Sunday, October 24, 2004

"I've been attacked. I've been threatened."

Daily DeLay T-Minus 9 Days and Counting
DeLay's Allies Threatened Ethics Chairman

Twice over seven days, the House Ethics Committee rebuked House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for three separate ethics violations.

The ethics violations involved offering personal political endorsements in exchange for a vote, creating the appearance of impropriety in linking fundraising to pending legislation, and contacting the FAA to track down Texas lawmakers who were refusing to create a quorum necessary to pass DeLay's resdistricting plan.

The rebukes, though short of censure, were rare. In issuing them, the Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-UT), was careful to build an unaminous, bipartisan decision to mitigate any partisan backlash. In fact, some watchdog groups criticized the admonishments as too weak.

But DeLay was different. He claimed the committee exonerated him altogether and lashed out at those who had pursued it. Other members of Congress loyal to DeLay struck back directly at Chairman Hefley. As The Hill reported on October 13, Hefley was "threatened."

Asked what response he has received from House Republicans since two ethics committee admonishments were issued in a span of seven days, Hefley said, "I've been attacked; I've been threatened."

Just the kind of response that encourages accountabilty, huh?


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