Sacrificial Honesty

Bloggers are not the only ones who can speak truth to power.

Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colorado), a staunch conservative and chair of the House Ethics Committee, has built a reputation as someone who will do his job. If current rumors are true, however, he won’t be doing his job much longer: Majority Leader Tom “The Hammer” DeLay (R-Texas) is considering shunting Hefley out of the way.

This year, Hefley's committee has reprimanded DeLay three times for such sleaze as promising to support the political campaign of another congressman's son if the congressman voted for a certain bill. Yesterday, Hefley issued a biting statement against proposed rule changes designed to protect DeLay from a possible grand jury indictment on charges of campaign finance crimes.

Fortunately, Hefley is not alone in despising the power-at-any-price attitude of DeLay and others in Republican leadership. Hundreds of Republican voters have contacted their legislators to condemn the ethics changes, and the leadership was forced scuttle most of the proposed changes in a meeting last night.

Due to the efforts of Hefley and others, Republicans will keep the standards they set for themselves in 1994. Whether he will hold onto his job and be able to continue speaking truth to power is up in the air.

My sincere hope is that the spate of negative publicity will cause a groundswell in the G.O.P. in support of Tom DeLay's resignation as Majority Leader. This would make it clear to other potential power-abusers that flirting with corruption is not tolerated. It would also save the G.O.P. from the embarressment of DeLay being removed by a grand jury indictment. In his absence, I would like to make a nomination for Majority Leader: someone who is firmly conservative, who fights waste, and who holds himself and his colleagues to the highest standards of public accountability: Joel Hefley. In the meantime, however, Hefley will have to settle for receiving the first InstantEagle award from my homeblog, InstantReplay.

Denver Post
Boston Globe
Washington Post
Hefley's Homepage > Porker of the Week feature

Posted by Chops at January 4, 2005 1:10 PM