Echoes of 1994 With Current Scandals?





In many ways, today's scandals echo many of the issues that Democrats ran into prior to the GOP revolution of 1994. Corruption and scandal engulfed Democrats, leading to the demise of the party that year. Dan Rostenkowski was indicted on corruption charges and later resigned his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee. Five years earlier, House Speaker Jim Wright resigned in an ethics scandal. That same year, another powerful congressman, Tony Coehlo of California, resigned amid allegations that he received special treatment in a junk bond deal.

"This reminds me of 1994," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group. "The House Democrats had been in control for 40 years and were incredibly arrogant and had all kind of ethical scandals ... the House bank scandal, the Rostenkowski scandal. Jim Wright."

Today Rep. Tom Delay (Tex.), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) and a top administration official (David Safavian, the White House's top procurement officer) have all been ensnared in highly embarrassing ethics scandals.



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