One of the youngest congressman Aron Schock has quit over financial misdeeds
GN Bureau | March 18, 2015
A lawmaker in the US has resigned after revelations that he was spending tax payers money on redecorating his office and also undertaking tours. However, these kinds of resignations rarely happen in the world’s largest democracy – India.
Aaron Schock, 33, is the third-youngest member of the current Congress, has been forced to resign. Schock’s apparent irregularities in reporting his travel and expenses had made him a target for the media and critics.
Last month, The Washington Post had reported about the expansive office redesign modeled after the British TV show. The interior designer offered the services for free, and that prompted liberal watchdog groups to allege that it was an inappropriate gift. Schock paid $40,000 from his personal finances to cover the cost. Later it was revealed that he had uses private charter planes, concert ticket purchases, trips overseas and other forms of travel.
When a member of Congress moves into an office, the bare essentials are provided by the House of Representatives. Furniture and computers come from other offices. New members are entitled to a new paint in a limited number of colors. Additional decorations must come out of the lawmaker’s pocket. The office of Schock was themed like a room from hit tv serial Downtown Abbey. It had decorations like Pheasant feathers and a bust of Abraham Lincoln.
He was expected to be examined by the Office of Congressional Ethics but Schock sought to stop it by resigning and one politician said “I think that what he realized is that he did not want to drag his staff and friends and supporters through an investigation where they’d have to hire lawyers and might get subpoenaed.”
While he has yet to comment about his resignation on social media, Schock has been very busy documenting his travels around the world on official and unofficial business.
Examine the similar instance in Indian context. It was disclosed last year that the government ws spending about Rs 8 lakh a day on providing five-star accommodation to 92 parliamentarians in New Delhi. The list provided by the Lok Sabha secretariat in response to an RTI query includes minister of state and singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo, who has been staying at Hotel Ashok for the past seven months. All these MPs have already been allotted a government house.
A book on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) throws light on some worrying trends in the implementation of this scheme. This includes gross violation of the guidelines of the scheme by many members; MPs investing these funds in private trusts and societies created by them; recommending projects that are prohibited; insisting on choosing the implementing agencies and handing over the cheques and constantly resisting transparency and accountability, says the book by A Suryaprakash.
In a scathing attack on media, political analyst Shehzad Poonawala has said that the time of media is gone and anyone with a smartphone and a social media account can be a journalist today. While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the Visionary Talk seri
India is celebrating the 72nd Republic Day on Tuesday. Attendance at the main celebrations in the capital is limited given the pandemic, yet Covid-19 has not dampened the spirit of the occasion. India’s military might, cultural diversity and social-economic progress will be on display at the majestic
How much time do Indians spend talking on phone? It is on average 761 minutes per month, according to a new report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The telecom regulator released its report, titled ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators: July-Septemb
Renowned cardiologist Dr Ramakanta Panda has said that the pandemic has exposed the inadequacy of existing healthcare systems and it is wrong to draw comparisons with Korea, a country with the population equal to that of a single Indian state. While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Gove
The committee of experts appointed by the supreme court to deliberate with the stakeholders on the new farm laws held its first meeting here Tuesday, with one of its members saying that all stakeholders, including individual farmers, will be heard. Hearing a petition on the farm laws enacted
The nationwide vaccination campaign launched Saturday, the largest such exercise in the world, has started setting new benchmarks, with vaccines administered to 2,24,301 beneficiaries in the first two days. “India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 v