- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 16, 2006

Remember how Nancy Pelosi exploited the female card before the midterm elections? “Maybe it will take a woman to clean up the House and a new speaker to restore civility,” she bragged.

Women, she implied, do a better job than men because we presumably know how to get down on our hands and knees and scrub the mold and mildew out of every corner and crevice of our own domiciles.

But from the way she’s acting, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t know spic from span. She’s conducting Beltway business as usual, just like the good old boys she demonized throughout the campaign. (Madame Pelosi just happens to do it in an Armani aqua blue-gray pantsuit that gets thumbs-up from obsequious Washington fashion writers.)

Well, a back-scratching corruptocrat in pastel is still a back-scratching corruptocrat. Case in point: Which congressman is Mrs. Clean considering as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence? Impeached federal judge Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, who took bribes, lied under oath and was kicked off the bench.

And which colleague did she back for House majority leader? One of Congress’ leading dirtbags: Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania. As if his extremist cut-and-run war strategy weren’t bad enough, Mr. Murtha’s (un)ethical record is enough to make even liberal apologists blush.

Unfortunately, Mr. Murtha’s defeated opponent, Diana Irey, couldn’t get folks to pay enough attention to his Abscam past during the campaign. But now that he has vied — unsuccessfully — for House majority leadership and all its attendant perks and privileges, the Abscam scandal is front and center.

In 1980, Mr. Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in a massive bribery probe — in which undercover FBI agents videotaped Mr. Murtha entertaining a $50,000 bribe from agents posing as emissaries for Arab sheiks trying to enter our country illegally. Democrat defenders of Mr. Murtha scoff that the story is “old news.” (Liberal math: Abscam story from 1980 equals “old news.” George Bush National Guard story from 1973 equals “new news.”)

But only recently have we been reminded of Abscam transcripts that paint an even uglier picture of Mr. Murtha than the short snippet of publicly available FBI video in which he turned down the bribe. As the American Spectator noted, an old Jack Anderson column reported these little-noticed parts of Mr. Murtha’s conversation with the undercover agents: “I want to deal with you guys awhile before I make any transactions at all, period. … After we’ve done some business, well, then I might change my mind.”…

“I’m going to tell you this. If anybody can do it — I’m not B.S.-ing you fellows — I can get it done my way.” he boasted. “There’s no question about it.”…

But the reluctant Mr. Murtha wouldn’t touch the $50,000. Here on secret videotape was this all-American hero, tall and dignified in a disheveled way, explaining why he wasn’t quite ready to accept the cash.

“All at once,” he said, “some dumb [expletive deleted] would go start talking eight years from now about this whole thing and say [expletive deleted], this happened. Then in order to get immunity so he doesn’t go to jail, he starts talking and fingering people. So the [SOB] falls apart.”…

“You give us the banks where you want the money deposited,” offered one of the bagmen.

“All right,” agreed Mr. Murtha. “How much money we talking about?”

“Well, you tell me.”

“Well, let me find out what is a reasonable figure that will get their attention,” said Mr. Murtha, “because there are a couple of banks that have really done me some favors in the past, and I’d like to put some money in.”

So much for restoring cleanliness and civility, eh, Nancy?

Abscam isn’t Mr. Murtha’s only ethics cloud.

Defense industry lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, a former colleague of Mr. Murtha’s who worked as a senior staffer on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has reportedly funneled some $300,000 in campaign contributions to Mr. Murtha over the last three election cycles — either through his company, PMA, or its clients. They’ve reaped rich rewards: In 2006 alone, PMA clients received at least 60 earmarks worth some $95 million. Mr. Murtha also aided Democratic West Virginia Rep. Alan Mollohan, who remains embroiled in a federal contracting corruption probe.

In 1992, Bill Clinton pledged to run the most ethical administration in history. We know how that went. Fourteen years later, Nancy Pelosi has recycled the pledge — and is now well on her way to recycling the same old soiled legacy.

A friendly woman-to-woman tip to Nancy Pelosi: To clean a house, you take the garbage out, not in.

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”


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