Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Washington Two Step that Turned Into a Shuffle

As the Republicans regroup after all the scandals that have broken over the past year, the GOP is looking for new leadership after Tom Delay has bowed to the inevitable and stepped aside. What still burns my hide somewhat, is the fact that it was only after Jack Abramoff plead guilty and agreed to name names is the GOP finally calling for any reform. Even though, we knew prior to this that Washington was rife with corruption, our elected politicians did not even start talking about reform until the other shoe hit the ground.

But even with DeLay on the leadership sideline, those eager to fill his shoes are not without their own tainted past. Blunt and DeLay were intertwined like Lenny Kravitz dreadlocks. (Blunt, Boehner Share Broad Network of Lobbyist Ties With DeLay)

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Representatives Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boehner of Ohio have been among the key intermediaries between Republican lawmakers and lobbyists since their party took control of the U.S. Congress in 1995.

Now, with both men vying to succeed Representative Tom DeLay as House majority leader, those ties may loom as an issue.

Representative Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, said concerns that the two men are too close to Washington's K Street lobbying corridor may encourage a dark-horse candidate to run against them. ``We have three weeks until this election, and a lot can happen between now and then,'' Flake said...

Blunt, 55, and DeLay, 58, share a network of ties as extensive as any in Congress, including links to lobbyists.

And Boehner is so much a Washington insider, only he and Jack Nicholson are allowed into the V-V-V-VIP lounge. (Boehner in line to be House majority leader).

Washington- John Boehner is an insider's insider. He not only knows how to pass laws and win allies in Congress, he also knows how to slip quietly out of the Capitol for a smoke and some schmoozing with reporters, and how to make friends among CEOs, work a golf course and throw one magnificent party.

Normally that's how one rises to the vaunted post of House majority leader, a position Boehner, from West Chester in southwest Ohio, wants now that Tom DeLay is bowing out of leadership under an ethics cloud.

But the quest by Boehner (pronounced BAY-ner) to win the No. 2 post in the House, giving him sway in leading the Republican majority, presents a dilemma. If Congress is to renounce its cozy relationships with lobbyists - the intense chase for campaign money and deal-making that's prompting outrage - Boehner may not represent a sweeping change.

Republican, Jeff Flake comments on his parties woes (In Congress, 'we simply have too much power')

"We simply have too much power," says Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., speaking of lawmakers' ability to target tax dollars for particular projects, contractors or campaign donors. "We Republicans have abused that power badly over the past several years."

And many Americans see it the same way. In a new Gallup poll, 58% of Americans think that corruption is wide spread in DC and goes way beyond the Abramoff scandal and the majority of Americans think that the Republican Congress has led the country in the wrong direction. (Most consider lobbying scandal a big deal, poll shows - In Abramoff Case, Most See Evidence of Wider Problem).

But, there is still greater hope for us. Yesterday, 9 elected Republican judges refused to throw out the charges against DeLay. Even if DeLay is acquitted, it is now absolute that the charges are not baseless.


Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

The polls are right- only the problem didn't start recently.

Simplistic as it sounds, throw them all out.

While lobbying is guaranteed by the Constitution, throwing money around to buy influence isn't.

If the took a nickel or a free trip, throw the bastards out.

Dingo said...

yup, I think we will be seeing some of the come november. I don't think any member of congress is as secure now, regardless of their district.