Fresh perspectives on today’s news by: Whymrhymer

California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the presumed new Speaker of the House, has decided to start her ‘reign’ with a controversy — many (mostly Conservatives) predict that this will be just the first of many. The liberal-leaning media may agree.

Pelosi is being blasted by both the New York Times and the Washington Post for publicly supporting Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. John Murtha for the position of House majority leader over the man who apparently already has the job ‘in the bag,’ Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the current House Minority Whip.

The position of majority leader is not an ‘assigned’ position but is one that is voted on by all the Democratic members of the House. Steny Hoyer is said to have many more than enough votes to win the position when the vote takes place on Thursday of this week.

Both Murtha and Hoyer are veterans in the House and in politics but Murtha carries a lot more ‘baggage’ than Hoyer.

Murtha is regarded by several ethics watchdog groups as “ethically challenged;” not only because of old (26 year old) charges against him in the Abscam scandal (charges that were dropped only because of his cooperation with the investigation) but because a) he was opposed to new ethics regulations that were proposed last year, b) because he has been accused of misappropriating campaign contributions and, significantly, c) because he has close ties with two defense project lobbyists. Paul Magliocchetti, one of Murtha’s former aides, and Robert Murtha, Rep. Murtha’s brother both work for a lobbying firm that has won close to $100 million in defense-related contracts for their clients in defense-related industries; which wouldn’t be remarkable except for the fact that Rep. John Murtha is the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations defense subcommittee.

The best thing that can be said about Murtha is that he would have an easier time working with the Republican House members, he is a more moderate Democrat with views that are not too far removed from moderate Republican views . . . with the exception of his hard stand against the Iraq war; Murtha favors a quick withdrawal from Iraq.

Hoyer, on the other hand is farther left on the Liberal scale and more of a “traditional” politician who raises money through political action committees and uses the money to help other Democrats get elected — this gives him the power he has amassed because of the loyalty of the politicians he helped get into the House.

Some say that Pelosi knows that Hoyer will get elected as the new majority leader and only threw her support to Murtha as a ‘token’ because his is a good friend and political ally. In doing that, however, she is openly supporting someone who is assumed to be a “dirty” politician after claiming that she will rid the House of corruption. Others say she is supporting Murtha over Hoyer because Hoyer opposed her (ran against her) when she ran for the position of House minority whip in 2001 (Murtha managed her campaign for the post).

During the run-up to the 2006 elections, Pelosi made promses to the public that she will restore integrity to the House if the Democrats got their majority. Is John Murtha as majority leader really her idea of restoring integrity or is her letter of support just a gesture?

It’s pretty typical really! Anyone who believes the campaign rhetoric of a politician (any politician from either party) is in for a rude awakening. What you see, after the dust has settled, is what you get and in Washington, it isn’t often that you see what you expected.


Washington Post: In Backing Murtha, Pelosi Draws Fire

New York Times: In Race for Majority Leader, Pelosi Risks Early Setback

From the blogosphere:

Later On: Why Murtha is a bad choice for Majority Leader


Whymrhymer’s fresh perspectives on today’s news, as published at BNN, also appear at My View from the Center. You are always welcome there!

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