Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Democratic leaders will meet as early as today to determine how to respond to allegations that top aides to Rep. Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) suggested that a congressional probe of mutual fund companies might ease if the industry dismissed one of its most prominent Democratic lobbyists or hired a Republican. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Oxley oversees mutual fund companies.
"That is an extraordinarily serious allegation," Hoyer said. If proven true, "it's both unethical and frankly borders on perhaps being criminal."
Oxley oversees a $6 trillion industry that is currently under investigation, and his aides allegedly "suggest" that it might be a good idea to fire a Democrat or hire a Republican. Low IQ, but high QPQ (quid pro quotient).
Investigate the bastard.
UPDATE: An article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (subscription required) adds a twist of the conservative zealot Grover Norquist to the story:
When the new ICI lobbyist is hired, "I would be surprised if it wasn't a Republican," said Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
Mr. Norquist launched the so-called "K Street Project" in 1998 to pressure trade associations to hire Republicans and contribute more to the party.
He said the research confirmed his view that industry lobbying efforts were faltering because trade groups relied on "aging, left-wing Democrats" to make their case to Republican congressional leaders and staff.
"This ICI is a poster child for this -- it's one of the worst," said Mr. Norquist.
The $6.3 trillion mutual fund industry should be leading the charge to create private accounts within Social Security and expand savings plans, such as the 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account, but has neglected to do so because its Democratic lobbyists oppose the idea, Mr. Norquist charged.
Congressional Republicans adopted legislation to expand IRAs and 401(k)s "all on their lonesome, without any help from those guys," said Mr. Norquist. He figures the ICI will be little help on tax reform in 2003 unless it shakes up its lobbying team.
"All they have is contacts with washed-up Democratic congressmen," said Mr. Norquist. "They're in a time warp, they don't know the majority, or how the majority thinks."
Interestingly, the administration, in total defiance to Norquist, is simultaneously backing away (NYT) from its own push to further destroy Americans' ability to amass retirement savings, preferring to focus almost exclusively on tax cuts for the rich and preemptive war in Iraq.