Kucinich To Challenge For Ranking Democrat Seat On House Oversight Committee

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Excellent news. I cannot think of anyone who will be more capable of keeping Darrell Issa in check than Dennis Kucinich. His challenge to Towns is one worth supporting. As it stands right now, it looks like the Dems are in lockstep behind Towns, which I view as an error we will all come to deeply regret.

From Rep. Kucinich's letter to Dems:

cannot simply stand by idly and hope that such a reckless approach to the use of the power of the Chair will not happen, especially since it is not only being promised, but demonstrated by the person who will hold the gavel.

It is a matter of the highest importance that any intemperate use of the power of the Chair be challenged at every turn.

Accordingly, I have decided to step forward as a candidate for Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In that capacity, here is my pledge to you and our fellow members of the House:

1. Zero tolerance for smears and innuendo. Every single statement by Chairman Issa which is lacking in respect for the process of oversight, every unsubstantiated allegation or any publically pronounced assumption which lacks basic fairness will be promptly challenged.

2. I will encourage a team approach on the Committee which will tap the talents of all members to actively participate in responding to any abuse of process.

3. All members will receive weekly updates of oversight activities to be able to provide input.

4. Cooperation with Chairman Issa when, and only when, he proceeds in an even-handed manner which demonstrates basic fairness and respect for due process.

Via Dennis G at Balloon Juice:

The truth is that Towns is not a fighter and we need a fighter as the Ranking Democrat on the Committee. He is a guy with a safe seat who is willing to try and find common ground with everybody. He has run the Committee with the assumption that everybody on it views the responsibilities of Oversight the way he views them. He could not be more mistaken. His response to Issa’s plans to use control of the powerful committee for partisan witch hunts has been merely to say that “...any attempt to use this committee as a political weapon are intolerable and he will lead a strong and unified resistance against any such effort.”

Really? Seriously?

Please Congressman Towns—be truthful—can you think of a single Republican who will take a stand against Issa? Could you name any Republican in Congress who would stand united with you to fight Issa’s planned use of the Committee as a “political weapon”? Any Republican on the Committee? Crickets. Just who will constitute this “unified resistance” that Towns speaks about? Sadly, he just screams weakness.

Truth be told, Issa and the Republicans have already drunk his milkshake. As Ranking member of the Oversight Committee, Towns only offers impotent rage at the abuses that led to his pre-surrender before Issa’s campaign of orchestrated abuse even gets off the ground. Somehow, I think we could do better.

Yes we can. Kucinich is at his very best when he is standing up for what's right, just like when he introduced 35 articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney. I can't think of anyone I'd trust more to keep an eye on Issa and his gang of merry men.

This is no time for Democrats to pretend there's going to be nice-nice bipartisanship and polite discourse, especially in that committee. Maybe they didn't have their listening ears on when Issa promised 40 weeks of investigations. Maybe they just forgot the nasty, underhanded suggestion that the Recovery Act was Obama's "walking-around money".

Maybe they're just more naive than even I am. Whatever the case, I suggest we get behind Kucinich on this effort and push for a real fighter to be the ranking Dem on that committee.


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