Friday, April 08, 2005

DeLay chastised, Reid ignored

Taking its lead from Democrat Party talking points, the Kansas City Star today attacked House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for allegedly funneling half a million dollars to his wife and daughter. The money came from DeLay's political action and campaign committees, not from taxpayers.

The Star also noted that members of the House need "to review similar though smaller payments to relatives of other lawmakers in both parties."

If The Star is truly concerned about the relatives of politicians benefiting finacially from such relationships, why stop with a Republican and why stop with the House?

It has been known for some time that the four sons and son-in-law of Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader, have benefited financially from their relationship with the senator. A chart produced by The Los Angeles Times in 2003 shows that the boys' firms received far more than one million dollars.

Kansas Media Watch has invited The Star to write an editorial on Sen. Reid's ethical lapses. We received this mesage from Mirriam Pepper, The Star's editorial page editor:

"Thanks for the tip to the LAT piece. I'm sure you noticed that we mentioned Democratic ethical breaches and specifically used Jim Wright in the editorial. But you should also recall that we've got a long history of vigorously criticizing powerful Democrats in Washington -- Wright, Dan Rostenkowski and many others. We criticized Reid's predecessor, Tom Daschle. The page blasted the Clinton administration for its ethics problems, and printed loads of editorial cartoons against Clinton as well. So please be assured that there is a willingness to go after top Democrats when they deserve it, and we always appreciate good tips. It's important to remember that Democrats aren't in power right now, so they inevitably get less attention -- just as the Republicans did, back when Democrats ran Washington."

Of course, Jim Wright left Congress in 1989 and Dan Rostenkowski's scandal occurred more than a decade ago. A search of the words "editorial, Tom, Daschle, ethics" in The Star's archive's results in just one entry, and that 1994 editorial claims that "the Democrats have made wise choices in their top leadership races."

Many people would consider Sen. Reid's actions vis-a-vis his sons and son-in-law far less ethical than Rep. DeLay paying his wife and daughter from his own committee funds. If Reid's sins "inevitably get less attention" because his party is currently in the minority, will we have to wait for The Star to finally give them attention if and when Reid's party becomes the majority?