Just three weeks into his congressional career, Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) has earned the dubious distinction of being the first member of the historic class of House GOP freshmen to find himself at the center of an ethics scandal.
The Rivera case also could prove an early and politically sensitive problem for Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and other top Republicans who criticized former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s handling of scandals involving Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
Boehner has yet to comment on the allegations involving Rivera, yet behind the scenes, GOP insiders already are drawing contingency plans for a replacement should the freshman lawmaker resign or be forced to step aside, according to multiple Republican sources.
Cantor, meanwhile, has promised a “zero-tolerance policy” for GOP lawmakers caught up in the scandals. But so far, the Virginia Republican has refused to comment on the Rivera case, drawing criticisms of hypocrisy from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
It’s good to see that Mr. Rivera is such a quick study on how things go in Washington. It took Charlie Rangel thirty years, but he did it in three weeks. Of course, he did have a good background; that’s how they roll in the Florida legislature.