A San Antonio Express article titled Lawmakers profit from positions in Congress doesn’t inspire confidence in our congressional selections. The group Citizens for Responsibility in Ethics in Washington released a report outlining the issue they found. The Express article starts off:
WASHINGTON — A government watchdog report that claims two-thirds of Texas congressional lawmakers used their positions to enrich themselves or family drew a strong retort Friday from both Democrats and Republicans.
The report, “Family Affair,” by the Citizens for Responsibility in Ethics in Washington, states that no laws or ethics codes were broken but shows a disconnect by lawmakers from voters despite continued low national opinion ratings for Congress.
“This report shows lawmakers still haven’t learned it is wrong to trade on their positions as elected leaders to benefit themselves or their families,” said Melanie Sloan, CREW executive director.
The report lists 21 of the 32 Texas congressional lawmakers with questionable dealings.
South Texas lawmakers named in the report include: Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio; Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo; Rep. Francisco Canseco, R-San Antonio; Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes; and Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi.
Our own Representative Henry Cuellar was in the mix and he brushed the report off. The article reads:
Cuellar, a House Democratic leader, received interest on a loan to his campaign, reimbursed his wife for travel from campaign funds.
Cuellar dismissed the accusations about his financial dealings.
“It’s all above board and reasonable and according to law,” Cuellar said.
So yes, while it may follow the law and may not be a big deal to the politicians included, our representatives should be beyond reproach.