Is Inouye Unethical?

Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii owns shares of Central Pacific bank worth between $350,000 and $700,000 which is about two thirds of his reported assets. The bank was in trouble and had applied for government assistance. The bank was not a likely candidate for assistance.

Inouye had an aide make a phone call to inquire about the bank’s application and bam, it is now set to receive $135 million dollars.

It is not uncommon for politicians to try to help the banks in their states. Even though there are rules they routinely break them or make exceptions in order to assist banks from their states. Hell, it isn’t their money.

It is also true that even if Inouye asked for the application to be approved that he did not break ethics laws the Senate establishes for itself. Of course, the rules they have are designed to allow them to be unethical.

But the fact that he has money invested in the bank gives the appearance that he used his political position and influence in order to personally benefit from an action that would not be available to the average citizen. Even if he only inquired, the fact that he personally benefits from the action is suspect.

It gives the appearance of impropriety and appearance is often the truth.

Big Dog

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6 Responses to “Is Inouye Unethical?”

  1. Blake says:

    I doubt that Inouye will be censured as he should be- just look at Barney Frank, who helped a bank in his district get money, despite that bank’s reputation of wasting money.
    Every pol is busy getting rich- Pelosi, Markey, and others have a financial stake in the Cap and Tax bill- others you may be sure have hitched their wallets to healthcare, and we the people pay for it, because they do not care for us.

  2. Randy says:

    I’ll give Senator Inouye the benefit of the doubt on this. The evidence is actually a bunch of assumptions about a phone call an aide made. If real evidence presents itself I will change my stance accordingly. The man has done more than enough to earn my respect.

    • Big Dog says:

      No doubt but the appearance is the issue.

    • Blake says:

      Perhaps, but given the circumstances, would you give the same to a conservative in the same position?

      • Randy says:

        Given the general lack of evidence of any real wrongdoing, yes. The “Go For Broke” guys get a special pass with me though, regardless of political affiliation. I have been fortunate enough in my life to have known two of them personally, though they have both recently passed. They truly are two of the most special people I have had the pleasure of knowing.

        • Blake says:

          Ok, another scenario- this time Charlie Rangel, also a vet- who writes the tax code but can’t seem to apply it to his own life. You should know this story- do you give him a break also?