According to The Huffington Post, infighting, racism, name-calling, and document tampering are tearing the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asunder:
The main dispute is between a subcommittee staff director and a subcommittee clerk, with partisans of each dragged into the dispute, according to emails reviewed by HuffPost. The clerk, Jean Gosa, who has been a Hill staffer for more than 35 years, is now the subject of a personnel complaint and could be terminated within the week, according to a memo she wrote to the committee's chairman, Ed Towns (D-N.Y.). "Jaron Bourke filed a personnel complaint against Jean Gosa. The complaint is currently under investigation. No decisions have been made," said committee spokeswoman Jenny Rosenberg in a statement to HuffPost, declining to comment further.
But it doesn't stop there—while he's at it, Ryan Grim at HuffPo takes a leap to fan the flames of a presumed conflict between Committee Chair Ed Towns and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA), and also calls into question Rep. Towns' performance as Chair.
Maybe it's just a slow news week. All this comes as a surprise to POGO—though we haven't worked specifically with the subcommittee staffers mentioned, we do work closely with the Committee on many issues, and we've found the staff to be highly professional and dedicated. Furthermore, we've observed that the Towns and Issa camps have been working cooperatively in many areas—for example, on enhancing protections for federal whistleblowers. The two have also been like-minded on other issues, such as reforming the Minerals Management Service (MMS) in the wake of the oil spill (here and here) and eliminating secrecy at the Securities and Exchange Commission (exhibit A, exhibit B).
And lastly, though media attention may matter, what really matters is the quality of the work. Mr. Issa has put forward several bills POGO supports. And when it comes to Towns' body of work as Committee Chair, his record as both an investigator and as a legislating Chair has been far from shabby. He and his staff continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes on many issues important to POGO like whistleblower protections and reforms to the Inspector General system.
-- Bryan Rahija