Friday, July 01, 2005

No more delay for DeLay

The House of Representatives has been operating under a neutered Ethics Committee for the past few months due to the Republicans insistence that they put party loyalty over their constitutional duties. Not anymore:

Leaders of the House ethics committee broke through a months-long stalemate over staffing Thursday, making it possible to investigate Majority Leader Tom DeLay and conduct other business.

The evenly divided committee, which investigates member misconduct, has been shut down all year by partisan bickering.

Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and senior Democrat Alan Mollohan of West Virginia negotiated the agreement. The key part of the deal would allow personal staff aides to the leaders to be their liaisons to the committee's nonpartisan professional staff — but have no managerial responsibilities.


While Democratic leaders have called for an investigation of DeLay, the GOP leader has accused Democrats of trying to stall ethics committee operations to ensure an investigation lasts into 2006 — an election year.

DeLay was admonished on three separate issues last year by the committee, formally called the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

With the agreement, the committee can now take advantage of extra funds it was allotted this year to hire additional investigative staff, including a chief counsel who also would serve as staff director.

Accountability is a funny thing. It's like a shadow; always following you. Eventually a big spotlight is shown in your direction, causing it to grow as tall as a Halliburton skyscraper.

DeLay's time is coming. He will not be able to escape his shady dealings for much longer.

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