Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pelosi and ethics: words you don't expect to hear in the same sentence and really shouldn't here

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) apparently is insisting that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) must somehow force the resignation of a Republican representative convicted of tax evasion. Naturally, Nancy sees no irony here at all, or even any hypocrisy. Unfortunately for Nancy, her hypocrisy is not invisible to Republicans:
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Tuesday that his office won’t comment on the matter “until the Speaker discusses the matter with Mr. Grimm."
But a senior GOP aide pointed out that Pelosi didn't call for the resignations of several House Democrats who found themselves ensnared in ethical controversies.
“After standing behind Reps. Bill Jefferson, Charlie Rangel, Jack Murtha, and many others, Rep. Pelosi has zero credibility of these issues,” the aide said.
Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was never prosecuted, for reasons that escape me, but was censured by the House for his ethics violations, including tax evasion. Pelosi never called for his expulsion, nor did she support his censure. Worse, with Jack Murtha, (D-Pa.), she backed his candidacy for a major leadership position despite his being ethically, um compromised:
House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi's endorsement of Rep. John P. Murtha's bid for House majority leader set off a furor yesterday on Capitol Hill, with critics charging that she is undercutting her pledge to clean up corruption by backing a veteran lawmaker who they say has repeatedly skirted ethical boundaries.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) directly intervened in the heated contest between Murtha (D-Pa.) and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) on Sunday by circulating a letter to Democratic lawmakers. The letter voiced her support for Murtha and put her prestige on the line in a closely fought leadership battle. Some Democratic lawmakers and watchdog groups say they are baffled that Pelosi would go out of her way to back Murtha's candidacy after pledging to make the new 110th Congress the most ethical and corruption-free in history.
Murtha, a longtime senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, has battled accusations over the years that he has traded federal spending for campaign contributions, that he has abused his post as ranking party member on the Appropriations defense subcommittee, and that he has stood in the way of ethics investigations. Those charges come on top of Murtha's involvement 26 years ago in the FBI's Abscam bribery sting.
Murtha was scum, but looked like a choir boy compared top "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, who took $90,000 in bribe money from an undercover FBI agent (and who knows how much in actual bribes) and stashed it in his refrigerator:
WASHINGTON — Former Representative William J. Jefferson was convicted Wednesday afternoon of using his office to try to enrich himself and relatives through a web of bribes and payoffs involving business ventures in Africa.
A federal court jury in Alexandria, Va., deliberated for five days before finding Mr. Jefferson, 62, a New Orleans Democrat who served in Congress for 18 years until being defeated in 2008, guilty of 11 of 16 counts of bribery, racketeering and money laundering. He was acquitted of obstruction of justice and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal to bribe foreign government officials.
Funny how Nancy Pelosi had no problem with any of these scumbags staying in office. Should Grimm go? Yes. Should anything Nancy Pelosi says about it have any impact? No. She is at least as sleazy as the Democrats she refused to move against. If Grimm were a Democrat, he'd probably be in line for minority whip under Pelosi. Pelosi's ethics are purely situational, which is a fancy way of saying non-existent.

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