Turning Back: Undoing Watergate Reforms

Undoing Watergate reforms

Americans in the mid-1970s winced through Watergate, the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. foreign bribery case, corporate indictments for illegal campaign contributions and seemingly endless scandals involving the FBI, CIA or IRS. On the theory that secrecy was the thread linking corruption, and full disclosure was the sword to cut it, Congress between 1974 and 1977 created the Federal Election Commission, broadened the Freedom of Information Act and toughened the ethics and disclosure laws for federal appointees. Corporations were compelled to record and disclose anything that might be construed as a bribe....

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