Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Republicans Insult McKinney, Pull Democrats' Noses

Well, gee whiz, what a surprise! The House Republicans, arrogant and foolish to the end, want to disgrace as many Democrats as they can. Not only is the GOP still resentful over Nixon’s disgrace, but now their martyr list includes Abramoff, DeLay, Cunningham, Libby, and all the other pals who have tripped over their own well-stuffed pockets. That’s all this is really about.

And the Democrats who maintain a nervous silence? Again, what a non-surprise.

House to vote on praising McKinney police

4/4/2006, 2:28 p.m. PT


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans, reacting to the confrontation
last week
between Rep. Cynthia McKinney and a Capitol Police officer
she is accused of hitting, pressed for a resolution Tuesday
to commend the police force for its professionalism.

Democratic leaders did not defend McKinney or her charge of
racial profiling.

"I don't think any of it justifies hitting a police
officer," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of
California. "If it did happen I don't think it was justified."

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the
House, said all lawmakers, staffers and visitors in the
building have a responsibility to obey Capitol Police.
"I think we all should cooperate fully," he said.

Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., chairman of the Congressional Black
Caucus, had no comment, a spokesman said.

As a federal prosecutor considered whether to press assault
or other charges against McKinney, Republicans were
introducing their resolution.

"I don't think it's fair to attack the Capitol
Police and I think it's time that we show our support
for them," said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., a sponsor
of the measure. Ignoring a police officer's order to
stop, or hitting one, "is never OK," McHenry said.

McKinney is alleged to have hit a uniformed police officer
who did not recognize her and asked her to stop on her way
into a House office building.

McKinney says she took action in self defense after the
officer inappropriately touched her. A spokesman for the
congresswoman did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment.

The six-term Georgia Democrat says the issue is not about
whether to obey a police officer's order, whether she
hit him or the fact that she was not wearing the lapel pin
that identifies members of Congress.

She and her lawyers have said that a series of confrontations
between McKinney and U.S. Capitol and White House law
enforcement officers who don't recognize her points to
a pattern.

"The issue is racial profiling," McKinney, who is
black, told CNN Monday.

The resolution being introduced Tuesday came as McKinney
awaited U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein's decision
on whether to press any criminal charges against her.

The measure expected to be introduced late Tuesday,
co-sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., would not
specifically mention McKinney or the confrontation, McHenry said.

Instead, sponsors said, it would commend the Capitol Police
for their professionalism and recognize the challenge of
protecting the vast Capitol campus from terrorism and other
threats while keeping it open to tourists.

"Every day they exhibit honor, courtesy and
professionalism," Diaz-Balart said in a statement.

McKinney says that has not been her experience. She says
Capitol Police officers have a long history of failing to
recognize her and asking for identification — a pattern she
says is racist and in any case highlights a security problem
in one of the most well-guarded buildings in the country.

Republicans suggest the incident says something negative
about the Democrats. A spokesman for House Speaker Dennis
Hastert, R-Ill., said that a Democratic lawmaker hitting an
officer does not support the minority party's claim of
a commitment to security.

Pelosi last week called that argument "pathetic."
She added that she would not make a big deal of what she
termed "a mistake" by an officer.

The lack of Democratic support for McKinney is notable. She
and her lawyer, James Myart Jr., said on Friday they
expected several members of Congress to join her at a news
conference that day at Howard University.

None did. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton issued a
statement of concern about the incident and urged the
parties to come to an agreement.

McHenry, who at 30 is the youngest member of Congress, said
he is routinely stopped by Capitol Police and asked for identification.

"When I'm not wearing my pin, I am always
stopped," McHenry said in a telephone interview.
"I accept that as a due course of security."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or

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