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Wynn Steps Down From Committees

Anne Bartlett

U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.), under pressure from congressional ethics watchdogs after announcing he will resign from Congress in seven may 31 weeks to take a job at a lobbying law firm, has stepped down from his congressional committee assignments.

Wynn, an eight-term congressman who was defeated in February in a Democratic primary, said in a statement that he advised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday that he will leave his position on the House Energy and Commerce committee, as well as his subcommittee chairmanship, to avoid his presence becoming "fodder for partisan debate."

"While I believe I've complied with both the letter and spirit of the ethics laws, as well as engaged in the appropriate recusals, I am stepping down so that this issue will not be a distraction from the critical work of the committee to combat climate change, achieve energy independence, and protect our environment," he said in a statement.

Wynn was defeated in the primary by Prince George's attorney Donna F. Edwards. He announced last month that he will resign his seat early to became a partner at Dickstein Shapiro LLC.

Congressional reform advocates have been concerned that Wynn's decision to remain in Congress even after accepting the law firm job could create conflicts of interest. A coalition of six groups sent Wynn a letter today urging him to step down from his committee, before learning that he had already done so.

"Certainly, given the breath of the representation of the firm that he's going to... it would have been almost impossible for him to remain on that committee," said Joan Claybrook, president of advocacy group Public Citizen.

She said possibilities for conflicts continue to exist for Wynn and advised him to avoid "substantive issues" until his resignation becomes official on May 31.

"I think he would be best to just vote present [on the floor] and take this time to close out his office and finish his constituent activity," she said.

By Anne Bartlett  |  April 10, 2008; 5:38 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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So exactly what will be the difference?

Al hasn't held a subcommittee hearing in months and barely showed-up for committee hearings.

As the late, great Billy Preston once said: Nothing from nothing is nothing.

Posted by: PG'er | April 10, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

This Wynn guy sure seems like a sore loser.

Posted by: jhtlag. | April 10, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"[F]inish his constituent work"? Obviously, Joan Claybrook doesn't know Al Wynn very well, or else she'd know that Al Wynn never STARTED his constituent work.

Posted by: lefty | April 10, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The comment in the dead tree edition from the head of the Prince George's Democratic party saying that criticism of Wynn was too harsh because congressmen leave all the time is misplaced.

Most members decline to run for reelection before they cash out. Wynn quit with time left on the clock, and stuck the state with the bill for a replacement. That's the difference.

Posted by: Art Brodsky | April 11, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

If only we could get the head of the Prince George's Democratic Party to follow Wynn's lead . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice shame on you.

I had no desire to run for Congress. I just went to a town hall meeting and ask Wynn to look into the the issue of how money is issued. I was publicly promised Wynn would do this. He didn't so I called Donna Edwards, "the candidate that listens". I never did get to speak with her but on several occaisions her aid said that they would respond. They never did.

So I thought I would throw my hat in the ring. It seems God has a sense of humor(or justice) because somehow I won the primary.

I am not running to tell all you what you should be doing. I really believe I know what is wrong with the economy. It is the banking monopoly that has been wrongly granted the right to issue our money. They get to charge us interest on our money. The make the money out of nothing and never creat any money to pay the interest on all the debt.

Donna edwards is recieving nearly all her money from outside the district and nearly all of that from the super rich through there foundations and non-profits.

Donna Edwards ran a campaign that attacked win and said little of what she would do.
She attacked wynn for not be present in his district. Yet the first time she had a chance to appear before the voters in our first forum in Burtonsville, she did not show up. This was after she had confirmed.

Us mice just voted out the black cat and now they want us to vote in the white cat. Please don't forget that we are mice.

Rather than vote another cat into office, accept my "free trial" offer and vote me in for a month or two and see how I do. I will fight for liberty and prosperity for your kids. I understand the problem with the money system. Edwards is working for thise super rich familes that control the big banks. The big banks are our enemies, they conspire to take our wealth and firce us into bondage.

Get What You really Want - Peter James

Posted by: Peter anking monopolyJames | April 22, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

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