Note -- When the House Ethics Committee slapped local representative David McKinley on the wrists earlier this week, I decided not to comment -- in the great scheme of things, this was the most minimal of punishments and not all that important. However, when this morning's Intelligencer carried Mike Myer's righteous defense of McKinley along with predictable shots at Democrats and Hillary Clinton, I felt a need to comment.
Myer's column, " No Wonder McKinley Is Upset," essentially argues McKinley deserves better because he followed his attorneys' advice.
Most of us follow the advice our attorneys give us. Even if we don’t like what they say, it’s usually best to do what they tell us.
But not always, as Congressman David McKinley has learned.
I see. This isn't McKinley's fault, it's his attorneys' fault! Okay, sometimes attorneys give bad advice (especially if it's not their area of expertise - see below). Or maybe, given the circumstances in this case, their advice was very good. Despite Myer's protestations, McKinley appears to have been guilty of the letter of the law and yet his punishment, according to Politico was "little more than a slap on the wrist." (Getting a minimal punishment when you've obviously broken the rules suggests to me that maybe his attorney was doing the best he could do given the circumstances.)
And since this is a Myer column about one of the locals' favorites, you can probably figure that any negative detail of what actually happened was left out. As Politico tells us:
The Ethics Committee said McKinley had not cooperated with its investigation for several years, and complained that he had mistakenly followed the advice of an attorney who had no experience in federal ethics law.
Hey, who hired this attorney?
But Myer can't leave it alone:
Still, McKinley is right to be annoyed for several reasons, including the fact the House panel chose to issue its reproval just weeks before an election. Lawmakers on the committee, along with its staff, understand very well that some voters won’t acquaint themselves with details of what happened. They’ll just read the headline.
They should wait until after the election? (An interesting argument from Myer who frequently blames Democrats for postponing announcements until after elections take place.) Additionally, Myer doesn't tell you that the committee is made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats and so at least one Republican voted again McKinley.
Finally, no Myer column is complete without indicting Democrats and Hillary Clinton and so the last third of the column is an unrelated-to-the-particulars-of-the-McKinley-case attack upon them. Here, as support, Myer partially explains the case of a black Democratic congressman who was impeached 28 years ago as a judge but now serves in the House of Representatives. (His description of the congressman's actions manages to leave out a number of important details.) Myer concludes:
Yet Hastings sits in the same chamber with McKinley — as do a variety of other lawmakers with very real conflicts of interest.
This is the best example of a conflict of interest that Myer could come up with? A black Democrat from 28 years ago? And shouldn't we be told about those "lawmakers with very real conflicts of interest"? He concludes:
Heck, it’s entirely possible our next president will be Hillary Clinton, who happens to have a whopping conflict of interest.
So no wonder our congressman is upset.
I know McKinley is an Ogden favorite but I don't understand the need for this column. His wrist-slap won't hurt his reelection chances since most local voters probably believe that he is running unopposed. (For those readers outside the Wheeling area, his opponent Mike Manypenny has been mentioned in only one back page article since his vote total was listed on primary election day almost five months ago.)