Monday, January 16, 2006

You Can't Make This Stuff Up ...

The leader of the House ethics committee is not committing to any investigation of misconduct despite the growing revelations about the favors that lobbyist Jack Abramoff won for clients and the largesse he arranged for lawmakers.

The Associated Press asked Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), head of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, whether he would commit to investigate ethical wrongdoing if, as expected, the information Abramoff supplies in a plea agreement exposes misconduct by a number of members of Congress. He declined, through his spokesmen, to do so.

The AP also asked the top Democrat on the committee, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia. He also declined -- although, as a member of the minority party, Mollohan is not in a position to launch an official investigation without support from committee Republicans.

"There have always been questions about whether Congress can police itself," said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis who specializes in ethics. "The situation in the House removes all doubt. The House is not policing itself."

***

Why the lack of self-policing? Here's something to chew on:

In 2004, the House committee admonished then Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on three separate issues. The House Republican leadership reacted by refusing to extend the term of the chairman at that time, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO).

The House committee launched no investigations in 2005. Instead, Hastings and Mollohan feuded over investigative rules, and then over the composition of the staff. The entire year was gone before the leaders finally chose the committee's top staff member.

It's not far-fetched to believe that Hastings, the Republican, was looking to minimize investigating members of his own party, starting with DeLay, while Mollohan sought to pursue such investigations. The result? Inaction.

Former Sen. Warren Rudman, a Republican who served on the Senate ethics committee, said, "The amount of politics that intruded into the House committee is discouraging."

13 Comments:

Anonymous ash said...

"Discouraging," eh. Early frontrunner for understatement of the year.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scared ... big bad Republicans don't like being investigated.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

If there is any doubt that the process of democracy as written in the Constitution (a system of checks and balances) is broken due to single party rule, bending and breaking of laws, word-play to disguise covert actions, and complicity on the part of both parties and the media - here's just another little piece of the big picture to let you know it.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another day of Republican Domination Follies.
The leader of the House ethics committee is not committing to any investigation of misconduct into the Abraham scandal.
Alberto Gonzalez is not committing to a special counsel to investigate Bush wiretapping crimes.
Gore said that we cannot depend on Gonzalez to conduct an impartial investigation. Gonzalez responded that he does not believe Bush overstepped his authority.
Gonzales reinforces Gore's argument perfectly.
We just as well stick our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and all its provisions for government checks and balances, INTO A PAPER SHREDDER.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous rustydog said...

Hastings used to be my Rep. God i hate that worthless party hack

he just laid low for ages, kissing repub ass and hoping if he didn't make waves and licked up Delay's spittle he would go somewhere....Chair of the Ethics committee. and he won't investigate shit.

He needs to be tossed in the next elections. any incumbent republicans need be fired by us come 2006 and 2008.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous rodeodance said...

This is a prime example of why Gore slashed Congress yesterday.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Loonman said...

Republicans are evil bastards and the Dems just don't care enough.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Cults4Bush said...

Kudos to Jabbs! Thanks!

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of Gore's speech yesterday (my apologies to JABBS if going off the subject):
Here's two examples of the best the Republicans can come up with for a rebuttal.
The flack for the Republican Committee accused Gore "of never missing an opportunity to grab a headline."
WEAK
Plus an AP story today admirably punched a hole the SIZE OF THE GRAND CANYON in a Republican talking point over Gore's speech(Will other commentators and media reports do the same?).

"McClellan said the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames without permission from a judge. He said Clinton's deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants.
"I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds," McClellan said of Gore.
But at the time that of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed."
Not only a weaker argument still, but McClellan proves once again he does not care about the truth, or the best interests of the American public, only Bush BS.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous mom cat said...

Independant Counsel is one alternative. The other option it to let the voters decide.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Skidmore said...

Hastert & Dreier earlier today were floating they idea that they aren't doing anything because the Dems won't let them.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous radwriter0555 said...

HEY! They investigated themselves & find themselves INNOCENT.... again..
and again, and again.

The DEMOCRATS need to grow some balls, stand up and start YELLING.

Then they need to start FIRING some people.

What you need is a REVOLUTION.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous jazzjunkysue said...

Pardon me while I fall down dead, in shock.

9:35 PM  

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