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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

U.S. House Ethics chair Jo Bonner blasts predecessor for idling of lawyers in Maxine Waters probe; postponing of Waters’ trial until AFTER election?

Not that this story ever got the attention it deserved by South Florida's news media in the first place when it actually happened -despite it involving the former U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas from 1994-'98, and his very prominent wife, Rep. Maxine Waters- but one of Congress' s most vocal liberals, Zoe Lofgren of California got a tart smack-down this month on her efforts while House Ethics Comm. chair to help fellow liberal Calif. lawmaker Waters make it thru one more election cycle, and silence Ethics Comm. staff lawyers investigating Waters' personal efforts to help her husband's business and financial interests, despite numerous examples of conflict-of-interest rules being broken -over-and-over.

Yes, it's as if Waters got a Hall Pass from the principal who was supposed to be investigating and punishing her for her egregious behavior.

Conduct that led to this Washington Post headline on August 3rd: "Rep. Maxine Waters of California probably broke ethics rules, House panel finds"

And the person who did it is Jo Bonner, the new Ethics chair who succeeded Lofgren in that position in January and who was among the committee members who prevented Lofgren from actually firing the attorneys for, perhaps, being so good at their job.

But she did unilaterally punish them.

I definitely want to hear and see more about this story and am particularly interested in seeing how the non-Beltway media handles the story.
Poorly I'm sure, despite how telling this story is about how things really work in Washington if you have power -and influential friends.

The Washington Post

House ethics chair blasts predecessor on idling of lawyers in Waters probe

By R. Jeffrey Smith,
Monday, March 14, 7:05 PM

The Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee has accused his Democratic predecessor of violating House rules and acting without cause in forcing two staff lawyers to take paid leave amid a contentious committee probe of alleged misconduct by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) last year.

Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), who moved into the chairmanship in January, made that claim about former chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) in a letter he sent early this month to the two lawyers, who played lead roles in the Waters probe. They were idled just as Waters was to be tried by the committee over her actions involving a bank in which her husband had a financial interest.

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