Saturday, July 24, 2010

In Rangel case, Democrats face unsavory choices

At the very least, majority Democrats are getting a taste of what it's like to manage a transcendent scandal in the shadow of an election.

Four years ago, then-Speaker Dennis Hastert and other top Republicans were besieged daily by reporters demanding to know why Foley's conduct was allowed to go on for years.

Then, it was Democrats running the negative ads. And, while all the Republicans wanted Foley to quit, his resignation didn't stop the bleeding. The cover up became the story. Then came the election. Republicans lost the House.

Amplify’d from

In Rangel case, Democrats face unsavory choices

Representative faces ethics charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats nervously anticipating Rep. Charles Rangel's ethics trial know all about the media frenzy and negative ads accompanying election-season scandals. They generated it themselves in 2006, when Republican Rep. Mark Foley was forced to resign in disgrace.

Foley's misdeeds stemmed from his dealings with House pages and efforts by Republicans, then in the majority, to ignore and cover them up. Rangel's ethics charges raise questions about his management of money and taxes and his official role — and pose difficult choices for the party that won its majority in large part by vowing to run the most ethical Congress in history.

Rangel has long acknowledged that his ethics troubles had no upside for Democrats in difficult re-election bids. The good news, he said at a news conference Friday, was that perhaps the matter would soon end.

Not if Republicans, still feeling the decisive sting of the Foley scandal, can help it.


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