Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ethics Mandate, That Was Then, This Is Reality

Dems are sticking with that mandate for cleaning up congress. Oh, wait, their not.

FoxNews has a quote from David Obey that I really want to find the complete context of. The topic is still a clear example of lots of motion and no actual movement.
Despite promises to reform the earmark system — in which lawmakers request funds for specific projects back home — House Democrats have come up with a way to make the process more secretive than it is now.

Instead of putting earmarks in bills during the committee process when they can be discussed, Appropriations Chairman David Obey has ordered that the requests not be added until bills are in House-Senate Conference — an eleventh hour, often closed door process that will keep the earmarks from being debated.

When asked about the inevitable criticism the move will receive from Republicans and others — Obey told The Washington Post — "I don't give a damn if people criticize me or not."
That's an interesting opinion from someone that has to run for election again. Interesting how the earmarks got moved to another place of hiding rather than brought out into the light. How is this reform?

If they were indeed given a mandate to reform the earmark practice, they certainly appear to be making great strides to nowhere.

Then there is "Dollar Bill" Jefferson.
Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) was indicted Monday on charges that he used his congressional office to enrich himself and his family through a pervasive pattern of fraud, bribery and corruption that spanned five years and two continents.

The charges — the first against a Democratic member of Congress in the wake of the Justice Department's recent crackdown on public corruption — follow a two year-investigation that gained public notoriety when FBI agents raided Jefferson's home and found $90,000 in cash stuffed in his freezer.

In an unusually sweeping 94-page indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., Jefferson is charged with soliciting millions in fees and company stock in exchange for using his office to promote wide-ranging business interests in West Africa, including a telecommunications start-up, an oil exploration company and a waste-recycling firm.
Wonder if he's still up for that seat on the Homeland Security committee? I'm guessing that the fact that the indictment was 94 pages long, that they may have a lot of various things to take him to trial on. I'm thinking this will be interesting and that the politics of this mess will be quite telling.

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