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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Saturday, October 16, 2004

    More ooh la LaTourette 

    This is progress: Plain Dealer reporters Steve Luttner and Stephen Koff have gotten U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Madison Village,to acknowledge his personal relationship with Jennifer Laptook, a lobbyist who previously served as the congressman's chief of staff. LaTourette's former wife accussed him of being involved with a lobbyist at the end of their 21-year marriage, but the congressman who represents northeast Summit County would not tell the reporters when he became involved with Laptook. Is it any of their business? Of course it is. The Ohio Democratic Party has asked U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate the LaTourette-Laptook relationship to determine whether their have been violations of regulations limiting personal interaction between congressmen and lobbyists. The Democrats request was prompted by photographs they received from a private investigator. LaTourette is offended. ``I can't believe that someone who wants to serve in Congress has hired someone to peep into somoneone's bedroom,'' LaTourette told the PD. He was referring to his Democratic challenger, Capri Caparo, whose spokesman denied that Cafaro had hired an investigator. LaTourette says he has done nothing wrong, that he has obtained waivers from the House Ethics Committee to accept gifts from Laptook. Would that include sleepovers? LaTourette should not be surprised at questions about behavior when he the House Transortation & Infrastructure Committee on which LaTourette serves is considering a bill that includes millions of dollars for Laptook clients such as the Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Art Museum. Appearance counts in politics. LaTourette knew this when he began following his heart into a relationship that was politically unwise.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 9:15 AM

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