Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Alan Mollohan, 24/7

It seems only yesterday that there was a story in Roll Call, putting pressure on Alan Mollohan relating to his ongoing FBI investigation. Oh wait, it was only yesterday!

Today Roll Call (subscription required) reports that two Republican Members of Congress are going to press Nancy Pelosi to remove Mollohan from his seat on the House Appropriations Committee:

GOPers Seek Mollohan’s Exit From Approps Perch
May 9, 2006
By Jennifer Yachnin,
Roll Call Staff

Two Republican House Members will call on Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) to forfeit his seat on the Appropriations Committee as early as today, citing an ongoing FBI investigation into the lawmaker’s financial dealings.

According a draft of a letter obtained by Roll Call on Monday, GOP Reps. John Carter (Texas) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) will call on Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to urge Mollohan to step down from the influential panel, where he serves as ranking member of the subcommittee on science, State, Justice and Commerce, and related agencies.

…“The allegations against Congressman Mollohan are directly related to his conduct on the Committee,” the draft letter states. “Not only is his continued position on that Committee in conflict with the allegations made against him, it also places him in the untenable position of exercising jurisdiction and influence over the Justice Department, the very entity that is currently investigating him. For the good of our ethics process, and for the good of this institution, please ask Mr. Mollohan to further step aside from his current Appropriations position until such time as the allegations against him are fully addressed.”

Of course, Nancy Pelosi is quick to point out that everybody does it:

In response to the draft letter, Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider cited similar investigations involving Republican lawmakers.

“I look forward to reading their letter to Speaker [Dennis] Hastert (R-Ill.) on Congressman [Tom] DeLay (Texas), Congressman [Bob] Ney (Ohio), Congressman John Doolittle (Calif.) and Congressman [Richard] Pombo (Calif.),” Crider said. “I must have missed their letter on former Congressman Cunningham.”

Wasn’t it just a little while ago that Ms. Pelosi was saying that Republicans and Democrats are different? That Bill Jefferson (D-LA) ‘is his own behavior,’ but that the GOP has a culture of corruption?

Well, I guess she has a point. The Republicans have DeLay, Ney, Doolittle, Pombo, and Cunningham. On the Democratic side, you only have Kennedy, Conyers, McKinney, Schumer, Jefferson, Mollohan, McDermott, Reid, and a few others. See the difference?

Today Alan Mollohan will be re-nominated to West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District. I don’t really know the district politics well enough to guess at his re-election chances; there are Members of Congress who have worn indictments like a badge of honor, and cruised. They include people like Joe McDade and Jim Traficant. Maybe Mollohan’s district will send him back to Washington resoundingly. On the Republican side, it looks like Bob Ney will try something similar.

Because of gerrymandering, every year is a good year for incumbents in the House of Representatives. But Ney and Mollohan will really put that to the test.

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