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Ney on the Hot Seat

UPDATE, Jan. 16:  Rep. Ney announced on Sunday that he will temporarily step down from his committee chairmanship.  The Post's Jonathan Weisman has the story here:  "Ney to Step Down as Chairman of Panel Overseeing Lobbying."

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) have had conversations regarding  a reassessment of Ney's role as House Administration Committee Chairman in the wake of revelations regarding the Ohio Congressman's relations with fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for Hastert, told The Fix Friday evening that the two men have had "ongoing discussions" about Ney's "role" as chairman.

In order for Hastert to remove Ney, he would need a vote by the entire House Republican Conference, which isn't set to return until late this month. Hastert cannot unilaterally fire Ney as chairman, GOP aides are quick to point out.

Ney has been playing on borrowed time since the plea deals of Abramoff and his partner in crime (literally) Mike Scanlon. In those agreements, the men make clear that they showered an anonymous member of Congress (reported to be Ney) with gifts ranging from free dinners to a golf outing in Scotland in exchange for congressional actions to benefit their clients. Ney has denied any criminal wrongdoing.

To date, Ney has also refused to discuss the possibility of leaving his Republican-leaning 18th District. Sources familiar with his political situtation suggest his support within the district has eroded considerably as his ties to Abramoff have become national news. Chilicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer and hotel developer Zack Space are running for the Democratic nomination.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 16, 2006; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Poll: Tom DeLay's Reelection Woes


Third Ney Democratic Opponent in OH-18

From Jeff Woollard earlier today:

"I Am Running Against Bob Ney in OH-18
The strength of my ideas and the power of my platform will remake our party as the people's choice for national security, fiscal integrity, fairness in taxation, environmental stewardship and the protection of freedom.

Please visit my website:

Of the three Democratic contenders for Ney's seat, my campaign proposals alone go far beyond "business as usual" Washington politics.

My proposals are so uniquely common sensible, that they could take traction nationally if the voters of Ohio's 18th district will give them a chance."

Posted by: ohiohotzone | January 18, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Another disgusting Republican for sale- Bob Ney. This list is going to keep on growing.

Heard today that Ney went to Colin Powell to get some trade sanctions on Iran loosened so some convict who bought him a trip to London could sell them airplane parts. What a great American Patriot!

Posted by: maria | January 17, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, CP, since statements appear to automatically become facts in your universe: I'm George W. Bush and I command you to give me all of your money. Small bills, brown paper bag, corner of Main and Broadway, 11:29 am tomorrow. Just drop it by the lamp post and skedaddle.

Posted by: Not As Crazy Politico | January 17, 2006 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Well, Ney claims he did nothing wrong, is giving back the $$, and giving up his leadership post until it's cleared up.

Will Harry Reid do the same?

Posted by: Crazy Politico | January 17, 2006 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Dear Tao Te Schmooze: thanks for the context; when you say "the arcaneness of Congressional management to chair this committee, despite its influence" do you mean "lack of influence?" Or "purported influence?" It certainly seems (like the Ethics Committee) to be a paper tiger. Of course, you can say that about the entire Congressional body at this point.

How seriously do they take these committee duties, anyway? Is this just a resume builder for them on the way to something more important (e.g., Armed Services, etc.)?

Posted by: lpdrjk | January 16, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Ney defines himself by his Congressional seat and is unlikely to give anything up that he is not forced to. Past chairs of this committee have been the same way. You really have to love the arcaneness of Congressional management to chair this committee, dispite its influence.

Ney is a former Safety Director of his hometown and most of his legislative responsibilities are centered on administration (Chairman of the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards, the Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Printing).

He's been an elected official since he was 26 years old and this is all he knows.

Posted by: Tao Te Schmooze ( | January 16, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Can't help but notice that even though Ney's been thoroughly caught with his hand in the cookie jar he's still denying any wrong doing. Stepping down from the chairmanship of this panel is a first step that should've taken place weeks ago. Solid evidence that Ney doesn't give a rats a$$ about what the voters who sent him to Washington think. Ralph Reed's cut from the same hypocritical cloth: "Pay attention to what I say, not what I do." Calls to mind Lincoln's saying: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Posted by: lpdrjk | January 16, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Where are the other Statesmen like John McCain and Russell Fiengold?

We've elected hundreds of [people ot represent us - yet only a handful turn out to be worthy of the vote.

Maybe next time you guys in the square states will actually ask a few challenging questions of the candidate and ignore the bible on the podium and the white shoes on their feet?

Rick Santorum says he's not sure he agrees with those who want to keep government out of our bedrooms... and he's apparently a corrupt sellout of the first order... just like Newt was.

Posted by: Long Beach, CA | January 16, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, if db is correct, the sequel to the book "What's the Matter With Kansas" should be "What's the Matter With Ohio"!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 15, 2006 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Ted Strickland's seat could go to the GOP. I'm not so sure DEms will make any progress in OH. Mean Jean could be vulnerable but they will have to find a great candidate to run in this GOP bastion

Posted by: db | January 15, 2006 4:55 AM | Report abuse

I think Pryce would lose her seat before her leadership position.

Steve Chabot and Pat Tiberi are also vulnerable.

I haven't lived in Ohio since 99, but are there many possums on Prozac running around now?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 14, 2006 8:20 PM | Report abuse

what does it say for the ohio 18th that they would return a dirty congressman to office. it may stay republican but i would hope someone would challenge ney in the primary,

Posted by: gosox | January 14, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Why in tarnation would the Washington Democrats favor Sulzer over Zack Space?

Space comes from the largest county in the district and he's darn tootin' more dynamic than Sulzer, who has all the charisma of a possum on Prozac.

Posted by: Wayne "Gabby" Hayes | January 14, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Good blog

Posted by: phil | January 14, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I live in the OH-18 and feel quite confident that Ney would still win re-election, short of a Jim Traficant-like fall. The district is gerrymandered to be strongly Republican. My town is 130 miles from Ney's home and only 45 from Columbus however, the county is solidly Republican so we go to the 18th. Short of an indictment, Ney will win re-election.

Posted by: Don | January 14, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

So if Abramoff had kept his mouth one would be in jeopardy? Business as usual.
I don't get it.........the end justifies the means but for what?

Posted by: Gles | January 14, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

How many more will Hastert throw under the bus? If he was truly honorable, he would resign and apologize for allowing this rampant corruption to occur under his leadership.

Posted by: Asbury | January 14, 2006 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I don't think LaTourette has anything to worry about given the poor quality of opposition he's up against...

Ney certainly seems vulnerable, but Sulzer doesn't really seem to be stepping up to the plate. But, then again, all I know about him is that he lost a race for reelection to the state assembly before being elected Chillicothe Mayor and that his website is abysmal! We'll see what the financial reports say...

I definitely think the Pryce race will be interesting. I'm curious as to whether she's going to stay in the leadership... if she loses her post, would that harm her reelection chances?

Posted by: seank | January 14, 2006 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Hastert doesn't want a headline in a few weeks that says "House Chairman Indicted". I'd bet Ney won't be running this fall and the Republicans will have a much easier time keeping the seat if he's not running.

Posted by: PBS | January 14, 2006 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Ney is going to lose his House seat in November, along with DeLay. Deborah Pryce is in trouble too, and Steve LaTourette should be worried.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 13, 2006 11:19 PM | Report abuse

One would think the next target to go would be Hastert himself. He was Delay Inc.'s lap dog. Blunt is also bad news. IMO if the GOP does not do a complete clean sweep, pass meaningful ethics and lobbyist reform, they will go down in history as the party that sold American democracy to the highest bidder.

Posted by: DB | January 13, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

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