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Harman recuses herself from Toyota hearings, votes

By Kimberly Kindy
Citing financial ties that she and her husband have with Toyota Motor Corp., Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) recused herself from participating in Tuesday's congressional hearing into the company's response to safety problems with its vehicles.

Harman will not participate in any floor votes based on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's recommendations, officials in her office said. The congresswoman notified the committee of her decision on Monday.

She and her husband, Sidney Harman, own between $116,002 and $315,000 in Toyota stock, according to their latest financial disclosure statement. Harman International Industries, her husband's company, has also held contracts with Toyota for years, equipping its vehicles with Harman Kardon audio and entertainment systems. A Washington Post article on Monday detailed these financial ties.

Several government watchdog groups, including the Center for Responsive Politics, questioned this week whether Toyota's financial connections to dozens of members of Congrees would sway the lawmakers to go easy on the company.

"In 2008, the most recent year for which we have data, Representative Harman far and away had the most money invested in Toyota," said Sheila Krumholtz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. "Presuming she's still invested, it seems appropriate that she recuse herself to avoid any actual or apparent conflict of interest."

By Kimberly Kindy  |  February 23, 2010; 7:21 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

"Olagath"?

If this were an actual WORD ...

For now, I'll just assume this to be more illiterate barf coming from the overly noisy, underly (yes, I can make up words too) useful noise makers running around like their hair is on fire.

Where were the noise makers (mouth breathers) when the last administration left a $10 Trillion steaming pile at the doorstep of this administration?

Bush couldn't get away with using Congress to help steal the Social Security Fund, so .. reading the writing on the wall, knowing the CONS were on their way out ... he subverted Congress and blatantly handed it over to the Wall-Street thugs on his way out the door.

This was the plan all along.

We hear "NO, we can't afford to reform Health-care! We can't afford to educate people!".

Well, after all the STEALING, spending on useless wars, giving pay-offs to Big Pharma... and handing Trillions to Wall-Street...??

When the Banker's Bonus check is coming out of your Social Security Pension ...
When the Insurance Exec's vacation home is funded by your Medicare fund...
Affordability is looking questionable.

Just remember folks, the next thing we will not be able to afford, after health-care, or educating medical personnel, is Social Security and Medicare.

A thief is a thief, regardless of party affiliation.

What do we hear? "Go Team!"

Wake up.

Posted by: JohnInMI | February 24, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Whether one should applaud this decision or not depends on what she has done in the past vis-a-vis Toyota issue--and whether her decision came *before* or *after* CRP issued its comments.

"Several government watchdog groups, including the Center for Responsive Politics, questioned this week whether Toyota's financial connections to dozens of members of Congrees would sway the lawmakers to go easy on the company."

Knowing how elected officials typically act, I'll wager that we'll find she has often NOT recused herself in the past and did this time because she would have been in the spotlight on a hot issue!

Maybe it would have been better her to have stayed and asked really tough questions and recused herself from the voting. Or, sold off her families' shares, severed connections, and then participated fully!

Posted by: Astrogal | February 24, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

An honest, above board Congresswoman. Wow, she is to be congratulated for her honesty. If all of them that are receiving campaign contributions from Toyota were to do this, there would be no board left.

Posted by: racam | February 24, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

JANE HARMAN...THE RICHEST PERSON IN CONGRESS. Gee, the Post didn't mention that. And the Democrap "useful idiots" will keep re electing the Olagath. Richest in congress....DEMOCRAPS.
Most $$$$ in campaign contributions.....DEMOCRAPS.
Hmmmmmmm!

Posted by: djmcfly | February 23, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

JANE HARMAN...THE RICHEST PERSON IN CONGRESS. Gee, the Post didn't mention that. And the Democrap "useful idiots" will keep re electing the Olagath. Richest in congress....DEMOCRAPS.
Most $$$$ in campaign contributions.....DEMOCRAPS.
Hmmmmmmm!

Posted by: djmcfly | February 23, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

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