Chris Bell was so upset that Tom DeLay’s success in the Texas redistricting battle helped insure Bell would only be a one-term Congressman that he decided the best thing to do would be to file an ethics complaint against DeLay on his way out the door. Democrats were so eager to jump on the bandwagon that many did so while forgetting that they do the very same things they’re accusing DeLay of.
Of course, we didn’t hear about it until Chris Bell broke the unofficial 7-year truce discouraging House members from filing ethics complaints against one another. Now the ethics tide is rising and many Democrats are finding themselves in neck deep water wondering how much longer they can doggy-paddle before they go under.
Democrat Rep. Norm Dicks - allowed a lobbying firm to cover part of the cost of a trip he took to a military conference three months ago.
Democrat Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones - took a 2001 trip to Puerto Rico that was paid for by a registered lobbyist firm, according to documents that she filed with the House clerk.
Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi - was on the same trip with Jones, but refused to provide proof the trip was legitimate.
Democrat Rep. James Clyburn and Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson - like Tom DeLay, received travel expenses initially paid by lobbyist Jack Abramoff on his credit card or by his firm, internal records of the lobbying firm show.
Democrat Rep. Neil Abercrombie - recorded that a lobbying group paid for his trip to Boston (but recently “amended” the form to remove the lobbying group’s name).
And of course, there are other “high profile” Democrats that could feel the heat of the backfire in the near future…
Chris Bell probably never thought his grudge would impact his own party like this. This is gonna be interesting…