Tuesday, December 5, 2006


This is from today's edition of National Journal's Hotline:

Pelosi's Third Ethical Quandry

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), who is being investigated by the FBI, is in line to take over the House panel that sets the bureau's budget. Mollohan is the ranking Dem on the appropriations subcommittee overseeing the DoJ, which includes the FBI. This "pending appointment poses an ethical dilemma" for Pelosi, who helped fellow Dems win by "vowing to clean up" Capitol Hill's "culture of corruption."

CREW exec dir Melanie Sloan: "If the Democrats want to be taken seriously as the party of ethics reform, then every time one of their members gets into trouble, they're going to have to take it seriously." A Pelosi spokesperson didn't respond to requests for comment, while Mollohan's office and the DoJ "declined to comment" (Faler/Forsythe, Bloomberg News, 12/5).

Nancy Pelosi doesn't really need another barrage of speculation as to whether she will be appointing ethically challenged Democrats to Chair anything. After all of the negative press following her endorsement of Rep. Jack Murtha, then the annoyingly drawn out Intelligence Committee saga, this will be disposed of in quick measure.

By passing over Mollohan, Pelosi can name Rep. Jose Serrano, further reaching out to the Hispanic Caucus. Given the ever-increasing Hispanic population in the U.S. and their increased support of the Democratic Party in the midterm election, this appointment would make a great deal of sense. It would also not be likely to anger the Congressional Black Caucus, as the only member of the Caucus on the Subcommittee is last in line for the post.

This seems to be a win-win-win for Pelosi.