Breaking News - Ethics
Posted: 27 April 2005 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Republican leaders have decided to roll back a rule change that has left the ethics committee in a stalemate for weeks, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Top House Republicans met on Tuesday to discuss restarting the committee and acknowledged that ethics disputes have taken a toll on the party's image, the newspaper said citing officials who participated in the talks.

The 10-member ethics committee—five Democrats and five Republicans—are deadlocked on a vote to adopt new Republican rules that would make it tougher to launch an ethics investigation.

The rules were approved in January by the Republican-led House after Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas was admonished by the ethics panel on three separate matters in 2004.

Republicans on the committee said they would open an investigation of DeLay's handling of overseas trips and gifts as soon as the impasse over the rules is broken, the Post said.

DeLay has denied any wrongdoing in taking two foreign trips paid for by outside groups.

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt told reporters after the Tuesday meeting that Republican leaders were working to resolve the ethics impasse as soon as possible, the newspaper reported.

It cited participants in the talks as saying that House Speaker Dennis Hastert had agreed to ask for the House to vote later this week on a package that would roll back the changes.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the package was certain to include a reversal of the rule that would automatically dismiss an ethics complaint after 45 days if the committee is deadlocked, according to the report.

A House Republican aide told the newspaper the automatic-dismissal rule was "the rule that is most commonly believed to be designed to protect Tom DeLay" and that it was "impossible to win the communications battle" on it.


I find it hard to believe that we currently have a rule which would automatically dismiss ethics charges after 45 days, deadlock or not.  As for making it tougher to launch an investigation, that would seem to be a step in the wrong direction.

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Posted: 28 April 2005 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday dropped new ethics rules opposed by Democrats, clearing the way for another anticipated probe of their majority leader—embattled Texan Tom DeLay.

Seems like de law is about to catch up with DeLay.  Hopefully the Republicans which choose a more religiously moderate leader as his replacement.


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Posted: 28 April 2005 03:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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This sounds good but it’s a trick. The staff of the ethics committee, hand picked by the Republicans, will do the actual investigating.

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Posted: 30 April 2005 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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MJ wrote:

This sounds good but it’s a trick. The staff of the ethics committee, hand picked by the Republicans, will do the actual investigating.

Fearing that you might be right, I did some poking at the House Ethics Committee:

http://www.house.gov/ethics/CommitteeMembers.htm


Five are Republican and five are Democrats.so I don’t see the “hand picking” you refer to.

Not wishing to be be overly optomistic about the outcome of this, the case against DeLay seems air-tight right down to the credit card receipts. Given DeLay’s obvious guilt, I think the Republicans are going to throw him to the wolves before he futher embarasses the whole party, and justifyably so.
I still predict he will lose his House leadership position and perhaps his seat.

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Posted: 06 May 2005 01:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Good news.

2 in GOP to skip DeLay ethics probe

By Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY Thu May 5, 6:15 AM ET

Two of the five Republicans on the House ethics committee will not participate in any investigation of potentially improper travel by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the panel’s chairman said Wednesday.
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Lamar Smith of Texas and Tom Cole of Oklahoma contributed to DeLay’s legal defense fund last year, creating what outside ethics experts regarded as a conflict of interest.

Those contributions “raise doubts - however unwarranted - about whether those members would be able to judge fairly allegations of impropriety against Mr. DeLay,” committee chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said in a statement.

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Posted: 06 May 2005 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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The MEMBERS of the committee are OK. It’s the STAFF that will do the investigating that’s not OK. Well, we’ll see how this pans out.

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Posted: 06 May 2005 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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If the staff is not ok, then tell me just who this staff is. Names please.

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