The House Rules chairman sure is keeping things stirred up this Christmas season. The target of at least two ethics complaints from fellow Republicans, and impeachment proceedings seeking to remove him from his RNC post, state Rep. David Lewis is spinning a conspiracy tale, to anyone who will listen, that harkens political observers back to the Clinton impeachment era and the final days of Nixon. EVERYBODY — and he means EVERYBODY — is out to get him. (*Just for doing his job.*)
Lewis apparently huddled up with his hometown paper to have them take a little dictation. I shared this article with a few folks I know who are intimately familiar with House GOP internal affairs to get their take on Lewis’s allegations and line of defense. Here is the consensus of these particular sources:
- Lewis refers to the “program” needing $750k in 2013 as proof that they didn’t know what they were doing. They didn’t ask for any in 2014 and none in 2015. Probably because someone else was running it (and the Democrat who had been running “the program” prior no longer was).
- Lewis talks about the “business plan” but never gives any details. DOA answered ALL of his emails. So, he is simply misleading folks again.
- Lewis claims he did not know Day, the towing company owner, had donated to his campaign. Lewis was listed as treasurer of his campaign during the time period in question. How does one serve as campaign treasurer and NOT be aware of what has and has not been contributed?
- If this was merely (1) conducting constituent service, and (2) acting in the best interests of the taxpayers, WHY did Lewis decide to make this change on his own in the middle of the night – in defiance and direct opposition of a House vote?
- Lewis questions the competence of The Departments of Revenue and Administration in handling the towing, storage, and auction of the vehicles. My sources tell me REVENUE had nothing to do with the whole episode. The Department of Public Instruction was the culprit in the program’s administrative competence issues. DOA should have been running it all along.
- Lewis misused and abused the ”technical corrections” process. He tries to suggest he did nothing different from what majority leader Mike Hager did. My sources concurred that this is “nonsense.” Technical corrections is a proofreading and editing process for legislation. Grammar, spelling, and factual errors are corrected during this process. What Lewis did was act unilaterally to make a fundamental, substantive change to legislation that had already been approved by the House. No one voted to authorize him to do what he did. (Quite a bit of work to, um, *coincidentally* benefit someone who had recently given him a substantial campaign contribution.)
Some folks, when they find themselves in a hole, are smart enough to STOP DIGGING.