Politics

Hastert Should Start Naming Names

CREDIT:

Yesterday, Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV) refused to reorganize the Ethics Committee, despite an offer by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) to investigate Tom DeLay. Here was Speaker Dennis Hastert’s reaction:

There are “probably four or five cases out there dealing with top-level Democrats. There’s a reason they don’t want to go to the ethics process.”

Two responses:

1. If Dennis Hastert knows of members, from either party, who have violated House rules, he has an obligation to start naming names. America deserves an ethical Congress.

2. Haster’s claim that Mollohan is trying to protect his own makes no sense. The offer was rejected by Mollohan because DeLay refuses to restore the rules of the Ethics Committee, which allowed an investigation to go forward in the event of a 5-5 split. (The Ethics Committee is the only committee in Congress that is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.) DeLay insists that no investigation move forward with fewer than six votes. In others words, the rules Mollohanwants will make it easier for Democrats to be investigated.