Democrats: Corruption? What corruption?

Rep. Maxine Waters: Another symbol of Democratic corruption (AFP)

Democratic leaders say they’ve emptied the swamp of congressional corruption. Never mind the ethics trials to come for two longtime party members.

“Drain the swamp we did, because this was a terrible place,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week of the Republican rule in the House that ended in January 2007.

Pelosi’s statement might seem odd, but it’s an emerging strategy: Separate Democratic-initiated ethics reforms from the cases of Reps. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Pelosi needs a strategy because Republicans have been adept at jumping on the troubles of Rangel, the former House Ways and Means chairman, and Waters, a senior member of the Financial Services Committee.

Republican news releases going to states and districts with close congressional races demand that Democratic candidates give up money donated by the two lawmakers.

The House Republican campaign committee immediately issued a statement after the ethics committee announced charges against Waters on Monday. Its headline: “The Dirty Details: Ethics Office Reveals Waters Charges. Panel Has ‘Substantial Reason to Believe’ Dems Have Another Ethics Problem on Their Hands.”

Waters faces three charges for requesting federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on the board of directors.

Waters fought back, in a written statement that said, “No benefit, no improper action, no failure to disclose, no one influenced: no case.”

The charges against Rangel included failing to disclose assets and income, delayed payment of federal taxes and improper use of a subsidized New York apartment for his campaign office.

Republicans love to throw back at Pelosi her “drain the swamp” promise of four years ago, when Democrats used the issue to help capture the House.

“The swamp was described in the press as a ‘criminal syndicate’ operating out of the Republican leader’s office,” she said last week in defining the phrase.

Pelosi said House Democrats have implemented “the toughest ethics reform in a generation” through “landmark legislation requiring unprecedented level of disclosure.”

“Are there going to be individual issues to be dealt with? Yes. I never said that there wouldn’t be,” Pelosi said. “But we would have a process to deal with it.”

People familiar with the Waters investigation, who were not authorized to be quoted on charges not yet made public, said Waters is accused of violating:

_A rule that House members may not exert improper influence that results in a personal benefit.

_The government employees’ ethics code, which prohibits granting or accepting special favors, for the employee or family members, that could be viewed as influencing official actions.

_A rule that members’ conduct must reflect creditably on the House.

The charges against Waters were filed July 28 by a four-member investigative panel and announced Monday without any details. An eight-member subcommittee of four Democrats and four Republicans will now conduct the Waters trial. The specifics of the allegations won’t be made public until the panel — four Democrats and four Republicans — hold its still-unscheduled organizational meeting.

Waters said in her statement: “I have not violated any House rules. Therefore, I simply will not be forced to admit to something I did not do and instead have chosen to respond to charges made by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in a public hearing.”

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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11 Responses to "Democrats: Corruption? What corruption?"

  1. griff  August 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    There’s actually an ethics committee in the House? Whodathunkit?

  2. Almandine  August 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Hey Nancy… we’re only some dumb not plumb…

  3. Thomas Bonsell  August 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    So the Democrats found two House members who seemed to serve themselves, and that is a sign of party corruption. That the two will face some sort of trial for their alleged misdeeds is not “draining the swamp”?

    We only have to go back a few years when the GOP was in control of the Congress to see a contrast. When the likes of Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham were suspected of corruption, GOP leadership fired the Ethics Committee chairman and replaced him with a party lapdog, then rewrote the ethics rules to make it virtually impossible to bring corruption charges against a Republican. Can you detect a difference?

    And how does two members of Congress serving themselves differ from the Wall Street barons, oil-company executives, Enron thieves, etc. etc. etc? Put 435 business executives in one room and see how many crooks you can find there. Seems Congress may be more ethical that the business world. By a huge margin.

    • Almandine  August 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

      Maybe the business guys didn’t take that oath. Should it make a difference?

    • Jim0001  August 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      I think standing members of Congress use taxpayers $ to “steal” elections and to be re-appointed by their constituients (except B. Hussein Obama, who was annointed),

      As I understand the system CEO’s are accountable to shareholders not the electorate. Buy stock then you can vote your shares and elect the scumbag of your choosing…

  4. Thomas Bonsell  August 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    to Almandine:

    One doesn’t have to take an oath to obey the laws; especially criminal laws.

  5. Carl Nemo  August 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    It’s interesting that the subject of oaths, loyalty etc. have arisen on this thread. First the definition of an oath:

    “Solemn affirmation or pronouncement (often accompanied by swearing to God, a revered person, scripture, or a national symbol such as the country’s constitution or flag) that what one is about to say is true, and he or she is bound by it. Lying under oath invites punishment, such as penalties for perjury.” …BusinessDictionary.com

    There’s a high possibility that the men of this nation have taken an oath either through their association with the military or simply as children in school via “their”…pledge of allegiance to the flag and the republic for which it stands. So too anyone achieving U.S. citizenship through naturalization have taken such an oath. Many if not most don’t realize this is serious business and it obligates them to fulfill the oath if necessary as long as they live.

    So even businessmen have taken an oath not to engage in activities that will diminish this nation through their daily activities; ie., globalism gone wild etc., but they do so all the time as well as servicemen and women who’ve separated from the armed forces, not realizing that their oath to this nation and its peoples still stand as surely as the day they took on such a committment. Making business decisions that are tantamount to criminality, not only violating civil and criiminal statutes, but that of traitors to their nation in terms of weakening its infrastructure for personal gain with little thought of ramifications to the greater good and well-being of the society for whom they’ve taken their oath.

    *****

    Oaths both military and the pledge…

    I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.[1] extract from Wiki

    ***

    An oath of loyalty to the U.S. flag and the nation it represents. The pledge is believed to have been the idea of an editor of “The Youth’s Companion, ” a children’s magazine. By proclamation of President Benjamin Harrison, the pledge was first recited on October 12, 1892, and after some rewording was officially adopted on Flag Day, June 14, 1924. The words “under God” were added in 1954.

    The pledge now reads: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” While reciting the pledge of allegiance, citizens stand at attention or place the right hand over the heart. Men should remove their hats, and military personnel in uniform face the flag and give the military salute.

    *****

    It’s food for thought as to what it means to be a trustworthy and stalwart citizen of the U.S. Unfortunately the globalists along with their supporters in Congress and business have been busy trying to destroy the concept of the nation state while turning earth into simply enterprise zones within their greater global plantation, the U.S. to minor status, its citizens simply reduced to the level of desperate serfs in their own land.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. Almandine  August 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Good synopsis Carl and a good point relative to the pledge of allegiance. Whether a person abrogates that pledge by conducting business in a singularly profit-minded way could be a question. The issue of criminal activity ups the ante, and truly corrupts his/her legitimacy. Thomas’ point, however, was about (435) anonymous executives being certainly corrupt to some (individual) degree; the criminality of our so-called political reps being a given.

    While I can be a jaded as the next guy, I don’t find any of it exculpatory with regard to Maxine Waters, which I took to be the implication. That’s the problem with exculpation… folks only want to clear “their” homeys.

  7. Carl Nemo  August 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks Almandine for the feedback. I agree that using Maxine Waters as the poster child for the current, ‘staged’ corruption scandal is seemingly biased.

    I was trying to sketch in a sense of nation with somewhat narrower constricts by today’s standards.

    Seemingly I am so burnt out and jaded relative to the evil that both men and women do to our collective detriment, makes me somewhat boring…no? : )

    My apologies. I get too heavy at times. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Jim0001  August 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks, one minor caveat, Veterans can now render a hand salute rather than place their hands over their hearts. GWB got this right, it’s a +.

    • Almandine  August 6, 2010 at 8:17 am

      Not a problem, Carl, I too must escape from time to time for mental relief. The problem it seems to me is that blogging, commenting, whatever you want to call it is the equivalent of psychological counseling… the goal being to “get over” one’s issues. However, the positive feedback loop of modern US politics doesn’t allow closure at that level – thus we continue to stew in the juices. The only real solution is to get out there among ‘em and fight for what one wants, which of course means commitment beyond mere words.

      Walking the walk, as it were.

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