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Republicans named Congressman John Shimkus as the ranking member on the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  No, this isn't a joke.

Let's review a few facts that explain how completely ridiculous this is.  First, Shimkus uses his position on the Energy & Commerce Committee to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from polluters.

He currently serves on the Republican House Energy Action Team, which consists of the polluting industries strongest allies in Washington.  The League of Conservation Voters gives him a 4% career voting record, making him one of the most extremist anti-environment members of Congress.

Its disappointing enough that Republicans want someone with such a poor environmental record representing them on a subcommittee charged with investigating compliance with regulations in the energy industry and overseeing related government agencies. It's even more outrageous when you consider his track record with investigations.

Shimkus was one of the first people to find out about Congressman Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior toward under-age male pages working at the Capitol.  He claims his investigation turned up nothing of serious concern.  After having a talk with Foley he chose not to tell Democratic members of the page committee anything.

There are only two ways to interpret his actions.  One, is that he honestly tried to conduct a thorough investigation and failed miserably thereby placing others in danger of continued harassment.  The other explanation is that he participated in a cover up to protect a Republican colleague.  Neither explanation leads me to think he should keep his seat in Congress, much less be put in a major position on a committee charged with investigations.

This assignment is like putting the captain of the Exxon Valdez in charge of giving breathalyzer tests before oil tankers set sail. Unbelievable.

The good news is that Shimkus has a strong Democratic opponent this year. Check out his website and ActBlue page.

Originally posted to Willinois on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 06:01 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Question (6+ / 0-)

    What is with the tip jar thing? If people like a diary why don't they just recommend instead?

    •  Recc'd diaries don't contribute to (0+ / 0-)

      personal " mojo", which is the # that counts for TU status.

      It's a way of thanking the diarist, seperate from bringing the diary to public attention.

      Fer instance, one might read a diary that you think is really great, but not something that really belongs on the rec list ( maybe something really important is going on, and the diary that you enjoyed is less time-sensitive.) You can still thank the diarist for their work, and contribute to their " status" in the community.

      On the flip side, you might see a diary that you want everybody to read because it's just so offensive- you can bring the diary to public attention without thanking the diarist.

      Anyway, that's how I understand it.

      Stranger than fiction? At this point,the truth is stranger than japanese cartoons...

      by Remembering Jello on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 07:47:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So that people can drop a business card (0+ / 0-)

      letting the diarist know that they read the diary. I only rec diaries that I think are stellar. And I only post a comment when I have something constructing to say. No point in cluttering up a thread with "I read your diary. n/t" So the tip jar is the best way.

      Sorry about that gate.

      by pucklady on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 07:56:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oy! my congressperson is on that comittee. (0+ / 0-)

    Frank Pallone (NJ-06), in the news recently for his pro-clean water/anti-mountaintop removal bill serves on that committee. Poor guy!

    Tip jars are an option for people who like your diary, but don't necessarily like it enough to think everybody should read it.

    Thanks for posting.

  •  Ding Dong (0+ / 0-)

    He wll be right up there with Waxman and Dingdong, what an august group.

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