WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to become the next speaker of the House, has drawn criticism for backing Rep. John Murtha for House Democratic leader.
Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to Democratic lawmakers backing Murtha, D-Pa., against current House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Her decision has drawn fire from critics who question whether backing Murtha, who had battled multiple accusations of ethics violations during his tenure in the House, amounts to a violation of her promise to battle corruption inside Congress, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
"Pelosi's endorsement suggests to me she was interested in the culture of corruption only as a campaign issue and has no real interest in true reform," Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a Democratic-leaning group, told the Post. "It is shocking to me that someone with (Murtha's) ethics problems could be number two in the House leadership."
Over the years, Murtha has been accused of trading federal money for campaign contributions, abusing his responsibilities as senior Democrat on the Appropriations defense subcommittee and obstructing ethics investigations.