In what is becoming more and more reminiscent of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, where the pigs take over the farm and turn to the ways which they had long admonished about their human keepers, the House of Representatives today voted, along party lines, to refer a GOP resolution to remove House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel, to the House ethics committee.
The Associated Press story can be found at Brietbart.com.
The vote was 246-153 for referral, basically rendering the resolution meaningless and keeping Mr. Rangel, who has been under an ethics investigation for almost a year now, as the head of the committee which oversees tax law for the country. This was the third failed attempt for removal by the GOP.
Now, before anyone gets upset about name calling or some other matter, my only reference to Animal Farm here is to point out that the Democrats, and Speaker Pelosi in particular, pledged in 2007, upon their takeover of Congress, to “make this the most honest, ethical and open Congress in history.” And instead, have come to display the same tendencies toward corruption that they claimed the Republicans before them to have had.
During the lead up to the November 2006 elections, when the Democrats retook control of the House and Senate, there was a constant barrage of claims that the Republicans had reached epic heights in their “culture of corruption.” In a February 2006 Press Release from Ms. Pelosi’s House website, where the Democrats Honest Leadership and Open Government Act is announced, the term “corrupt” or “corruption” is used five times about the Republicans in Congress at the time. And when the Mark Foley scandal broke, it was heralded ad infinitum as proof of Republican corruption. It turned out to be the nail in the coffin for the Republicans in their loss of both the House and Senate in 2006.
In 2007, after the Democrats had regained control of Congress, they passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, which was supposed to put new limits on Congress and lobbyists and reign in corruption all around.
So what has happened in the Democrat-controlled Congress since then?
Charles Rangel (D), long-time Representative from New York, has come under investigation in regards to breaking tax law, while overseeing the very committee that writes tax code for our country. And today, was voted to be kept in his very powerful Chairmanship by the Democrats who control the House.
William Jefferson (D-LA) was found guilty of 11 corruption charges this last August FOUR years after his DC home was raided by the FBI and $90,000 was found in his freezer. He was indicted in 2007 on corruption charges but allowed to stay in Speaker Pelosi’s House until he lost his re-election bid in December 2008.
Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad are known to have received “sweetheart mortgages” as VIPs from Countrywide, but have been cleared of ethics violations of “receiving outside gifts”. They were admonished for not taking more care in their dealings with Countrywide, whose former CEO, Angelo Mozilo, is now charged with fraud and insider trading, and who the “Friends of Angelo” loan program is named after. This is the program which Dodd, who is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Conrad received their deals.
It is time for Speaker Pelosi to live up to her promise of having the most honest, ethical and open Congress in history. If she doesn’t do something soon the same charges the Democrats leveled against the Republicans in 2006 will come back to haunt her.