More Corrupt? Less? Equal?

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Some poll results from Newsweek:

The good news for the Republicans is that Americans don’t see the GOP-controlled Congress or the Bush White House as any more corrupt than most congresses or administrations: 56 percent say the GOP-controlled Congress will turn out to be about the same as the previous Democratic-controlled Congress, 23 percent say it will be more corrupt, 15 percent says less. And 56 percent say the ethical conduct of members of Congress has “stayed the same” in recent years, 34 percent say it has declined and 7 percent say it has improved.

Guess more people need to read Sam Rosenfeld’s American Prospect piece on comparative ethics, and Louise Slaughter’s report on House rules, and Nick Confessore’s piece on how the GOP subsumed K Street, and Susan Milligan’s threepart series in the Boston Globe on how the GOP runs a “spoils system” in the House. It’s not just anyone’s imagination; these folks really are more abusive and unethical than previous Congresses.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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