ethics

Call on Hastert to Appoint Outside Counsel

In response to the news that Reps. Cole and Smith were recusing themselves, Public Campaign Action Fund put out the statement below:

Watchdog Group Calls on Hastert to Appoint Outside Counsel on DeLay

Breaking: Cole and Smith to recuse themselves from DeLay query

From the Associated Press:

Two Republican members of the House ethics committee will not participate in any investigation of Majority Leader Tom DeLay because they contributed to DeLay's legal defense chairman, the ethics panel chairman said Wednesday.

Voting for lower ethics

Just thought you'd want to know the 20 GOP members who voted for lower ethics in the House yesterday:

Barton (TX)
Blackburn (TN)
Burgess (TX)
Burton (IN)
Buyer (IN)
Carter (TX)
Cubin (WY)
Culberson (TX)
Gillmor (OH)
Gohmert (TX)
King (IA)
McHenry (NC)
Otter (ID)
Pence (IN)
Poe (TX)
Price (GA)
Simpson (ID)
Thornberry (TX)
Tiahrt (KS)
Weldon (FL)

News round up

There's a lot of news coverage on the ethics rules reversal by Hastert and DeLay, but a couple of stories caught my eye this morning.

"Where's our security?"

From the AP story on the Republican reversal on ethics rules:

Republicans leaving their weekly meeting in the Capitol basement generally praised Hastert for pivoting on the issue. DeLay seemed annoyed at the crowd of reporters.

"You guys better get out of my way," he said. "Where's our security?"

Statement on Hastert's decision to roll back ethics rules

Public Campaign Action Fund released the following statement today regarding the reversal of the House Ethics rules by its executive director, Nick Nyhart:

"The House leadership does not deserve praise for reverting to old ethics rules. The Ethics Committee is stacked with those who have donated money to Tom DeLay's legal defense fund, or have received contributions from his PAC. Where else in America but in this Congress can a defendant place his cronies on the jury and pay them off while he's at it?"

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Two stories with new analysis

The first comes on the heels of the announcement yesterday that House Ethics Chairman Doc Hastings and House Speaker Denny Hastert will allow a new vote on restoring the old rules of ethics investigations. Jim Drinkard of USA Today looks ahead to whether the Ethics Committee can actually do its job in investigating DeLay without the appearance, at least, of conflict of interest. You see, Drinkard reports,

Breaking News: Hastings backs down

Ethics Chairman Hastings agrees to have vote on new rules, according to AP.

Think these ads had anything to do with it?

Serious business

The Day of New London, CT covers Rep. Rob Simmons statements to a ocal Chamber of Commerce regarding the Base Realignment and Closure commission (BRAC), the independent group that identifies military bases to be shut down and offers the list to Congress as an up-or-down vote. The hope is that the politics is, as much as possible, taken out of the decisions regarding the country's military bases.

Rules are pesky things, huh?

[Ed. note: I didn't notice that I was making a second post on this... since I've added some additional content from today's coverage, read down...]