In the run up to the 2006 elections the Democrats ran on a promise to rule over our legislative branch with the highest of ethical standards. In my opinion they justly ballyhooed from the top of their soapboxes about the Republican Culture of Corruption promising to do better. They also attacked Republicans about a lack of leadership and competency. So the question begs – since taking power in 2006 how have they done? With that let's take a look:
More below the fold.
- One of the first gems we had with the new leadership in 2006 was Plane-Gate: Video. Remember that one? That was when Speaker Pelosi felt that the aircraft used by her predecessor was beneath her and that she deserved a bigger more expensive one.
- Only a few months in control and Speaker Pelosi has to ask Alan Mollonhan to step down as the ranking member of the Ethics Committee in April 2006 amid mounting public pressure due to an ongoing FBI investigation in to Mollonhan's role in earmarking and real estate deals.
- Oh and let's not forget Tuna-Gate. That is the time when Pelosi was leading the charge for a new minimum wage for everyone except Starkist Tuna packing plants that were based in Samoa – I am sure it was pure coincidence that Starkist Tuna's headquarters is in Speaker Pelosi's home district.
- In a continuation of the Mollohan saga – after being embarrassed into asking Mollonhan to step down from the Ethics Committee, Pelosi leaves Mollonhan on the very committee that oversees the budget of the FBI, the very agency that was investigating Mollohan. After this little ethical dilemma was called out by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Pelosi forced Mollohan to recuse himself.
- The Democrat packed $$Billions in the form of earmarks to Farm subsidies into the war spending bills in order to logroll Bluedogs into voting in favor of it.
- A year after taking control – The Democrats still taking direct fire and solid hits on earmarking including a cool $13 Million for a World Toilet summit.
- Also a year later – is this what is called pay to play?
- William Jefferson – Yet another questionable appointment by the Democrats
- Remember how the democrats got the public all upset about lavish golf trips that were taken by the Republicans? Well they clearly took care of that – NOT!
- And we just cannot forget about how much effort went into cleaning up all those earmarks. Again here. I especially liked David Obey's comments on the matter: "The fact is, that an earmark is something that is requested by an individual member. This item was not requested by any individual member. It was put in the bill by me!"
- Speaking of Obey and Earmarks.
- 9800 Earmarks worth $10 Billion in the 2007 Omnibus.
- Threats and thugery from the top. Nice job Nancy.
- Remember Nancy's attempts at playing Secretary of State? Remember what happened when she went and visited with those foreign leaders? I do.
- More hiding of pet projects
- Remember the Norman Hsu thing?
- Oink Oink – Murtha's Pork Feast. Video
- Mary Landrieu's earmarking problems.
- Favorable loans for Laura Richardson, Barack Obama, Kent Conrad, Chris Dodd, and probably some I've forgotten.
- Ahh can you feel the love?
- Charles Rangel's rent control apartments, violations of campaign finance law, tax evasion, and parking spot.
- PMA group connections with Murtha, Visclosky, and Moran.
Honorable mentions (in no particular order):
- Bill Richardson
- Rod Blagojevich
- Obama, Durbin, and K Street
- Eliot Spitzer
- Kwame Kilpatrick
- Tom Daschle
- Dianne Wilkerson
Wow – it's been quite an interesting couple of years. And I have probably forgotten some things. I can only imagine how much more interesting it is going to get with the Democrats now in full control of the Whitehouse as well. If one compares current day to the early days of American politics where Presidents defended their wife's honor on the front lawn of the Whitehouse, it is easy to see that we have come a long way. Though… we're not there yet. Maybe one day Americans will demand more, maybe even enough of our officials.