Time to come clean

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Oh, how the worm has turned.

George W. Bush ran against Bill Clinton and spent the entire campaign shaking an ethical finger at the philanderer, claiming how he, George W. Bush, would be a more open president, a more honest president, a president who would not conceal things from his people.

Except, perhaps, his stock portfolio.

Both Bush and Vice President Chaney have a network of ties to many of those corporate entities whose ethics are now in question. Their connections are like a spiderweb – gossamer, but apparently much stronger than they seem. Just what those ties are, how strong, or how current, our two highest executives are refusing to say.

We won't get into an apples and oranges discussion, comparing the relative "sins" of extramarital sex and nation-wide fraud, perjury and insider trading. What we will do is remind the President and the Vice President that they said they would be forthcoming. So far, all that they have been coming forth with are excuses, evasions, and dribbles of data on a "need to know" basis.

We do need to know. We need to know if our president has other interests guiding his official reactions to the corporate ethical decay we have witnessed. We need to know if our vice president is acting on Bush's orders – or someone else's. We need to know which checks are governing the nation – the checks made on ballots, the checks and balances of our government system, or the checks written in sequestered board rooms.

We need to know that we have a president who is what he said he was – honest, open and forthcoming.