Off Limits

Talk Scoop

Q: What do you think the fallout might be?

A: What I'm afraid of is that because of the extreme attacks on Tom from the Democrats and outside groups, the Republicans will begin to retaliate and go against Nancy Pelosi, and then the Democrats will go against someone else, and you get the ethics committee used as a political tool. That's wrong, and it shouldn't happen. I wish the Democrats would back off and the Republicans wouldn't retaliate, and we can use the ethics committee like it's supposed to be used -- to look at individual cases and try to stop bad behavior.

Q: Before this, what was the biggest ethics case the committee faced?

Tanks for the memories, Tom.
John Johnston
Tanks for the memories, Tom.
Joel Hefley
Joel Hefley

A: One of the biggest, most high-profile things was Jim Traficant. We ended up ejecting him from the Congress, and that probably got more publicity than almost anything until the DeLay matter. Mostly, we tried to educate the members to come to us first so we could make a determination. My theory was, keep people out of trouble rather than prosecute them, if we can. Most members of Congress are pretty good, but there are some others who aren't.

Q: Anyone in particular?

A: There is, but I'm not going to name names.

Q: Are you planning to run for a tenth term?

A: I don't make that decision ordinarily until Christmas the year before the election, because I don't want to think all the time about campaigning.

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