Hastings’ Moral Convictions

Below is a short essay on our congressman, which essay I encourage one or more of you to shorten and send as a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.  The essay addressed Hastings’ refusal to speak against excesses of his Republican friends. 

Last week Republican Arizona Senator John McCain slammed RNC Chairman Michael Steele for rewriting history when declaring the Afghanistan War to be “Obama’s War.”  Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham soon followed in condemnation of Steele.  Unfortunately, my Congressman has been silent, as he was when refusing to condemn this year’s obscenity laced death threats to Senator Patty Murray from his constituent Selah’s Charles Wilson.  

 Congressman Doc Hastings is the ultimate party hack, who lacks intellectual integrity and ethical conviction.  In February 2005, House Republicans ousted their colleague Joel Hefley of Colorado, from the chairmanship of the House Ethics Committee.  Hefley led several investigations of allegations against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, resulting in three admonitions from the committee.  Republican leadership then appointed my Congressman, Doc Hastings, to replace Hefley as chairman of the House Ethics Committee.  Hastings was a loyal ally to Delay.  Tom Delay funneled money to Doc Hastings’ reelection committee.

 Upon the appointment of Doc Hastings, as Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Craig Holman, legislative representative for Public Citizen, remarked: “House Republican leaders can rest assured they are now safe from ethics enforcement.”  Holman was accurate.

 The appointment of Doc Hastings, as Chair of the House Ethics Committee, led to a shutdown of the committee for seven months, during which time Hastings attempted to impose new rules and install his assistant as a staffer to the committee.  During this time, Republican Congressmen,  including convicts Bob Ney and Duke Cunningham, avoided charges of illegal activity.

 Despite the reopening of the House Ethics Committee, Doc Hastings refused to investigate the wrongful behavior of House Majority Leader Tom Delay.  DeLay accepted a trip paid for by lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a criminal who defrauded clients of millions of dollars.  Hastings took similar trips at the expense of Hanford companies.  Hastings also took $14,000 in campaign contributions from Abramoff’s Seattle-based lobbying firm.

 In October 2005, Doc Hastings stated the House Ethics Committee will “not investigate a 15-month-old complaint about DeLay’s role in alleged illegal campaign contributions in Texas” because such an investigation would duplicate a Texas prosecutor’s work. “We don’t have the resources,” Hastings told the Yakima Herald Republic.

 Hastings also defended Delay, claiming the charges are a “political vendetta.”  In response, conservative congressional scholar Norman Ornstein commented: “It’s outrageous for the chairman of the ethics committee to virtually endorse the idea that the indictment is a political vendetta.  It’s a matter that is before the committee.”

 In fact, once Doc Hastings became Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Tom DeLay received no further admonitions, and Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney incurred no investigation.  During this time, the House leadership also hid the sexual predatory behavior of Mark Foley.

 Doc Hastings lacks any moral courage to ever rise above partisan politics.

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~ by wa4thcddems on July 23, 2010.

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