In a typical MSM Washington Post rather biased piece (probably derived from Democrat Party talking points) the case is made: GOP Worries Ethics Issue May Hurt Party in ’06:
After enlarging their majority in the past two elections, House Republicans have begun to fear that public attention to members’ travel and relations with lobbyists will make ethics a potent issue that could cost the party seats in next year’s midterm races.
In what Republican strategists call “the DeLay effect,” questions plaguing House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) are starting to hurt his fellow party members, who are facing news coverage of their own trips and use of relatives on their campaign payrolls. Liberal interest groups have begun running advertising in districts where Republicans may be in trouble, trying to tie the incumbents to their leaders’ troubles.
What Republican strategists? Doubtful they would divulge anything but spin to the Washington Post.
And the Lefties are going to run ads where they think an incumbent is vulnerable.
So, where is the story here – NOWHERE!
Among those endangered are at least two committee chairmen and several other senior members. Congressional districts that traditionally have been safe for Republicans could become more competitive, according to party officials.
In Howard Dean’s or Harry Reid’s dreams maybe.
Democrats are using allegations about influence peddling to recruit opponents for several of the chamber’s most senior Republicans. DeLay, who just a few years ago seemed invulnerable, now is certain to face a heavily funded Democratic challenge. Former four-term representative Nick Lampson, who lost in November after a redistricting engineered by DeLay, has filed as a candidate in DeLay’s suburban Houston district.
This aricle is just biased crap.
Let’s look at some facts Flap posted some time ago: Polititicans Who Live in Glass Houses: Should Disclose Travel Timely:
The scutiny of House Majority leader Tom Delay has led to the belated disclosure of at least 198 previously unreported special interest trips by House members and their aides, including eight years of travel by the second-ranking Democrat.
At least 43 House members and dozens of aides had failed to meet the one-month deadline in ethics rules for disclosing trips financed by organizations outside the U.S. government.
The AP review of thousands of pages of records covered pre-2005 travel that was disclosed since early March. That’s when news stories began scrutinizing DeLay’s travel, prompting lawmakers to comb through their files to make sure they had disclosed their travel.
While most of the previously undisclosed trips occurred in 2004, some date back to the late 1990s. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer recently disclosed 12 trips, the oldest dating back to 1997.
Stacey Bernards, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Democrat, said the office searched the files after the travel issue was raised initially by “Republicans doing opposition research to deflect from their own ethical issues.”
Ok, so let’s look at the miscreants – both Republican and Democrat:
Rep. Ellen Tauscher – 21 undisclosed trips – Democrat from California
Rep. Luis Gutierrez – 20 undisclosed trips – Democrat from Illinois
Rep. Elijah Cummings – 13 undisclosed trips – Democrat from Maryland
Republican and Democratic House members were nearly equal rules violators in failing to disclose their personal trips within 30 days after the trip’s completion. There were 23 GOP members, 19 Democrats and 1 independent, all of them months or years late in their reporting to the House public records office.
Staff members for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., disclosed 11 prior trips.
Staff members for Tom DeLay, R-Texas, had 4
Rep. John Linder R-Georgia belatedly filed 9 trips
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California
belatedly filed 9 trips
Among the most expensive trips:
_Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah and his wife, Amy, traveled to Australia last November, listing a combined airfare of $24,804 paid by the American Australian Association. The nonprofit group says it is devoted to strengthening relations between the United States and two allies, Australia and New Zealand. Matheson said meals and lodging were picked up by the Australian government, but no amounts were specified.
_Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo., and his wife, Claudia, traveled to Israel and Spain last November and December, listing the cost at $21,226. The travel, for participation in a Jerusalem conference, was financed by the Michael Cherney Foundation. The organization has various charity projects in Israel, including help for victims of suicide bombings.
_Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., and his wife, Lynne, traveled to Israel and Jordan in January, 2004 at a cost of $19,650. Linder said the trip, sponsored by The Jerusalem Fund, was designed to promote international understanding.
Waters, the California Democrat, insisted her late reports were unrelated to DeLay’s troubles, and blamed those who paid her way.
“Sometimes they run late because the people who are responsible for inviting you have to get you all the receipts and they are so slow,” Waters said.
There is plenty of reform due the House of Representatives, but scapegoat Tom Delay – NOT!
Caltain Ed over at Captain’s Quarters has this analysis.