And Who Is The NEW Chairman Of The House Ways And Means Committee?

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on March 3, 2010

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None other than Pete Stark, whose reputation precedes him:

Stark was involved in a recent confrontation with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), a quasi-independent body Democrats created in 2008 to help burnish the ethics committee’s reputation.

The OCE initiated in investigation into Stark and several other members after press reports began scrutinizing the lawmakers’ claim of homestead tax deductions for residences they own in the D.C. area.

Stark faced scrutiny for claiming a $3,770 tax break in Maryland because he was registered to vote in Fremont, Calif., and rented a house there.

Throughout his interview with investigators, the OCE report said Stark was “extremely belligerent and frequently insulted OCE staff members interviewing him.”

They also noted that Stark had tried to surreptitiously videotape the interview.

“Approximately 15 minutes into the interview, it also became apparent to OCE interviewers that Rep. Stark was videotaping the exchange,” the report said.

The ethics committee cleared Stark of any wrongdoing in late January, but the OCE was more critical in its recommendation that the ethics panel investigate further. The OCE said Stark called the Maryland tax department and changed his answer to one of the questions on the application for the deduction two days after the first press report appeared about a member of Congress improperly receiving the homestead tax credit.

Read on, and you will find that charm is not Pete Stark’s forte.

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