Sunday, April 17, 2005

Do "Moral Voters" Support Ethics Shenanigans?

Photo of Speaker Hastert

Dennis Hastert tried to rush through changes in the Ethics Rules in the U.S. House of Representatives. Only a 10-10 split in the Committee, the ONLY Committee with an even number of Republicans and Democrats, has allowed Democrats the ability to prevent the watering-down of ethics in the United States House of Representatives.

Read here about changes:

1) Allow the dismissal of a complaint if the panel cannot agree after 45 days. This is a change because previously, a failure to come to an agreement led to an automatic investigation. Now if this passes, the onus will be on dragging one's feet to force dismissal instead of forcing investigation.

2) Allow lawyers to represent multiple parties to an investigation. This sounds just fine but allows multiple parties to coordinate their "story" and may hinder adequate investigations.

3) Allow lawmakers to respond if they are named in reports. This is probably the most benign of the three changes.

Barney Frank, of Massachusetts said it best:

"Hey, look, let me be very straightforward here. I, 15 years ago, had a problem because I behaved inappropriately. The ethics committee stepped in. Newt Gingrich had a problem. He was reprimanded; the ethics committee stepped in. The difference between us and Mr. DeLay is, I think, we changed our behavior. Mr. DeLay changed the ethics committee."
It just makes me sick. The Republicans running around talking about "morality" when they are led by some very shady politicians that deserve to be tossed out of office.

This problem is so glaring that recently 10 former Republican lawmakers joined in a letter to the House leadership saying they believe that ethics rules were reviesed this year in an
"obvious effort to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay" from investigation and that the changes needed to be reversed "to restore confidence in the People's House."
Who were these brave Republicans? As reported:
Apart from Andrews, the other former House members who signed the letter were: John H. Buchanan of Alabama, M. Caldwell Butler of Virginia, Paul Findley of Illinois, Bud Hillis of Indiana, James Johnson of Colorado, Richard W. Mallary of Vermont, Wiley Mayne of Iowa, Pete McCloskey of California, and G. William Whitehurst of Virginia.

They left Congress before the late 1980s
Senator Kerry keep on fighting for decency in government! The Republicans do not want to allow dissent as they try to stifle the fillibuster, they do not act ethically when are in control! Let's pick up a couple of House seats in 2006! We need to bring America home to the values that made her great! America deserves better than these scoundrels.



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