Pelosi Demands Ethics Investigations!!

Turn on C-SPAN now. Nancy Pelosi has introduced a “Privileged Resolution” requiring an ethics investigation of Members of Congress bribed by Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the House is going nuts!
Update – Later – here is the resolution that Pelosi introduced. Demcorats voted FOR it, Republicans voted AGAINST it. No more of this “they’re all the same” stuff, please.

Privileged Resolution Requiring Ethics Investigation of
Members of Congress Bribed by Republican Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

WHEREAS, it has been two years since credible reports of misconduct by Mr. Jack Abramoff and Members of Congress began appearing regularly in the public record, including reports closely linking Republican Members of Congress with the documented misconduct of Mr. Abramoff;
WHEREAS, in the first session of the 109th Congress, for the first time in the history of the House of Representatives, the rules of procedure of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct were changed on a partisan basis, the Chairman of the Committee and two of his Republican Colleagues were dismissed from the Committee, the newly appointed Chairman of the Committee improperly and unilaterally fired non-partisan staff, and the Chairman attempted to appoint supervisory staff without a vote of the Committee in direct contravention of the intent of the bi-partisan procedures adopted in 1997;
WHEREAS, because of these actions, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct conducted no investigative activities in the first session of the 109th Congress and has not yet conducted such activities;
WHEREAS, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Senate Committee on Finance have both undertaken investigations of Mr. Jack Abramoff’s activities, yet no House Committee has begun any such investigation;
WHEREAS, on March 29th, 2006, Mr. Jack Abramoff was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud;
WHEREAS, a Justice Department press release reported that Mr. Jack Abramoff “corruptly provid[ed] things of value to public officials … including, but not limited to, a lavish trip to Scotland to play golf on world-famous courses, tickets to sporting events and other entertainment, regular meals at Abramoff’s upscale restaurant, and campaign contributions for [a] Representative, his political action committee, his campaign committee, and other political committees on behalf of [that] Representative.” (Department of Justice press release, January 3, 2006);
WHEREAS, Mr. Jack Abramoff’s plea agreement states that he and his colleagues “provided things of value to public officials in exchange for a series of official acts and influence…including agreements to support and pass legislation (and) agreements to place statements in the Congressional Record.” (Abramoff Plea Agreement);
WHEREAS, on November 5, 2005, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, a former Congressional staff member and business partner of Mr. Jack Abramoff pled guilty to conspiracy to violate federal laws and admitted that, beginning in January, 2000, he offered and provided things of value to public officials, including Members of Congress and staff, in exchange for a series of official acts;
RESOLVED, That the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct shall immediately initiate an investigation of the misconduct by Members of Congress and their staff implicated in the scandals associated with Mr. Jack Abramoff’s criminal activity.

18 thoughts on “Pelosi Demands Ethics Investigations!!

  1. Dave, Dave, of course they are all the same. In this circumstance they are IDENTICAL. If the repugs knew that a widely publicized, corrupt, criminal lobbyist had exclusive ties to demcorats (glad you finally got the spelling right!), they would have introduced exactly the same “privileged resolution”, mutatis mutandis.

  2. In this circumstance they are IDENTICAL. If the repugs knew that a widely publicized, corrupt, criminal lobbyist had exclusive ties to demcorats (glad you finally got the spelling right!), they would have introduced exactly the same “privileged resolution”, mutatis mutandis.
    In other words, if what is currently true of Republicans were true of Democrats, the Republicans would respond as Pelosi has. Or: if we assume the Democrats and Republicans are identical, then it shows they are identical.

  3. You cannot possibly believe that this would result in anything but a party line vote if the parties’ situation were reversed? Can you?
    Or perhaps you see some other difference that you’d be willing to enlighten us about?
    (Of course, the assumption of reversed roles is kind of difficult — it’s hard to believe that the repugs would ever find themselves in such a hapless situation as the dems.)

  4. Here is the point. THE SITUATION HAS NEVER BEEN REVERSED. There has never been a corruption scandal even remotely like this involving Democrats. Never.
    In the 1980’s a Democrat was caught getting stamps from the post office, and not using all of them to send mail to constituents. Another Democrat was caught selling a self-printed book. I think that is the extent of it from that side of the aisle.

  5. Cool, the dems aren’t such big crooks as the repugs. That’s why we have national health insurance today. I should have realized!

  6. Here is the point. THE SITUATION HAS NEVER BEEN REVERSED. There has never been a corruption scandal even remotely like this involving Democrats. Never.
    Exactly. A hypothetical assuming role reversal makes no sense at all unless there is actually some likelihood of, y’know, role reversal.

  7. Look, Dave used Pelosi’s little stunt as an example of the big difference between dems and repugs. That’s what he said. The stunt itself is EXACTLY what the repugs would do if the situation were reversed. He evidently means something else — that the angelic dems could never be in a situation where many of them were associated with a crook. First of all, I think that’s near crazy. Of course they could. They are corrupt, like the repugs, though, you’re right — at the moment — not so bad. If the dems were in power (how, I can’t iamgine!), I believe they would be nearly as corrupt as the repugs — maybe a bit less given that they are not as competent as the repugs at anything, including probably crookedness.
    But what difference does it make? What if they are little angels? The dems are — in addition to being corrupt — cowardly and incompetent. That’s why I mentioned our wonderful national health insurance. Left to the dems, we will NEVER have it — nor much else of significance. And I think you both know that. Or maybe you really don’t, and that’s why you’re still dems. Sad.
    I just got a form email from Feinstein. She claims she is against H1B visas. That’s why she votes for big increases in them. A liar as well as a scumbag. Destroying Americans’ jobs because some corporate assholes paid her to do it. If you deny that you’re a liar or a fool.

  8. Well, when the Dems WERE in power they were NOT corrupt. At all.
    I wouldn’t go quite that far…although of course it depends on how one defines ‘corruption’. (The whole system of elections and campaign financing is so corrupt that I don’t think anyone gets into national office without engaging in the occasional semi-corrupt practice.) The point is that when Democrats were in office, they were far less corrupt than the Republicans are.
    The other essential difference is the nature of the corruption. Democrats who are corrupt tend to rationalize corruption as the price of getting things done–but there are, in fact, things they want to get done. Republicans, on the other hand, are ideologically corrupt–that is, corruption (helping campaign contributors) is a primary goal of their ideology, and there is no counter-balancing belief in the positive potential of government to restrain them from making that their only goal. (A lot of people say national defense is an exception to the Republican ideology that government has no value except as a source of plunder; I trust that five years of specifically defense-related corruption (from Halliburton to Mitchell Wade) have disabused everyone of that quaint notion.)

  9. Let me point out that the Dems tried for a very long time to do something about the campaign finance system and this was vetoed by Bush I and then under Clinton was filibustered by the Republicans in the Senate.
    And now we do have changes in the finance system, which is what brought in the Dean phenomenon. And now Dean is the HEAD of the Democratic Party. So changes are underway in that whole system.
    -WE- are the “campaign contributors” now.
    Read Markos and Jerome’s new book Crashing the Gate. There is a lot in there about the changes underway.

  10. The two parties differ only in current distribution of power. Yes, the Republicans would do the same thing, were the situation reversed. No party has a monopoly on ethics. But what matters is that the majority party, long affiliated with both religious and corporate interests, has been using its power to defraud minority groups and deny lobbying rights to any group not aligned with said party (See K Street Project).
    Now is not the time for pompous moralizing by fellow liberals. But it IS time for those responsible for abusing the trust of the American people to be held accountable. When liberals get busted for something like this 10 or 15 years from now, I’ll be the first calling for a cleaning of House.
    But I’ll still be a liberal.

  11. The Republican Party is the corporate party – that’s why they are guilty of this kind of corruption.
    When Democrats have been corrupt, they’ve been local politicians rather than in Washington, and their “corruption” has mostly entailed things like hiring from immigrant communities to do unskilled labor. (In other words, they did not hire incompetents and fail to expect work from them, they just made sure certain groups of perfectly competent laborors were hired instead of others.)
    These Republicans have done nothing for the public – rather, they’ve emptied our treasury and just poured it into corporate pockets. They’ve hired people who were not even expected to do the jobs we pay taxes for. They’re arranging to break all of their contracts with us, from pensions to protecting our water.
    What they call a “culture war” is actually a war against working Americans, in disguise.
    What was the big, outrageous scandal the Republicans “found” back in the era of Democratic rule? Why, they found that a number of Democratic legislators had written overdrafts on their own personal checking accounts.
    I just don’t think you can make the comparison.

  12. Actually, in that scandal it turned out that as many Republicans as Democrats had “bounced checks” including Gingrich… And really all that was was standard overdraft protection on their checking accounts. It was spun into a scandal because the Republicans used it as a symbol for the government running a deficit. “Congress bounces checks.” Yes, that was the Reagan complaint against Carter, that he had budget deficits!
    Democrats really are the party of the people. They are there for public service. Republicans are about money and they are there for the money. Hence the “Republican Culture of Corruption.”

  13. This is getting plain silly. Have none of you heard of Tony Coelho? He virtually invented the mass-scale sell-out of a political party to corporate interests.
    This dems-as-angels thing is just nuts. One difference between dems and repugs that I’ve always accepted is that at least the dems followers aren’t completely crazy. But this thread is making me wonder.

  14. You liberals are delusional.
    Both parties spend too much money.
    Both parties have arrogant positions.
    Here’s the difference: The GOP has real proposals, position stances, they forward an agenda. You can’t say the same for liberals. Their agenda is bash Bush, that’s it. An example resides in their “National Security” proposal they’ve ‘unveiled’, they bash Bush in presenting it and the proposal is a farce because all it is, is regurgitation of existing Bush policy.

  15. Why wouldn’t you want to check out those whom a confessed corrupter tried to corrupt?
    Hypotheticals aside, shouldn’t we expect action when the alarms go off?
    Dem vs Rep be damned. How about US vs corruption?

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