We’ve got to hand it to Rep. Joseph Crowley, who ducked out of a House debate on financial reform last December to hit a fundraiser in his honor, where he pocketed thousands of bucks, some of which came from financial industry donors. What’s more, as The New York Times reported Wednesday, the party was hosted by a lobbyist. Finally, just in case Crowley’s behavior wasn’t flagrant enough, he returned to the House in time to cast a vote against clamping down on Wall Street. Representative democracy at its best!

That is but one of the special moments a special congressional ethics probe will look into as part of its investigation into fundraising activities around the time of the financial reform vote late last year. –KA

The New York Times:

The Office of Congressional Ethics has sent corporate donors and fund-raising hosts more than three dozen requests for documents involving eight members who solicited and took large contributions from financial institutions even as they were debating the landmark regulatory bill, according to lawyers involved in the inquiry.

The requests are focusing on a series of fund-raisers last December, in the days immediately before the House’s initial adoption of the sweeping overhaul, which could win final approval this week. Some of the fund-raising events took place the same days as crucial votes.

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