You can't afford to make any ethical mistakes. Any. For, you know that the “D” people will be out to cut you down – especially those of you who show any promise of performing at a higher level.
So, with that in mind, I'm suggesting that you follow my Tootsie Rules (so named, due to the MANY careers derailed after fooling around with a Tootsie).
- Don't fool around – with either amateurs OR professionals. If your sex life sucks, either live a chaste life, or, WHEN caught (you WILL be caught, you know), admit everything outright. Admit you're a dog. Admit you've failed your marriage. Admit you've fallen short of your own ethical standard. Then, either:
- Let your wife divorce you – be prepared to give up just about everything, financial and otherwise.
- From that point on, actually stay celibate – use a testosterone inhibitor, if you have to – or, surgically cut the offending member off. OK, that last is a little drastic, but if you're a serial adulter, accept you need help – a LOT of it.
- Quit. Leave Washington. Don't run for office again. For your sins against the party, plan on raising money – LOTS of it – for a long time to come.
- Don't employ family members or anyone you're financially indebted to. Even if they're good.
- Did I mention – don't fool around?
- If you employ anyone, pay the appropriate taxes/insurance/Social Security. If you have to, employ a service, and subcontract it all out. The same goes for the rest of your family.
- That fooling around thing – it doesn't matter when gender you and your paramour are. Don't do it.
- Pay your taxes. On time. In full.
- All interpersonal contact counts. Even if SOME people don't consider it sex.
- Remember, you work for the people who elected you, not the campaign donors.
- It also means no fooling around when you're out of the country – ESPECIALLY when you're out of the country.
- If you say you're against spending money, that also means for your district. No exceptions. You can only get money for something that will benefit more Americans than the ones in your district. Don't take the implicit bribe of earmarks.
- If you weren't clean about your intimate past before, don't let the leadership discover it with the rest of the country – WHEN it hits the front page. And it will.
- Don't get so sloppy that you depend on the staffers to feed you the truth about proposed legislation. When they're briefing you, have a copy in front of you, and mark it up. If you find that a staffer can't be trusted to follow your agenda, but have their own, fire them. And, let the leadership know why, so they can warn any other member against hiring them.
- Don't flirt via text, email, or phone (particularly not mobile phones). Don't drink in public – save it for home. Don't hang out with the drinkers or playahs. If your wife can't accompany you on trips, take your mother-in-law (unless you find her particularly attractive).