Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hastert Gets Unwanted Attention

Over at The Washington Post, today there is a report on how House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) could become a new focus of scrutiny. While he has largely escaped attention as scandal engulfs Tom DeLay and other members of his party, the fact that he has repeatedly stood up for DeLay could come back to haunt him:

As DeLay's legal peril mounted, Hastert backed him at every turn, attempting to change House rules to allow an indicted leader to stay in power and even altering the leadership of the ethics committee, which had been exposing misconduct by the majority leader....

Then when Earle began an investigation of the fundraising associated with DeLay's campaign to pass the redistricting plan, Hastert became increasingly involved in efforts to protect DeLay -- both out of loyalty and out of deference, former leadership aides said.

In June 2003, Jack Abramoff's Washington restaurant, Signatures, was the site of a fundraiser for Hastert. Several days later, Hastert signed a letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton, asking her to reject a request from a tribe for a new casino. Abramoff's client was a tribe with rival interests.

Stay tuned.

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