Hastings: "Ethics Panel Won't Investigate DeLay"

Public Campaign Action Fund is now Every Voice. Check out our new website: EveryVoice.org

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), chair of the stalled House Ethics Committee, has said that the committee will "not investigate a 15-month-old complaint about DeLay's role in alleged illegal campaign contributions in Texas" because such an investigation would duplicate Earle's work.

"We don't have the resources," he told the Yakima Herald Republic.

The next day, his spokeswoman was backpeddling. She told The Seattle Times that "the congressman wasn't ruling out an investigation after the criminal case."

Hastings went on to defend the former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, echoing the indicted Congressman's assertions that the charges are a "political vendetta."

Mind you, this is the man who is supposed to investigate DeLay's alleged improprieties.

"It's outrageous for the chairman of the ethics committee to virtually endorse the idea that the indictment is a political vendetta. It's a matter that is before the committee," said Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

The committee has not met since it stalled over staffing issues in May. Alicia Mundy reports that the panel will not have staff in place for another month.

Just a reminder, looking back at our DeLay Rankings, you'll see that Hastings has received nearly $6,000 from DeLay's ARMPAC.