Nov 29, 2012

Boehner, Cantor Continue to Tolerate Scandal-Scarred Grimm

Despite promising to enact a zero-tolerance policy for ethics problems, Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor are continuing to stand by Congressman Michael Grimm even as it was confirmed yesterday that both the bipartisan House Committee on Ethics and the Department of Justice have been investigating Grimm for possibly breaking the law with his fundraising activities.  House Ethics’ confirmation this week that they decided to investigate Grimm is just the latest blow to House Republicans’ credibility on ethics.

“House Republicans will start off the new Congress with a bang as one of their star members, Congressman Michael Grimm, faces House Ethics and Department of Justice investigations,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “It’s long past time for Speaker John Boehner and Republican Leader Eric Cantor to finally follow their own zero tolerance policy, but instead they are making it clear that their zero tolerance pledge has zero credibility.”

Background

House Ethics Announced Investigation Into Grimm’s Fundraising. “The House Ethics Committee announced Monday that Rep. Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, is under investigation for possible campaign finance violations, but said it is deferring the inquiry because of a separate Justice Department probe. The New York Republican may have violated campaign finance laws by soliciting and accepting prohibited contributions, actions that may have caused false information to be included in campaign finance reports, the committee said.” [Associated Press, 11/26/12]

Grimm Named NRCC Regional Chair. In March 2011, the National Republican Congressional Committee named Grimm to the committee’s leadership team as a Regional Chair. Grimm was assigned to oversee Region 10, which was comprised of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.  [NRCC Press Release, 3/02/11]

Cantor Pledged Zero-Tolerance on Ethics Violations. “I think that as Republicans emerge as a new governing majority, it is incumbent upon us to institute a zero-tolerance policy — that we understand there are reasons for our being fired in ‘06 and ’08. […] We cannot tolerate any ethics violations or behavior in terms of compromising the ethics that the people expect us to have as their representatives.” [YouTube, uploaded 8/10/10]

Boehner Claimed House Republicans Will Hold Themselves to the Highest Ethical Standard. “House Republicans will demonstrate our commitment to reform by holding ourselves to the highest possible ethical standard,” wrote John Boehner. [Politico, 12/8/08]


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