Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Congressmen Bass and Bradley, take note

Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) and Congressman Jeb Bradley (R-NH) should take special note of the ending to this editorial from today's Keene Sentinel:

What? Ethics?

To balance today’s many reports on the exercise of good government, we turn to the subject of Tom DeLay. He is the majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives whose ethics problems have confirmed aspects of his character already known to the Texas Democrats he fantastically redistricted out of jobs and wavering House members in Washington who know why he’s called “The Hammer.”

DeLay is also known for being the object of an unusual and fruitless effort by henchmen last year to suspend rules that govern the treatment of congressmen charged with felony crimes (he hasn’t been so charged). Regarding specific behavior, DeLay has been criticized by fellow Republicans for being a bit too close to operatives who took advantage of Indian tribes; he has been rebuked by a House committee for being cozy with energy industry lobbyists; and he has been publicly chastised by his peers for trying to bribe a House member with political support for the man’s son.

DeLay’s latest escapade involves his apparently having let a registered lobbyist pay his hotel bills in London — a violation of House ethics rules. DeLay, whose salary has gone up half a dozen times in the last eight years, apparently couldn’t afford the lodging himself.

DeLay has a ready explanation. He says he likes to travel, but not particularly with other congressmen. So he flies in the company of conservative interests who apparently like spending time with someone considered a possibility for the speakership of the House, when that spot becomes available.

For a good many years, when the Democrats controlled the House, Republicans had a fine time pillorying House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill as an embodiment of the worst excesses of liberal politics. Under no circumstances do we — or would we — consider Tom DeLay an embodiment of Republican virtue; his misbehavior simply brings too much discomfort to some of his party colleagues. The wonder of it is that they keep him in office. (emphasis added)

When local newspapers, local activists, and other political players start placing pressure on GOP members to distance themselves from, or repudiate the actions of, Tom DeLay, that is when he will be forced to resign.


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