NOVEMBER 29, 2006
Despite his last-ditch public relations campaign, Alcee Hastings will not be the next chairman of the Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence. Facing stiff public opposition due to his ethical transgressions, the Florida Democratic congressman was unceremoniously dumped by Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi yesterday.
Hastings released the following statement after a meeting with Pelosi on November 28:
“I have been informed by the speaker-elect that I will not serve as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the 110th Congress. I am obviously disappointed with this decision. As we learn in Ecclesiastes, however, for everything there is a season.”
Speaker-elect Pelosi fortunately understands that this is not a season for corruption.
Given the rash of scandals erupting on Capitol Hill in the last few years, Hastings was a terrible choice for the sensitive leadership post from the start. A former judge, Hastings was impeached in 1989 for alleged involvement in a bribery conspiracy. Moreover, as Judicial Watch pointed out in a November 15th letter to Pelosi, Hastings also has “staggering liabilities” ranging from $2,130,006 to $7,350,000. Hastings would not be eligible to obtain a security clearance, and yet he expected to be the next Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee?
Hastings reportedly met on Tuesday with Pelosi and Professor Terrance Anderson of the University of Miami, a friend of his who is “the most informed person in the world regarding my trial in U.S. District Court…” He also issued a “dear colleague” letter to House Democrats alleging that his Senate impeachment was the result of an “unfair political process.” All of this was not enough to overcome the pressure put on Pelosi to select someone with a clean record. (Her first choice for House Majority Leader, John Murtha, another Democratic congressman tainted by scandal, was roundly criticized.)
At the end of his statement, Hastings said, “”Sorry, haters, God is not finished with me yet.” Fortunately, Nancy Pelosi is. Now, there are reportedly three other candidates in line for the House intel chairmanship: Sylvester Reyes of Texas, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, and Norm Dix of Washington State.
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