Not Getting Any Easier

As if on cue, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will gather this Thursday to mark up what should be an interesting report.

Now this isn’t just any report on accounting practices or procurement problems in an obscure agency. Nope. This is a report on Jack Abramoff’s contacts and connections with the White House.

A rather tenacious fellow from California named Henry Waxman chairs the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This is a sampling of how Congressman Waxman runs his committee, especially in the face of a hostile witness and a less than supportive ranking member. Really, the guy does not pull punches.

The issue of nefarious connections between people in positions of power and those who ostensibly petition their government through lobbying has been well documented. Also well documented is the trouble this dynamic causes when the connections are built with money (gifts, travel, meals, beverages, large campaign contributions, etc.).

But, Thursday’s hearing raises another dynamic-the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.

The Abramoff scandal broke before the 2006 mid-term elections, causing a backlash against the party in power at the time. Incumbents from the party in power were thrown out in favor of new faces promising ethics reform. Here we are two years later and this particular ethics scandal is still haunting Members of Congress and the White House.

Bottom line, this theme of exposing nefarious connections and striving for reform is not going away. Not in Washington and certainly not in Santa Fe.

(See the the irresistible force meet the immovable object, courtesy of TPM.)

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