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.