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10 January 2006
Mike Rogers power grab

Several news outlets are reporting today that Congressman Mike Rogers (R-8th), is throwing his hat into the race for Majority Whip in the US House of Representatives. House leadership is in a state of change since Tom Delay, ex-Majority Leader, has fallen out of favor with his recent indictments for money laundering and conspiracy. The Majority Leader position is likely to be filled by either Roy Blunt (R-MO) or John Boehner (R-OH). Majority Whip would be the 2nd in command behind Majority Leader. Rogers is not expected to win the seat.

Rogers is paying a lot of empty lip service to the recent wave of GOP scandals in his Whip candidacy announcements to the media in an attempt to set himself apart from the rest of the party:

"I am afraid we have lost our way in the day-to-day administration of this government," Rogers wrote. "Bold change is a must if we are going to regain the public's trust and confidence."

Rogers called for several changes, including creating an independent commission to audit lobbyists' activities and revising campaign finance laws to ban Indian tribes from spending unlimited money on congressional elections.

Lobbying and Indian gaming money are two major reasons that the whip job may be up for grabs.

I think Rogers' implicit accusations are crap and that any Repugnican wishing to lend credibility to this sort of assault should begin by naming the problem a bit more accurately. Lobbying and Indian gaming money are not the reasons Delay has been whisked away to the attic. Rather, Delay himself is the reason Delay is in trouble. There are no bribes unless someone takes the cash and follows through on the underhanded deal. I prefer Josh Marshall's assessment:

When you want to clean up the neighborhood, there's generally very little you can accomplish until you get the actual criminals off the streets. Once that's done, you can knock down the abandoned buildings, reseed the park, refound the neighborhood watch organization, whatever.

But the true, immediate and overriding problem with a crime-infested neighborhood is the criminals.

Congress, and thus the country, faces a similar predicament.

Congressman Rogers, if you really aim to clean up this problem and create change, start by returning the $20,000+ you've received from Tom Delay and 'Duke' Cunningham.

ADDENDUM: Matt from Michigan Liberal has much more on this. He says:

[...] ...contrary to what you have been told, Rep. Rogers is NOT an outsider. In fact he's the farthest thing from it. [...]

Read on.

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