There's plenty more in the PoliticalMoneyLine report that bears investigation if Democrats are serious about "exposing" ethically questionable travel. More than 127 travel reports filed by members listed no destinations. Twenty reports listed no trip sponsor. One hundred and six reports listed no cost figures, Fifty-one reports showed no purpose for the travel. Four reports failed to show any travel dates. No wonder some members, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have rushed to file amended reports. An aide to Pelosi acknowledged not reporting a 2004 trip to South Korea, but only after a Washington Post reporter inquired about it. The aide, said the Post, filed a full disclosure form "a few hours after the newspapers' inquiry" and sent a note to the ethics committee which said, "I did not know I was supposed to file these forms and I apologize for its lateness."
The Washington Post reported Wednesday (4/27) that House Republicans have decided to rescind a rules change they pushed through in January that led to the shutdown of the ethics committee, possibly clearing the way for consideration of charges against DeLay and others. The House Ethics Committee has not been operating because Democrats would not allow it to meet following the rules change that required an ethics complaint be dismissed if the evenly-divided panel deadlocked. We'll now see if Democrats are as enthusiastic about maintaining an ethical standard when some of their own are questioned along with Tom DeLay.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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