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Apparently the Republican [majority] conference of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in secret this evening to gut the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE):

…OCE was created because Congress and the general public viewed the House Ethics Committee as having failed in its duties to police the House of Representatives, resulting in a series of transgressions culminating in the Abramoff corruption scandal and the Foley page sexting scandal. OCE and the Ethics Committee are institutional rivals, with very different roles: OCE investigates bad behavior and adds transparency to the process; the Ethics Committee operates in secret and only it can mete out punishment…

I asked Representative Vicky Hartzler (r), via Twitter, how she voted:


Michael Bersin ‏@MBersin
@RepHartzler What was your vote in today’s Republican conference to remove the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics?
7:42 PM – 2 Jan 2017

I’ll let you know if she responds to me directly. I wouldn’t hold your breath.