
The netroots has already begun to have an impact on the issue of ethics in government. Melanie Sloan says that “Progressive bloggers are straight shooters who are relentless at holding leaders accountable. They pushed the ethics issue forward by demanding that all political leaders, regardless of party, address the problem.”
“It’s astonishing to see all of the scandals that are unfolding in Washington, along with the accompanying stress on the checks and balances built into our government” said Pamela Nelson, YearlyKos Convention planning committee member. “It is great to have this panel discussion on how to set the country back on a course of ethics and balanced leadership.”
The YearlyKos Convention is pleased to provide the opportunity for open discussion on how we can clean up government and pave the way for change.
Dave Johnson is a Fellow at the Commonweal Institute (http://commonwealinstitute.org), which is dedicated to marketing the benefits of progressive values and a progressive approach to issue to the American public. Dave also blogs at Seeing the Forest (http://davecjohnson.com/seeingtheforest). Dave researches the history and funding of the “conservative movement,” and has written reports describing the right’s coordination of strategy and messaging to attack strategic targets such as trial lawyers and teacher unions.
David Sirota is the author of the book “Hostile Takeover,” which looks at how corporate interests have joined forces with politicians to make sure public policy is sold off to the highest bidder. He is a senior editor at In These Times, a regular contributor to The Nation and the American Prospect, and the blogger for Working Assets (http://www.workingforchange.com/blog). He was a senior strategist for Brian Schweitzer in his 2000 run for the Senate and his 2004 run for governor. He was also the press secretary for Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders and the top spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee.
Melanie Sloan, former Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia, serves as Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) (http://www.citizensforethics.org/), a non-partisan, government watchdog organization primarily concerned with ethics in government. CREW targets government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.
Joe Trippi (http://joetrippi.com) is a Fellow at the New Politics Institute (http://www.newpolitics.net/about/foundingteam/) and is the author of the book “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything.” He was National Campaign Manager for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, pioneering the use of online technology to organize what became the largest grassroots movement in presidential politics. Trippi’s innovations have brought fundamental change to the electoral system and will be the model for how all future political campaigns are run.