You've no doubt heard about the various rules changes and the Ds refusing to allow the Committee to convene in protest to those changes. This article will bring you up to speed.
The bottom line: Grand Ayatollah ("GA") DeLay has stacked the committee in his favor by firing the R chairman Joe Hefley of CO who disagreed with the Grand Ayatollah and allowed him to be reprimanded 3 times last year. Stacking the Committee is key for GA DeLay because 1 of the 3 rules changes made without consulting the Ds requires the dismissal of a complaint if a majority of the panel cannot agree on how to proceed after 45 days. So, with an evenly divided Committee, the Rs voting in a block can prevent any action from the Committee. GA DeLay has now made sure he owns each R member of the Committee thus immunizing himself from any future criticism. Of course, the Ds have seen through this and refuse to aqueous, thus the stalemate.
There is also great concern over a change in the number of clients one lawyer can represent before the committee in one investigation. Joe Hefley, among others, is very troubled by this as the NYTs explains. The bottom line: concern for coordinated -- perjured -- testimony to the Committee.
But what interested me most was a passage that allowed me, for the first time, to fully understand why the Grand Ayatollah put the hit on R Chairman Hefley,
When Representative Tom DeLay appeared last year before an ethics panel investigating bribery accusations surrounding a Medicare vote, lawmakers conducting the confidential inquiry let him know they had collected substantial sworn testimony about what took place.What a humbling experience that had to be for a Grand Ayatollah. I laugh out loud when I think about how angry this treatment must have made that felonious gas bag.
What they did not tell Mr. DeLay, the majority leader, was exactly what they knew, giving them added leverage as they questioned him.
Mr. DeLay, speaking under oath, then gave a candid account of how he offered to endorse, in a primary election, the son of a Republican congressman in exchange for the congressman's vote on a prescription drug bill, confirming the exchange that was at the heart of one of Mr. DeLay's three ethics admonishments last year.
So is there is a Federal bribery investigation of this?
It's good to be the Grand Ayatollah.