Despite the seemingly inexcusable conduct of Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha, don’t expect congressional ethics investigations of either member. Their Democratic Party has already warned members that they’ll suffer grievous harm should they get behind the ethics bandwagon….
As the House prepared to vote this week on Republican Rep. Jeff Flake’spush for an ethics investigation involving Rep. John Murtha and other senior appropriators, Democratic leaders sent an unmistakable message to their members:
“Don’t be a Flake.”
That was the subject line of an e-mail that staffers for first- and second-term received Tuesday from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, assistant to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The message said that Democrats would once again be “voting to table another Flake resolution” — and it made clear that leadership would have its eyes on any Democrats even thinking about defecting.
Not that they needed reminding.
In another pre-vote e-mail, the office of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn(D-S.C.) warned Democrats that they would suffer in 2010 if Republicans succeeded in forcing an ethics investigation into the relationships Murtha and other veteran Democratic lawmakers had with the PMA Group.
“If the Flake resolution is referred to the Ethics Committee, members can expect attacks ads to be run against them alleging members to be ‘under investigation by the House Ethics Committee,’” the whip’s staff warned members. “The Flake resolution is nothing more than a fishing expedition.”
The Clyburn-Van Hollen double-team worked — for now.