EDITORIAL: Pelosi Takes One Step Forward, Two Back

June 5, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a step forward earlier this week when she directed Dan Beard, the chief administrative officer of the U.S. House of Representatives, to begin posting online quarterly reports of how representatives spend their official office accounts. Members use these accounts to hire staff, lease automobiles and office equipment, and pay for official lunches, as well as a host of other things.

To grasp the importance of these accounts, one need only recall that for years, the reports could only be viewed in an obscure office buried deep in the bowels of the Capitol building. So hardly anyone ever bothered to look at them. But when reporters for The Washington Times took the time to examine the accounts in 1993, their subsequent reporting exposed serious check-cashing abuses by hundreds of members of the House. Those revelations set the stage for the “Contract with America” campaign of 1994 and the Republicans regaining control of Congress for the first time in four decades.

Read more: (Editorial, “Pelosi Takes One Step Forward, Two Back,” San Francisco Examiner, 6/05/09)