Washington Babylon — March 12, 2010, 2:55 pm

The Pelosi Pledge: Change you can’t even believe

“The American people(1) voted to restore integrity(2) and honesty(3) in Washington, D.C.,(4) and the Democrats(5) intend to lead the most honest(6), most open(7) and most ethical(8) Congress(9) in history(10).” Nancy Pelosi, November 7, 2006

  1. “Rep. Peter Visclosky (Ind.) is under investigation by the Justice Department for his ties to the PMA Group, a now-shuttered lobbying shop that focused on winning defense industry projects and was a top source of campaign cash for senior appropriators.”

  2. “U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson’s rundown Sacramento house, which became the scourge of the neighborhood and a sore point with an investor who thought he had bought it out of foreclosure, has drawn the interest of a House ethics panel.”

  3. “[Rep.] Waters and her husband have both held financial stakes in the bank. Until recently, her husband was a director. At the same time, Ms. Waters has publicly boosted OneUnited’s executives and criticized its government regulators during congressional hearings. Last fall, she helped secure the bank a meeting with Treasury officials.”

  4. “[Rep.] Jackson admitted Wednesday he is the person identified as ‘Senate Candidate 5’ in the criminal complaint against Blagojevich…The criminal complaint against Blagojevich discloses that he and his brother discussed picking Jackson over other candidates because an ‘emissary’ indicated Jackson would help raise money for the governor’s cash-strapped campaign fund.”

  5. “Mr. Rangel’s brand had been damaged by a series of House ethics investigations.”

  6. “Seven House members, including Northern Virginia Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D), collected more than $840,000 in political contributions from employees and clients of a lobbying firm, Paul Magliocchetti and Associates Group (PMA), during a two-year span. In that same period, the lawmakers, strategically situated on the Appropriations defense subcommittee, directed more than $245 million in earmarks to clients of PMA.”

  7. “Fellow subcommittee member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) similarly presides over fundraisers arranged by his staff for defense firms and lobbyists every three months or so, according to his office’s account. An aide in charge of Dicks’s earmarks attends the fundraising events. But Dicks and the aide told investigators they were unaware of the substantial overlap between defense industry contributions to Dicks and his earmarks to contributors.”

  8. Former Congressman William Jefferson “was found guilty in the summer of 11 of 16 corruption charges and sentenced to 13 years in federal prison.”

  9. “Rep. Mollohan’s ethics issues stem primarily from misuse of his position on the Appropriations Committee, from which he has steered hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks to family, friends, former employees and corporations in exchange for contributions to his campaign and political action committees.”

  10. “New York congressman Eric Massa has resigned his post this week after allegations that he groped his male staff. If it’s not Charlie Rangel trying to get into your wallet, it’s Eric Massa trying to get in your pants.”

If I had more time, I could have footnoted every single word.

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More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

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On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

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The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

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