CBC Critical of Ethics Office, Just Like GOP. Everyone, this blog included, writes about how critical the Congressional Black Caucus is of the Office of Congressional Ethics. The new Ethics Office was created in 2008 as then-Speaker Pelosi focused on ethics reform. Well let’s look at the record — the WHOLE record. Rep. Dan Boren had no sharing his feelings with the Tulsa World full story here about the Office of Congressional Ethics. His buddy, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) was the focus of a “preliminary investigation” conducted on Lucas and 7 other members — most of whom were later exonerated.
Rep. Dan Boren, Sept. 2010: “There are multiple members who have been unfairly accused of wrongdoing, that have been publicly accused of wrongdoing, that have done nothing wrong,” Boren said. “The OCE, I believe, has not improved the ethics process.”
Rep. Boren: “In fact, they have embarked on some investigations without merit and have done so publicly in a way that has hurt members who have done nothing wrong.”
One of the members Boren may have been referring to was Rep. Mel Watt, who was also exonerated along with Frank Lucas (R-OK). Republican Lucas was not thrilled with the Office of Congressional Ethics and said so at the time. “Hours were spent producing documents and preparing for interviews, however, the real cost has been to my personal political capital,” read entire here Rep. Lucas told the press after the Office of Congressional Ethics dismissed his case.
Though the CBC is always pointed out as the “main critic” of OCE, others have chimed in privately. The difference has been that only members of the Congressional Black Office were willing to be on the record legislatively.
After POLITICO writer John Breshnahan put focus on the number of black lawmakers named in ethics investigations, in his well-read article Racial disparity: All active ethics probes focus on black lawmakers read entire article here many noticed.
Remember also that in 2008, now-Speaker Boehner was one of 182 House Republicans who voted against the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics.