Meet the cor­rup­tion cau­cus

San Francisco Chronicle - - FROM THE COVER -

Be­sides a record num­ber of women, the next Congress will in­clude the first Na­tive Amer­i­can women sent to Capi­tol Hill, as well as the first African Amer­i­can and Latina women to rep­re­sent sev­eral states. But this Congress isn’t just eth­ni­cally di­verse; it’s eth­i­cally di­verse.

Two newly re­elected Repub­li­can rep­re­sen­ta­tives, South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s Dun­can Hunter and New York’s Chris Collins, are un­der in­dict­ment. They’re also the first two con­gress­men to en­dorse our eth­i­cally ec­u­meni­cal pres­i­dent.

Cor­rup­tion is a pan-par­ti­san af­fair, though, and so are the tribal loyalties that can over­come mis­giv­ings about a can­di­date’s rec­ti­tude. Also re­elected this week was Sen. Bob Me­nen­dez, a New Jersey Demo­crat who out­lasted fed­eral charges thanks to a hung jury — one mem­ber of which, this be­ing Jersey, cheered him on at his vic­tory party.

If, as the cliche goes, fa­mil­iar­ity breeds contempt, per­haps it fol­lows that the peo­ple who make our laws don’t al­ways hold them in the high­est re­gard.

Josh Gohlke, ed­i­to­rial writer

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