Appointing donors to your legal defense to committee overseeing your ethics... it's beyond parody. And you think these fools aren't going to overreach in the coming months?
House Republican leaders tightened their control over the ethics committee yesterday by ousting its independent-minded chairman, appointing a replacement who is close to them and adding two new members who donated to the legal defense fund of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).
Republican officials have spent months taking steps to ensure DeLay's political survival in case he is indicted by a Texas grand jury investigating political fundraising, and House leadership aides said they needed to have the ethics committee controlled by lawmakers they can trust....
Republican leaders put on the committee two new members who have donated to a DeLay legal fund: Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Tex..) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). Smith gave DeLay $10,000, making him among the seven largest donors among congressional members, and Cole gave $5,000, according to an analysis of disclosure records by the watchdog group Public Citizen.
Hefley himself puts the move in the right context:
Integrity?! Ha ha! Of the institution! Ha ha ha! Ha HA HA!
Hefley said in an interview yesterday that... there is "a bad perception out there that there was a purge in the committee and that people were put in that would protect our side of the aisle better than I did."
"Nobody should be there to protect anybody," he said. "They should be there to protect the integrity of the institution."