The new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, announced that the 110th Congress would be the most ethical and corruption-free in history. Wow! I can hardly wait for that to kick in. Those who weren't yawning were snickering, especially those old enough to remember a Democrat controlled Congress.
Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, is also one of the richest in the House. One of her businesses is grape growing in the Napa Valley. Her grapes are “designer” grapes and go to make high-end wines The wines are made by non-union wineries. It has been charged that this champion of the working man hires only non-union people. Since it is estimated that at least half of the industry’s workers are illegal aliens, it can be assumed that Pelosi has her share of them. Is that why she is so against building a barrier to protect our border and is also against sanctions for those who employ illegal aliens?
The first real act of Pelosi was the endorsement of John Murtha (D-PA) to be Majority Leader of the House. Even the Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-leaning bunch, questioned this move. CREW compiled its list of 20 most corrupt members of Congress and 5 “to watch“. Murtha was on the “to watch” list. Any question about the political sentiments of this group, although it professes to be non-partisan, can be discerned by reading their list of most corrupt and the 5 “to watch” politicians. Twenty-one on this list are Republicans and only four are Democrats. The other three Democrats are: William Jefferson (D-LA), Maxine Waters (D-CA) and one Alan Mollohan (D-WV).
Regarding Alan Mollohan, according to “Middle American News”, under their heading of “The Ultimate Conflict of Interest”:
“Although he is under investigation by the FBI over millions of dollars in ‘earmarks’ for non-profit groups he started, and which are now run by personal friends and former staffers he still does business with, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) has been named by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to chair the subcommittee that appropriates funds to the FBI. Given this leverage, that investigation is effectively over, no matter how strong the case against Mollohan might be………”
It isn’t often the FBI gets trumped when it comes to power, but this move surely did that. Thanks, Nancy.
CREW’s Melanie Sloan also noted that Pelosi’s endorsement of Murtha indicates that “she may have prioritized ethics reform merely to win votes, with no real commitment to changing the culture of corruption”. You think?
On the Senate side, one investigation that will never see the light of day is the one that should be made into the Hillary Clinton campaign finagling of the accounts of her 2000 senatorial run. However, an expose may be coming anyway in the form of a civil suit brought by one Peter Paul. This civil suit will be the first time an individual has filed a civil suit that charges a U.S. President and a U.S. Senator with fraud, conspiracy and coercion. Mr. Paul is suing the Bonnie and Clyde of politics, who, up until now, have also been the “untouchables”.
Mr. Paul is represented by the U.S. Justice Foundation and attorney Larry Klayman. Klayman could be the Clintons worst nightmare, as he is an equal opportunity thorn in the side of those he thinks have gone outside the law. Political party doesn’t matter to him. What Klayman charges and Paul maintains is that Paul held a spectacular fund raiser for Hillary in August of 2000 and that it was not reported properly to the Federal Election Commission.
Paul also maintains that in return for his help in this event Bill Clinton promised to enter into certain business arrangements with him, among them as a “rainmaker” par excellence. Peter Paul is a successful business entrepreneur, having co-founded a dot.com entertainment company with Stan Lee, creator of Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, X-Men, etc., plus other businesses.
Paul undertook the production of a fund raising gala, and put up more than $1.2 million dollars of his own money to make it a smash success. The party was attended by a plethora of big Hollywood stars. Paul also contributed money to other DNC causes. Because of his personal money up front and his considerable skill in producing such affairs, Hillary’s campaign was enriched greatly. Where the trouble arose, and is still bubbling up here and there, is the fact that Hillary’s campaign made false reports about this money, and more than just once. The false reports include the underreporting of the actual contribution made by Paul to Hillary’s campaign, which amount is over $700,000.
The FEC filings were made by Hillary’s campaign treasurer, Andrew Grossman. In December of 2005 Grossman made a secret agreement with the FEC which allowed Grossman to admit culpability in filing false reports. He was directed to pay a $35,000 civil fine. So far, Hillary has not been made to pay anything. And, the smartest woman in America professes to know little about the whole business and that she hardly knew Peter Paul.
In usual Clinton style her campaign has dragged its feet in complying with any strict accounting and the Clintons have used the skills honed over their political careers to stall the case brought by Peter Paul. If anything cries out for a congressional investigation, this does, but I don’t think we will see it in the magical “first 100 days” of the Democrat led congress, or anytime thereafter.
Pelosi has chosen Stephanie Tubbs-Jones as head of the ethics committee of the House. Tubbs-Jones (D-OH) holds the championship for taking the most trips from special interest groups in the past six years. That makes sense. She will know the M. O.s of those giving and taking the trips and will monitor them closely, right?
Although Democrats talk a lot about bipartisanship, it was reported that leading light Rahm Emanuel, on election night, after the media called the House a win for Democrats, jumped on a desk and yelled “The Republicans can go f…..themselves.” Showing Democrats’ softer side, Louise Slaughter (D-NY), having a disagreement with David Dreier (R-CA), called him a “prick”. Does this fall into the ethics department, or is it just endemic bad taste?
The case of William Jefferson (D-Lousiana) is perhaps the most bizarre of all. In August of 2006 $90,000 was found in Jefferson’s freezer. The FBI claims that it was the first installment of a bribe intended for the vice-president of Nigeria to promote a business deal. Although it is a colorful story, there has been little follow-up. The congressman has maintained his innocence. The case has maintained a low profile.
It seems the Democrats are more skilled in protecting their own than Republicans are. While Republican wrongdoers end up in prison, or disgraced enough for them to be thrown out of office, Democrat wrongdoers become heads of congressional committees.
The “ethical” Democrat Party is off to a bad start. However, lest Republicans put in orders for campaign buttons that read “We’re More Ethical”, they need to face the reality of being kept out of the majority and the prospect of many years in the political wilderness if they do not actually become more ethical.
Certain information for this article was taken from the Middle American News issue of February 2007
Barbara regularly writes for CapitolHillCoffeeHouse. She also appears in California Chronicle, Border Patrol, and Citizens Caucus. Her primary interest is illegal immigration, but she writes about other subjects as well.
Barbara lives in a large city on the West Coast. Her loyalties are with God, family, country, heritage and borders.
She enjoys music, painting, poetry and song writing.