Friday, June 23, 2006

Nation GOP Launches Inaccurate Attack On Ford Ad

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued the following statement in response to a factually false claim being made by the National Republican Senatorial Committee today about a new ad Harold Ford Jr. is running:

“No matter how much the NRSC huffs and puffs, there is an amnesty plan for insurgents on the table that Republicans like Lamar Alexander are embracing for some inexplicable reason. The fact that the NRSC is attacking Harold Ford for saying that the United States should not tolerate giving amnesty to those who attack our soldiers is shocking. It should withdraw its comments and apologize,” DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said. “These kinds of attacks are proof positive that the national Republicans think they’re going to lose the Tennessee senate race and are so nervous that they’re willing to say anything about Harold Ford Jr.’s campaign.

New Report Confirms Iraqi Are Considering Amnesty For Insurgents. According to a new report out today, the Iraqi government will release a national reconciliation plan on Sunday that will include amnesty for insurgents. Moreover, several reports earlier this week confirmed that a “far reaching” amnesty plan was, indeed, still on the table. “The main thing,” said Haidar Abadi, a leader of Prime Minister Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party, is that the reconciliation plan doesn't rule out participation of “the bloody-handed people in the political process.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Refuses To Rule Out Amnesty For Terrorists. The Iraqi government has explicitly refused to rule amnesty out and the Maliki aide who resigned has stuck with his story, saying, “The prime minister himself has said that he is ready to give amnesty to the so-called resistance, provided they have not been involved in killing Iraqis

GOP Amendment Leaves Door Open For Amnesty. The McConnell alternative cited by the NRSC qualifies its denunciation of amnesty by saying, “we must respect the exercise of …sovereignty in accordance with the [Iraqi government's] own wisdom.” This qualification leaves the door open for an amnesty plan if it is within the Maliki government’s “own wisdom.”

Republicans Like Lamar Alexander Defended Amnesty On Senate Floor. Several GOP Senators defended the concept of amnesty for terrorists who had killed American troops. Lamar Alexander compared Iraq’s amnesty plan to Nelson Mandela. “Is it not true that Nelson Mandela's courage and his ability to create a process of reconciliation and forgiveness was a major factor in what has been a political miracle in Africa,” Alexander said. “Did not Nelson Mandela, win a - the co-winner of - a noble Nobel Peace Prize just for this sort of gesture?”

[Sources: AP, 6/23/06; LA Times, 6/18/06; Washington Post, 6/16/06; Baltimore Sun, 6/18/06; S. Amdt. 4272, Vote 177, 6/20/06; Congressional Record, 6/15/06]

172 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!