First day, swing vote for new Rep. Bill Foster: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted March 12, 2008 12:57 PM
The Swamp

By Jim Tankersley

It didn't take long for Bill Foster to make an impact in Congress.

Foster, a Democratic scientist/businessman, won a special election Saturday to replace retired former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) in the House. He was sworn into his seat representing the exurban 14th Congressional District on Tuesday afternoon. By evening, he was casting what was arguably the deciding vote on a white-hot ethics bill.

The bill, pushed aggressively by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), creates an independent, outside panel to investigate ethics complaints against House members. The House approved it last night, 229-182, with most Democrats in favor and most Republicans opposed. That margin is deceptive: Before final passage, the bill first had to clear a much closer procedural vote, which gave House members a chance to kill the idea without, technically, voting against it.

The bill survived that test by a single vote, with Foster voting in favor.

Only four Republicans joined Foster and 202 other Democrats on that vote. We can't say for sure what Jim Oberweis, the Republican whom Foster beat in the special election, would have done if he were in Congress. But given the party-line nature of the vote, some Democrats on Capitol Hill (who favored the outside panel) are crediting Foster today with the bill's passage.

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I love it, I wonder what Doughy Denny and Tom Delay are thinking today?....wait a minute, the GOPer's don't bad, nevermind.

Goodluck Congressman Foster...

Foster was ridiculed by the right wing for being an intelectual. I wonder if that is a characteristic of Fascism?

Sigh. Coattails could be yours, Dems.

I can't believe Oberweis lost that seat! It should have been as easy as a game of musical chairs against a deaf man with no legs. pathetic. QUIT RUNNING, JIM!!!

How cool is that?! He's already made a difference! Go Bill!

Only 4 Republic Party hacks vote in favor of an ethics bill ... sure shows you which party thumbs its nose at the American people.

when Jim Oberweis ran against a fellow Republican Chris Lauzen a State Senator he made up all kinds of false statements about Chris Lauzen. Oberweis has no ethics or Integrity!
So we all know how how would have voted

If the Republicans were smart they would distance themselves from Oberwies or better yet get someone else to run in November or they risk loosing even more seats

RE: "Foster was ridiculed by the right wing for being an intellectual."

That is the saddest statement I have ever heard, although I'm not surprised. Ignorance and stupidity tend to breed suspicion and resent of intelligence and education. The right wing exploits that to its fullest.

BC: Just because the bill is titled "Ethics Reform Bill" and republicans vote against it doesn't mean republicans are against being ethical. Ever hear of the PATRIOT act? Well--if you vote against it you're un-patriotic.

Half the time the content of the bill doesn't relate to the title of the bill. They are hoping uneducated people like you "judge a book by it's cover" and don't actually read what's in there or think about it.

Aaron's comment is the most astute. This "ethics" bill was a pretty big sham. I would note that all of the Democrats voted against a moratorium on earmarks for the year, and that the supposedly "cleanest congress ever" - According to Pelosi - doubled the number of earmarks that the last Republican congress had.

Ethics Reform Bill forces out legislature to disclose who their cash is from, forces them to limit the infuence of the PACs... Of course the elitist right is against this bill - and yes Aaron, this bill does address ethics, you specious misleading comments aside.

Taoist has his information backward. According to the Citizens Against Government Waste 2007 saw the least amount spent on earmarks since 1999, $13.2 billion, down from $29 billion in 2006. It's a start.

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