When even the Associated Press admits the Democrats have an ethics problem, you know it’s serious. The farce starring Senator Burris (D-Blago) is just the latest:
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 author goes easy on Geithner: our new
Tax Cheat Treasury Secretary was told by his employer he had to pay employment taxes on his compensation because they didn’t, they gave him a manual outlining this obligation, and he even requested reimbursement for those taxes he didn’t pay. He shouldn’t be running the IRS — he should be under investigation by them.
On the larger issue, the Democrats have a real problem: they campaigned in 2006 against the "culture of corruption" and in 2008 on "hope and change," yet these near-daily scandals are showing them to be, if anything, worse than the Republicans they railed against. The Most Ethical Congress Ever(tm) has been a joke, and the promised transparency and openness has been just the opposite, to the point that even Democrats are complaining. Candidate Obama slammed the influence of lobbyists, yet President Obama sought waivers from his own ethics orders to hire lobbyists in his administration. And let’s not even mention the takeover of the census, a move that would make Tammany Hall blush.
If the Republicans could be battered (and legitimately so) for the Jack Abramoff and Mark Foley scandals, then the Democrats are handing them huge clubs to beat them with for the next two years. While some say the public will forget all these early problems by 2010 if the economy improves, I’m a believer in the "There’s never just one roach" theory of corruption.
I’m sure we’ll be finding more.
(hat tip: Sister Toldjah)
Technorati tags: Roland Burris
, Timothy Geithner
, Nancy Pelosi
, Barack Obama