The Financial Scandal Involving David Durenberger

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Corruption is an individual and institutional process where there is a gain by a public official from a briber and in return receives a service. Between the gain and the service, there is an improper connection, (Thompson p.28). The two major categories of bribery is individual and institutional corruption. Receiving personal goods for the pursuit of one’s own benefit is personal fraud. An example of individual distortion is the financial scandal involving David Durenberger. Organizational corruption involves “receiving goods that are useable primarily in the political process and are necessary for doing a job or are essential by-products of doing it,” (Thompson p.30). An instance of institutional fraud is the Keating Five case. There are also times where there is a mixture of both individual and organizational corruption in a scandal. An example of this diverse combination is James C. Wright Jr. actions while he was the Speaker of the House.
To avoid further political corruption, Thompson advocates for legislative ethics. The three principles are independence, fairness, and accountability. In Thompson’s terms, independence means “a member should act on reasons relevant to the merits of public policies or reasons relevant to advancing a process that encourages acting on such reasons,” (Thompson p.20). Fairness is officials following organizational regulations. Finally, accountability is a politician keeping public confidence in them. This paper will show that Thompson’s principles are qualified guidelines that legislators should follow. Individual and institutional corruption can decrease if politicians adhere to Thompson’s three principles of independence, fairness, and accountability.
Individual fraud occurs when a legisl...

... middle of paper ... are convincing as guidelines that legislators should follow. These values promote integrity that has been lacking in Congress. Since a politician is an individual, outside influences should not overpower his or her decision-making process. In addition, fairness forces lawmakers to play by the rules. Lastly, politicians must be accountable to the citizens that they represent because they need to be protecting their interests. These three principles force politicians to follow the morals of the “American democratic tradition,” (Thompson p.24-25).
Individual and political corruption has been a part of American democracy process for too long. The United States government needs to promote Thompson’s three principles to bring ethics back to the American system. If politicians were independent, fair, and accountable, then the legislative system would be more ethical.

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