In today’s Christian Science Monitor, Speaker-to-be Pelosi promises to make this “the most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history.” And yet, Spearker Pelosi is already failing on that measure. As the Washington Post reports today, she has backed the ethically challenged Rep. Murtha in his quest to become majority leader:
“Mr. Murtha has been a force against stronger ethics and lobbying rules. He was one of just four Democrats whose votes helped kill a strong Democratic package of lobbying reforms this spring.
“As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, he has been an avid participant in the orgy of earmarking, including numerous projects sought by a lobbying firm that employed his brother. During the Abscam congressional bribery investigation in 1980, Mr. Murtha was videotaped discussing a bribe with an undercover FBI agent. (“You know, we do business for a while, maybe I’ll be interested, maybe I won’t, you know,” Mr. Murtha said.) He wasn’t indicted, but it’s fair to say the episode raised questions about his integrity.”
Indeed it does. And this comes as Pelosi is also reportedly passing over Rep. Jane Harman to make disgraced Rep. Alcee L. Hastings Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The Baltimore Sun explained the situation on Sunday:
“Many Democrats say her likely pick is Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, a Florida congressman and longtime committee member whose personal history could become a political liability for the party. Before his election to Congress in 1992, he was impeached by the House for bribery and perjury and stripped of his job as a federal judge…
“Hastings was charged with conspiring to accept a $150,000 bribe to lighten the sentencing in a case before him and then lying about it during his 1983 trial, which acquitted him. But two judges filed a complaint contesting the ruling, and a special judicial panel recommended in 1986 that Congress impeach him.”
So Pelosi is already promoting two Members with serious ethical failings to head up Congress. So much for “ethical” and “honest.”