The Moose celebrates that the Independence Avenue Project is well underway.
Recently, the Moose suggested that the donkey launch the Independence Avenue Project to remove the Concierge of K Street, the House's Chief Bug Man, from the House Leadership. Of course, Mr. DeLay is the founder of the K Street Project which seeks to rid the Washington lobbying community of all donkeys. More than anyone else in American politics, the Exterminator represents the corruption of our public life.
There have been three intrepid individuals who are the polar opposites of DeLay and they are the first recipients of the Golden Antler Award. The Golden Antler recognizes extraordinary efforts in reclaiming the political process for the good guys in the spirit of T.R.
With Republicans controlling all branches of the federal government, we desperately need some checks and balances in our public life. The combination of overweening hubris and big money can only lead to corruption.
And that is why the Moose has created the coveted Golden Antler to reward those who will take on the malefactors of great wealth and their enablers. Mooseketeers can submit nominees for future winners. So let the suspense end - here are the first recipients...
Chris Bell, outgoing House Member from Texas, who has led the charge against DeLay. Sure, he was rebuked by the Ethics Committee for a little exaggeration - but hey, the Moose has never been adverse to a little hyperbole. And besides, Representative Bell had the gumption, fortitude and fearlessness to challenge the bug man. The Moose hopes that we will hear more from the good Congressman - Senator Bell? Governor Bell?
The second winner of the coveted Golden Antler is Josh Marshall, the muckraking blogger who has been relentless and indefatigable in pursing the case against DeLay. Bully Josh!
And our final winner is Ronnie Earle, the crusading District Attorney of Travis County, Texas who is seeking to clean up the Texas political mess that is the result of the Bug Man's redistricting campaign.
In a piece in today's New York Times, Mr. Earle captures the spirit of the Golden Antler,
There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules. Congress may make its own rules, but the public makes the rule of law, and depends for its peace on the enforcement of the law. Hypocrisy at the highest levels of government is toxic to the moral fiber that holds our communities together.
The open contempt for moral values by our elected officials has a corrosive effect. It is a sad day for law enforcement when Congress offers such poor leadership on moral values and ethical behavior. We are a moral people, and the first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt.
The Moose bellows, "Amen Brother Earle!"