Developments

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There have been four developing story lines over the past week or so:

1) Sears Roebuck & Co. turning state's witness in the DeLay-related corporate fundraising investigation.

I linked to the Houston Chronicle article in the post below. There is not much more to discuss on this one: Sears has the goods on one or more of the three indicted associates of DeLay, or on someone else. Travis County DA Ronnie Earle is slowly, methodically building a case.

2) DeLay Hastert & Co. signalling that they are going to dump House Ethics Committee Chair Joel Hefley (R-CO) for basically being too even-handed.

The Daily Camera (Boulder, CO) (registration) has a good editorial. So does the Denver Post, including a mention of a possible replacement for Hefley:

Sources said Hastert is leaning toward replacing Hefley with Rep. Lamar Smith, another Texan who already has cut a check to DeLay's defense fund. Sound like someone willing to lock horns with DeLay?

3) Rule Committee David Dreier (R-CA) is leading an effort to eviscerate ethics rules.

The Associated Press described the ethics changes thusly:

The proposal being circulated among House Republicans would end a general rule against any behavior that might bring "discredit" on the chamber, according to House Republican and Democratic leadership aides. House members would be held to a narrower standard of behavior in keeping with the law, the House's rules and its ethics guidelines.

Note that they leaked this on New Year's Eve, just in time to party. And with no major press scrutiny.

4) Congressional Democrats are pushing for a full House vote on overturning the DeLay Rule, and probably some other ethics-related matters.

Wait and see on this one. Public Campaign Action Fund is calling for a recorded vote and for all members to vote to overturn the DeLay Rule with an e-advocacy campaign. Take part now!