House Speaker Harwell: Mum's the Word



Through her flack, House Speaker Beth Harwell has finally said something—sort of—about the arrest of her big supporter and committee chairman, Rep. Curry Todd. Harwell said she's not saying anything until she meets personally with Todd. And that meeting cannot occur, of course, until she returns from her family tour of the western United States.

"Speaker Harwell has not discussed any details with Representative Todd as she is currently out of town visiting potential colleges with her daughter," the flack, Kara Owen, said in a just-released statement. "Upon her return, she will sit down with him face to face to discuss the situation. She will withhold making any decisions or further statements until that time."

If Harwell is reluctant to strip Todd of his chairmanship without first speaking with him, that's one thing. But there was no explanation for why she can't bring herself to say anything at all about his arrest. How about a mild rebuke for going to jail for swerving drunkenly around town at 60 mph with a loaded gun in his car?

And so to recap, two days after Todd's arrest, no House Republican leader has expressed any displeasure at all with his actions. For that matter, the only Democrat to criticize Todd has been the party chairman, and he was undercut by his House caucus chairman, Mike Turner. What's wrong with this picture?

To Pith, Owen added that she does not know "the specific itinerary" of the speaker's trip, and she's not even sure when Harwell returns. "I believe she returns sometime Sunday," Owen said.


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