Saturday, January 14, 2006

 

Ney grasp on power slipping fast; crushing blow?

It sounds like the GOP have finished making their political calculations about Bob Ney and decided that it's time to start jettisoning some ballast before even more of their ship sinks.

The Hill yesterday broke the story that - 'according to a source close to the congressman' - House Speaker Dennis Hastert is applying the screws:
The source indicated Ney was concerned the allegations against him regarding his ties with disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff would be a distraction in the Republican conference and to the work of the House. Ney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) have discussed his chairmanship, according to the source.
The Dispatch's Jack Torry today offers more information and commentary, this time citing a 'highly placed Republican source':
Hastert "is moving behind the scenes" to persuade Ney to step aside as soon as next week, said a senior GOP aide, speaking only on condition that he not be identified. Ney, who was in New Orleans for a hearing on housing needs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, confirmed that he is talking with Hastert about giving up the chairmanship.

. . .

The development is a crushing blow to the Heath Republican and a dramatic sign that his support among Republican colleagues is swiftly eroding. The Dispatch reported last month that if Ney is indicted, the Ohio Republican Party will call on him to resign his seat.

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