Buh-bye. Congressman Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania is resigning. Shuster was just spanked by the House Ethics Committee for breaking various rules. But his real crime is playing the same games all the career politicians play.
Shuster is neck-deep in the corrupt Big Dig project in Boston and he’s pushed terribly wasteful pork-barrel bills through the Transportation Committee he chaired. He has even bribed his colleagues by offering $25 million extra tax dollars for the district of each member of Congress who sanctioned all the pork.
How has Shuster been able to keep schussing down the track of the irresponsible career politician? In 28 years, he’s never had a competitive race for his solidly GOP seat, was often never even opposed for reelection. But now, after having just won his seat yet again, he quits. Why now? Well, it finally dawned on him that the term limits passed on committee chairmen back in 1994 are going to stand.
So he’s collecting his marbles and going home. Shuster had hoped for some sort of waiver from the GOP leadership to allow him to thwart the limits and stay at the pinnacle of power. But there is another reason too. Shuster plans to keep this seat in the family by handing it to his son. Had Shuster Senior resigned before the election, there would have been a very competitive race for this seat. Thanks to the timing, GOP insiders, not the voters, will choose his replacement. Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.