Congressional ethics watch


No real news is the news on Capitol Hill when it comes to the two most ethically-challenged sitting members of Congress, in terms of high-profile allegations. The non-news event in the case most farthest advanced is that it will proceed as scheduled. That would be the trial of Ted Stevens (R-AK) for failure to report items of value received. His attempts to get the charges tossed on grounds they involved official legislative business failed, and the courtroom action should begin next Monday 9/22/08. Over in the House, no charges have been filed against Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel (D-NY), although Republicans have been trying to at least bring him before the Ethics Committee and get him to step down from his chair. Questions about Rangel’s conduct have to do with taxes, real estate and donations. He is bringing in forensic accountants, who will dissect 20 years worth of his financial records in an effort to clear his name.