April 21, 2009

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Pelosi, other Dem leaders pressure members to oppose ethics measure.

House Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), have ratcheted up the pressure on their rank-and-file members to oppose a resolution calling for an ethics committee investigation into the ties between key Democrats and a controversial defense-lobbying firm.

Democratic leaders have told their members they should let the ethics panel do its work and stop supporting a measure sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that calls for an ethics probe into political donations from the now-defunct PMA Group lobbying firm and earmarks its clients received. . . . The pressure appears to be working. Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), two of more than two dozen Democrats who supported Flake’s measure in the latest vote, on April 1, are now wavering. . . . The week before the recess, Kind told The Hill that a cloud will be hanging over all House Democrats until their leaders address the PMA controversy. The quote was repeated in a New York Times editorial calling for an ethics committee investigation into the PMA controversy.

Pelosi is in a particularly difficult position. Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Pelosi ally, has close ties to PMA and its clients, as do Reps. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.).

Remember when Pelosi promised to “drain the swamp” if the Democrats took back the Congress back in 2006? Instead, she’s trying to shut down the pumps.

Related: “Do as I say, not as I do.”

UPDATE: Speaking of Pelosi, an interesting take on the Harman eavesdropping scandal:

Why would “the caller” expect Rep. Harman to believe that Nancy Pelosi, Harman’s fellow California Democrat, would trade the chairmanship for campaign contributions? What is it about Pelosi’s reputation among insiders that made “the caller’s” offer credible?

Stay tuned.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Why Steven Rattner is above the law.

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