What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 19, 2010

Following Up On C Street

I noticed this in the news yesterday.

You remember the C Street residence, right? I wrote about it back in July, 2009. The C Street residence was owned (and I guess it still is) by a shadowy religious group called "The Family."

Scandal plagued republicans like Mark Sanford and John Ensign lived there and there were questions regarding the cheap rent The Family reportedly charged.

Among its inhabitants at the time was our very own Congressman, Mike Doyle, though he denied any religious affiliation to the group:
The only religious organization I'm a member of is the Roman Catholic Church, of which I've been a member all my life. The only religious teachings I follow are those of the Roman Catholic Church.

My living arrangements comply with all House rules and are perfectly legal and ethical. I rent a room - not an apartment - and the rent I pay falls within the range of what anyone could rent a room for on Capitol Hill.

I'm confident the people I represent will judge me on my behavior and my performance as a Member of Congress - not anyone else's.
And, as of early April of this year, he no longer lives there.

TPM has a follow up:
The Office of Congressional Ethics has sent letters to several residents of the C Street Christian fellowship house informing them that there is no "probable cause" to believe legislators are getting improper gifts in the form of below-market rent, Roll Call reports.
Doyle was among those contacted. From Rollcall (via TPM - as Rollcall requires a subscription):
Aides to Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) said Friday that each lawmaker received a letter from the OCE informing him that it closed the investigation.
Just wanted to go on record with this. Doyle no longer lives at the C Street residence and the Office of Congressional Ethics said there's no probable cause to think the residents there were getting improper gifts when he did.

The OCE by the way is different from the House Ethics Committee. From the OCE website:
The OCE was created by House Resolution 895 of the 110th Congress in March 2008.

Governed by an eight-person Board of Directors, Members of the OCE Board are private citizens and cannot serve as members of Congress or work for the federal government
From the House Resolution creating the OCE:
The Office shall be governed by a board consisting of six individuals of whom three shall be nominated by the Speaker subject to the concurrence of the minority leader and three shall be nominated by the minority leader subject to the concurrence of the Speaker. The Speaker shall nominate at least one alternate board member subject to the concurrence of the minority leader and the minority leader shall nominate at least one alternate board member subject to the concurrence of the Speaker.
These are the folks who, as I understand it, make up the first layer of ethics investigations in the House. If they feel there's cause for an official investigation, they pass along the recommendation to the House Ethics Committee.

For the record.

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