All is not lost, for there is a very simple thing the Democrats can do to insure they are the anti-corruption party and sweep the 2008 elections in the process.
When it comes to politics it's often a case of back room deals, secret alliances and paybacks. These things are not always bad as politicians often have to compromise to get legislation passed. It only becomes a problem when only one side compromises, or a compromise is purchased with money or gifts.
In this last election the Democrats did very well in regards to governorships. In fact, 28 states now have Democrats at the helm.
You might be wondering where I am going with this...
When a member of Congress is removed from office the Governor of the state from which they hail gets to pick a temporary replacement for them. Now do you understand?
Pennsylvania was won by democrat Ed Rendell. What Representative hails from Pennsylvania with a questionable past in regard to ethics and corruption? Why Representative John Murtha. He was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in the ABSCAM scandal.
An excerpt of the FBI videotaped Murtha as saying,
"I'm not interested...at this point. [If] we do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested, maybe I won't."to $50,000 cash right after Murtha had offered to provide names of businesses and banks in his district where money could be legally invested. source
We may never know the truth of Murtha's involvement as the democrats in charge of the investigation closed it before it was done. The special prosecutor in charge of the investigation resigned upon hearing of this.
So, step 1 is the removal of Rep John Murtha. The governor can then appoint someone with a better record to replace him until the next general election.
Representative Alcee Hastings is a trickier matter. Republican Jeb Bush still controls the governorship in Florida.
Alcee Hastings was once a judge, before he was impeached over a bribery scandal. A Democratic-controlled house voted 413-3 to impeach him (Yes, even Nancy Pelosi voted to impeach him) and it went on to the Senate where he was convicted.
Pelosi wants him to head the House intelligence committee.
She wants a man, who was convicted in a bribery scandal to be in charge of the House intelligence committee??? Someone who has said, "the price is right" is going to be in charge of our House intelligence committee? Bite the bullet Democrats, get this guy out of the House and let Jeb appoint a Republican. It will not effect your majority and it might even make you look good in that you gave up a house seat to prove you are anti-corruption!
Step 2 is the removal of Alcee Hastings and giving the Republicans "one" seat so as to look bi-partisan.
What about William Jefferson? Remember him, the guy with $90,000 in his freezer? Governor Kathleen Blanco is still a Democrat. Let's throw out Jefferson and put in someone with integrity?
Step 3 is the removal of Jefferson.
I've only listed three Representatives on my list here as it is a good place to start. By giving these three men the boot the Democrats can show that they are serious about getting rid of corruption among elected officials.
By cleaning their own house out first they will have more weight when they pressure Republicans to do the same.
The big question is, "how serious are the Democrats?" they've had a decade to sit around and blame the Republicans when things go wrong. They've held back their ideas because, "the Republicans will steal them" if we tell you what our plans are.
Well Democrats, you are now in the driver's seat. It's time to put up or shut-up. You've got two short years to make it happen.
Oh, and please, don't go down the impeachment road. Bush will be gone in two years and you'll only come off as a bunch of vindictive left wing loonies.
There, and that's what I have to say about that!
-- Danny Mc Guire