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New ethics panel starts 10 lawmaker probes
The Hill ^ | 4/15/09 | Mike Soraghan

Posted on 04/15/2009 7:06:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

The new independent ethics panel created to help the House police itself has started 10 reviews of lawmaker misconduct, but hasn't gotten to the point of deciding whether to refer any matters to the House ethics committee.

The information was contained in the first quarterly report of the Office of Congressional Ethics, issued Wednesday.

The report says that 37 people have contacted the office, but doesn't make clear how many were filing complaints versus simply seeking information. So it's not clear if the board has declined to review any complaints.

The OCE, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, is looking at whether Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) was involved in any improper attempts to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly tried to sell to the highest bidder.

Jackson is the only lawmaker known to be under scrutiny by the OCE, which keeps its information strictly confidential.

The OCE was created last year as part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) promise to "drain the swamp" after scandals helped her end 12 years of Republican control of Congress. Wednesday's disclosure is mandated by the legislation that created it, and comes as Republicans are lobbing their own charges of ethical misconduct by Democrats.

The ethics committee is investigating charitable fundraising by House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), at his request, and there is an FBI investigation of a lobbying firm linked closely to Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

The board that governs the OCE, chaired by former Rep. David Skaggs (D-Colo.), approved six "preliminary reviews" at its Feb. 23 meeting, the first time it could authorize such reviews. All six appear to have moved forward to a "second-phase review."

The Jackson review appears to be one of four other preliminary reviews approved April 2. Such preliminary reviews take 30 days, so no decision would have been made as to whether to move them forward.

It might not be known until the OCE's second quarterly report in July whether any reviews were forwarded to the full ethics committee for investigation.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: congress; ethics; lawmaker; panel; probes

1 posted on 04/15/2009 7:06:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

They’ll sanction the guilty, write them a nasty letter and move on. Nothing to see here.


2 posted on 04/15/2009 7:08:45 PM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I'll miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012!)
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To: NormsRevenge

10 probes , all into Republicans.

Just the number they need to control Congress absolutely.

I have a large probe for Pelosi and Reid. It is battery operated ( yeah! 12 volts).


3 posted on 04/15/2009 7:15:19 PM PDT by Candor7 (The weapons of choice against fascism are ridicule, and derision. (member NRA)
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To: NormsRevenge
Congressional Ethics — now there's a world class oxymoron.

Don't hold your breath for any good to come of this..

It will take pitch forks, tar, feathers, a few gallows and a guillotine or two the clean up this Congress of Fools, Knaves, Thieves, Marxists and Liars.

4 posted on 04/15/2009 7:23:17 PM PDT by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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