For Immediate Release: For More Information Contact:
Wednesday, December 6, 1995 Ralph Nader (202) 296-2787
Gary Ruskin (202) 296-2787
Statement Of Ralph Nader on Decision of House Ethics Committee in Gingrich Case
Today's decision by the House Ethics Committee says one thing to the American people: if
you're a member of Congress, you can break the rules and get away with it.
The Committee found that Gingrich broke the rules regarding his employment of Joseph
Gaylord, and his use of the House floor for commercial and political purposes. Yet the
Committee did not recommend any punishment. That is exactly the wrong message to send to
members of Congress, and to the American people -- especially our young people.
Congress should set an example. It should not coddle its own delinquents.
Americans will not trust the Congress and the legislative process unless members of Congress
pay the consequences when they break the rules.
The House Ethics Committee has gums but no teeth. It discovers violations but imposes no
sanction. In other words, it gives Gingrich another bite of the apple.
The Ethics Committee voted to appoint a special counsel to investigate Gingrich's college
course. That's fine as far as it goes. But this action should have been taken many months ago.
The stonewalling by the Ethics Committee in the Gingrich case has been appalling.
We await the decision of the Ethics Committee regarding the complaint concerning Donald
Jones, the telecommunications entrepreneur who acted as a de facto staff person for Gingrich on