Thursday, January 12, 2006

Is House Speaker Hastert Safe?

The Los Angeles Times reports that House Republicans are calling for broad changes:
Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-N.Y.) planned to start circulating a petition as early as Wednesday night asking for broad elections. The move underscored many House Republicans' belief that their leaders needed to do more to respond to the unfolding corruption scandal involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, if the party was going to keep its congressional majority in the November elections.

Only days ago, House Republicans appeared set to hold a single election to replace Tom DeLay, who had resigned as majority leader, the No. 2 leadership position in the House. DeLay has been indicted in Texas on campaign finance-related charges unrelated to the Abramoff case.

But under Sweeney's petition, House Republicans would hold elections for five leadership posts in addition to picking a successor to DeLay as majority leader.

"Most of this year, I have felt like our leadership needed new people at the table," said Rep. Anne M. Northup (R-Ky.), a conservative who normally is supportive of the leadership. "The fact is that they are tired."

She added: "I have not seen evidence of our leadership being able to stand up to special interests...."
Sweeney's proposal exempts House Speaker Dennis Hastert from the new elections. I'm not clear why the Republicans in the House want to exempt Hastert from possibly losing his position. After all, he was originally selected by Tom DeLay to be the Speaker. And there have been too many very odd last minute changes in legislation either happening under Hastert's nose or with his approval.


Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"She added: 'I have not seen evidence of our leadership being able to stand up to special interests'...."

Folks in the age bracket of House Republican leaders don't do standing up what they've been doing with special interests. Ahem.

3:33 PM  

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