Campaign 2010

Mar 16, 2010

Has John Boehner Had An “Ethics Intervention” With Representative Pete Sessions?

According to a report this afternoon, House Minority Leader John Boehner recently said that he has “had to bring my members in from time to time and have had serious conversations with them” about ethics.


Given Representative Pete Sessions flawed record of unethical behavior, Democrats demanded Representative Boehner make clear if he has had such a conversation with Rep. Sessions or if he plans too.  Representative Pete Sessions has come under fire for backing disgraced and indicted Wall Street financiers, using his influence to slip unjustified earmarks for lobbyists who are former staff into the budget and supporting John McCain’s primary challenger against criminal charges related to the Jack Abramoff scandal. Sessions even held a fundraising event at a Las Vegas strip club with casino executives and payday lenders. Sessions is the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.


“If John Boehner is making a list of his most unethical members that need a stern ‘talking to’ we’re sure Pete Sessions is a top the list,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The people of Texas deserve to know if and when a member of the Republican leadership will put a stop to Sessions ethical lapses. Sessions stood behind an indicted Madoff-esque swindler who contributed to his campaigns, he used his power in Washington to steer earmarks to former staff and just last week, we learned that he is backing up John McCain’s primary challenger in his efforts to avoid prosecution as part of the criminal scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff. If John Boehner hasn’t talked to Representative Pete Sessions yet, when will he?”


Pete Sessions Ethics Greatest Hits


  • Rep. Boehener said that “I have had to bring my members in from time to time and have had serious conversations with them” during and MSNBC interview on Friday morning. [MSNBC Interview, 3/15/10]



  • Sessions held a fundraising event at a Las Vegas strip club for his leadership committee, joined by casino executives and payday lenders at Forty Deuce nightclub, located in the Mandalay Bay Resort. [NPR, 7/22/08]


  • “Just hours after federal agents charged banker Allen Stanford with fleecing investors of $7 billion, the disgraced financier received a message from one of Congress' most powerful members, Pete Sessions. ‘I love you and believe in you,’ said the e-mail sent on Feb. 17. `If you want my ear/voice -- e-mail,’ it said, signed ‘Pete.'' [Miami Herald, 12/27/2009]


  • Earlier in the year, Sessions came under fire for steering a $1.6 million earmark for dirigible research to a company with no experience in government contracting or building blimps. The company hired a former aide to Sessions to lobby on their behalf. [Politico, 7/30/2009]


  • Recent national publications have highlighted Session’s potential vulnerability in his re-election [The Hill, 2/4, Roll Call, 1/27].  Sessions’ opponent had more fundraising success in the fourth quarter of 2009 than nearly ½ of the top supported Republican candidates from the National Republican Congressional Committee which Sessions’ chairs. [The Hotline, 2/3/10]


  • Sessions has received $44,375 from Stanford and his staff and participated in foreign trips with Stanford. [Miami Herald, 12/27/2009; Talking Points Memo, 12/28/2009]


  •  “House Republican leaders met with more than 100 lobbyists at the Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday afternoon to try to fight back against financial regulatory overhaul legislation.” [Roll Call, 12/8/2009]


  • “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is using J.D. Hayworth’s legal trust to hammer his primary opponent about his entanglement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal… Earlier, The Hill reported that Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) was among other senior GOPers who gave to Hayworth’s trust.. [The Hill, 3/4/10]