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Friday, October 01, 2004

DeLay Admonished

You may remember this from last November. There was a marathon arm-twisting session in the House of Reprehensibles which gave us Bush's horrible Medicare bill, which in any normal presidential term would rank as the worst abomination of all, but in Bush's barely makes the top ten. One of the arms twisted was that of Nick Smith, the Republican congressman representing much of central lower Michigan west of Ann Arbor, including where my sister and nephews live. Smith later said that he was offered bribes in the form of promises of campaign contributions for his son, who was running to take his place in Congress. He also said that some Republicans promised him that his son would never make it to Congress if Smith voted against the bill. Smith did vote against the bill (and surprise! His son lost in the Republican primary in August).

Well, the House ethics committee has determined that it was Tom DeLay (R-Hell) who offered the bribe (which the committee called a "favor"), and admonished the slimeball. They also admonished Nick Smith for "speculation and exaggeration" and for "making public statements that risked impugning the reputation of the House." In other words, for making the ethics committee have to work. Impugning the reputation of the House is something he should get a medal for, IMHO. The committee also admonished Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI), whom Michigan voters may recall was elected as Michigan's Secretary of State several years ago. She defeated long-time SecState Richard Austin, in part because she said that it was improper for Austin to plaster his name in large type on the signs of every drivers' license office in the state, which it was. Miller fixed that! After Austin was defeated, his name came down quickly--and Miller's went up even quicker! I would hazard a guess that during both Austin's and Miller's tenures as SecState, far more people in Michigan would have been able to name the Secretary of State than could have named the governor. According to the NY Times:
Ms. Miller was also rebuked for promising not to support Mr. Smith's son because of the vote, an action that the panel called an "unprovoked threat of retaliation." The ethics panel said her action was significant since she is an influential figure in Michigan politics.

In a statement, Ms. Miller said she accepted the panel's "findings that I may have committed a 'discreet violation of the rules.' I also agree with the committee's finding that there was no evidence adduced of a pattern of misconduct."
What swine. Selling the nation down the toilet to enforce party loyalty.