Jeff Flake tried his best to get the House to clean up after itself in the wake of raids on the lobbyist group PMA and some of its clients. Flake got a vote on a resolution to begin an investigation into PMA and the hundreds of millions of pork dollars that has flowed to its clients from Representatives who have financially benefited from them. Unfortunately, only 21 Democrats went along with Flake — and a few Republicans defected (via Instapundit):
The House on Thursday night turned back another call to investigate the PMA Group, a once-powerful lobbying firm whose offices were recently raided by the FBI and which has close ties to Pennsylvania Rep. John P. Murtha (D).
Twenty-one Democrats, including nine freshmen, voted to proceed with debate on the measure offered by Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake (R) calling for an investigation of the lobbying firm. Most of the Democrats represent fiscally conservative districts.
Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska — the focus of an unrelated federal corruption probe — voted with the Democrats to table Flake’s motion. He was joined by Republicans Walter Jones of North Carolina, Dana Rohrabacher of California and Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, whose district abuts Murtha’s and who has been an outspoken supporter of his recently embattled neighbor.
I’d expect this from Jones and Murphy, but what happened to Rohrabacher? He’s usually considered a stalwart conservative, although amenable to pork. Even so, shouldn’t Rohrabacher back an effort to make pork more “clean”?
When the FBI tried to investigate William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson by getting a valid search warrant for his Capitol Hill office, Nancy Pelosi hit the roof, claiming it as a violation of the separation of powers. She claimed that the executive branch had effectively raided the legislative branch despite having procured a search warrant based on probable cause. Pelosi said that Congress had jurisdiction over any wrongdoing committed by Jefferson, at least on Capitol Hill, and sued to quash the evidence from the FBI search.
Unfortunately, Pelosi has no desire to fulfill her obligations in ending corruption in the House. She and Steny Hoyer managed to whip enough Democrats to block Flake’s efforts to get Pelosi to take the responsibility she asserted in the Jefferson case. I guess Pelosi, Hoyer, and the Democrats meant that they would be culturing corruption as a majority party when they ran on the “Culture of Corruption” slogan in 2006.