Pols duel over who’s more ethical


    Democrats accused Republicans on Saturday of using “doublespeak” and
    abusing their power in order to help special interest groups.

    With
    Republicans burdened by the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, Senate
    Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said in the weekly Democratic
    radio address that years of controlling both the White House and
    Congress had corrupted the Republican Party.

    “There is a price to
    pay for this Republican abuse of power and it can be seen in the
    present state of our union,” Reid said. “Special interests and the
    well-connected have been rewarded by Republicans while everyone else
    has been left behind.”

    The scandal theme is likely to play a role
    in the run-up to the November congressional elections. Abramoff entered
    guilty pleas in a wide-ranging bribery investigation that has prompted
    calls by both parties for reform.

    The scandal has implicated at
    least one member of Congress, Republican Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, and some
    former aides to Rep. Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican who stepped down as
    majority leader.

    Reid accused Republicans of using “doublespeak” to sell their agenda.

    “When
    they wanted to let energy companies release more pollution into the
    air, they called it the ‘Clear Skies Initiative,”‘ he said. “When they
    wanted to let loggers cut down more trees and weaken environmental
    laws, they called it the ‘Healthy Forests Initiative.’

    “My
    favorite Republican doublespeak is when they wanted to give tax breaks
    to their special interest friends even though it meant adding more than
    $50 billion to our deficit, they called their effort the ‘Deficit
    Reduction Act,”‘ he said.

    Reid’s harsh criticism followed an
    apology he made this week to Republicans senators for a news release
    outlining reports of ethical problems, singling out individual senators.

    Reid apologized for the tone of the document released by his office, saying it went too far.