By Denise Zajkowski

Some members of the Republican Party have been linked to scandals this year, causing Republicans to receive attention from the public and the media.

Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay, White House Adviser Karl Rove, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former vice presidential chief of staff Lewis Libby are involved in either indictments or investigations that could lead to indictments.

Ethics, government and the future

It is uncertain what this means for both parties, but many politicians, professors, students and DeKalb citizens have different views on the subject and how it will affect the 2006 midterm elections.

State Representative Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley) believes the recent Republican indictments speak for both parties and ethics in government.

“It continues to feed public skepticism with the ethics of all politicians,” Pritchard said.

Amanda Bollinger, a senior women and gender studies major, thinks people are and will be more likely to distrust Republican candidates because of the recent indictments.

“There’s mistrust in the Republican Party,” Bollinger said. “I think I’m leaning more to voting Democratic.”

Bollinger said she thinks the Republican indictments will cause more moderates to vote Democratic.

Pritchard said the indictments are causing more people to start looking at the individual and less at the government as a whole, believing that the government needs to regain the public’s confidence.

“I would like to rebuild the confidence in people on both sides of the scale,” Pritchard said. “We need to have a higher standard. I think there will be injustice if they go off scot-free.”

Political fallout

Emily Brake, a freshman mathematics education major, said she doesn’t know if the Republican indictments will affect the 2006 midterm elections in any way, but she thinks Democrats will try to benefit from them.

“Obviously, the Democrats are going to try to use it to their advantage,” Brake said.

Assistant political science professor Matthew Streb,an who teaches public opinion and voting behavior courses, said the Republican indictments won’t affect the Democratic political party unless they voice a message to American citizens.

“It hasn’t hurt the Democrats, but it won’t help them unless they send a clear, consistent message to the public,” Streb said. “Republican problems won’t help the Democratic Party until they put a plan on the table.”

Streb said the public’s unfamiliarity with the Democratic nominations would have more of a harmful effect on the Democratic Party than any benefit that might come out of the Republican indictments.

“The public is not familiar with the Democratic nominations and their names are not common,” Streb said.

Streb not only recognized how the indictments might affect each party, but also realizes it creates problems for President Bush.

“It’s not good for the president because he has to deal with them and all the other matters, as well,” she said.