[Homestead] D.C. Whorehouse business as usual

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Thu Feb 3 11:46:35 EST 2005

House GOP Leaders Name Loyalist to Replace Ethics Chief

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page A01

House Republican leaders tightened their control over the ethics committee 
yesterday by ousting its independent-minded chairman, appointing a 
replacement who is close to them and adding two new members who donated to 
the legal defense fund of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

Republican officials have spent months taking steps to ensure DeLay's 
political survival in case he is indicted by a Texas grand jury 
investigating political fundraising, and House leadership aides said they 
needed to have the ethics committee controlled by lawmakers they can trust.

Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), who clashed with DeLay so often that they 
barely spoke and was considered wayward by other leaders, was replaced 
yesterday with Rep. Richard Hastings (R-Wash.). Hastings has carried out 
other sensitive leadership assignments and is known as a favorite of 
Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who made the decision.

Hefley said in an interview yesterday that he believes he was removed 
because he was too independent. He said there is "a bad perception out 
there that there was a purge in the committee and that people were put in 
that would protect our side of the aisle better than I did."

"Nobody should be there to protect anybody," he said. "They should be there 
to protect the integrity of the institution."

The replacement of Hefley is the latest in a series of actions by GOP 
leaders to crack down on a rebellious ethics committee that posed a threat 
to DeLay and other Republicans.

DeLay and ot


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