Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sweeney's Reply, "Hey, look over there!"

The DCCC issued the following press release today:

DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel Calls on John Sweeney to Testify about House Ethics Committee Violation: Emanuel calls on Sweeney to Accept Assemblyman Brodsky's Request that Sweeney Testify about his Involvement with Ski Trip

Washington, DC- Today, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel called on Congressman John Sweeney to accept the request of Assemblyman Richard Brodsky to testify about his involvement with the invitation process for a publicly funded ski trip in January.

"John Sweeney is operating under his own set of ethical guidelines. If he has nothing to worry about, then why doesn't he come clean to the families in New York he represents?" said DCCC Communications Director Bill Burton. "Violating the recommendations of the House Ethics Committee is a serious charge and it is about time Mr. Sweeney provide some answers."

According to House Ethics rules, and a letter exchange between Sweeney and the House Ethics Committee last August, invitations to the event were to be made without the involvement of Sweeney to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Late Wednesday at a state assembly hearing, Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) President Ted Blazer, a Republican appointed by Pataki, testified that invitations to the Congressional Winter Challenge were "assembled by the Washington office of Congressman Sweeney and the United States Olympic Committee." In addition, ORDA documents reportedly state that certain participants -- including fellow House members, past and present Sweeney staffers, members of his family and lobbyists -- were invited by Sweeney.

Sweeney has denied the charge, but has not testified under oath and even slipped when he invited Fred Dicker on his next ski trip during an interview on Dicker's radio program yesterday.

**Testimony of ORDA President Ted Blazer and House Ethics Committee ruling available upon request.**


The Capitol Confidential reported that Sweeeny hasn't replied to the question, but he has issued a press release attacking Kirsten Gillibrand over a DCCC ad. [note deleted link, seems to be causing static in another post, 7/29/06]


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