Skip to comments.Hefley [R-Co] alleges ethics retaliation
Posted on 03/17/2006 10:57:41 AM PST by SolidSupplySide
WASHINGTON A new piece of ethics reform legislation is Rep. Joel Hefley's strongest statement yet that he felt retaliation last year over his handling of a complaint against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
In the past, Hefley, R-Colorado Springs, has downplayed speculation about his removal from the ethics committee chairmanship in early 2005, shortly after the committee admonished DeLay for actions related to campaign fundraising.
"If they want someone new, I'm not going to accuse them of retaliation," Hefley said in February 2005.
But this week, Hefley joined one of two other ousted committee members, Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., in proposing new rules that would toughen ethics enforcement and prevent ethics committee leaders from being ousted without a two-thirds vote of the full House of Representatives.
In an interview at his office overlooking the U.S. Capitol, Hefley was asked if he now believes there was retaliation in 2005, when Republican leaders removed him, Hulshof and Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, and soon after fired the top lawyers who worked on the DeLay investigation.
"I think there was en element of that. There's no question about it," Hefley said.
"One of the things it taught me is, in order for the committee to work properly, you can't have retaliation for the decisions you make," he said.
House Republican leaders consistently have denied there was any retaliation, although they were forced to back down from rules changes that critics called an attempt to shield DeLay from further scrutiny.
Hefley recently announced he will end his 20-year run in Congress by retiring at the end of the year. Before he goes, he is trying to address Capitol Hill's ongoing lobbying scandal by leaving behind a stronger, more independent ethics committee, which is officially known as the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
The new Hefley-Hulshof bill would create six-year terms for ethics committee members, ban members from consulting with their party leadership on cases, give members subpoena power earlier in the fact-finding process, and mandate ethics training for lawmakers. It also would give the committee more power to scrutinize privately-funded travel by members of Congress, and require lobbying records including lists of gifts to lawmakers to be disclosed on the Internet.
With a flurry of reform proposals lately, Democrats and Republicans appear to be in an "arms race on who's the most righteous," Hefley said. But he and Hulshof said the real solution is toughening the enforcement procedures that already are in place.
"We proved that it can work, and it can work in a bipartisan way," Hefley said.
Some will approve of Hefley's plan to enforce ethical standards on Congressmen. Others will think he's a crank for doing that very thing.
Geeezzzz...this post needed an 'anti-DeLay' ALERT from the poster, SolidSupplySide [aka; Butthole!] but it is what it is.
If these 3 whiney-a$$ed, a$$holes don't like the way the GOP leadership runs the majority they should switch their affiliation to demonRATs and try to get elected as what they are...demonRATs.
Witness and judiciary intimidation aren't allowed in legal proceedings. Don't see how this is any different. There needs to be permanent oversight of Congressional ethics. I'd prefer to see it come from outside of Congress, however (foxes don't make the best guardians of chicken-coops). A citizen's task-force selected in the same manner as a trial-jury would be the best answer, IMHO.
Thank you for defending Hefley. He's a good egg with more backbone and moral fiber than 99% of the crooks up on the Hill, ATM. The way he was 'rewarded' for 20 years of dedicated public service, leadership and party loyalty is disgusting.
"Witness and judiciary intimidation aren't allowed in legal proceedings. Don't see how this is any different. There needs to be permanent oversight of Congressional ethics. I'd prefer to see it come from outside of Congress, however (foxes don't make the best guardians of chicken-coops). A citizen's task-force selected in the same manner as a trial-jury would be the best answer, IMHO."
Well, thank you, Pilgrim, I'm certainly a better person having heard your humble opinion expressed.
Since neither the Democrats or the Republicans want ethics reform, Hefley and Hulshof are wasting their time.
>>> I truly see a split in the GOP base over ethics.
You're crazy. There is not going to be any GOP split on this issue. If anything the GOP has pulled together to fight the Democrats on this matter, except for the RINO's.
Posted by TAB
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