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Pelosi flip flops, appoints Jefferson

Posted by Stephen on March 1, 2007

Is Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) in the habit of contradicting her proclamations?

After stating that Democrats would seek high ethical standards from representatives, and removing Democrat William Jefferson of Louisiana from the House Ways and Means Committee, the Speaker may have reconsidered her position on ethics reform.

“Our House Democratic Caucus is determined to uphold a high ethical standard. We set it. And now we are doing it,” said Pelosi. Unfortunately, as they say, that was then.

This is now. CNN’s Andrea Koppel reports that “Congressman Jefferson has been re-elected to a ninth term. Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the House. And even though the FBI’s investigation continues, she has just given Jefferson a new assignment on another high-profile House committee, Homeland Security.”

Unapologetic about the apparent flip-flop, Pelosi explained Jefferson is from Louisiana, hit hard by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Pelosi defended her actions by stating that she “removed him from the Ways and Means Committee, that something to do with the accusations made against him. Homeland Security does not.”

Apparently, ethical standards are not a measuring stick for Pelosi in regards to Homeland Security.

Congressman Roy Blunt, Minority Whip, agrees. “And the idea that Homeland Security is somehow less important than the tax-writing committee, I think is a ludicrous idea,” said Blunt.

FBI agents raided the congressional office of Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson in May of last year, alleging they’d found $90,000 in bribes stuffed in his freezer. Jefferson has maintained his innocence saying about his removal from the Ways and Means Committee, “It was more of a scapegoat thing for the convenience of an argument that Ms. Pelosi wants to make to gain an advantage in a political debate.”

Republicans say Jefferson will have access to sensitive and closely-guarded intelligence and accuse Pelosi of being, at best, inconsistent. Republicans will try to block the nomination but it is highly unlikely they have enough votes to prevail. For those who voted with the belief that change would follow the Democrats take over of Congress, these events have to be disappointing to say the least.

The FBI continues their investigation and according to Koppel, “Kevin Bonn (ph), one of the producers at CNN, checked with the FBI today. They said that they are continuing the investigation. That’s all they’ll say. But the implication is, or the indications we’ve gotten, is that there could be some movement next month, or rather in April.”

Meanwhile, two of Jefferson’s associates, one of them a former close aide of his, are going to be sentenced to prison tomorrow. One of them admitted to bribing Congressman Jefferson.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and while the Congressman may soon realize that is a recipe for disaster, Speaker Pelosi may find that sticking to her word would have been a better choice for her, for Democrats, and for the country.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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