Monday, November 20, 2006

Reid Makes Curious Selection for Senate Sergent-at-Arms

Considering the page/Foley scandal stuff, this is pretty depressing.

November 15, 2006 -- Reid selects GOP hack as Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has picked former chief of the US Capitol Police Terrance W. Gainer as the Democrat's political patronage position of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Ironically, Gainer, who is a Republican who started out his police career by clubbing protestors at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, was the choice of House Speaker Dennis Hastert and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to head the Capitol police. Gainer was forced to resign after it was discovered he violated Capitol police ethics rules by hiring his son-in-law as a Capitol policeman. Gainer is also suspected by African American members of the Capitol police of being involved in setting up an incident with House GOP staff in which Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney was harassed by a white Capitol cop, resulting in a GOP and right-wing media feeding frenzy over the confrontation.

Gainer also headed the Illinois State Police at a time during which ex-Governor George Ryan cited police misconduct by the state police as a primary reason for his commutation of the death sentences of death row inmates. Gainer, while Chief of the Capitol Police, worked under the aegis of the House Sergeant-at-Arms who was partially responsible for House pages in his role as a member of the House Page Board. Capitol Police failed to get involved in the predatory pederast activities of ex-Rep. Mark Foley in targeting underage House pages. As Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, Gainer will have direct responsibility for the Senate Page System.

Sign of things to come?
Harry Reid rewards ethically-tainted
GOP operative with Senate Sergeant-at-Arms job.

It did not take very long for the next Democratic Majority Leader to taint himself in the Pagegate and nepotism scandals with the appointment of Gainer. The rank and file Democrats in the Senate should expect more from a leader who is supposed to clean up the ethics mess left by the Republicans.


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