MoveOn.org informed us today that on the House ethics committee "Republicans and Democrats have agreed not to investigate each other." Is this true? If it is, it more or less negates the need for an ethics committee.
MoveOn also says that "It takes a complaint from just one member of Congress to get the process moving." They recommend signing ethics complaints against Rep. Cunningham and Rep. Ney. Two complaint forms in PDF format have been prepared by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. I'm sure you've received these forms from other constituents, but if not please let me know how to forward them to you.
Background information prepared by CREW is abvailable here:
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Dear MoveOn member,Just a thought, but I don't know that Americans will vote Democrat in 2006 because of Republican corruption. It's possible that most Americans are corrupt as well.
Republican Rep. Randy Cunningham is being investigated by federal authorities for accepting bribes from a defense contractor. But he's not being investigated in Congress, where the ethics committee could force him out of his seat. That's because the House ethics committee is deadlocked—Republicans and Democrats have agreed not to investigate each other.
Last week, Democrats stood up to Republican corruption on the House floor. Republicans had initially lost a vote on a new energy bill that amounted to a huge giveaway to oil companies, but they held open the vote until they could force some representatives to change their position. They ended up winning 212-210. When Democrats realized what was happening, they started yelling "Shame!" on the House floor. You can watch the video of chaos erupting here.
Now, Democrats have an opportunity to clean house. By signing ethics complaints against a few key Republicans like Rep. Cunningham, they can break the deadlock, get the ethics committee working again, and make sure that Republican representatives are held accountable for their actions. Your representative, Rep. Schiff, could be the signature that would get this process going.
Ask him to sign an ethics complaint today at:
It takes a complaint from just one member of Congress to get the process moving.
Republican corruption is one of the key reasons why Americans will vote for Democrats in 2006. But re-starting the ethics committee is also a good in its own right—it helps ensure that all representatives, Republican and Democrat, obey the rules and steer clear of slimy deals with lobbyists.
Democrats have been understandably wary of working with a Republican controlled ethics committee. But now Tom Delay has been indicted for money laundering. Bill Frist was subpoened by the SEC for possible insider trading. Karl Rove is implicated in a criminal investigation of who outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. It's clear to everyone there's an ethics crisis in Washington at the highest levels and America would be scrutinizing every move the ethics committee makes.
It's time for Democrats to "go big" against corruption, and breaking the "ethics stalemate" is one of the best ways to do that. Until it's broken, there is little incentive for members of Congress to obey ethics rules—they know they won't get investigated. This is how people like Tom DeLay managed to stay in power for so long.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, has prepared ethics complaints against two members of Congress—Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA) and Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). In order for an investigation to begin a member of the House of Representatives must sign the ethics complaint and forward it to the ethics committee in Congress.
Ask Rep. Schiff to do that now at:
Thanks for all you do.
–Tom, Eli, Rosalyn, Nita and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Friday, October 14th, 2005