Analysis: Democrats self-destructing over ethics

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by trickblue, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

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    Analysis: Democrats self-destructing over ethics
    By LARRY MARGASAK – 7 hours ago

    The Obama administration and the new Congress are quickly handing over to Republicans the same "culture of corruption" issue that Democrats used so effectively against the GOP before coming to power.

    Freshman Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., is only the latest embarrassment.

    Senate Democrats accepted Burris because they believed what he told them: He was clean. Burris now admits he tried to raise money for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who authorities say sought to sell President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

    "The story seems to be changing day by day," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday.

    The political mess for the Democratic Party, however, isn't Burris' conduct alone; it's the pattern that has developed so quickly over the past few months.

    _The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is the subject of a House ethics investigation. It's partly focused on his fundraising practices for a college center in his name, his ownership financing of a resort property in the Dominican Republic and his financial disclosure reports.

    _Federal agents raided two Pennsylvania defense contractors that were provided millions of dollars in federal funding by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

    _Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal charges, including allegations he schemed to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder.

    _Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota, abandoned his bid to become health and human services secretary and the administration's point man on reforming health care; and Nancy Killefer stepped down from a newly created position charged with eliminating inefficient government programs.

    Both Daschle and Killefer had tax problems, and Daschle also faced potential conflicts of interest related to working with health care interests.

    _Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was confirmed after revealing he had tax troubles.

    _Obama's initial choice for commerce secretary, Bill Richardson, stepped aside due to a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors.

    _While the Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm William Lynn as deputy defense secretary, Obama had to waive his ethics regulations to place the former defense lobbyist in charge of day-to-day operations at the Pentagon.

    The No. 2 Senate Democrat, Richard Durbin of Illinois, expressed his anger about the Burris case Wednesday while he was on an official visit to Greece.

    "I do believe that the public statements made by Mr. Burris to this point have raised questions ... as to the nature of his relationship with the former governor and the circumstances surrounding his appointment," Durbin said.

    Reid said in Nevada, "Now there's some question as to whether or not he told the truth."

    Where to go next? Reid had no answer.

    "What I think we have to do is just wait and see," the Senate leader said.

    Senate Democrats now may be trapped in their own ethics system. Disciplinary action against a senator usually requires a long investigation by the Senate's ethics committee. While a preliminary inquiry on Burris is under way, that's only the first early step. And, with ongoing criminal investigations in Illinois, the committee probably would have to postpone any action — as it usually does — to avoid interference.

    In 2006, Republicans lost control of the House after Democrats effectively used a "culture of corruption" theme against them.

    The final scandal broke shortly before the election, when it was revealed that then-Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican, sent sexually suggestive e-mails and explicit instant messages to teenage boys who had served as House pages.

    Republicans were further harmed when it was disclosed that several of their members were aware of the problem and failed to take action.

    Democrats, who've been in control of both Congress and the White House less than two months now, are lucky on one point. The next congressional election is nearly two years away.

    EDITOR'S NOTE _ Larry Margasak has covered Congress, including major ethics investigations, since 1983.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    The politics surrounding this thing don't really bother me. I mean, this kind of thing goes on in both parties. That's a fact and anybody who says differently is a lier.

    The thing that bothers me is that the Democratic Party beat us over the head with this kind of thing for 8 years. Yet, the American people accepted it as truth without ever stopping to think that the Democrats did the same things and more, if the truth be told. But you ask most Americans today why we are in the situtation we are in and they will say the Republicans or Bush. Never stopping to think about what a Democratic faction within the Government had to do with creating this problem. Most are happy to continue to beat the drum on Republicans and Bush.

    I don't get it.
  3. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Hunka Hunka Burning BP Staff Member

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    And prior the dems doing it...the repubs did it and that is why they took control of Congress during Clinton's time.

    It is the method of the parties to regain control and it seems it is inevitable that those that gain control wind up abusing it.

    Which is even more amazing to me is how some are so hard core Republican or Democrat and will defend it and vote for their party every time instead of seeking a different option even if it is in a symbolic way.

    But it is nothing new, it is not just one party like you said and in the end people will still vote for their party and the cycle will start again.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not tied to a party as much as I am tied to an idioligy of how best to Govern. I consider myself to be Conservative. Their will always be corruptoin in govenment and that goes for Republican, Democrat or Independent if they were ever fortunate enough to get elected. However, if you understand that, then why would you ever vote for bigger government? It's on us to insure that the Government is for the people. We voted for just the opposite.
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is in part because of the principals the parties represent, that does not mean members of the party hold true to the principals they are supposed to stand for and when they don't they will often be voted out of office and the power shift takes place. I'm a conservative I vote republican because they are the closest party that represents my views. I don't agree all the time with stances they may take but I did not share the same overall views of Ron Paul or the Green Party or the libertarian party.

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