As mentioned before concerning ethics, history has a way of repeating itself in hotly contested election years. Much like 2006, 2010 has seen its fair share of inquiries being launched concerning possible lapses in judgment of sitting members. Charlie Rangel, the stayed Harlem Democrat and Former chairman of the powerful Ways and Mean Committee was forced to resign this winter following an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. The committee would eventually vote in favor of admonishing the congressman. Admonishments are not exactly rare; they do however express a formal recognition of a party’s guilt. Adding further insult to injury, those who are admonished are done so with the complicit support of a fellow party member.
In a peculiar turn of events, Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert punished two of his fellow Republicans by removing them from Ethics Committee. One of those removed was MO Congressman Kenny Hulsof who would later claim his demotion, “was directly related to his role in the panel’s admonishment of House Majority Leader Tom Delay.” (Shesgreen) The removal of these two members also put a stop to further action by the committee with the absence of a quorum.
Other recent high profile admonishments have included those of former New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli (D), and the flamboyant Congressman James Traficant.