Sweeping Trash Under the Rug

15 11 2006

Filed under: Politics, Congress, Clean house, Pelosi, Murtha, Abramoff, Reid

Nancy Pelosi is leading the charge on “House” cleaning. She’s not off to a good start.

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t know spic from span. She’s conducting Beltway business as usual, just like the good old boys she demonized throughout the campaign.

Which congressman is Mrs. Clean considering as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence? Impeached federal judge Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., who took bribes, lied under oath and was kicked off the bench.

And which colleague is she backing for House majority leader? One of Congress’s leading dirtbags: Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa.

As if his extremist cut-and-run war strategy weren’t bad enough, Murtha’s (un)ethical record is enough to make even liberal apologists blush.

Unfortunately, Murtha’s defeated opponent, Diana Irey, couldn’t get folks to pay enough attention to his Abscam past during the campaign. But now that he is poised to assume the speakership and all its attendant perks and privileges, the Abscam scandal is front and center.

In 1980, Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in a massive bribery probe — in which undercover FBI agents videotaped Murtha entertaining a $50,000 bribe from agents posing as emissaries for Arab sheiks trying to enter our country illegally. Democrat defenders of Murtha scoff that the story is “old news.” (Liberal math: Abscam story from 1980 equals “old news.” Bush National Guard story from 1973 equals “new news.”)

But only recently have we been reminded of Abscam transcripts that paint an even uglier picture of Murtha than the short snippet of publicly available FBI video in which Murtha turned down the bribe.

In 1992, Bill Clinton pledged to run the most ethical administration in history. We know how that went. Fourteen years later, Nancy Pelosi has recycled the pledge — and is now well on her way to recycling the same old soiled legacy.

WaPo’s Ruth Marcus rejects Murtha’s whining about being “Swift-boated:”

Sorry, but I’m not buying Murtha’s argument that he’s the victim of a “Swift-boating attack” over “unfounded allegations that occurred 26 years ago.” On its own, Murtha’s Abscam conduct is disqualifying.

Even if it weren’t, though, everything in Murtha’s post-Abscam life is of a piece with the back-scratching, dealmaking style on display in the video. In a story last month, the New York Times described how Murtha has operated “a political trading post” in a back corner — the Murtha corner, it’s called — of the House floor, where Democrats and Republicans alike come to get Murtha’s blessing for earmarks or his help on close votes. As Pennsylvania Democrat Paul Kanjorski told the Times, “nobody ever leaves completely disappointed.”

Michelle Malkin says, “My woman-to-woman advice for Nancy Pelosi today: To clean a house, you take the garbage out, not in.”

Today’s Vent at Hot Air takes a further look at trash.

On the Senate side, Jack Abramoff can finger 6-8 Democrat Senators that are corrupt.

As convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff reported to federal prison today, a source close to the investigation surrounding his activities told ABC News that Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was one of the members of Congress Abramoff had allegedly implicated in his cooperation with federal prosecutors.

A spokesperson for Reid, elected yesterday as the Senate Majority Leader, said the senator had done nothing illegal or unethical.

“We have no idea what Abramoff is telling prosecutors to save his skin, but I do know that these kind of old allegations are completely ridiculous and untrue,” Sen. Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley told ABC News.

A source close to the investigation says Abramoff told prosecutors that more than $30,000 in campaign contributions to Reid from Abramoff’s clients “were no accident and were in fact requested by Reid.”

Abramoff has reportedly claimed the Nevada senator agreed to help him on matters related to Indian gambling.

Allah says, “Christmas is coming early.” And: “Exit question: will panicky Dems, fearful of the “culture of corruption” meme blowing up in their faces, opt now for Hoyer in tomorrow’s House election? The last thing they’d want to do is elect Murtha on a day when questions about Reid’s ethics are plastered on page A1 C35.”

Yesterday, Captain Ed correctly guessed Dingy Harry as a corrupt Senator.

Others: Wizbang, Stop The ACLU, La Shawn Barber

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