7/29/2010

Nancy Pelosi's problems with ethics rules

Even the very liberal Margaret Carlson thinks that Nancy Pelosi has had a problem enforcing Congressional ethics rules.

If Democrats, in charge of the House since 2007, had proven themselves significantly more ethical than Republicans, Rangel would be better off. Instead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who famously promised to “drain the swamp” -- the blue one as well as the red -- got off to a shaky start.

She protected her good friend, Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha, who died before a raft of serious charges, including sending a defense contract to a company employing his nephew, could catch up to him. Shockingly, she tried to give Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson a seat on the Homeland Security Committee even after the release of photos of $90,000 in cash tucked inside containers of Pillsbury Pie Crust and Boca Burger in his house. He would later be convicted of 11 counts of racketeering and bribery. . . .


But probably the most shocking revelation from reading her piece is that she offers part of Congressman Charlie Rangel's defense.

He acknowledged “bookkeeping” errors and put his staff to work getting straight his financial disclosures and paying taxes on rental incomes from his villa in the Dominican Republic.

He has his excuses on other charges, not the least of which is that everybody does it:

Other members were also on the corporate-sponsored trip to the Caribbean, and his staff handled his paperwork. He would have supported preserving a tax loophole for oil driller Nabors Industries even if its chief executive hadn’t contributed $1 million to the Charles B. Rangel Public Service Center at City College. As for having to report the savings from a rent- stabilized apartment, since when is gaming the high rents in Manhattan a reportable gift? . . .

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