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Freshmen Fail First Ethics Test

Sadly, this isn't a surprise. From the Majority Accountability Project:

U.S. Rep. Jack Murtha gave nearly $50,000 to 19 House freshmen who abandoned a week-old pledge to toughen House ethics rules by voting against a reprimand of Murtha for reportedly violating those rules.


Despite last week's media blitz promoting tougher ethics enforcement, a group of freshmen Congressmen failed their first practical test Tuesday night, when they refused to reprimand one of their colleagues for an apparent ethics violation.


In fact, those freshmen wouldn't even allow a debate to occur on the House floor, killing a privileged resolution before it could be considered by the full House.

On May 16, Democrat lawmakers held a news conference in Washington, DC, where more than two dozen freshmen announced a push for stronger ethics enforcement. The members followed up that event with local media, garnering widespread attention for vowing to reform Congress.

"Members of Congress must know that if they break the rules," Ohio's Zack Space told C-SPAN, "they will be caught and punished."

But when Space was given the chance to punish one of his own, Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha, he refused. Murtha contributed $2,000 to Space's campaign last fall.

[...]

In fact, twenty-two of the twenty three freshmen who spent last week promoting tougher House ethics voted on Tuesday to kill the reprimand. One, North Carolina's Heath Shuler, voted "present." Shuler did not receive any funds from Murtha during his campaign.

In addition to the members already mentioned, the following freshmen who vowed tougher ethics rules, yet refused to rebuke Murtha, received the following contributions from the Pennsylvania Democrat. They are: Patrick Murphy, PA, $7,000; David Loebsack, IA, $4,500; Peter Welch, VT, $4,000; Yvette Clarke, NY, $4,000.

Additionally, Murtha contributed $2,000 each to Harry Mitchell, AZ; Jerry McNerney, CA; Ed Perlmutter, CO; Tim Mahoney, FL; Brad Ellsworth, IN; Baron Hill, IN; Tim Walz, MN; Paul Hodes, NH; Albio Sires, NJ; Kirsten Gillibrand, NY; Betty Sutton, OH; and Steven Kagen, WI.

So, Jack Murtha appears to have purchased for himself a pass to continue to bully and intimidate anyone he wants in order to get what he wants.

Update: Murtha sent Congressman Rogers a note apologizing for his threat. Hopefully a little humble pie will do Murtha some good.


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Comments (38)

So much for getting rid of ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

So much for getting rid of the 'culture of corruption'.

What's really interesting is that these freshmen were bought off so cheaply. You kinda wonder what else they would sell out their 'principles' for such 'bargain basement' prices.

How can you tell an honest ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

How can you tell an honest politician?

He stays bought!

Congress members are the ch... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Congress members are the cheapest commody in the market. 2K is a high price considering the democrats have sold dozens of National Security 'Top Secret' plans/programs (knowing they are getting Americans killed) for nothing more than a pat on the back and a private ego massage. Maybe a quick mention in the news.

We now have a sick congress, mental illness is wide spread and it has became so widespread the democrats can't hide it.
It's scary that they are proud of being traitors to the country.

Murtha = Semper Fool. He ... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Murtha = Semper Fool. He was STOOOPID enough to believe we can base a 'quick strike force in Okinawa.

A shame libbies were all talk(like we ever believed that) when it came to ethics.

BTW, did DiFi get called on carpet yet for her corruption, or, like Jefferon, is that on ice?

You expected better? Those... (Below threshold)
Matt:

You expected better? Those freshman representatives are a lot cheaper thatn their seniors. Abramoff would of loved to get those kind of clearance sale prices. Maybe they can be bought so low because they don't expect they'll really need money for re-election.

Kinda makes you yearn for ... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Kinda makes you yearn for the days of Randy Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Mark Foley, Tom Delay, Curt Weldon, James Tobin, Scooter Libby, Thomas Noe, George Ryan, Peter Dibble, Brian Doyle, Bill Janklow,....

..Donald Lukens, Dan Crane,... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

..Donald Lukens, Dan Crane, Robert Bauman, Edward Schrock, Bob Packwood..

Goes along with this:... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Goes along with this:
"http://www.clubforgrowth.org/2007/05/obey_plans_to_stomp_out_all_ea.php"

They didn't even bother to pretend they would be more ethical after using such promises to win the last election.

So, they come to power, backtrack on promises to work longer weeks, scrap the pretense of clamping down on wasteful junkets, surrender on making Iraq war funds tied to defeatism and pork, disregard promises to be more bipartisan and then ignore their own new rules meant to clean up unethical behavior. It's gonna be a long 1.5 years till 08, but at least the dems are doing all they can to ensure their own defeat.

Since when did the electorate decide it was OK for Congress to be a blatant competition to see which party could suck worse?

So the Democrats are not li... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So the Democrats are not living up to ethics promises the same way Republicans did not live up to ethics promises? I'm shocked. It's almost as if they're...politicians.

As for this little he said/he said imbroglio, how come Rogers isn't sending this to the Ethics Committee if it is such a clear violation of House rules? Oh, and the ethics reform those freshmen were talking about last week had to do with lobbying, not whether or not to reprimand a member based on what another member claims he said.

Since when did the elect... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Since when did the electorate decide it was OK for Congress to be a blatant competition to see which party could suck worse?

1792?

That's right mantis, it's O... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

That's right mantis, it's OK for dems to be unethical because the republicans were unethical before.

Never mind that they were elected to fix the damn problem.

I think the libs here have a serious problem with the concept of "hypocrisy." That's two posts in the last two days where their only defense is that republicans suck too. It gives lie to the fact that they really care about corruption, they just want to make sure their pet policies are the ones benefiting from it.

Short form of Gloat: No, th... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Short form of Gloat: No, the claims of being more ethical than the opposition were an utter lie, and you should not expect my boyz to live up to the standard they set when asking for America's votes and trust.
How dare you expect them not to live down to congress' reputation.
OH, and
FACISTS! CHIMPYBUSHILTERMCHAIBURTON. /froth

That's right mantis, it'... (Below threshold)
mantis:

That's right mantis, it's OK for dems to be unethical because the republicans were unethical before.

Obviously you missed my point. They're all corrupt scum (with very few exceptions); it doesn't matter what letter is next to their name.

Unethical AND treasonous. ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Unethical AND treasonous. Only democrats could achieve this lovely combo!

Have fun while it lasts.

No, I got your point. I jus... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

No, I got your point. I just find it insulting.

There are 2 points I get from your comment:
1) People who voted to change congress because they were legitimately interrested in reform were hopelessly naive fools.

2) Every other person who voted democrat, like you, I'm assuming, knew they were being lied to and voted democrat anyway.

Both points are incredibly disturbing.

Neither am I shocked to fin... (Below threshold)

Neither am I shocked to find that both parties are corrupt and unethical. What I do find disturbing is that Democrats are bound and determined to see that Republicans are punished for their transgressions, yet Republicans do not show the same desire to punish the other. It tells me two things:

1) Republicans don't think it's that big a deal and maybe don't want to draw attention to their own corruption

and/or

2) Democrats are hypocrites for demanding Republicans be punished, but are unwilling to clean their own house.

Both options suck and the two together are even more unacceptable.

Dems are treasonous by thei... (Below threshold)
SAHMmy:

Dems are treasonous by their actions. The republicans were treasonous by their failure to push the conservative agenda through when they were in power (impotency), and many now by voting with the dems. I loathe them all.

No, I got your point. I ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

No, I got your point. I just find it insulting.

If you got my point then you intentionally mischaracterized it. I find that insulting.....Ok, I'm over it.

There are 2 points I get from your comment:
1) People who voted to change congress because they were legitimately interrested in reform were hopelessly naive fools.

Well, they are hopelessly naive fools if they expected that reform to actually happen in any meaningful way.

2) Every other person who voted democrat, like you, I'm assuming, knew they were being lied to and voted democrat anyway.

Actually, in the most recent election neither of my two Democratic Senators (Durbin, Obama) were up for reelection. I voted against my Democratic representative (Davis) in 2006 because of the Tamil Tigers thing and his other assorted awfulness. For some of the voters who chose Democrats, yes, I assume they knew they were voting for liars. They just liked the Democratic lies better than the Republican lies. Ah, politics, ain't it grand?

One question, why do you assume I would vote Democratic (or for that matter, for the nonexistent Democrat Party)?

Both points are incredibly disturbing.

Sorry pal, it's human nature. Don't blame me.

They're POLITICIANS, kids! ... (Below threshold)

They're POLITICIANS, kids! OF COURSE most of them are corrupt!

The Freshmen are just looking to get some buzz going about themselves. It's like peer pressure in high school. They're no better than adolescents.

When politicians, either re... (Below threshold)
Dennis P. Skea:

When politicians, either republican OR democrat, are elected, they IMMEDIATELY CHANGE PARTY REGISTRATION. They ALL join the INCUMBENT PARTY, which has only ONE GOAL. To be REELECTED. It matters not what is good for the country, their constituents, etc, only what is in THIER BEST INTEREST. We have had a "one party system" for a long, long time.

OK, so you're not hopelessl... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

OK, so you're not hopelessly partisan, you're hopelessly jaded. My mistake.

Either way, blowing off this kind of behavior is a surefire way to make sure it never gets fixed.

"Either way, blowing off... (Below threshold)

"Either way, blowing off this kind of behavior is a surefire way to make sure it never gets fixed."

And since conservatives had no interest in fixing it when the Republicans led Congress, blowing it off instead, what's your point?

Republicans whine when Democrats do this, and Democrats whine when Republicans do it. Today, its the Republicans' turn to whine.

The difference between Dems... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

The difference between Dems and Republicans is that when the GOP finds corrupt officials, they're gone as soon as possible. Dems keep em around and give em committee assignments.

Either way, blowing off ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Either way, blowing off this kind of behavior is a surefire way to make sure it never gets fixed.

I'm not blowing it off, I'm just not surprised. I've communicated to my representatives that I will oppose anyone who does not aggressively push lobbying reform, which is desperately needed. I vote for third parties a lot as a result, but what else can be done? Ain't no way that club is givin up the chedda.

Anybody know where we can s... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Anybody know where we can score some hookers in Okinawa? (Wipes drool off chin...)

Best Regards,
Jack Murtha

I think Lee pretty much sum... (Below threshold)

I think Lee pretty much summed it up fairly.

The reason that the In-power Party is hypocritical and corrupt is that voters let them. Each of these ball-less freshmen will go back to their districts during election time, a (presumably) well-financed Republican will call him out on it relentlessly, he will come out with some doublespeak "parliamentary" drivel that is almost incomprehensible, and the voters will shrug, say to themselves, "he's a nice man with a nice family," and vote him back in.

It happens once, the nice young man comes to believe he's bulletproof in this crap, and takes lessons in how to get some of it for himself.

They have a course for freshmen congressmen -- it's called
"Table Manners at the Trough."

Short form of Gloat:...<... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Short form of Gloat:...

Actually, your post was much longer than Gloat's.

Actually, Brian, 61 words f... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Actually, Brian, 61 words for gloats 2 part post to my 57.

Not much shorter, that I'll cop to. Much longer... well, we know you have issues with objective reality. ;)

42 words and 276 characters... (Below threshold)
Brian:

42 words and 276 characters for Gloat vs. 53 words and 307 characters for SCSI. So sayeth wc.

It may be a good opportunit... (Below threshold)

It may be a good opportunity for third party candidates.

Lord knows I voted for Perot for the singular reason that I thought that D.C. deserved him. Punishment votes happen.

And that's something that the Dems should think about, and the Republicans too. The moment enough people stop worrying about terrorists they are going to stop worrying about which party holds power. Now maybe that would benefit the Dems. It did last election when Republicans lost the majority in Congress. But only if the Democrats present themselves as a better choice *apart from the war*.

Because the war isn't going to last forever. Without *something* other than an anti-war stance to recommend Democrat candidates an "all politicians are corrupt" public attitude is going to bite them in the back-side.

Firstly... the media isn't going to let this go. As much as they tend liberal, they also have this "holy calling" conceit going on. This is bread and butter and lofty virtue for reporters.

And yeah, MPG, it does make a person remember Libby and DeLay fondly when Murtha's antics seem to not *only* not get him in trouble, but garner a sort of "heh, our guys are tough dealers, yay" response.

I've figured out the dhimmi... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I've figured out the dhimmi's in congress. Now they are doing away with the money that schools use to teach kids to , just not do it, to avoid becoming Pg or getting STD. I guess they can't get enough young girls and boys from the page program to bang if they're taught to stay away from sex, so do away with the program.
A country is in rough shape when you can't trust the congress critters or a former president around your childred.

I see this is going to be t... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I see this is going to be the Tu Quoque thread...

So, essentially, even the D... (Below threshold)
KendraWilder:

So, essentially, even the Democrat Freshmen are a bunch of whore with a price tag for their "favors". How many bills have the Dems pushed lately where they had to buy votes by agreeing to add earmarks favoring those Dem Congresspersons?

Looks like, between the Dem whores, and the spineless Republicans infesting Congress, 2008 had better be a major "house cleaning" year, to send a message to ALL of the DC Insiders that enough is enough.

Running government takes serious people. It's time to get rid of the parasites and get some dedicated, ethical people in place regardless of party affiliation. Maybe then some serious USA business can be conducted once again to help rid the country of the current nightmare that plagues us.

Irrational exuberance makes... (Below threshold)

Irrational exuberance makes an appearance.

Would that it will be so, Kendra.

Sorry Brian, but still wron... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Sorry Brian, but still wrong.
57 words
272 caharacters
328 with spaces

Dude, don't be so dense, es... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Dude, don't be so dense, especially about a minor joke, and especially one that you're wrong about.

Here are both of Gloat's posts combined:

Kinda makes you yearn for the days of Randy Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Mark Foley, Tom Delay, Curt Weldon, James Tobin, Scooter Libby, Thomas Noe, George Ryan, Peter Dibble, Brian Doyle, Bill Janklow,......Donald Lukens, Dan Crane, Robert Bauman, Edward Schrock, Bob Packwood..

276 characters, including spaces. Count 'em out loud, if you need to.

Here is your post of what constitutes "Short form of Gloat":

No, the claims of being more ethical than the opposition were an utter lie, and you should not expect my boyz to live up to the standard they set when asking for America's votes and trust. How dare you expect them not to live down to congress' reputation. OH, and FACISTS! CHIMPYBUSHILTERMCHAIBURTON. /froth

307 characters, including spaces.

wc doesn't lie.

what have we come to, count... (Below threshold)

what have we come to, counting spaces.

Then count 'em. Makes me no... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Then count 'em. Makes me no never mind.




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