Tea Party to Boehner: Hands Off the Ethics Office
Speaker-elect opposed office's creation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2010 1:09 PM CST
House Speaker in-waiting John Boehner of Ohio, second from right, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – Three Tea Party groups are teaming up with a number of watchdog groups to send a message to Republicans: Don’t mess with the Office of Congressional Ethics. Speaker-elect John Boehner was an ardent opponent of the OCE’s creation, as was cohort Eric Cantor, and many have speculated that he intends to weaken or dismantle the office, according to The Hill. But Tea Partiers and watchdogs will hold a press conference today arguing that ethics is a nonpartisan issue.

“We haven’t made a decision with regard to the OCE,” a Boehner spokesman said. “The only group of members publicly calling for it to be shut down at this point are Democrats.” The entire Republican leadership voted against the office in 2008, but statements like that show Boehner's feeling pressure to keep it. “If they move in the opposite direction of transparency that this office provides, I think we will be very upset,” said the head of Ohio’s Tea Party umbrella group. “Symbolically, it’s a huge problem for them.”