John McCaslin

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, is downright disgusted with Rep. Tom DeLay, what with the pair of indictments handed down against the Texas Republican.

So she sat down and wrote about her displeasure, mailing her opinions to a fellow House minority leader in the Connecticut General Assembly. (Pelosi, obviously, has come to think that Democrats sit in the minority of every elected body in the country.)

Polite Republican that he is, state House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward took the time to write back.

"Thank you for . . . alerting me to alleged Republican 'abuse of power' and 'arrogance and corruption' in Congress," began Ward, observing that legislative impropriety and abuse of power have long been of concern to him in his minority position.

"Unfortunately, there is a rich history in Connecticut of 'arrogance and corruption' by the majority party's legislators," he said.

Pelosi then read about the Democratic lawmaker from Norwalk who was convicted of accepting a cash bribe for helping somebody obtain a pistol permit; about the Democrat from Hartford who resigned when slapped with 85 criminal counts of bribery, fraud and witness tampering; and the Democrat from Pomfret who resigned after pleading guilty to charges of sexual abuse.

"Just last month, state Sen. Ernest Newton of Bridgeport resigned his seat and pled guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for securing state contracts, and abusing campaign funds," Ward said. "It should be noted that all the legislators I mention have one important thing in common with you, congresswoman: They are all Democrats.

"P.S. It is my fondest hope that your assumption that the Democrats are the minority in the Connecticut House proves to be prophetic," Ward said.


What a week it's been in the life of Harriet Miers.

It's even hard for the White House to keep tabs on who supports and who opposes President Bush's choice to sit on the Supreme Court. So, the president's lieutenants have kept busy all week "outreaching" (we think that's what it's called) to the various factions.

This process is best explained by White House spokesman Scott McClellan:

Reporter: "Scott, the president has said that religion was part of Harriet Miers' life, and the White House's outreaching has mentioned the fact that she does go to this conservative Christian church -"

Mr. McClellan: "Outreaching - reaching out."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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