Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay is once again getting his money’s worth from the man he installed as chairman of the House Ethics Committee. In an interview published today in The Yakima Herald, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) responded to questions about DeLay’s indictment on conspiracy charges, by actually quoting the disgraced, former House Majority Leader:
“The majority leader has said this is a political vendetta […] if you look at Ronnie Earle’s background, he’s done these things.”
The normally low-profile Hastings’ — who has pocketed $5,930 of ARMPAC cash, and who has his own potential ethics problems — was best known for accomplishing little if anything in office… a track record of non-accomplishment and inaction that made him perfectly suited to chairing an Ethics Committee the GOP leadership would prefer remain marginalized by partisan bickering. All DeLay demanded in return for the plum assignment was absolute loyalty, and that’s exactly what Hastings plans to deliver.
Whatever the ethics panel does with DeLay, it will not pursue the same line of inquiry as the Texas district attorney, Hastings said.
“We don’t have the resources,” he said, adding that historically, panels have not tried to duplicate outside investigations.
As he has done consistently, Hastings declined to comment on anything the committee might be considering with regards to DeLay, citing House rules.
Yeah, that’s right… Hastings declined to comment on what the Committee might do in regards to DeLay… except to say that DeLay is a victim of a “political vendetta”, that Ronnie Earle has a history of blatant partisanship, and that the committee doesn’t plan to investigate the conspiracy charges.
Hey Doc… ever hear of the phrase “No comment”…?
What we have under Hastings and Republican control, is a House Ethics Committee that has totally abdicated it’s responsibility to monitor and regulate the ethics of House members. Given his prior statements, it is hard not to be cynical when Hastings tells the Herald:
“All of us are aware we have to do what is ethically right.”
The question is whether Hastings and his colleagues will actually do what they know to be ethically right? And Hastings’ answer to the Herald was apparently, “No.”
[Cross-posted to Daily Kos]