Stung by a series of inquiries, nearly half the members of the Congressional Black Caucus want to scale back the aggressive ethics procedures that Democrats trumpeted after gaining control of Congress.
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, and 19 fellow black lawmakers in the all-Democratic caucus quietly introduced a resolution last week that would restrict the powers of the new independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The office, formed by Congress in 2008, is run by a panel of private citizens.
Now why would these ethical CBC members want to limit the independent OCE?
Since its inception, the ethics office has investigated at least eight black caucus members, including veteran Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and five others in that group over privately funded trips to the Caribbean.
Oh, the OCE has investigated 8 of their own so it must be controlled to ensure the truth doesn’t get out to the taxpayers. What does the CBC want to do to squelch the truth?
The resolution also would make it harder for the ethics office to initiate investigations, requiring a sworn complaint from a citizen claiming personal knowledge of an alleged violation. That could prevent complaints from watchdog groups, for example.
It would prevent the standards committee from taking a referral from the ethics office within 60 days before an election in which the subject of the case is a candidate.
After all, we must protect the most ethical congress in history…right before an election. The CBC wants to protect corrupt members like Charlie Rangel and keep the sunlight off their own ethics violations. Wonder if Obama will berate them about continuing the dreaded ‘status-quo?’