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Bob Ney pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements three weeks ago, on October 13. He is still representing Ohio's 18th district in Congress. How is it that Dennis Hastert has been allowed to get away with arguing he takes ethical matters seriously (the Foley affair) when he allows a confessed criminal to retain his seat and continue collecting his paycheck at taxpayer expense?  More below.

On October 13, Bloomberg reported that Ney would be kicked out when Congress reconvenes:
House Speaker Hastert and other House Republican leaders said that if Ney doesn't resign, they will act to kick him out when the House reconvenes Nov. 13.

How was a corrupt congressman not expelled immediately? It is utterly ridiculous that Hastert is allowed to run a show where the presence of a congressman who has pleaded guilty to corruption is tolerated. And it is utterly ridiculous that Democrats and bloggers have not made more of this. The Republican leadership cares about ethics? Then why have they not risen up with one voice to demand that Ney step aside?  And why have we not risen up to demand that they keep congress clean? From Forbes:
Ney did not resign his seat. Several officials have said the congressman is financially strapped and needs his $165,200 annual paycheck and benefits as long as he can continue to receive them.

How is it acceptable that Ney continues to be paid by taxpayers? I'm willing to bet that plenty of us need that money. Congress is not a charitable institution designed to support criminals in financial need. Ney needs to resign immediately or the congressional leadership needs to be held to account for allowing him to continue to live off our money. It is crazy that this has gone on for three weeks already.  

Originally posted to dead letter office on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 08:28 AM PST.

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