I was listening to the podcast “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” about the bipartisan-by-design Ethics Committee that’s able to do things like – in the news this week – investigate Matt Gaetz for possible sex-trafficking, lobbying violations and obstruction of justice. The committee has equal party representation, so neither is in the majority.
Olbermann took the time to read the names of the 10 members of the Ethics Committee and I’d never heard of them, until the last one, our very own brand-new Congressman Glenn Ivey! How exciting that our freshman congressman is in the middle of the action, on the one committee that can be effective in an otherwise ineffective Congress (to say the least).
It’s thanks to the Gaetz story that I learned about Rep. Ivey’s appointment to the prestigious committee, an unusual thing for a freshman. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries pointed out in his announcement of the appointment that “He is the first freshman member to be appointed.”
In Rep. Ivey’s own statement he said
We must continue to assure the public that we are doing the work of governing in a transparent and ethical way. I will play my part to show our constituents that Members of Congress are held to the high standard of trust bestowed upon us by the electorate. I will bring my years of experience in the law as a prosecutor, defense and civil law attorney to bear in our work. I am ready to get started,
Ethics Committee work this term includes:
Investigated N.Y. Congressman George Santos, about which I noticed a promo for a coming interviewee: “Rep. Glenn Ivey joins MSNBC’s Symone Sanders-Townsend to discuss what to expect. He also weighs in on President Biden’s ask for a sprawling aid package including Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and the southern border.” Watch this segment on MSNBC.
- And the Committee sends press releases about their busy year, mentioning official statements about still more congresspeople – Bowman, Ocasio-Cortez and Cherfilus-McCormick.
The Ethics Committee staff is required by rule to be professional and nonpartisan.
Not Just Ethics
Speaking of Matt Gaetz, there’s this story: “Matt Gaetz and Glenn Ivey Clash over ‘Defund The Police’ and the ATF.” Watch video accompanying that headline.
And I noticed that on plenty of other topics, Rep. Ivey has things to say, including in these videos.
Hmm, could our brand-new congressman already be making news as a messenger for the Ethics Committee and for his party?
By the way, his other committee assignments are to the Committees on the Judiciary and on Homeland Security, two other particularly busy committees. Source.
The news led me to Congressman Ivey’s House website, where I explored enough to locate his district office in Largo (a 13-minute drive at mid-day, according to my GPS), and to notice a meaty dropdown of constituent services, most of which I had no idea existed.
Adjusting to Change
I can only speak as one Greenbelter, but it was worrying to unceremoniously be moved from long-serving House leader Steny Hoyer’s 5th District to the then-vacant 4th District, with representation by an as-yet-chosen freshman. But I was delighted to find out what a prominent, activist voice our freshman congressman has, and that he’s making a name for himself outside our district already. Feeling Prince George’s Proud!
Our brand-new governor is seen even more frequently on news shows, already a strong Biden surrogate and someone being compared to Obama and talked about for higher office. Feeling Maryland Proud!
My enthusiasm for exciting new office-holders in Maryland reminds me of when I was working as the maker of transcripts for congressional committees, a job commonly called “court reporter.” I was frequently assigned to a committee that Congressman Chris Van Hollen was assigned to when he first arrived in 2003, and after watching him in hearings a couple of times I commented to a committee staffer that I predicted he’d “go far!”
In this photo I’m with now-Senator Van Hollen at the 2016 Labor Day Festival, where I told him about that memory.