Massa waning as news fodder but may rise again to plague Democrats
Eric Massa may soon vanish from the 24-7 news cycle. But the martyred Democrat, who says he fell from grace beneath the naked power of Satan’s spawn, could reappear some day soon as a burr under the saddles of his former congressional colleagues.
Republicans would like Massa to do for them what Mark Foley did for Democrats four years ago: provide a scourge with which to flail the other guy in a mid-term election year.
Foley, a Republican, resigned from Congress in September 2006 amid allegations that he sent sexually explicit emails and instant messages to male congressional pages. As such, he was among the denizens of that swamp of Republican corruption that Nancy Pelosi vowed to drain just before Democrats took control of Congress and gave her the speaker’s gavel.
Massa groped young men. Or didn’t, depending on which talk show footage you watch. Yet he says he was really forced out of office — not by the prospect of ethics charges — but by a White House infuriated by his unwillingness to back President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan.
Republicans tried to make hay of Massa’s conspiracy claims at first. But now House GOP leaders including John Boehner want to hear about what top Democrats didn’t do to Massa, particularly that swamp drainer from San Francisco who’s busy trying to make Obama’s healthcare reform a reality.
Indications are that Pelosi’s office first learned about problems with Massa as early as last October and did nothing until last month. Aides say the earlier complaints weren’t of a sexual nature and nobody mentioned them to the speaker herself.
But a Republican-sponsored measure demanding a further Massa investigation by the House ethics panel passed the chamber 402-1.
A final report is due at the end of June, just as the temperature of this year’s congressional election campaign heats up.
Photo Credits: Reuters/Molly Riley (Pelosi); Reuters/Official Handout (Massa); Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Foley); Reuters/Jason Reed (Boehner)
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