Not going so well for Dem's

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2008
Not going so well for Dem's
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 3:05pm

Hmm you would think they would have learned by now..but I guess they are all a little scummy...left or right.
Rangle of course we know there are these two..
South Carolina Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene has been indicted for "disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity," according to the Richland County clerk of courts.

Greene told CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston that his lawyer "is dealing" with the one count indictment.

Greene was charged by police last November with showing pornographic material to a female University of South Carolina student on a computer in the school's library.

Greene, according to a report from university police, "told her to look at his computer screen."

The alleged victim claimed she told Greene that the image displayed on the screen "was offensive and not funny."

She also claimed Greene asked if he could come to her room.
A defiant Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, insisted Friday that neither she nor her staff broke any House rules.

Waters also blasted the House ethics committee for failing to schedule a trial to resolve allegations she helped steer federal bailout money to Massachusetts-based OneUnited Bank -- in which her husband had a financial stake.

She repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and insisted she will not cut a deal with the committee.

Given the fact that the committee's investigation has now lasted for over a year, "such a delay is unacceptable," she told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference that lasted over an hour.

"This case is about fairness," she said. Due process has been denied, and ethics investigators have ignored "key pieces of exculpatory evidence."
here was no special "benefit, no improper action, (and) no failure to disclose," she declared. There is "no case."

Waters, a 10-term Los Angeles congresswoman, insisted she was merely trying to arrange assistance for the National Bankers Association, an organization representing more than 100 minority-owned banks.

Much of my work is based on expanding "access for those who are (traditionally) not heard by the decision makers," she said.

Waters, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, helped arrange a meeting in September 2008 between OneUnited and Treasury Department officials, according to ethics investigators.

OneUnited Bank ultimately received $12 million in bailout funds.

According to an ethics report, Waters' husband owned almost 4,000 shares of OneUnited stock at the time of the meeting. The shares had declined in value from more than $350,000 in June to $175,000 at the end of September -- the height of the Wall Street financial crisis.

Waters, according to a separate preliminary report, called then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson "and requested that Treasury Department officials meet with representatives" from the NBA.

"A meeting was in fact granted, however, the discussion at the meeting focused on a single bank -- OneUnited. Rep. Waters' husband had been a board member of the bank from 2004 to 2008 and, at the time of the meeting, was a stock holder of the bank," the report said.

Waters has repeatedly insisted the meeting was set up for NBA -- "for all the minority bankers." She noted Friday that some of the meeting's participants have asserted, contrary to the conclusion of the report, that between "60 and 75 percent" of the conversation focused on the needs of minority banks as a whole.

The ethics report also states that Waters approached Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, to say that she was "in a predicament because her husband had been involved in the bank, but 'OneUnited people' were coming to her for help."

Waters, "according to ... knew she should say no, but it bothered her. It was clear to that this was a 'conflict of interest problem.'"

Frank's advice to Waters, the report states, was to 'stay out of it.'"

In an interview on the Tom Joyner Show Tuesday, Waters admitted she had spoken to Frank, but described the circumstances much differently than the report.

"I didn't go to him for advice. I went to him and told him, 'These are your constituents. They are headquartered in your district and they are now trying to find TARP. We're representing the National Bankers Association,'" Waters said.

"So then I said, 'Perhaps you need to take a look at this' and he said, 'Fine. Don't worry. You don't have anything to do with this. I will take care of it.' And, as a result of that, he started to work on it." she said.

Waters insisted Friday she "would never take extraordinary steps" to save her husband's investment in OneUnited Bank. She also noted that the September meeting with Treasury officials happened before the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- the pool of bailout money from which OneUnited's $12 million was drawn -- became law.

Ethics investigators have asserted that Waters "agreed to refrain from advocating on behalf of OneUnited," but failed to instruct her chief of staff, Mikael Moore, from doing so.

Following the September 9 meeting between Treasury and National Bankers Association officials, Moore "was actively involved in assisting OneUnited representatives with their request for capital from Treasury and crafting legislation to authorize Treasury to grant the request" for financial assistance, the ethics report said.

"Reasonable" people could construe Moore's "continued involvement in assisting OneUnited as the dispensing of special favors or privileges to OneUnited," the report concluded.

Both Waters and Moore -- who also spoke at Friday's news conference -- have denied that allegation.

"If you're going to wrap this all around creating these violations because I failed to supervise my staff, it doesn't hold water, they don't have any proof of that and I maintain that I want to go to trial or whatever they want to call it -- adjudicatory hearing -- because I think I don't deserve this," Waters said Tuesday.

Waters is the second high-ranking Democrat now facing a public ethics trial this fall. New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, the former chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, has been accused of 13 violations of House rules involving alleged financial wrongdoing and harming the credibility of Congress.

The prospect of inquiries into the two high-profile Democrats has compounded the fears of congressional Democrats nervous about their prospects in mid-term elections in November.

The growing likelihood of trials for Waters and Rangel also adds the explosive element of race to the political equation. Both representatives are leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, and OneUnited Bank is one of the largest minority-owned banks in America.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 3:26pm

Sad thing is that the Democratic party was scrambling to figure out who this guy was in June:

He's not gotten party money yet as far as I can tell. As for the ethics things for Waters and Rangel, those are problems. Too bad the ethics committee waited until just before the elections to hand down charges. Why would they have held on to the allegations for over a year? If I didn't know better, I'd say politics were involved in how this plays out. ;-)


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2000
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 5:38pm
Who controls or oversees the ethics committee?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 6:58pm

The ethics committee is equally balanced, so I would imagine whatever party is in power holds the actual chairpersonship. I think the real question is why these "charges" which look legitimate were held so long so that it appears that there was some political motivation in the timing of the charges. They could have been tried in 2009.

Why ethics hearings only now?

By MELANIE SLOAN | 8/13/10 10:09 AM EDT Updated: 8/13/10 12:54 PM EDT

Timing is everything.

After sitting dormant for more than a decade, the House Ethics Committee has roared to life by holding two of the most senior members’ feet to the fire for some pretty serious ethical violations. But one has to wonder — why is the committee acting only now?

To be clear, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) are in a mess of their own making, and the ethics committee is right to charge them. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has long argued that both these members need to be held accountable for their misconduct, should they be found to have committed these violations.

But policing Congress and making sure members of both parties behave in an ethical manner should be an apolitical affair. By holding ethics hearings this fall, right before the midterm election, the ethics process looks political. That serves no one’s interest.

Let’s examine what we know, and when we knew it. In September 2008, Rangel himself asked the House ethics committee to investigate the numerous allegations of ethical violations swirling around him all summer — that he had been improperly soliciting donations for the City College of New York’s aptly named Rangel Center, using official congressional letterhead.

The congressman had also failed to pay taxes on rental income from a Dominican Republic villa; maintained four rent-controlled apartments, one used as a campaign office; and submitted numerous error-ridden personal financial disclosure reports.

As for Waters, during the fiscal meltdown at the end of the Bush administration, she used her influence to reach out to then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and demand Troubled Asset Relief Program funding for OneUnited, a bank in which her husband had a financial interest. What’s more, she appointed her grandson, who doubles as her chief of staff, as the point person on this issue.

Treasury officials were reportedly fuming in March 2009, when they learned of Waters’s financial interest in OneUnited. As far as cases go, this is not complicated. Waters appears to have abused her position to advance her personal financial interest. The Office of Congressional Ethics agreed, and referred the matter on to the Ethics Committee in June of last year.

Given that the Ethics Committee was made aware of Rangel’s violations no later than September 2008 and Waters’s violations by June 2009, why is the committee making its findings public now?

To avoid politicization, the ethics committee does not accept complaints within 60 days of an election. Rangel’s and Waters’s ethics hearings, which cannot start before mid-September at the earliest, are certain to extend into this 60-day window and will undoubtedly affect the midterm elections .

With control of the House likely up for grabs, some — including Rangel — have said that Republicans on the ethics committee have refused to reach a settlement with Rangel specifically because of a desire to focus national attention on Democrats’ ethics problems and to gain an edge in the election.
Contiue Reading

But the politicization of the ethics process jeopardizes its legitimacy and undermines its credibility. In the 1990s, ethics charges were filed simply to score political points. In an effort to step back, both parties agreed to a truce, and no ethics complaints were filed.

This left members largely unaccountable — no matter how egregious their conduct. It led to the scandals involving former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, moving ethics back to the front burner.

Intentional or not, releasing charges against Rangel and Waters so close to the midterms lends credence to those who assert that the charges are political. The timing undermines the ethics committee’s already weak credibility and jeopardizes the legitimacy of the ethics process. As a result, we may see members reluctant to buy in to a process they view as a politically motivated. Already, we have heard members of both parties call for the OCE to be dismantled, or at least to have its (limited) power severely reduced.

No organization has called more loudly than CREW for Rangel and Waters to answer for their conduct. In fact, many other members — including Reps. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) and Don Young (R-Alaska) — should similarly be called out for misconduct.

But in a world where timing is everything, the timing of these hearings does not serve the interests of justice — or the American people.

Melanie Sloan is the executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit government watchdog group.>>>>>


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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2009
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 7:03pm
I'm not sure you can really put Greene in the same category as Rangle and Waters yet. He came out of nowhere to win the primary but I don't think he has gotten money from the Democratic Party yet, nor has he been elected or sworn in. I'm not even sure he has a fighting chance at being elected.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2007
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 7:07pm

Remember in 2004, The Daily Show referred to the democrats as being in the "Race from the White House".

I'm going to go out on a limb and argue that one of the reasons why Tea Party candidates are gaining steam is because they recognize that the old Republican guard and the Democratic Powerhouses are playing on the same team, only with different colored shirts.

People hating the mandate, for example, are slowly coming to the realization that somewhere along the way, the mythical "Obamacare" morphed into the passage of "Romneycare", and people didn't want that either.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 7:32pm

In terms of stewardship of the "financial/economic" areas, I agree. In terms of social issues (like immigration, civil rights, consumer protections, melding of church & state), they're not even playing in the same arena.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2007
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 7:39pm

I was thinking more in terms of political gamesmanship and compromise in the name of personal self-interest than platform ideals.

But I think that because of the democrat's stated position on so many social and "kitchen table" issues, it is often more of a blow to see a Democrat behave like an entitled fat cat, than with the party that is more often perceived as proudly protecting the entitled fat cats.

Edited 8/13/2010 8:18 pm ET by lj_jacieb
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2010
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 8:36pm

Yes...I think it is.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2000
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 9:11pm
What is "the mandate" that you speak of?
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Sat, 08-14-2010 - 10:09am

I was thinking more in terms of political gamesmanship and compromise in the name of personal self-interest than platform ideals.

That's how I took what you meant, and I totally agree that both sides can be so cruddy, and don't really care about their constituents as much as they care about lining their pockets!

And maybe you're right in that it is the reason Tea Partiers are gaining momentum.