Pelosi to Block Committee Appointments of Moderate, Conservative Democrats
by Jim Kouri, CPP
The new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) plans to block committee appointments that elevate Democrat moderates and conservatives into important chairmanships, according to Insight Magazine's sources within the Democrat National Committee.
Their sources claim that Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), a six-term member of Congress, who has cooperated with Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, will be a priority target for Pelosi's iron-fist approach to leadership.
"Nancy Pelosi wants total party discipline," a source in the Democratic Party leadership told Insight.
"If you played ball with the Republicans during this session, then you're not going to be given an important chair in the next session," said the source.
As the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Ms. Harman was the logical choice to become chairwoman of the powerful committee. In fact, she was always a strong supporter of national and homeland security and even chastised the New York Times when its reporters published government secrets in their news stories.
But Rep. Pelosi may pass over Rep. Harman, showing preference for either Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida or Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, the second-ranking and third-ranking Democrats on the intelligence committee.
The Congressional Black Caucus has been pushing for Mr. Hastings, an impeached federal judge, to become chairman. Earlier this year, the caucus was upset by Ms. Pelosi's decision to expel Rep. William Jefferson from the committee after he was accused of accepting bribes.
Congressional observers believe she expelled Jefferson only to avoid the question of Democrat corruption so close to the elections, since the party's internal polls showed intense dissatisfaction with congressional corruption.
"There is no seniority on the Intelligence Committee," Ms. Pelosi announced. "The leader or the speaker can appoint a whole new set of people."
The same sources told Insight that the 61-year-old Ms. Harman, regarded as the best informed House Democrat on intelligence and technology issues, angered the leftist Pelosi by supporting the Bush administration's policies on defense issues, particularly the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. They added that Pelosi recently rebuffed lobbyists in the pro-Israel community and defense industry that sought a chairmanship for Ms. Harman.
"Did anyone really believe Rep. Pelosi reinvented herself into a moderate? Pelosi is the most extreme leftist to ever hold the Speaker's gavel in congress," political analyst Mike Baker told this writer.
"If Nancy Pelosi's apparent determination to deny Jane Harman the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee to appease the Black Caucus is any indication, Democratic control is not going to be good news for those who believe in competent oversight of the national-security apparatus," Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute told Insight.
Meanwhile, Rep. Harman, who is credited with actually writing the Democrat Party's national security agenda for the campaign, said she hoped to remain a leading voice on defense issues. She said her California constituents want her to be on the House Intelligence Committee.
"House Intelligence Committee activities are directly relevant to the major concerns of my constituents," Ms. Harman said.
While the liberal-left wing of the Democrat Party and the MoveOn.Org crowd are celebrating "their victory," they appear to already forget that the Democrat candidates who unseated Republicans usually ran to the right, claims Baker.
"Pelosi and her ilk used these moderate-to-conservative Democrats to grab onto more power and now they want to deny centrists important congressional positions."
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.