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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bob Ney - Poster Child for the House Republicans

From the NY Times

Congressman Pleads Guilty but Won’t Resign for Now
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 — Representative Bob Ney, the first member of Congress to confess to crimes in dealings with the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty to corruption charges Friday but said he would not immediately resign.

Mr. Ney, Republican of Ohio, announced last month that he intended to plead guilty, admitting that in return for official acts, he had accepted tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts from Mr. Abramoff that included lavish trips, meals and tickets to concerts and sporting events. He faces a prison term of more than two years.

But what had not been expected at Friday’s court hearing was Mr. Ney’s disclosure that he intended to remain in Congress for now. The announcement appeared to surprise and infuriate House Republican leaders, who are trying to tamp down other scandals that are threatening to damage the party in next month’s Congressional elections.

After learning that Mr. Ney would not step down immediately and would continue to draw his $165,200-a-year salary, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and other Republican leaders said they would move to expel him as soon as Congress returns next month for a postelection session.

“Bob Ney must be punished for the criminal actions he has acknowledged,” they said in a statement. “He betrayed his oath of office and violated the trust of those he represented in the House. There is no place for him in this Congress.”

The White House joined in calling for Mr. Ney to resign immediately. “What Congressman Ney did is not a reflection of the Republican Party,” said Tony Snow, the White House spokesman. “It’s a reflection of Congressman Ney, and he ought to step down.”

Rep. Ney's arrogance and stupidity take away one of the GOP talking points re: the Foley scandal. They've stood on top of the chicken coop and crowed about the speed of his resignation (well, after at least 3 years of skeevy behavior, and only after ABC news showed up with the goods). That was contrasted with prior page scandals involving Barney Frank and Gerry Studds.

Sorry, Dennis Hastert. You can no longer claim any moral high ground.