Skip to comments.With Massa, Democrats' Bad Week Just Got Worse (Seat filled by special election or mid-terms)
Posted on 03/05/2010 4:06:34 PM PST by Libloather
With Massa, Democrats' Bad Week Just Got Worse
By Liz Halloran
March 5, 2010 4:57 pm
The Democrats' very bad week just got worse.
First-term New York Rep. Eric Massa, the subject of a House ethics investigation for allegedly harassing a male staffer, announced Friday that he will resign.
Massa's plan to officially step down Monday comes just two days after longtime Rep. Charles Rangel, also under an ethics cloud, was forced to resign as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
In fact, a resignation announcement that Massa posted on his congressional website sits just above his statement lauding Rangel's decision to step down as committee chair as "the right thing...while he is under investigation from the Ethics Committee."
Rangel's departure from the chair was an embarrassment to him and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has stood behind the powerful African American leader as ethics questions long swirled about corporate-sponsored trips, rent-controlled apartments and delinquent taxes.
It's unclear how Massa's departure will affect Pelosi's drive to secure votes for health care overhaul legislation. A proponent of a single-payer system, he voted against the original House health care bill because, he said, it wasn't robust enough.
As of late Friday afternoon, the speaker had not commented on Massa's resignation plans.
The departure of Massa, a retired Navy commander who is married and the father of two children, adds to the growing narrative of Democratic scandal. And it undermines Pelosi's promise, upon becoming speaker in 2007, to "drain the swamp" after Republicans lost their majority - in part, because of scandals that plagued them.
The hullabaloo in the House also comes on the heels of revelations about the mounting problems of New York Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat who has been implicated in a burgeoning scandal that includes an attempt to hush up domestic abuse allegations against a top aide.
Ironically, Massa's seat could either be filled by a special election, or left open until the November mid-term election -- it's up to the New York governor, at this moment, Paterson.
In his resignation statement, Massa acknowledges that a member of his staff "believed I had made statements that made him feel "uncomfortable"." He said he learned that he was the target of an ethics investigation when he "read it on the Internet."
However, House Majority Leader Steney Hoyer said in a statement earlier this week that during the week of Feb. 8th, he was notified by a member of Massa's staff that misconduct allegations had been made against the congressman.
Hoyer said his staff "immediately" informed Massa of what the majority leader had been told, and instructed the congressman's staff to bring the allegation to the attention to the House ethics committee.
In his statement, Hoyer said he did not know the veracity of the allegations.
Massa previously said that a cancer scare prompted his announcement earlier this week that he would not seek re-election.
Just my little conspiracy theory.
Well, drain that swamp.
Here is an odd question for the masses.......if there are many scandals that come out of the woodwork and the parties involved resign before the healtcare vote but are not replaced before the vote.......
Does this scenario alter the number of actual votes needed for Penazi to get in the House vote? Could it lower it by two or three? I mean, if you cannot get the votes needed....why not work with what you have by using what you got?
Just a thought
The article does not state that the Governor has that power.
AHOOGAAAH! Is the cancer scare Kaposi sarcoma?
nice. i have an in law that worked on his campaign to get him elected. needless to say, all massa bragging is removed from his FB page already!
In emergencies, rules must be made.
Lotsa dirty rats these days. Who am I missing?
...faux Elephants... Arnold- the muscle head
Too many Jr. Pols that aren't touchable (yet?)
zero just night be going down
You can’t appoint House members.
WHEW! (My google search produced nothing.)
That would be very intriguing if you could. You could appoint people to districts as Governor that might not necessarily be able to win. Imagine in, for example, NY if the Governor were a Republican and able to appoint a temporary successor to Rangel. Then again, a Democrat would also be unencumbered to appoint a radical leftist in a Conservative GOP district. You can see why “special elections” are the only way to go ultimately.
Never underestimate the power of Democrats to abuse, change or make up rules as they go.
And who's going to stop them? The courts? That's a laugh...
(P.S. Not arguing with you -- hope what you said stands up...)
State law controls whether a special election must be called or the seat is left vacant until the next election.
The governor would be responsible for enforcing the state law.
Yes! - Pelousey now needs 216 votes instead of 218 for Obamacare. Also interesting is that Massa was a No vote. Does anyone else think he was pushed? Especially when the allegations against Rangel ( a Yes vote) are more serious and more numerous.
Correction - 217 votes
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