Ethical standards for Caesar’s children

My most recent posting looks at COI issues that can arise when government officials use their office to benefit their spouses.   “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion,” the great man famously (and allegedly) said.

But what about Caesar’s children?

Children can, of course, be the source of potent COIs. There are no shortage of examples of this potency. My all-time favorite occurred in 1973, when in speaking to colleagues on the Cook County Democratic Committee, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago defended his having directed a million dollars of insurance business to an agency on behalf of his son John with the immortal words: “If I can’t help my sons, then [my critics] can kiss my ass. I make no apologies to anyone.”

The most prominent “Caesar’s children” case in the coming years may turn out to be the investigation of Hunter Biden for alleged influence peddling.   Both father and son have denied wrong doing.

Finally, I do think that a simple “thought experiment” could be instructive, and which is to ask:  Are there things that – for ethical reasons – you would do for your children that you would not do for yourself?”

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