Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

12/07/2004

Follow the Leader

We have noted in recent days the increasing stature of Minnesota's junior U.S. Senator, the Star Tribune notwithstanding. Today comes word that several House Republicans have joined the crusade and are calling for Annan's ouster.

From today's Washington Times:
Nineteen Republicans and one Democrat — Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi — had signed the resolution, as of late yesterday. Calls for Mr. Annan to step down already have come from Sen. Norm Coleman, the Minnesota Republican who is heading the main congressional inquiry into accusations of fraud, bribery and corruption in the United Nations' administration of the Iraq oil-for-food program.

Mr. Coleman's Senate inquiry already has determined that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime skimmed billions of dollars from the program, which allowed Iraq to sell small amounts of oil to pay for food and humanitarian assistance while it was under U.N. sanctions.

A separate group of Republicans led by Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican and member of the House International Relations Committee, yesterday pushed legislation that would tie the United States' U.N. funding to the organization's cooperation with investigators.

The corruption accusations have prompted numerous investigations, including several congressional inquiries, a U.S. Treasury Department investigation and a U.N.-commissioned inquiry conducted by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

But Mr. Flake and other Republicans say the United Nations is not cooperating with investigators, is withholding information, and has denied Mr. Volcker's investigation any subpoena power to get information.

"I'm convinced that the only way we can ensure the U.N.'s full cooperation is with the threat of withholding our funding," Mr. Flake said.

Waddya say we make Coleman Minnesota's senior U.S. Senator in oh, say, 23 months?

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