Pelosi: It will take a woman to clean up the House

Nancy Pelosi stands to make life much tougher for President Bush if the November 7 elections net her a powerful job that puts her just two steps behind him.

The 66-year-old California liberal stands to become the first woman to lead the House of Representatives if she and fellow Democrats win control of the chamber from Bush’s Republicans.

She vows to ensure Congress acts as an equal to the most powerful man in the world.

Foley complained of White House snubs

Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley complained to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush two years ago that the White House snubbed him during presidential visits to the state, according to e-mails obtained by the Palm Beach Post.

In e-mails the newspaper excerpted on its Web site (http://www.palmbeachpost.com) on Thursday, Foley asked the governor to intervene on his behalf with his brother, President George W. Bush.

“Have I done something to offend the White House? … I am always getting the shaft,” Foley wrote to Gov. Bush on September 29, 2004.

Bob Ney cops a plea

Pressed by Republican House colleagues to resign, Rep. Bob Ney is the first congressman to fall in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling case, a controversy that has reached the Bush White House and Capitol Hill.

In his sixth term, Ney is to enter a guilty plea Friday to a pair of felonies that could send him to prison for up to 10 years.

Ney signed papers a month ago admitting to charges of conspiracy and making false statements, acknowledging that he had deprived the public of his honest services.

Nonprofits laundered funds for lobbyist Abramoff

Five conservative nonprofit groups laundered money and wrote opinion pieces for disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and sold their influence with U.S. government officials, according to a Senate report.

The Senate Finance Committee said in the report released on Thursday that the five groups probably violated their tax-exempt status by working closely with Abramoff, the lobbyist at the center of a growing corruption scandal.

Foley scandal boosts Democratic poll numbers

Democratic candidates have a big edge on Republicans one month before elections to decide control of Congress, a flurry of new polls said on Monday, with ratings for President George W. Bush and Congress dropping after the Capitol Hill sex scandal.

A USA Today/Gallup poll gave Democrats a 23-point edge on Republicans in the battle for Congress, while a CNN poll gave Democrats a 21-point lead.

Win or lose, Hastert out as Speaker after November mid-terms

The top House Republican, under fire for his handling of a Capitol Hill sex scandal, gained support on Wednesday but new questions arose about when he was told of a former congressman’s troubling behavior toward teenage boys.

A senior party aide said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who oversees the congressional intern program at the center of the scandal, could be forced out after the November 7 elections instead of immediately, as has been urged by some critics. Hastert has said he intends to stay on the job.

Former Virginia Gov. Warner says ‘no’ to White House run

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, considered a strong potential contender for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, said on Thursday he would not run for the White House.

Warner, a moderate Democrat who left the governor’s office early this year with extremely high approval ratings, said the surprise decision was not based on a political calculation about whether he could win the presidency.

“While politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge, at this point I want to have a real life,” Warner said in a statement.

In the eye of a political storm

A microcosm of a nation divided, Iowa is settling in for four weeks of stormy political weather. From Waterloo’s aging brick factories to the riverfront gambling palaces in Davenport, two political newcomers seeking an open House seat are fighting over the minimum wage, Social Security and the war in Iraq.

A little farther west, where cornfields meet hog farms, Republicans claim that a House veteran is part of a Congress out of control. Democrats, in turn, blame President Bush and GOP lawmakers for keeping the country on the wrong track.

Another case of rampant Republican racism

A state lawmaker who wants to reinstate a 1950s federal deportation program known as “Operation Wetback” is under fire again for sending supporters information from a white separatist group.

Republican Rep. Russell Pearce has apologized for e-mailing the article from the West Virginia-based National Alliance. But that hasn’t stopped criticism from all directions, including state GOP leaders.

Arizona Republican Chairman Matt Salmon called the e-mail a “severe mistake,” while U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth says he no longer supports Pearce’s re-election bid.