REPUBLICANS KILL WHISTLE-BLOWER BILL

EDITORIAL COMMENT: One by one, the rights of people to protect themselves from criminal or other illegal behavior of corporations and government is being eradicated. This bill, once unanimously approved by congress was secretly killed. Wasteful contracts with government, improper conduct by regulators costing the taxpayers money, challenges to government excess and corporate excess, are all at risk here.

EDITORIAL NY TIMES

Protecting the Whistle-Blowers

All those Capitol budget hawks searching out waste, fraud and abuse should first find out why some mystery lawmaker killed a long-needed whistle-blower protection bill in the final hours of the last Congress.

The measure would have greatly bolstered Washington’s ability to recoup wasted multimillions by encouraging government workers to alert superiors to how bad things really are and guaranteeing that they won’t be punished for doing the right thing.

Both houses unanimously approved versions of whistle-blower protection in the lame-duck Congress in December. But just as the final compromise was about to pass, the 12-year campaign was snuffed out by a still unknown senator exercising an anonymous hold. The Senate could use its own whistle-blower right now to let the taxpayers and voters know who is to blame.

Revival of the measure should be a top priority, particularly since the new Senate supposedly will no longer tolerate the skulduggery of secret holds. In the House, Representative Darrell Issa, the zealous new chairman of government oversight, should be the first to drumbeat for the measure.

Mr. Issa already has his own Web site inviting government workers and the public to send his office tips about abuses. But, so far, it’s more an outlet for antigovernment ranters than knowledgeable whistle-blowers understandably wary of the reprisals they can suffer.

The measure, which should also be a no-brainer for the Capitol’s new Tea Party ethic, would strengthen the free speech and due process rights of whistle-blowers. It would allow jury trials for documenting bureaucratic retaliations and enlarge the covered agencies to include airport baggage screeners, nuclear plant workers and other vital jobs.

In the lame-duck session, some Republicans warned that the measure might somehow facilitate more of WikiLeaks’s wholesale disclosure of government business. The issues are unrelated, except on the red-meat talk-radio circuit. And what could possibly be more patriotic, or budget-minded, than protecting government workers who have the courage and good sense to raise the alarm when taxpayers are being cheated?

6 Responses

  1. Someone needs to cough up the name of the senator who placed the anonymous vote. But even if they don’t, Americans now understand that they have to protect themselves and make doubly sure they are not part of whatever might go on within a company or agency that is not on the up and up. So you see, the people themselves make the whistle blower moot. I have personally walked off several jobs because I simply was not going to do that which was not right. It is when the people do it collectively that will put those companies back on the right path. We all need our jobs and it is a shame that companies and agencies hold that over us. It is a tough decision, but only one right answer.

  2. Whoever did this should hang by the neck until dead.

  3. “The issues are unrelated, except on the red-meat talk-radio circuit.”

    Haha! Love that…”red-meat talk-radio”. Never heard that one before. Tee-hee.

  4. Neil ,

    Why tar and feather the Republicans ?? The Democrats are still in control of the Senate and the comittees there (and set the rules).. and the “hold” came from the Senate side ,, you do us all an injustice when you accuse without information.

  5. Has anyone NOT heard of the good news?

    Our Republic has been reinhabited.

    Please go to: http://www.republicoftheunitedstates.org to learn more.

    County Jural Assemblies are being formed across states and we could sure use the help of all Californians to form our de Jure Grand Jury Panel for San Diego County. Meetings are scheduled on a weekly basis.

    Contact information if you are interested in joining is published on the Republic website or call 858-361-2399.

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