Boehner Defends GOP’s Ethics Point Man Despite Disclosure Woes

Posted October 22, 2009 at 3:57pm

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stood by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) on Thursday, saying Carter was still an appropriate point man for Republican efforts to challenge Democrats on ethics issues despite his failure to disclose nearly $300,000 in recent stock sale profits.Boehner said Carter made an error that many other Members have made, and that some of the fault lies with the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, which sometimes gives Members incorrect advice on completing their financial disclosure forms.Carter’s office denied on Tuesday but then acknowledged on Wednesday that the Congressman failed to report nearly $300,000 in profits from his sales of Exxon Mobil stock on his annual financial disclosure forms for 2006 and 2007.Carter ­— the Republican Conference secretary, ranking sixth among GOP leaders — has taken the lead for Republicans in proposing resolutions to strip House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) of his gavel while the ethics committee investigates an array of issues involving Rangel’s finances and fundraising, including Rangel’s failure for years to properly report income and assets on his annual disclosures.Boehner said Carter’s error was relatively minor.“Those forms are very confusing,— Boehner said. “The mistake he made is similar to one made by then-Senator Obama.— Roll Call reported last year that dozens of members of Congress, including Obama and Carter, had failed to report the capital gains on their stock sales on their disclosure forms for 2007. Carter’s office told Roll Call at the time that the committee had asked Carter to amend another entry on his form, but did not ask him to report the income from the Exxon Mobil sale.“The ethics committee gives advice to members and frankly … their advice appeared to [be] a mistake,— Boehner said Thursday.