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Senate Ethics Committee and Sen Coburn
Posted by: McQ on Friday, August 01, 2008

As you might imagine, given Sen. Tom Coburn's one-man war against government spending, many in the Senate aren't at all happy with him.

And it seems they've contrived of a way to go after him. But I have to tell you, given the history of that fine institution, that it is probably one of the stupidest and least rational attacks I've seen in some time.
You see, Sen. Coburn is in trouble with the Senate Ethics committee for delivering babies for free.

Coburn has come under new pressure from the Ethics panel for delivering babies at the Muskogee Regional Medical Center, which changed from a public to a private institution in April last year after it was acquired by Capella Healthcare.

Because of potential conflicts of interest, Senate rules prohibit members from receiving compensation for practicing a profession that involves a fiduciary relationship. Coburn’s work as an obstetrician has been a subject of interest for ethics panels in the Senate and the House when he was a representative.

Sources said the fact that Muskogee is now a private hospital has renewed the ethics panel’s interest in Coburn’s work.

In May, Coburn received a strongly worded “final determination” memo threatening him with a Senate censure if he did not stop delivering babies for free. The letter prompted several heated meetings between Coburn and the Ethics Committee in June over the matter, according to two knowledgeable Senate sources.
Coburn points out that what he is doing is, in reality, no different that Sen.Patrick Leahy doing a cameo in "The Dark Knight".
“Just as parents don't choose him hoping to sway his vote, parents don't choose to receive his services at a particular hospital because Dr. Coburn has somehow endorsed that hospital because he is a senator,” Hart said in a statement e-mailed to The Hill. “The committee has shown us zero empirical evidence to back up its flimsy claim.

“Has Sen. Leahy provided an improper endorsement to Warner Brothers for appearing in Batman?” Hart asked. “Will millions of Americans now see Batman not because it features stars like Christian Bale or the late Heath Ledger, but because Patrick Leahy, a distinguished United States senator, has offered his illustrious endorsement to this motion picture?

“If Sen. Coburn can only deliver babies for free at a public hospital, shouldn't Sen. Leahy only be allowed to donate his notable thespian skills to a public entity like PBS?”
Leahy's office says his fee for the movie was donated to the Kellogg-Hubbard children’s wing of the Montpelier Public Library. Coburn, of course, is donating his service at the hospital.

This is an ethics problem? With Feinstein's husband cashing in on government business over which she had oversight and Dodd getting sweetheart mortgage loans, this is the ethics fight the committee picks?

It is called "politics" my friends, and 9% approval is just to high for these boobs.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Yet I just heard on the news that the House shot down a censure on that worthless piece of garbage Rangel who amazingly enough had 4(!) rent-controlled apartments for himself, some of which were being used illegally as campaign headquarters.

Rent controlled apts. are like gold, somehow Rangel got 4 of them. Nope, just a ko-inky-dink I’m sure.

Swine at the trough, the whole lot of ’em
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Hey, if it keeps them too occupied to pass absurd, useless, even harmful legislation like DRILL then I am all for it. A pat-on-the-back and a handshake says that Coburn somewhat relishes being the lightning rod on this one.
Written By: CR
URL: http://
You wingnutz - don’t you know it’s unethical to donate your services for free?
This is as clear cut a case as has ever been.
Some people are confused about the meaning of the word ’donate’. Clearly it doesn’t mean whatever you wingnutz think it means, and the ethics committee knows it doesn’t mean doing things for free!
Written By: looker
URL: http://
What are they going to accuse him of .. use of the OR for his free services ?
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Is there any way to locate the 9% of the people that actually approve of these people and find out how they got their brain damage?
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
It would be moderately interesting, in a pathology, ’what is that bacillus on the slide?’ sort of way, to see who votes for a censure resolution, and how they justify it.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Is there any way to locate the 9% of the people that actually approve of these people and find out how they got their brain damage?
well, when you add up the Congressmen, their staff, their families and donors and those who don’t know how to answer properly...I’d say that’s about 9% of the population.
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
See, I think I know why the Dems are up in arms...

See, if he does this for free (as opposed to donating his fee), the Feds can’t tax the money he gets. By saying "don’t pay me at all", he costs the Gov’t revenue...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
" By saying "don’t pay me at all", he costs the Gov’t revenue..."

Interesting. That re;minds me of Kelo. It is a good thing eminent domain does not apply to people. Yet.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

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