Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Symone Sanders, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch division
w. (202) 454-5108
ssanders@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

September 27, 2012 

Boehner, Pelosi Shouldn’t Put Off Appointing Replacement Board Members for Ethics Office

Delayed Action Could Mean Critical Loss of Oversight

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional leaders should not wait until the last minute to replace retiring board members from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), eight watchdog organizations wrote in a letter sent today to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The groups urge the two congressional leaders to take action so that the ethics process continues operating without interruption in the 113th Congress. At the end of this year, the terms of four members of OCE’s board will expire, leaving just the two chairmen – Porter Goss and David Skaggs – as sitting board members. Boehner and Pelosi must each appoint at least two replacements for the departing members.

The letter, which was signed by the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S. PIRG, called OCE  “one of the stellar ethics accomplishments of the House of Representatives, first promoted by then-Speaker Pelosi and subsequently reaffirmed by Speaker Boehner.”

OCE is an outside investigative agency that supplements the work of the House Committee on Ethics. Unlike the House committee, OCE’s board and staff cannot be sitting members of Congress and the agency cannot judge a case or issue sanctions. However, the agency receives complaints from the public, conducts investigations and provides useful information for further consideration by the House Committee on Ethics, which eventually becomes public.

“The supplemental work provided by OCE has helped change a secretive and ill-perceived ethics enforcement process into a reasonably more active system,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “With trust in government at an all-time low, the OCE’s work is critical in creating at least some level of accountability.”

The letter is available at: http://www.citizen.org/documents/OCE-letter-to-boehner-pelosi.pdf.

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.