Another Corrupt Bastard

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ktmexc20, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Step Aside, Mr. Mollohan

    House Ethics' top Democrat may have ethics issues himself. He should quit while they're sorted out.

    Saturday, April 15, 2006; Page A14

    FOR THE GOOD of the House, for the good of his party and in the interest -- however remote the possibility at this point -- of resolving the paralysis of the House ethics committee, the panel's ranking Democrat, West Virginia Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, should step aside while legitimate questions about his own conduct are resolved.

    As detailed in recent news reports, Mr. Mollohan used his seat on the House Appropriations Committee to get earmarks directing $250 million in federal funds to five West Virginia nonprofits he helped set up. These groups paid generous salaries to Mollohan associates and former aides; one of them, the Institute for Scientific Research, paid its three top executives a total of $777,000 in 2004, according to the Wall Street Journal. Employees of the nonprofits and associated contractors also contributed generously to Mr. Mollohan's campaign committees and a Mollohan family foundation; the New York Times reported that senior employees, board members and contractors donated almost $400,000 to Mr. Mollohan's political committees over the past decade.

    As he was steering federal money to the nonprofits, Mr. Mollohan also invested with a former appropriations staffer -- Laura Kuhns, who runs one of the groups (2004 salary: $102,000) and sits on the board of two others -- in resort properties on Bald Head Island, N.C., valued at $2 million. Mr. Mollohan acknowledges that he initially failed to pay 2004 taxes on income from rental properties in Washington and North Carolina; his accountant told the Wall Street Journal that the value of the Mollohan's half-interest in 27 Washington condominiums "may not have been properly reported in the early years" on his financial disclosure forms, though Mr. Mollohan now says they were.

    All of these entanglements raise enough ethical issues to justify an inquiry; in fact, this would be just the kind of thing that a functioning ethics committee -- that is, an entity that hasn't existed throughout the 109th Congress -- ought to tackle. Perhaps there's nothing more going on here than West Virginia coziness, but this is an awful lot of smoke to have swirling around the ethics panel's ranking Democrat. "The way this has been spun out it has allowed people to put perfectly honest things in very close proximity, side by side, and ask people, please draw a sinister conclusion here," Mr. Mollohan told us. Yes, but isn't that what the need to avoid the appearance of impropriety -- the kind of thing the ethics committee regularly warns members to avoid -- is all about?

    Mr. Mollohan describes himself as the victim of an "entirely partisan, political" attack by a "politically motivated, ultra-conservative organization," the National Legal and Policy Center. We have little doubt that hardball, partisan politics are behind the charges against Mr. Mollohan, who has embarrassed Republicans with his refusal to accede to the GOP leadership's efforts to neuter the ethics panel by stacking its membership, weakening its rules and politicizing its staff. And the pious assertions from this very leadership that Mr. Mollohan should step aside are especially hard to take coming from a crew that tried to rewrite its rules to let Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) stay in power after he was indicted.

    Nonetheless, this needs to be sorted out, and Mr. Mollohan should step down while that happens. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who's so far responded by denouncing efforts to "cast aspersions on the independent and distinguished ranking member," should move to replace Mr. Mollohan temporarily with another Democrat similarly committed to restoring the credibility of the ethics committee.
  2. Bumped for greater visibility.

    Vote all the bums out.
  3. Arnie


    Getting harder and harder to vote an imcumbent out. They have these districts set up to where one party has a lock on the election. Part of this is due to efforts to set up minority favored districts. Most people think Congress sucks, but THEIR Represetative is an OK guy/gal.
  4. Interesting how when a thread appears about a corrupt Repub, the Bush-haters swarm in like flies on shit.

    When a thread appears about a corrupt Dim, you can hear the crickets chirping.
  5. They're all bastards. Period.

    Send a message to Washington...
    Register Independent.

    We do this because we're independent thinkers and are not blinded by one party's (or the other's) bullshit.
  6. Lucrum


    There is a lot of truth in that statement.
    Until the voters start thinking otherwise we're never going to get any serious reform or changes. I think term limits would solve a number of issues.
  7. smallfil


    Here is California, we have term limits. It works to get rid of "professional" politicians who lives off the hard earned money of the average joe. However, it is easily circumvented by running for another position. We have ex-governors, ex-senators running for mayor, the city council or on those lush boards created by fellow "corrupt" politicians which pay very fat salaries of $100,000 or $200,000 with perks. Some politicians sits on more than 1 board here in California so, the politics are well fed and California is going down the tubes!!!
    Unfortunately, the average joe is "too dumb" enough for his own good. He doesn't have a clue the politicians are playing with him like a flute!!! Those who believe their corrupt politicians----deserve what they are getting and will be getting!!! I am not even going to bother voting to get the bums out of office----let the people who elected them, deal with it!!!
    Me, I am going to trade. The bum politicians are going to do what they are going to do anyway!!!