House Democrats are eager to win back control of the House of Representatives. So since the fall election, they've had a field day attacking the alleged ethics woes of newly-minted Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla.
There are criminal inquiries into Rivera's decision to pay himself $60,000 in undocumented campaign reimbursements during his time in the Florida state legislature. Rivera contends he followed the law and didn't inappropriately divert any money to himself.
The Miami Herald reported over the weekend that Rivera paid $250,000 to fundraiser Esther Nuhfer after the Congressman raised more than $1 million for a potential state Senate campaign.
In late January, a reporter asked House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as to whether Rivera should be subject to any discipline on Capitol Hill.
"As I understand the allegations against Mr. Rivera, they don't involve any of his Congressional service," Boehner said. "These are activities that took place before he was elected. And I think we are waiting to see how this plays out."
The House Ethics Committee can't launch a probe because the questionable dealings unfolded before Rivera became a Congressman. But Democrats don't want to wait to see how this plays out. So they're perfectly happy to target Rivera and call out Boehner over the Florida Republican's alleged transgressions.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the national organization devoted to electing Democrats to Congress, hit Boehner hard Tuesday, tagging him with its "Hypocrite of the Week" moniker.
Boehner has a long track record of purging potential "problem" lawmakers from the House GOP ranks. Such was the case in 2008 when he sidelined former Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., after it came to light that Fossella had a second, secret family in suburban Virginia. Fossella decided not to seek re-election. Last year, Boehner asked former Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., to resign after he admitted to having an affair with a congressional aide. Souder and the aide had taped TV segments where they discussed the importance of abstinence.
In a release, the DCCC suggests that Boehner isn't being consistent with his treatment of Rivera compared with how he addressed previous matters.
The DCCC highlighted Boehner's comment on NBC's "Meet the Press" last week when the speaker said that "the American people have the right and should expect the highest ethical standards from their members of Congress."
Democrats want to know why that doesn't apply to Rivera.
"It is now clear that Speaker John Boehner's claim of ‘highest ethical standards' for Members of Congress is only selectively applied," said DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson.
A Boehner spokesman said the Congressman's previous comments on ethics stood for themselves.
Rivera's office was not immediately available to offer comment.