Rep. Dan Burton hit a low point in a congressional career riddled with embarrassing errors in judgment when he cast the only negative vote on sweeping ethics legislation passed by the U.S. House in 2007.
The retiring veteran's high-flying ways as a junketeer don't seem to have been much affected by the law he so brazenly opposed.
Abetted by a House Ethics Committee that seems unable to wield the club it's been given, Burton in April took a $20,966 trip to Bahrain with his wife on the tab of an organization created by a lobbying group.
Burton, in turn, took to the House floor to plug Bahrain's government, which has been on a public-relations offensive amid widespread criticism of its harsh treatment of pro-democracy demonstrators.I don't believe congressmen should be allowed to accept free travel from anyone, lobbyist or not. The Star has never been bothered by Sen. Richard Lugar accepting dozens of trips overseas that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars which are paid for by the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute's board of directors is populated with high-powered lobbyists and businesses which lobby Congress. The Star's editorial board has lavished praise on Lugar's service to the state. Other members of Indiana's congressional delegation also regularly accept free travel paid for by the Aspen Institute. It seems to me that the Star is being a bit hypocritical in reserving all of its vitriol for Burton for whom the editorial board has never shied away from showing its disdain.