Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another Corrupt Politician and More Political Games

To no great surprise they are investigating Ted "Bridge-to-Nowhere" Stevens. Not that the Senate will be taking any ethics stand on this one. No doubt he will be charged right in the heat of the '08 election. I've no evidence that the investigators are politically motivated, but after the glacial investigation of Jefferson Davis with charges only coming after the election, one is really challenged to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Despite pressure to remove Ted Stevens from the powerful Appropriations panel, Senate leaders of both parties closed ranks behind the Alaska Republican Tuesday and refused to follow the House’s example of removing members under investigation from key committees.

As the GOP corruption scandals that rocked the 2006 elections continue to simmer, Senate Republicans courted political risk in backing the influential Alaskan, the longest-serving Republican senator in history and former Appropriations chairman. To counter charges of ethical laxity, they attacked a lobbying overhaul bill drafted behind closed doors by
Democrats, calling it weak and leaving open the possibility of attempting to derail it by week’s end.

The FBI and the IRS raided the senator’s Alaska home Monday in a growing corruption probe that also has snared Alaska’s lone congressman, Don Young (R). The state’s junior GOP senator, Lisa Murkowski, is facing a separate ethics complaint from a government watchdog group regarding a land sale struck with a business partner of Stevens’s.

Stevens would not comment Tuesday, but his office said in a statement that the senator has done nothing wrong.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both said Tuesday that Stevens could continue serving on his Senate panels, since charges have not been brought against him.
Sorry, but being the senior Repub on the Appropriations committee really sends the wrong message about ethics reforms is he is left standing. And, it also sends a bad message to the voters when they allow him to remain.

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