FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Remember when Nancy Pelosi promised to "drain the swamp" after the Democrats took control of the House a few years back? Well turns out some of her high-profile Democratic colleagues may be swimming in that very swamp.
Two senior Democrats in the House of Representatives now face possible ethics trials - which is just about the last thing Democrats need headed into what's already shaping up to be a brutal midterm election.
Long-time New York Congressman Charlie Rangel has been formally charged with 13 counts of violating House ethics rules... including not paying taxes on rental income from the Dominican Republic.
Several House Democrats have already called on Rangel, a 20-term veteran, to resign.... and President Obama says he hopes Rangel can "end his career with dignity."
Then there's California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Today, the ethics panel charged her with breaking House rules by using her position to get federal bailout money for a bank with ties to her husband.
While Rangel admits to making mistakes... Waters insists she's done nothing wrong.
For their part, top Democrats insist these potential trials show that the ethics process is working. We'll see about that.
Really? They're both still there.
Meanwhile, this could create a situation similar to elections past where ethics scandals dominated the news... and control of the House passed from one party to the other.
In 2006, the Republicans ran into a series of scandals... including then-Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Congressman Duke Cunningham.
They lost the House to the Democrats.
In 1994 - it was the Democrats that lost the House... amid allegations that top Democrats misused funds from the House Post Office.
Here’s my question to you: Will ethics issues haunt the Democrats come November?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Ben in Boston writes:
Jack, Ethics of individual members of Congress will be small ball in November. Jobs and the economy will be the big issues for most voters across the political spectrum, subtexts will be competence and federal debt. "Focus like a laser on jobs and the economy" was right then for the Democrats to do and it will be right in November for Republicans to remember.
Steve in Philadelphia writes:
Ethics issues will certainly play a role in the Democrats' defeat in the upcoming elections. But that role is minor compared to the pent-up anger and disgust toward Obama and the Democrats. What they have been shoving down the throats of the American people is nothing short of Socialism. And their radical agenda will be soundly rejected in November.
Anthony in Swedesboro, New Jersey writes:
Jack, If the population has any memory left, they might remember that scandal affects both parties. I never pulled an opposite lever at the poll booth because some legislator's hands were caught in the cookie jar. When I vote, I ask "what have you done for me and the country lately?" If people want to use a narrow moral meter to gauge whom they vote for,then you might as well just dissolve Congress.
The ethics questions are simply the icing on the cake for those who were already going to vote for the Republicans. Isn't it always the case that those in power simply become useless and misinformed, while those not in power look great by default? It wasn't long ago that the shoe was on the other foot.
I think that both parties take turns with regard to ethics violations, extra-marital affairs and just plain arrogance. Looks like it's the Democrats' turn this cycle.
Jason in Hawaii writes:
The problems we face now overshadow a couple of trials about corruption. Even as dumb as the American voting public is collectively, they are not going to be moved on a national level by this. Incumbent is a far dirtier word than Democrat or even Republican.
To some degree more than likely. The thing is, both the Repubs and the Dems have had members with their hands caught in the cookie jar. Problem is Washington's cookie jar is way too tempting it seems. If everyday people did this stuff, they would be jailed.
Most certainly, Jack. and it doesn't appear that Pres. Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democratic majority even understand nor appreciate that reality. Not a new idea, but one major step to improve the mess in Washington would be for the voters to pass a Constitutional amendment to permit term limits for Congress. No matter what the difficulty of getting this done, the attempt should be made. Nobody is fooled into thinking that term limits would make the majority of such offenders honest people, but this law change may help limit their damage while in office and help ensure that such crooks don’t perpetually drink from the public well.
Yes Jack and it should when you are caught you must face the music.
The recent ethical charges against two Democrats should effect the November elections (as well as all but guarantee each representative loses re-election), but they won't effect anything and both will be re-elected. That's because the Democrats that are now being investigated are both black and sure enough, as soon as they are being investigated, people are crying racism. They're not being investigated because they broke the law. Not because they betrayed their constituents. Not because they tarnish the reputation of congress and the government. It's all because of race. What happens if a black elected official actually does something wrong? They'll always get away with it because they always have helping mouths crying racism. You can't criticize black people today without being racist. They can get away with whatever they want, thanks to the politically correct, progressive elitist liberal establishment that has been churning since the 1960s to reverse racism so that whites are the new victims. Unfortunately, the trade off is that they lose all credibility. Either way, the Democrats will lose. If not the votes, then definitely the respect.
Jack: If the Democrats discipline Rep. Charlie Rangel then there should be no problem. Why is Charlie's ethical problems not so bad, just look at Senator who had the affair with his aids wife. I think he broke several federal laws and at least one moral law.
Republicans would be wise not to bring up ethics, all things considered. Charlie Rangel was not, after all, hiking the Appalachian Trail, hiring hookers, carrying on an affair with a staffer's wife, sending racy emails to pages or tap dancing in bathroom stalls.
I hope so and I also hope it haunts all corrupt politicians. The arrogance of many politicians never ceases to amaze me.
Not with the Democrat Party's core voters. It's a communication problem, Jack. Their definition of the term "ethical" is how much of other people's money they can throw at people's perceived problems. That is the ONLY thing "ethical" that they actually care about, unless you include calling anyone that disagrees with them a "racist". Until we come to a precise common definition of terms, we will never be able to bridge these gaps in our politics.
I doubt the ethic violations will harm Democrats. The reason being is most of Americans feel politicians are fraudulent crooks anyway. We vote them into office with a hope and a prayer they will do well while all long knowing internally they are not in it for public service but private aspirations. Democrat or Republican you can walk along the aisle and find crooks on both sides.
Republican's certainly have to be living in thin glasses house to talk ethics. Does the names John Ensign, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig ring a bell? There's plenty to go around from both sides of the aisle. Does anyone think Charlie Rangel's seat is going republican?
No......the people will not be at all surprised at the ethics....and one must wonder if people today, are any different, as most are no longer law-abiding, moral, or ethical, themselves.
People will, however, vote their pocketbooks, and they are fully aware that the Dems have done zip, about jobs.
Cute. Why would it? It never has EITHER PARTY before! We 'the people' have just kept voting them back in year after year regardless of what they have done.......like the sheep we seem to be.
After November it really won't matter any more. The only vestige that will be left of this immoral, unethical and corrupt group will be their president serving out his only term.
It is amazing how the media keeps Wrangel's problem in the news and we don't hear a word about John Ensign, who has criminal problems. Waters did nothing wrong. I seem to remember how John McCain walked away from the savings and loan scandel and instead of landing in prison he ran for president. Washington Ethics are whatever the media decides they sho;uld be.
It will be an issue and should be. But, both parties have issues with ethics. Thos who have been charged should leave or be voted out. We are in the mess we are in because we keep putting these mental midgets back in office. Lets face it the system is broke. The sad part is even we as voters can not fix it! We vote out one crook and vote inan other. The problem is we need a law that simply says that when elected the party name stays at the door of the chambers. We need debate on the floor not closed doors. The Dems don't have all the answers and neither does the Reuplicans. They should debate openly as servants of the people. Come up with the best ideas and move our country ahead. Not just hold everything hostage including we the people.
Yes, because the 24/7 right wing noise machine will run with it ad nauseum! Meanwhile ignoring the investigation of David Vitter, yet another "family values" Republican who sinned with another woman. (At least it was another woman instead of a "rent boy"!)
Both parties are at fault in this area. They have become accustomed to think personal benefit instead of people benefit. That's our fault for voting these 'bottom feeders' to office.
Just because Charlie Rangel's buddies in Congress are throwing him a huge 80th birthday / fundraiser party for his re-election while he is under investigation for all kinds of illegalities? Why would that kind of arrogant behavior influence my vote in November?
Did it ever haunt the Republicans in a real way. No, and it will not haunt the Democrats either.
Are you serious? Anyone remember Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.? Even the House refused to seat him but since he had been dutifully elected by his constituents, the Supreme Court ruled the House action as unconstitutional. He was subsequently reelected by the same constituency. Safe districts...you have to love Gerrymandering. Ethics, not in this political climate.
Oh, and that Charlie Rangel fellow, hmmm...seems like he finally took Powell's seat from him. For the electorate,this is all fine and dandy because these guys are just getting what their constituents have "deserved" but been denied all these years.
Yes, and if I think they will be a major factor in re-electing Democratic incumbents like I think it will, then the Democrats are in for a long fight in November. The Democrats have gotten themselves into a fine mess, starting from their incompetent leader at the top. I guess this is what they call "like leader, like followers." If one's leader was incompetent, and he jumped off a cliff and ordered his followers to do the same, would one follow suit? Just hope that most of the Democrats were smart enough to pack an emergency parachute before they take the plunge or else the next few years are going to be a really rough lot for some.
In the case of Waters no not when you just had an ex-vice president funnel 500 billion dollars into his company that he still owened stock in in no bid contracts .
democrat's job's in trouble 'cause of "ethics violation"? now i am confused. i thought you had to have some kind of violation to be a democrat politician. the worst the violation the higher you rose in the party. rangel and what's her name, were being punished to boost their standing and exposure in the party.
baton rouge, LA
Ethics issues haunt anyone in either party who is called on them at any given time. Why do you think they usually pop up just before elections? Whther they have merit or not.
Jack, yes indeed! You can only sell the stuff to the public for so long until they realize it's all been baloney. Transparent as mud.
Hi Jack –
Americans are smart enough to know "Who" the ethically challenged candidate is and will probably steer clear of that individual.
As for the party of the ethically challenged ... shouldn't matter at all. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican that is in good moral standing you should be fine. If we charged the party of the bad ethical candidate, there would be no parties running at all.
How can racial issues hurt the democratic party. For they are no longer democrats. They are the new Obama, socialist party. They have hurt themselves, in every issue they had done. Health care, spending taxpayers money, the stimulus package, bank bailout with bonuses to the CEO's, off shore drilling in the gulf, look at unemployment, still double digits. Back room deals, closed doors to the American people, using Air Force One to campaign. Giving themselves a cost of living raise, but not giving cost of living raises to people on SSI or SSD. The list just keeps getting better. Let's not forget about our TRILLIONS,,,,,, we now owe China. So the racial issue is just another one to add to the list.
Political ethics issues are like steroids in baseball. It's too pervasive to ever get rid of it at this point. All we can do is try to take some power back, so that it won't affect us as much.
Jack, ethics (or lack thereof) in politics has been topic of concern for all of the 40 years since I've been old enough to vote.The only people that will make ethics an issue will be those who want it to be an issue.
if they get reelected then tere is no hope for our country
It will hurt some, but the spoil sport ethics of not compromising on Health Care and taking their ball off the field and passing their own partisan bill, at the first sign of posturing by the Republicans will hurt them worse. I felt when I voted for President Obama, the “change we could believe in’ was supposed to bring bi-partisan compromise. I also feel it is poor ethics to try to racially divide our country by miss-representing the AB1070 and not enforce our laws.
I think it dependes on how long this Rangle soap opera lasts BUT as one Democrate commentator said the other day here in Las Vegas, "I will SEE your Charlie Rangle and RAISE you a John Ensign and David Vitter".
We are used to Dems having no ethics...
What will hurt is the mass spending, unions first attitude and complete disregard for the will of the American people...
Yes & the unfulfilled promises to get a Democratic congress. As a lifelong democrat, I kind of want the republicans to have control so I can blame them for a few years.
David, Las Vegas
Yes, loud and clear. Why" It's all them thar Swamp creatures kissing up to Pelosi.
If ethic issues were enforced in government there would be nobody left to run government.
I am a Democrat, but if any politician, Republican or Democrat, is living high off the hog as a result of ethical wrong doing or improper and unethical behavior, I say throw the book at them. The problem is that it should be in a court of law and not with the foxes guarding the chicken could. Most of these legislators run to perpetuate their own power and fortunes and let's not kid outselves.
I don't see how they can Jack when the republicans under bush looked like a bunch of " Most Wanted" for 8 years and this is only the second incidence of alleged corruption under the democrats unless you count the Blagovitch incident which is still undecided. It would be hard to exceed the excesses and corruption of the Bush years, but I'm sure the Republicans will try to make it look as bad for the Dems as possible to divert attention from that fact.
Not if you put those minor ethics charges against the massive amount of Republican ethics charges and actual crimes next to each other.
Probably. But not for any real reason than the Republicans will decide to exaggerate things so they can feel superior. The ethics transgressions of the Democrats don't even remotely approach the sheer number of terrible things the Republicans have done.
The ethics of an individual such as Rangel are a drop of water in a sea of unethical activities by Congress as a whole. It is the overall self-serving actions, toothless legislation (except for those laws that take the rights and privacy of citizens from them), the failure to secure our borders and prosecute the corporate crooks who hire the criminals crossing our borders and a non-stop stealing from the middle class to give to the wealthy, the financial institutions, the oil companies and all sorts of bailouts that will defeat them. But it really doesn’t matter which group of thugs or what they call themselves that gets power, they will serve the wealthy and rob the middle. Congress no longer works they way our founding fathers intended.
I think that has a lot to do with just what kind of justices is handed down to Charles Rangel, when he receives the slap on the wrist (which you know is the most he'll get). If democrats were smart they'd hang him out to dry, and perhaps save some seats, but we know it will be business as usual, and the party in power will just swing back and forth, they sure picked the right word to describe their organizations (PARTY)
Dave from peterborough, NH.
Ethics issues are going to haunt the Democrats and Republicans this November 2nd. People want Independents to win cause they are fed up with both political parties. The issues never deal with the people. They only deal with special interests. When either party wants to pretend they care about the views of the people, they poll people close to themselves. Those folks stand for nothing.
Yes, Jack . Independents and consevatives will be turned off even more by these ethics violations.
To what extent will the ethics violations impact the votes of the kool-aid drinking liberals? Very little.
No more so than they haunt Republicans. Probably less so.
You can bet on it. Now that Maxine Waters has been charged people will have an even more dim view of the Dems and thier unethical tactics. I am sure the GOP will make sure that the voters are reminded about the Dems from now until November.
it depends, Jack on what evidence is uncovered in both cases. In my opinion, I think it's all a bunch of bologna. How about doing some real work on behalf of the American people? Methinks that he who us without sin in the House should throw the first stone!
Jack I don't think it will help the democratic party, but it might not heard them as bad as past years. The people in general are becoming numb from scandals from both parties. It seems to be part of the norm in politics today. Especially chairmen of the ways and means committee. All you have to do is look at past chairman and you start to see a trend. I guess because it is such a powerful committee that lobbyist and special interest groups go after the chairman like sharks go after blood in the water. Making the chairman think he can do and get away with anything and forgetting why he is in Congress. The republican party will try to make as much political hay from this as possible . Which they should do, after all it was the democrats who promised transparently.
As comared to the ethics issues of the republicans? As comapred to Boehner selling access to him for 100 thousand a pop? As compared to Vitter, Craig, The states of South Carolina and Arizona? I mean, the republicans don't just limit their ethics problems to individual politicians. No. They take over corruption and "pay to play" in entire states, entire industries, the entire financial sector, the private defense industrial complex, and yes, the talking head media.
Sure the democrats will have some problems of their own. But, they will have plenty of company with the republicans. The swamp, it seems, is a necessity to their ecosystem. Reptiles of all sorts thrive in it.
No. The ones that are running for office did nothing wrong, why should they be judged by those two? In that case what about the Republicans with several ethics issues?
John Ensign has several, David Vitter has some, and Sarah Palin has many.
I read that Chris Wallace said.............."John Boehner" might be on "shaky ethical ground" by setting up a so called "cash for Speaker program", in which ""the NRC Committee" was soliciting "major donations" in exchange for "offering access to the Minority Leader."
Jack, both Rangel and Waters come from Districts that think that they can do no wrong, this is what happens when you have been there too long, you think that you are " ABOVE THE LAW".
The Republicans are such whiners and do-nothings that NO ethics issues aren't even close to comparing with the incompetence of the party of No Republicans! The Repubs have hijacked this country and blocked everything good since DAY ONE! And Repubs are STILL whining without any solutions!!! At least Obama and Dems are WORKING!
Happy to see your back, hope everything is going well for you. In my opinion, ethics has and always was a huge problem for both worthless parties. It seems like both parties will lie and say just about what ever it takes to get elected, then once elected, the only ones they serve are themselves. Obama is just like Bush towards illegal immigration, he doesn't want to enforce it, in fear of loosing the illegal vote, and then turns around and sues the great state of Arizona for trying to stop the illegal alien invasion. Here is an even better question, why should Obama fear loosing the illegal vote when they shouldn't be allowed to vote in the first place, and how does the illegal alien get away with voting, oh, thats right, I remember now, if you ask for any kind of I.D. then your a racist. Enjoy it while you can Obama, you are for sure a 1 term do nothing president, except talk about the issues.
No the lack of jobs will sink the Democrats but the Republicans allow the good paying jobs to go out of the country, either way we are doomed.
In recent years, the GOP has had more people cited for ethics than the Democrats. At any rate, ethics seems to be the last tuie breaker.
Ethics should haunt both parties this November.
Rangel and Waters should be charged, tried, convicted and thrown them out of the House. No resignations, no back-door deals. If Waters wants a public trial give it to her now - not later.
As far as Republicans are concerned - you're not clean either. Why is John Ensign and Larry Craig still serving in the Senate?
When is the Senate going to stand-up and hold them accountable for their despicable conduct and crimes committed? Oh, yes and lets not forget their accomplices that knew of Ensign's shennaigans, adultery, job-buying, payoffs and now want to claim preacher confidentiality. Its about time both Houses really cleaned up their act and threw all of these and others out - Again, no resignations, no back-door deals, but instead full public trials, censureship and outster from both Houses and make it a part of the formal record.
Start holding these "law-makers' accountable and with immediate action, not this foot-dragging crap with Craig and Ensign.
Democrat or Republican - do the crime, pay the price. The common American would.
Nancy Pelosi told us she would lead the most ethical Congress ever. I'm sure the voters won't care as long as their representatives promise them more government handouts.
Yes...thank God! It will be interesting how they spin things to blame Bush for Rangel and Water's bad behavior.
No, there are five Republicans under investigation, and Republican Senators Ensign and Vittner should be judged in the court of public opinion for morals charges.
It's a problem for both parties.... We need "Term Limits", these people stay in office too long and get way too Comfortable!
Time for a few of them to Retire and that includes John McCain & John Ensign (which by the way, is being criminally investigated by the FBI)
The Republicans will try to use the ethics issue against Democrats, but I personally don't trust any of them. I believed the President in 2008, and that turned out to be a horrible decision. Unfortunately, I believed I was left with no other choice. But I have learned my lesson. No one gets my vote ever again without my own extensive research. So Liars beware.
No more than Sen. John Ensign's problems will haunt the GOP. Here we have an ethics challenged U.S. Senator who was having sex with his campaign manager's wife. He is under a crimminal investigation by a Federal grand jury for paying the guy off and offering him a lobbying job to keep him quiet. Given the Republicans' record of corruption, if he gets indicted before Nov. it won't be the Dems with the big problem. And remember, there are two GOP ex-Congressmen still in jail from the last Congress. Randy Cunningham and Bob Ney.
Even as a loyal Democrat and a lifelong New Yorker, I hope ethics issues hurt my party. Charlie Rangel has been our albatross for years, another in a long line of politicians who flout the rules and harbor ambition of relection long after their demise – political or otherwise.
If Speaker Pelosi wants to make a statement and really drain the swamp – she could propose legislation for both term limits and public financing of campaigns to return democracy to the people. I'll wait for the pigs to fly first.
One can hope they allowed up in prison for destroying this country.
Jack, people are not as dumb as the Government thinks they are.
It should and I'm not one bit surprized of who is front and center in the ethics issue. You could probably stir the pot and there would be several more coming to the top.
Hopefully ethics issues will haunt the favorites of both thieving, lying, cheating, corrupt major political parties. But don't hold your breath, the majority of voters aren't concerned with the ethics of THEIR representatives.
Let's hold their feet to the fire and get rid of the politicians that think they are above the law or ethical behavior. Rangel should be run out of town, with Waters close behind. But I'm not optimistic that it will happen. Issue in November? I certainly hope so. What a country.
I think that both parties take turns with regard to ethics violations, extra-marital affairs and just plain arrogance. Looks like it's the Dems' turn this cycle.
While ethics issues don't help, that's not what will haunt Democrats in November. It's their arrogance, their refusal to work with Republicans, and their turning a deaf ear to what the American people want that will haunt them. I hope those looking to win in November remember that we’re tired of the antics. Start working, together, to resolve the issues facing the United States.
Wow, Jack, with the troubles, lack of honor your republicans had and are having am surprised you even have the nerve to ask that question. Course, it is another way for you to spread negativity about the Democrats and, of course, you will grab it.
It won't help them any, that's for sure. People start voting for the other party when they realize that the last winners aren't any different than they had before. The pendulem swings ...
No Americans know by that politicans are corrupt,unethical and are criminal. We aiways vote for the best politicans money can buy,if he or she is a crook at least he my crook and has my vote.
These people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and then some – because they most definitely know that what they are doing is illegal. They are not being stupid – they are being dishonest. Please do not let them retire with "dignity". A normal citizen wouldn't be allowed to just walk away. Send them to jail or make them pay dearly.
When your own party starts asking for your resignation, you know things are grim. They are worried that they might be part of those who make up the 10% unemployment in this country.
Laura, Boston MA
Jack yes and no, we'll hear a lot of postering from GOP canidates who are looking to make as much of this as they can. Yet, it will happen again and again as long as there are lobbyists, egos, and arrogance in congress. Plus, I can 100% guarontee you that at least one GOP'er declaiming how bad the Democrats are because of this will face ethics problems themselves.
Jack, if the population has any memory left, they might remember that scandal affects both parties. I never pulled an opposite lever at the poll booth because some legislator's hands were caught in the cookie jar.
When I vote, I ask "what have you done for me and the country lately?"
If people want to use a narrow moral meter to gauge whom they vote for,then you might as well just dissolve congress.
Ethics of individual members of Congress will be small ball in November. Jobs and the economy will be the big issues for most voters across the political spectrum – subtexts will be competence and federal debt. "Focus like a laser on jobs and the economy" was right then for the Democrats to do and it will be right in November for Replicans to remind. The only ethics that might cut with the voters is the lack of ethics in voting for thousand page bills without reading them.
Ethics issues? You mean like stealing an election? Going to war because of weapons that didn't exist? Torturing people? You mean like $8 billion dollars held in trust that disappeared–including 2 billion in cash that has vanished without a trace?
That was all under the Republicans watch, and if the Democrats have any brains at all, they will remind people of this stuff over and over again when the issue of "ethics" comes up.
No. All politics is local. And ethics issues know no party. So the Republicans would do well to let the trial begin. The more they bring it up as a political issue, the more Republican names with ethics issues will rise to the surface. And besides, the majority of Americans don't place our congressional representatives very high on the list of ethical behavior. So it's closer to Claude Rains yelling out in Rick's that he is shocked to learn that gambling was taking place in Casablanca's most famous nightclub while at the same time pocketing his winnings.
I don't think one thing will happen to either of them other than a slap on the wrist. Democrats don't resign or quit over ethics violations. Independents and Republicans are usually forced out then prosecuted. I don't think Rangel and Waters is going to hurt the DNC. Democrats have hurt themselves mostly from self-inflicted wounds and not listening to constituents. We will see how badly very shortly and I have a feeling it will be enough to keep President Obama on a short leash for the next two years.
Not at all Jack, after all the GOP really has the market cornered on lies & deceit. Can you believe they're trying to run that old, tired, disproven scam that giving rich people more free money will fix the economy? How stupid do they think Americans are? Don't they remember the last 8 years, or do they think we've already forgotten? Of course, the Dems are so incompetent that it will never occur to them to publicize the fact that most "Rich" people pay virtually no tax based on their gross income. So I say the mid-terms are a crap-shoot. Elect the Independent!
Bill Kristol had it right. He told Repubs to "shut up" about this stuff cuz YOU could be next! As tenure rises so does corruption, either side.
Yes ethics issues will haunt the Democrats because they are in power. The real issue is will Americans finally come to realize that ethics are no where to be found among Democrats or Republicans.
Not a chance. When it comes to ethics sleaze the Democrats are Pollyannas compared to the Republicans.
jack, it is a wake up call...we need Senator term limits, and Representative and congress term limits...ok...they need to pass in Pres. Obama era only....ok....
Neither party has much going for themselves but...I'm not going back to the Republican party and you can count on it. Even if they start a new party and call themselves the "Tea party"
I think the better question Jack is, "What party won't ethics questions haunt?" Both parties are full of people that have conducted business in a questionable manner. So, are the Democrats done at only two members or will there be more? And from which party will any more come from – Democrats or Republicans?
I see no reason why, the party that has its leader that can not produce a birth certificate, and has a leader that supposedly had its previous Senate seat up for sale, have ethic issues.
From Seattle, WA
Sadly I fear it is just one additional factor that will be a negative to the democratic party in November as a whole when it should just apply to those representatives who engaged in those activities regardless of the party.
I just wish the American public would take as close a look at the amount time and money that the Republican representatives and senators have wasted by their saving no to everything and putting everything on hold. I just cannot get past the picture in my mind of Nero fiddling while Rome burned and seeing the Republicans bowing huge Violins while America crumbles.
The ethics problems are just beginning! Jesse Jackson Jr will be next after the Blago trial ends. He was caught on tape! The appointment of Illinois' Burris to get Obama seat has beed deemed wrong and a judge is forcing Illinois to elect a replacement to serve between November and January! The big joke on Letterman might be that the next Democrat Convention be held at the Thomson Prison in Illinois where most will be residing.
Come November Jack These Mid-Term Elections Are Going To Be Messy And Sloppy, In Other Words Jack These Elections Are Going To Be Something Else It Could Go Either Way! Yes Its True That Charlie Rangel Is Guilty Of Not Paying His Taxes So Why Isn't He Going To Jail Like Wesley Snipes? Then Maxine Waters Is In Trouble To And She's More Than Likely Guilty As Well, Just For There Mistakes They Made I Wouldn't Vote For Charlie Rangel Or Maxine Waters Whatsoever And The People Of New York Need To Speak Out! Here's My Take On The Mid-Term Elections Come November, I Believe That Democrats Quite A Few Seats In The House And Senate But Will They Lose The Majority That Is The Question? Here's A Hint Probably Not!
Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)
the american people arent dumb. they see hanky panky when either party does a boo-boo. the simple way to rid of this problem is by term limits. we all know that both parties are in it for themselves. they could care less about the little people. we only count come election time, then they all are kissing our rear end for their vote. but the mentality that my guy or gal is ok , it must be the other guys and gals. most people vote likre they would vote for lady gaga or even sarah palin.they are one in the same.
Will the ethics violations hurt Dems?
Probably no more than the republicans being hurt by the criminal charges facing republican John Ensign.
Sarah Palin is such a media whore. It's a little like pop-stars complaining about the paparazzi, without whom they would not have careers.
Yes. These Ethics charges do nothing to support Democratic control of the House.
Corruption occurs when people get too familiar with the other side. We need term limits. We also need age limits.
It also wouldn't be a bad idea to vet them all too - would any survive???
No, not if the American people are as smart as they were in the 2008 Elections. But since all the primary "talking points" being slung around are by the GOP, and the Democrats seem too nice to respond in kind to the GOP's allegations of failure, it's possible that the GOOD things Obama has been able to accomplish will remain on the back page, and the ones who always seem to forget how awful the GOP has always been, will, once again, have a rerun of lapsed memory syndrome. In that case, you can bet we'll be back to their same old tricks after the election.
Ethics issues will certainly play a role in the Democrats defeat in the upcoming elections. But that role is minor compared to the pent up anger and disgust toward Obama and the Democrats. What they have been shoving down the throats of the American people is nothing short of Socialism. And their radical agenda will be soundly rejected in November.
stevegee in Philly
Why is it when members of the Republican party in Senate or Congress are caught in Tax evasion, or ethics wrong doing issues, It is never considered a stain on the Entire Republican Senate or Congress, even during an election year. Yet every time there is one Democrat all of a sudden it is "All Democrats Beware!"
Not any more or less than letting just about everthing else happen.
How could it not? They want the so called rich to pay their fair share to fund the thirst of government yet they evade (yes, evade not avoid) paying taxes every chance they get.
They shouldn't any more so than the ridiculous number of sex scandals haunted the GOP. Sanford, Craig, Ensign, and all the other C Street crew. Heck, most of those guys are still there!
More Republicans than Democrats are currently under investigations!
Senators John Ensign is being investigated by both the ethics committee, and the FBI .
Senators Coburn is also being investigated by the ethics committee , along with 5 other members of Congress who are, and have lived at the religious C-Street house – and have for years received illegal gifts, from the owners of the C-Street house, in the from of reduced rents.
One democrat involved in a scandal and already you think it will effect the democrats ?
Tthe republicans had so many GOP officials involved in scandals, Abramoff’, De lay Ney, Foley, Lewis, Burns, Stevens, Craig, among others.? If voters let one scandel effect them they have short term memory and a case of amnesia,
We're pretending there are ethics in politics? I don't think so.
II don't believe anyone is going to paint all of Congress with one fell swoop. Rangel should resign immediately. I don't know anyone of the politcal bent who hasn't known Rangel has been stinking up the House for years. Pelosi and Obama should have a little talk w/ the Congressman and bid him farewell.
Maxine Waters is not a popular figure in California, only L.A. She's seen as snarky and mean spirited and maybe her perceived sense of entitlement has ensnared her. I want to see what specific charges are brought against her before making a final judgement.
ya lets talk about anyone but obama. you know the marxist radical. what about all the bused in people in arizona i go to fox for the news . i just turn u on to see how the propaganda machine is doing .traiters to your country all of you
Lack of health care despite the bill being passed! There you go!
Will ethics issues haunt the Democrats come November?-I hope so, most ethical congress in history?.....not by a long shot!!.
It is no secret that a large number of politicians are corrupt. But if one is keeping score, the corrupt Democratic politicians probably do not outnumber the corrupt Republicans.
Sorry Jack, we know they are all corrupt it doesn't matter what party is on their letterhead. The problems we face now overshadow a couple of trials about corruption. Even as dumb as the American voting public is collectively, they are not going to be moved on a national level by this. Incumbant, is a far dirtier word than democrat or even republican.
It will depend on a number of things. If the economy improves, it will not be an issue. However, if a single democrat has so much as a case of toe nail fungus, it will be the lead story on Fox, twenty-four hours a day, with several weird holy people saying God is punishing the democrats for tieing their left shoe first.
Rangel is a graduate of NYS politics, and corruption has become a way of life. Of, course, that's way always was, those having gold make the rules, and those making rules get a hold of gold. Remember, government is of, by and for the politician, Lincoln was wrongX!
That's seems to be the plan, Jack. You guys forget about Ensign? Haven't heard a peep, even though it's 10 times as damaging, and the GOP is ready to throw him under the bus. But, crickets................
Everything in this country effects politics except the "issues" that are presented to us on a daily basis.
How much effect the ethics scandals will have on the November election will depend on who can sling the most mud by election day.
Welcome back to you and Wolfe! Yes, Suzanne Malveaux did a great job but you were both missed and hope you enjoyed your vacation time!
To your question :
I think if the elected officials in question should face if any wrong was done on their part and face reprimand as I do beleive people can face their wrongdoing and make right!
Maybe not a haunt, Jack – Halloween will be past when the polls open on November 2nd – but The Democrats will point to and blame the indiscretions of Rangel and Waters as their downfall. Gee – it couldn't have possibly been their full steam ahead passage of two 2,000 page bills taking us down wrong way street to an unimaginable deficit.
Ethics and Democrats in the same sentence ??
The very definition of a Democrat is .......................a politician having little or no ethics.
Their sole existance relies on deceit, manipulation, and/or corruption.
Come November, Americans will rise by the millions to start the eradication of Democrats at all levels of public office.
Ethics will be somewhere on a list of 879 despicable traits leading to their demise.
Jack, I pray to God that this helps the Republican Party take back control of both congressional houses. I'm an 80% disabled, retired veteran (retired in 2008), still trying to find a job. I've been applying for jobs since I left the military, and so far, I've only gotten three interviews (out of hundreds of applications!!) Unfortunately, none of them led to anything. Our country needs to get back on the right track, and get the job market opened up. The Democrats sure aren't doing anything to help!
Well, it appears that most of the people who could actually do something to clean up the ethics swamp still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. "Random acts of common sense" are few and far between these days in D.C. What's going to change?
If they are honest and guilty, it’s time for Charlie and Maxine, along with John Ensign and others, to foxtrot down the aisle, out the door and end their careers with some dignity. That would prove the ethics process works. If they do it soon enough, they will be pretty much forgotten by November. If not, none of them should be on any committees, regardless of which party is in charge, until they are either vindicated or join Duke Cunningham and the rest in prison.
Will ethics issues haunt the Democrats? Do bears spit in the woods? Unless the current two members of Congress in question have lousy financial advisors, they should be set for life. They should do themselves, their families, and the rest of us a favor and resign.
No. People fall for the bribes these representatives promise them, and keep voting in the same incumbents. Both parties are extremely criminal and should be incarcerated.
Not that long ago you asked if the oil spill would affect the Democrats in the midterms, and I said that some other issue would knock that off of people's minds. I think your question proves my point exactly.
Saint Augustine, Fl.
How about TERM LIMITS for all! No matter how popular they are!
The Dems need this like a bad headache!
Rangel and Waters are probably just the tip of the iceberg. It is my understanding that there are eight people in Congress being investigated by Nancy's new committee. The Democrats chances for keeping a majority in either house is getting slimmer. Voters will remember this on election day and no matter the outcome of the hearings in Congress, both of them in the voting booth are guilty as charged.
A plague on both their houses!
I certainly hope so. Its the party in power that in trouble because they control the purse strings. Money talks!
Tell me how is it Chris Dodd and Barney Franks still have their jobs?
It will not hurt Democrats if these two politicians come clean and resign fast. They should fess up now before they put the future election in jeapardy. Sadly, both will deny and deny again. History repeats itself over and over again.
Ethics violations should hurt any politician who is guilty, and any party complicit their member's violations. Complicit should include lackadaisical monitoring and inherent efforts to ignore the violations of others.
Can anyone guess why this is an issue for the dems now...? I have been trying for years to figure out who or what group of politicians is being "Blackmailed' by Karl Rove to keep him out of a Life prison sentence...my theory is Rove is Kind of like J . Edgar Hoover and has a lot of dirt on a lot of people...If people knew what Rove has done he would be in prison for life...Jack, Why don't people know what Rove has done...? And yet there is a huge amount of corruption on both sides but we must focus on these two "Black Politicians".....NOW...?
I hope so. Neither party is angelic in this regard, but wrongdoing should not be tolerated. The media is a poor barometer for the real feelings of the American public, and the media may have a great shock next election!
Does it really matter? The Dems don’t need ethic violations to screw-up the November elections. I feel confident that they’ll find numerous ways to lose. On the other hand, the lack of cooperation in both parties is criminal and unethical, especially when America is suffering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
All politicians start out as virgins in congress. As time goes on they are fornicated by the lobbyists and become insulated from the real world. Its like pornography. They start to believe their behavior is normal and they plunge into a total lack of morality.
Yes. I think that if the swamp was promised to be drained, and they are still landing whales, then they might have a problem. Pelosi may have scared straight a few republicans with her threat of partisan pursuit, but democratic fat cats thought they would always have cover from the machine.
hat a democratic congress is pursuing their own in an election year speaks volumes.
Are you really shocked about this?Nowadays it's easy to become a politician all you have to do is repeat what every poltician has always said,I'll help create jobs,I'll cut the deficit and I'll stop wasteful spending and then when we elect these liars,again,they do like every politician does,Personal favors for the wealthy just to fill their own pockets.I honestly don't know if this will hurt the Democratic party because people don't trust the ones trying to take their jobs because we are sick of being lied too and tired of hearing the same promises over and over again..
I write as a confirmed Democrat, but if ethics issues don't haunt the Democrats this fall, the Republican party isn't doing its job.
As hype as these allegations appear to be, they are only allegations, let those lawmakers have their day in court before crucify them as we always do in the media.
Come on, Jack. We all know that "congressional ethics is an oxymoron.
Joe in Delray Beach, FL
Ethics issues will not hurt the Democrats when the Republican side of the swamp is drained.
This isn't a surprise.
With all of the dirty dealings on Obama's stimulus package, Obamacare, and other bills, it's obvious that the Democrats are dirty starting with Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.
ETHICS – The rules of standards governing the conduct of the members of a profession. Just thought all politicians should know the definition.
Haunt isn't the right word. For something to haunt someone they must feel bad about what they've done! Since none of these politicians ever feel guilty or admit wrongdoing, I don't think they feel "haunted" about anything!
Now to the question you're asking......
All of the criminals from BOTH parties should be voted out of office PROMPTLY!
If we are lucky ALL of them will be voted out. If you or I did these things we would see a very long prison term. We need term limits then at least they would only have a short time to do these things. Be they Democrats or Republicans. They all disgust me with their arrogance. Let's oust them all. This wonderful county of mine is in one heck of a mess. This is not the change I wanted just more of the same.
Nancy Pelosi promised to drain the swamp and that is what is happening. They are going after people regardless of party. The ethics standards under this administration are higher than any previous.
no not in my opinion. Why vote Yes for republicans they'll only vote no.The dems in the midterm !
John Ensign hasn't resigned. David Vitter hasn't resigned.
Why are Democrats held to higher standards? All politicians are corrupt.
Ethics should haunt the dems in November however, i'd advise the republicans to check there own swamp b4 casting stones. Look at the race in Colorado?
Wake up America, the politicians are playing their usual games to gain power for themselves. You and I are only important on election day.
Ask yourself a simple question: Is any politician really looking out for you or your family???
You already know the answer!!
Until the politicians fear the voters we will be pawns in there self serving games.
Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians G.R.I.P.
No way.It's still Bushs fault.And when they say "drain the swamp",they don't mean the swamp they waller in.
Jack: There is no ethics in politics. We vote and get the crooks we deserve. Our representatives spend more money to get into office that pay political wages for payback years down the line. This is a joke on the tax payers.
Historically, fraud and crime have not hurt in any election/re-election bid. Sad, isn't i it?
Jack...Let's get the story straight about Maxine Waters before we jump to conclusions. According to the Wall Street Journal, dated 8/2/10, (no friend to the Dems), "At the time Ms. Waters was seeking government money for the bank, she had disclosed her husband's financial interest in the bank, as is required under congressional ethics rules". She disclosed, nothing hidden, they agreed. What's the problem? Dire I say the problem is "Politics"?
Only if you keep missing the point. Dems established ethics committe to drain the swamp. Let the chips fall whereever. Repubs stonewalled and refused to even have an ethics committee. Only took action when they were convicted in court. You guys let them get away with it and now are shocked ,shocked I tell you that there are ethics problems coming to light. Give the Dems credit for taking action and hoping that the media will figure it out.
It seems that the American public has a very short attention span.The Dems are no worse than Repubs,,, I think the common denominator here is "been there too long".. Term limits.......
Yes, but handled correctly, the damage will be minimal. As you say, the problem is bipartisan and endemic. If the the Democrats follow the rules, arrive at a reasonable settlement or let the case go to trial and don't play games, people will see that the system works and see that the Democrats won't tolerate corruption. Then there won't be much effect on other Democrats.
Jim, Craig, CO
Jack,this is a time for the Democrats to get these investigations/trials underway ASAP and, if it means that Pangel and Waters go, so be it. Letting these issues develop will do nothing to help the Democrats and can only become bigger news to Beck, Hannity Limbaugh et al.
Shameful embarrassing and even illegal.no action would only come out of this if all the "boys and girls" are hoping for reciprocity down the line.
I'd like to comment on these two ethics issues. However, I live in Florida and am still in a state of speechless shock over biggest ethics violation of the century–the Supreme Court handing the presidential election to George W Bush in 2000.
Jack I sure hope so. We have to drain the swamp of crooked politicians weather republican or democrat. Did I say democrat?
Yes, they are both still there, Jack. Would you have them leave without the chance to answer the charges against them, Jack?
It will be the American people who will be haunted by ethics scandals. Once again, they are facing another round of distractions that could potentially result in more ineffecient governing. It is all discouraging, disconcerting, distracting, distasteful...we are being dissed!!
no more than the lack of ethics on the republican side. they're all crooks Jack. they should all be in jail.
Because of the "perpetual campaign" mentality that permeates our political system, these investigations will serve both parties very well since they will provide a sufficient smoke screen to cover their lack of real performance. Personally, I don't see how you can call these ethics investigations since there are obviously no ethics involved in Congress.
Jack as a career military officer I have never been more disappointed in the Congress as I have been the past decade. Scandal after scandal seem to haunt both parties, yet you have crooks in one position deciding the fate of other crooks. It is time to put in term limits and restrict the amount of corruption and graft one can obtain during their time in Congress. Frankly I sometimes think our country is finished!!
I believe that Limbaugh claimed this was more a Black issue than a Democrat issue. He spent time today talking about how Blacks think things are owed to them citing remarks by the former mayor of Washington D.C. back years ago.
By any rational standard noone on either side of the aisle should be allowed to work unsupervised in a convenience store, or in amy job that requires honesty. If they did someone could give them $20 and carry off the store
Rep Rangel broke some rules and should accept the Ethics Committee's ruling but Rep Waters seems to be just another target for Republicans who are still trying to get even for Watergate and Nixon.
Absolutely not, Jack. A Republican haunting would be worse.
No. Voters are not all that stoopid. They will not punish Pelosi and Obama for mistakes made by Rangel, Waters anymore than they will punish the Repugs for mistakes made by Vitter, Ensign or wingnut bachmann.
Dems will retain both houses because they have ideas and have good leadership. Repugs will lose because they have become extremists, bigots and obstructionists.
Dems will win.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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