Latest "politics" Posts

Political Ethics: Kathleen Kane faces Prison for Lying and Obstruction

Although former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is a relatively young woman, for all intents and purposes, her professional life as a lawyer is over. She has just been sentenced for a period of from 10 to 23 months in prison. She is incredibly lucky; had the judge been vindictive, she could have faced 12 to 24 years. Kane’s lawyer reasoned her shortened political-ethicssentence is punishment enough as all of her status and position is gone.  When it comes to political ethics (some would argue there are none) Kathleen Kane knew better than to make the choices she did.  And, every choice has a consequence.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics and tagged , , , , ,

Is It Ethical to Mock a Candidate’s Health?

As I use the social media a great deal, it is impossible to not come up against the ever-present issue of the health of the leading candidates whenever logging onto any of the highly-charged social sites.  So is it ethical to mock a candidate’s health?

mock a candidate's healthI have made the intentional decision to not use candidate names. We know that one candidate fainted at a ceremony and the other candidate has been forced to turn over complete medical records from colonoscopy results to blood tests.  Health is serious to anyone and to mock a candidate’s health is – well to me unethical.

Predictably, the Republican supporters, including the pro-Republican media mocked the health of the Democratic candidate. The Democratic supporters, including their media, mocked the health of the Republican.  Who gives anyone permission to mock a candidate’s health?

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics and tagged ,

Donald Trump – Amazon: What does a retailer ethically owe its customers?

This is one of the stranger ethical dilemmas I’ve encountered in a while, and it’s made even stranger by the fact that this blog post must dip into the world of politics. To make certain I do not drag myself into the political argument, I will not take a political stance. So if your candidate is Bernie or Hillary, Donald, Ted or John, all of the above or none of the above, I just do not care for Donald Trumpthe sake of this argument.  The question facing Amazon related to Donald Trump is what does Amazon ethically owe its customers?

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in business ethics, Political Ethics, politics and tagged , , , ,

The Republican Cast of Characters: Confusing Political Ethics Drama

Heading into the Republican caucus in Iowa, Americans interested in the Republican side of the race had quite a cast of characters from which to choose.  It appears to me that this is a political ethics mess.  Please note I am going to list them in alphabetical, not any kind of political or percentage order: Political Election EthicsJeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.

Without turning this blog into either a Republican or Democratic rant, I want to ask a simple question: why? Why are some of these folks still in the race?

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics and tagged , , , ,

Veterans Administration: When Poor Ethics invade a Government Agency

Unethical behavior infects an organization much like a cold virus spreading in a classroom filled with third graders. Unless strong ethical standards are in place, poor ethics runs rampant without regard to the title, department or mission.  Kimberly Graves and Diana RubensPerhaps no governmental agency has been more emblematic of poor ethics than the Veterans Administration.

It’s kind of strange when we think about, for almost no government agency has a higher purpose or a greater mission than helping those who have sacrificed so much for our country.

In the latest scandal to befall the VA, it is the tale of two high-ranking executives, Diana Rubens of Philadelphian and Kimberly Graves of St. Paul, Minnesota. These formerly high-ranking executives have been demoted, but not otherwise penalized for their roles in agency scandals.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics, Veterans and tagged , , , ,

Donald Trump and the Ethics of Truth

First it’s the Mexicans and now it’s the Muslims – it seems that one thing Donald Trump is good at is finding a tender spot of discontentment in a segment of the American psyche and exploiting it.  It would be wrong of me to say that there are those who feel a protectionist feeling supported by the idea that all jobs should be kept at home so “build the wall” or that Muslims are Donald Trumppredisposed to dislike the west so “keep them out.”  Trump knows how to push a “button” and push it he does.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics, Presidential Politics and tagged , , , ,

How the Mighty Fall: Dennis Hastert faces Jail

Some say he will get sent away for six months, others say it will be longer. Dennis Hastert faces jail.  Once arguably the most powerful man in the U.S. Congress, Hastert is to be sentenced soon. He is going to jail not just for paying hush money and not just for covering up alleged sexual abuse of a minor, and not even for structuring the hush money bank withdrawals so no one would notice, but for repeatedly lying and misleading investigators.

Dennis HastertDennis Hastert has had an unethical and arguably a criminal past and I am in no way supporting an adult sexually abusing a minor, but his larger crime was the crime of arrogance and in thinking he was somehow bigger than his accusers and that he could outrun his bad choices. It doesn’t work that way.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics and tagged , , ,

John Boehner: An Ethical Move or one of Weakness?

“I decided today is the day I’m going to do this, simple as that,” John Boehner said at a Capitol Hill press conference.  After meeting with the Pope in his historic visit speaking to the US Congress the preceding day, Boehner said his decision came after a night of sleep and prayers.

John_Boehner_official_portrait“It’s become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution,” Boehner told reporters. “This isn’t about me. It’s about the people, it’s about the institution.”

As soon as he made his historic announcement people from all political persuasions began to characterize his choice in ways that seemed to suit their agenda.  Those on the far right of the Republican party characterized his resignation as a win for their agenda although I don’t personally think that is true.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics and tagged , , ,

EPA Admits it’s Sorry: Too Little, Too Late?

Last week, while America was pre-occupied with the first Republican debate and Caitlyn Jenner’s new reality TV show, an environmental tragedy was unfolding. An orange-yellow sludge, thick with heavy metal pollution, was slowly making its way Animas Riverfrom an abandoned mine into the Animas River then into the San Juan River which runs from Colorado into New Mexico and eventually to Utah. Almost no one seemed to notice. Unfortunately, almost no one seemed to care.

In an article (August 10, 2015) by CNN writer Mariano Castillo entitled: “Pollution flowing faster than facts in EPA spill,” we are made fully aware of a major mistake by the agency that is supposed to be protecting us.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Ethical Behavior, Political Ethics, politics and tagged , , , ,

Ethical News: Veterans Lose Again and All in Plain Sight

Ethical News: in today’s blog, I am commenting on a great piece of investigative journalism that appeared in the Denver Post more than a month ago (May 7, 2015) by David Olinger and David Migoya entitled: ”VA Officials were warned about Aurora project before work began.”

VA logoDo not be concerned that this story has “age” on it. For it is so “evergreen” and nightmarish that I doubt it will be resolved in the next six months or six years or more.

I am referring to the massive VA hospital project in Aurora, Colorado that by now has exceeded more than $1.7 billion in costs – and trust me, it is still climbing. That is $1.7 billion in “our” money, and few in congress seem to care. The project is so late and so over budget that no one really knows its ultimate cost or its date of completion. The worst of it is that once again, we are short-changing America’s veterans.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Political Ethics, politics, Veterans and tagged , , , ,