Rich Galen

A nod or a shake-of-the-head from Plouffe and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raises 10-15 million dollars at a DC fundraiser; or it doesn't.

Plouffe can - as Ambinder puts it - informally suggest that any House Dem who doesn't vote for the next version of the health care bill doesn't benefit from any funds raised via the President's appearance, image, voice, or signature.

No one would ever admit that had ever happened, but that's leverage in Your Nation's Capital.

Meanwhile, those very same House Democrats are lining up at the House Ethics Committee like s'mores at a summer camp color-war kick-off bonfire.

At the beginning of the week, Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, Democrat of New York City, had to "temporarily" step down from his post following an Ethics Committee finding that he allowed private entities to pay for his travel, and a slew of pending ethics investigations into his fund-raising, tax-paying, and influence-peddling activities over the past years.

No one is betting Rangel will ever regain his post.

That was in the beginning of the week. At the end of the week a Democratic Congressman from upstate New York, Eric Massa, announced he would resign effective today rather than undergo an ethics investigation into charges he had sexually harassed a male staffer.

Finally, the Democratic Governor of that fine state, David Paterson, is mired in not one, but two ethical bogs; one involving his being accused, according to the Albany Times-Union of

"interference in a domestic violence case … while a new ethics controversy raises the question of whether Mr. Paterson improperly solicited tickets to the World Series."

Paterson's original sin, of course, was irritating the NY Times by not appointing Caroline Kennedy to Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat.

A few more weeks like the last one, and the Democrats will run out of arms to twist.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at