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The Midmorning Refill: Is Office of Congressional Ethics an oxymoron?

Today’s Flickr photo

Shorne, England. Flickr photo by brianfuller6385.

If you read one thing today . . .

Is there a potential coalition brewing with the GOP and the Congressional Black Caucus, both of which have the Office of Congressional Ethics in their sites? As we wrote yesterday, eliminating the OCE would be a terrible mistake. But Mother Jones says that the House’s decision to censure Rep. Charlie Rangel has members of the CBC rising to their colleague’s defense.

Back in the spring, a group of twenty CBC members signed onto a resolution to rein in the OCE and curtail its authority to make investigations public, arguing that the office was destroying political reputations and victimizing black lawmakers. But soon they may have the chance to do more than just neuter the OCE. Having vocally opposed the creation of the panel, incoming House Speaker John Boehner and other top Republicans are quietly discussing ways to kill the OCE when it comes up for mandatory reauthorization next year—and it looks like at least a handful of Democrats could be on board.


David Brock, founder of Media Matters, tells the WaPo’s Paul Farhi that his organization’s mission is to be Fox News watchdog:

“I don’t consider it a media institution,” Brock says. “It’s a political institution that [Fox News Chief Executive Roger] Ailes created after Obama came into office. . . . We’re here to counter their lies and misinformation.”