The Sound of Silence

Have you noticed the fervor and uproar over House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s (R-TX) supposed ethics violations has gone strangely silent. Democrats stopped blasting the airwaves and newspapers with shrill condemnation; and, DNC Chairman Howard Dean no longer calls for DeLay’s head on a silver platter. Relevant stories have largely disappeared from MSM coverage.

Why the lull? Apparently, DeLay is not alone when it comes to errors in travel reporting. On Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also disclosed significant mistakes in her reporting — travel that she accepted from outside sources, at least one of which could arguably be called a lobby group. The oldest of these infractions date back seven years; and, the sum of the trips total and estimated $8,500. The most questionable of which was a week-long trip taken six years ago.

The unreported trip was a weeklong 1999 visit to Taiwan, paid for by the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, for ”meetings with government, military and business officials,” according to a filing Pelosi signed June 30. The flights cost $3,400 each for Pelosi and her husband. The hotel cost was $940. The sponsor, which has picked up trips for leaders of both parties, paid $300 for meals. by Mike Allen, The Washington Post via The Monterey Herald

According the Monterey Herald — which seems to be one of the very few news outlets reporting the Pelosi story, San Fran Nan is not alone. (Yes, it’s another instance of media bias staring us in the face.)

The filing [Pelosi’s] is among hundreds of revisions from members of both parties who have amended missing or incomplete reports as scrutiny of lawmaker travel has intensified. — by Mike Allen, The Washington Post via The Monterey Herald

It seems the Dems forgot the “glass house” rule when they went on the extreme offensive. I guess we won’t be hearing Dean cry for Pelosi to be sent back to California to serve her time as the criminal that she is.

Committee members have shown no appetite for taking up all those cases [those not filing detailed statements] and are considering an amnesty for reporting violations, although not for serious matters such as accepting a trip from a lobbyist, which House rules forbid. The data firm PoliticalMoneyLine calculates that members of Congress have received more than $18 million in travel from private organizations in the past five years, with Democrats taking 3,458 trips and Republicans taking 2,666. by Mike Allen, The Washington Post via The Monterey Herald

And, it seems the MSM will not pound the Dems like they pounded DeLay. Now that both parties are on the hot seat, there appears to be talk of an amnesty program for these “incidental” offenders. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when that subject came up to know which party blinked first. Since the Dems seem to be the “majority party” when it comes to accepting travel freebies from private organizations, the odds dictate a Dem proffered the idea.

Yes, the Dems try to sell themselves as the “party of the little people” — while constantly accusing the Rebulicans of being in bed with big business and special interest groups. It looks like this is a definite case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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