March 26, 2009

IT’S LIKE IT’S NOT MEANT TO ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING: Slow Start for New Congressional Ethics Office.

The slow pace in getting the outside ethics office geared up also shows a larger problem House and Senate Democrats have on the ethics front — especially with troubled lawmakers such as Reps. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) and John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) — and that has party strategists privately concerned about a backlash in 2010. . . . Rangel, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, has been under investigation by the ethics committee for six months over his personal finances, including whether he improperly used his powerful post to help raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York. Murtha has been linked to a criminal probe of the now defunct PMA Group, a lobbying firm that collapsed after its office was raided by the FBI in November.

In the Senate, Democrats Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Roland Burris of Illinois are being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee, as well. Dodd is being scrutinized for his VIP mortgage deal from Countrywide, while Burris is being investigated for his ties to indicted former Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Yeah, it’s as if there’s some kind of ethical problem that’s not being addressed.

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