Thursday, February 3, 2005

Off With Their Heads

Josh Marshall reports in Talking Points Memo that the House “Ethics” Committee has been re-made in the image of Tom DeLay.

It’s been known for some time that the now-outgoing Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Rep. Joel Hefley (R) of Colorado was going to get canned for his various offenses related to the Ethics Committee’s handling, be it ever so gentle, of Rep. Tom DeLay (R) of Texas. The only mystery was just when the ax would fall.

But in this case, Speaker Hastert seemed to be channeling Michael Corleone in one of his less appealing moments.

As we noted back on November 19th, three of the five Republican members of the House Ethics Committee turned out to be in the Shays Handful. Or putting it more prosaically, three of them voted against the DeLay Rule.

The three were Hefley, Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R) of Missouri and Rep. Steven LaTourette (R) of Ohio.

Hastert axed all three.

The two who toed the DeLay line — Rep. Judy Biggert (R) of Illinois and Rep. Doc Hastings (R) of Washington — stay. And Hastings becomes Chairman.

Speaker Hastert’s spokesman said, “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business. Why, next week Mr. Hastert is going to take Mr. Hefley fishing in a little rowboat out on Lake Tahoe.”