Tuesday, December 12, 2006


A paragoon of virtue: GOP Congressman Gary Miller

William Heisel, LAT via t/o (rearranged for clarity). With community activists packed into the Monrovia Community Center one winter night in 2000, U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) implored City Council members to purchase 165 acres he owned in the foothills and turn the land into a wilderness preserve. ... [Councilman Robert] Hammond ultimately voted in favor of purchasing Miller's land for about $12 million. The deal was approved unanimously. ... A real estate developer and one of the wealthiest members of Congress, Miller, 58, routinely asked his staff to handle personal errands, such as helping his children with schoolwork, searching for rock concert tickets and sending flowers to family members and friends, according to documents reviewed by The Times. Federal law prohibits members of Congress from using their staff for anything other than official work. ... Miller has also collected nearly $25,000 a year in rent from his campaign committee in each of the last three elections by using the offices of his real estate development firm in Diamond Bar as his campaign office. Under federal election law such rents are considered self-enrichment unless a member can demonstrate that the private offices were used for legitimate campaign purposes. ... Miller had worked with Lewis Operating Corp. to shelter an estimated $10 million in real estate profits from capital gains taxes. ... Over the years Miller has been the biggest recipient of the campaign money that he raised from people in his district and big donors such as the National Assn. of Homebuilders, according to campaign finance records.
This would certainly be a good test for the Democratic House Ethics Panel. Let's hope they do a helluva lot better than the last one.
The ethics panel, composed of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, who decided it's not against House rules to allow pages to be seduced and/or molested without saying anything?

It would be hard to do worse.
The ethics panel that's still run by Republicans (and which still, until January, will be majority Republican)?

PW, I wish that were true.

Here is the Ethics Committee that ruled on the Foley case:

* Chairman: Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA)
Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA)
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)

The committee ruled unanimously that no rules were broken by failing to safeguard pages. Democrats have to accept partial responsibility for that result. Berman and Judge Tubbs-Jones could have raised H--l.
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