Not since Bob Dornan’s narrow loss ten years ago to Loretta Sanchez have I delighted in a Republican’s woes as I delight in the woes of another Southern California Congressman, this time, Jerry Lewis.
Last month, he “refused to go along” with a spending outline negotiated between the fiscally-conservative Republican Study Committee and the House leadership, forcing leaders to pull the bill before a vote. Lewis, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, led the committee’s 13 subcommittee chairmen in objecting to modest reforms in the budgeting process.
While it appears House Speaker had been listening to disgruntled Republicans, calling a bloated Senate version of an emergency spending bill “dead on arrival in the House,” spendthrift Republicans like Lewis prevent the GOP caucus from uniting behind the party’s Reaganite principles.
Federal prosecutors are now investigating ties between Lewis and a lobbyist linked in the bribery scandal of former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. It appears that lobbyists hosted poker parties, featuring prostitutes, to attract lawmakers — and other officials — they wished to influence. As the earmark process has grown out control, it’s no wonder lobbyists have devised a variety of means to influence decisionmakers so they can better feed at the federal trough.
It would be no great loss (in fact it would be quite a boon) to the House Republicans if this champion of pork-barrel politics departed in disgrace. Indeed, such a departure would do much to help end pork-barrel politics in Washington– and to restore the GOP to the Reaganite principles which brought our party to power just twelve years ago.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
Because I think pork-barrel politics is one of the great failures of the GOP Congress, with this post, I am introducing it as new topic for our blog.
UPDATE: In Mark Tapscott’s excellent post, he links an insightful piece by your humble blogger’s occasional correspondent, Bruce Kessler, and looks at the president’s strengths and weakness. Like me, he lauds the president on his leadership in war and for his federal judicial appointments. But takes strong issue with the “congressional wing of the GOP,” focusing on their spendthrift policies and offers a positive agenda for how the GOP can once again become the party of Reagan, rather than continue down the path of Lewis. Since Glenn alerted me to this piece, I’ll just say as he might say, read the whole thing.