The Obama administration and the new Congress are quickly handing over to Republicans the same “culture of corruption” issue that Democrats used so effectively against the GOP before coming to power.
Freshman Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., is only the latest embarrassment.
Senate Democrats accepted Burris because they believed what he told them: He was clean. Burris now admits he tried to raise money for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who authorities say sought to sell President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. . .
The political mess for the Democratic Party, however, isn’t Burris’ conduct alone; it’s the pattern that has developed so quickly over the past few months.
_The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is the subject of a House ethics investigation. It’s partly focused on his fundraising practices for a college center in his name, his ownership financing of a resort property in the Dominican Republic and his financial disclosure reports.
_Federal agents raided two Pennsylvania defense contractors that were provided millions of dollars in federal funding by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.
_Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal charges, including allegations he schemed to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder.
_Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota, abandoned his bid to become health and human services secretary and the administration’s point man on reforming health care; and Nancy Killefer stepped down from a newly created position charged with eliminating inefficient government programs. Both Daschle and Killefer had tax problems, and Daschle also faced potential conflicts of interest related to working with health care interests.
_Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was confirmed after revealing he had tax troubles.
_Obama’s initial choice for commerce secretary, Bill Richardson, stepped aside due to a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors.
_While the Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm William Lynn as deputy defense secretary, Obama had to waive his ethics regulations to place the former defense lobbyist in charge of day-to-day operations at the Pentagon. . .
Democrats, who’ve been in control of both Congress and the White House less than two months now, are lucky on one point. The next congressional election is nearly two years away.
I’m not sure why Dodd didn’t make the list, but nevertheless, the list does seem to be growing each day.