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Thursday, May 20, 2010


After learning that Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) had an affair with a staffer, two House Republican leaders felt compelled to inform the ethics committee of the matter. Why?
Taking that step appears to be part of a new M.O. when leadership hears about an allegation of misconduct: tell the ethics committee quickly to inoculate yourself and your party against accusations of inaction later on.
"That's the new standard: the leadership ratting out its members where there's an allegation of misconduct," Stan Brand, a former House general counsel, tells TPMmuckraker.
And while Souder's affair with a staffer is not on its face a violation of House rules, leadership would want to hedge in case there's more to the story (say, sexual harassment or improper use of taxpayer money), or even against the appearance of condoning bad behavior.


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