More on Massa’s contradictory statements and behavior

This story about Massa’s radio program yesterday, posted early this morning by Roll Call, clearly states that Massa himself said on the program that he was considering rescinding his resignation. That contradicts the statement by Massa’s chief of staff today that Massa is not rescinding the resignaton and that it was not Massa who spoke of rescinding the resignation, but callers who were urging him to do it. The Roll Call piece contains other inconsistent and erratic statements by Massa.

Massa Hints He Could Rescind Resignation
March 8, 2010, 7:14 A.M.

Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) suggested on a New York radio station Sunday that he could rescind his resignation—scheduled to take effect at 5 p.m. Monday—after asserting that an ethics investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed one of his aides may have been orchestrated by Democratic leaders to get him out of office before the health care vote.

Responding to a caller to his weekly radio show on WKPQ Power 105 FM, a recording of which was made available via the Web site of local station 13 WHAM-TV, Massa said: “I’m not going to be a Congressman as of 5 o’clock [Monday] afternoon. The only way to stop that is for me to rescind my resignation. That’s the only way to stop it. And the only way that’s going to happen is if this becomes a national story.” [LA replies: well, it HAS become a national story, yet instead of rescinding his resignation, he’s had his chief of staff announce that he’s going ahead with it after all.]

During the hour-and-a-half show, Massa said that Democratic leaders are using the House ethics committee to get him out of office before the vote on health care because he voted against the House health care bill last fall.

“Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, ‘they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass.’ You connect the dots,” Massa said Several times during the broadcast Massa raised the prospect of rescinding his resignation if national news media picked up on his story of being railroaded out of office by Democratic leaders. [LA replies: there is a slightly delusional quality in this statement. Massa is not “the” deciding vote. There are any number of congressmen who are possibly “the” deciding vote. Second, his definitive statement that the bill will now pass because he’s been gotten rid of is not reality based. Third, if he’s so opposed to what the Leadership is doing, why doesn’t he at least keep his office until the health care bill is resolved?]

In response to a caller’s suggestion that Massa disseminate his allegations by contacting Fox News, Massa stated: “I can’t call Fox News. You guys gotta call Fox News. I can’t do it … Here’s why. I’m in the center of this storm, so obviously I’m not objective.” [LA replies: What? He’s not capable of giving his side of things? Massa’s behavior is passive-aggressive. He has attacked the House Leadership big time, but won’t take responsibility for his statements or follow through.]

But Massa also repeatedly pointed out that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly referred to as the ethics panel, would continue its investigation if he remains in office.

“That’s very kind of you, but understand what that means for me,” Massa said in a response to a caller who suggested he not resign. “It means that a group of lawyers are going to try to rip me and my family limb from limb. And you’ve already seen it in the newspapers. … It’s a piranha feeding frenzy.” [LA replies: Yes, perhaps. But now that Massa has gone public both on his own behavior and on what he thinks the leadership is doing, he is no longer isolated and is somewhat protected from further harm—unless there is much more to his inappropriate conduct than he has let on.]

Massa said on the show that the ethics investigation focused on sexually charged comments he made to an aide at a New Year’s Eve celebration, but charged he was unaware of an ethics committee investigation into the incident until after he had announced his retirement last week.

The House ethics committee confirmed Thursday that it is investigating unspecified allegations against Massa.

Massa surprised political observers when he announced on Wednesday that he would not run for re-election in November. He cited a recurrence of cancer as the reason for his decision, but after the ethics investigation was confirmed, Massa announced he would step down immediately.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 08, 2010 02:58 PM | Send

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