Pelosi to Reid: I See Your Balls and Raise You a Pair of Ovaries

From Holden:

Harry Reid ain’t the only dem fighting back. Nancy Pelosi is calling bullshit over the Republicans’ efforts to stack the Ethics Committee.

House Democratic leaders yesterday sought the removal of two recently appointed Republicans from the House ethics committee, questioning whether their contributions to Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s legal defense fund would color their judgment on issues involving him.

The committee deferred action last year on investigating any role played by DeLay (R-Tex.) in a corporate campaign-donation controversy in Texas that led to indictments of three of his political associates.

Rep. Lamar S. Smith of Texas contributed $10,000 to the defense fund and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma donated $5,000, according to an analysis by the watchdog group Public Citizen.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland requested the removal of the two in a letter to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.). The speaker’s spokesman, Pete Jeffries, said Democrats want to “politicize the ethics committee.”

[snip]

Democrats and some Republicans have publicly criticized Hastert’s realignment of the committee last week. The critics called removal of the panel’s previous GOP chairman and two other Republicans a purge designed to stack the panel with DeLay supporters.

[snip]

Pelosi and Hoyer wrote Hastert: “Having given money to help defend Mr. DeLay against these precise allegations, Mr. Smith and Mr. Cole should not now sit in judgment of him.”

“While Mr. Smith and Mr. Cole may argue that their contributions will not prejudice their decisions — and we have no reason to doubt their intent to act properly — the perception of many of their colleagues and of the public will be otherwise,” they wrote.

The Democrats asked that the lawmakers be replaced with “members who will not be perceived by the public as having already made up their minds regarding the conduct of Mr. DeLay.”