Hoyer: Massa Claims “Absurd”

Eric Massa | Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/buffalopundit/3838503644/">BuffaloPundit</a> (<a href="http://www.creativecommons.org">Creative Commons</a>).

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Former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y) claims that he was “forced out” of Congress by Dem leaders because of his opposition to health care reform—not because of sexual harrassment allegations that surfaced last week. That accusation is “absurd,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters in a forceful exchange Tuesday morning. “It’s absolutely untrue that there was any relationship” between what happened to Massa and health care, Hoyer said.

While it’s true that Massa’s departure makes passing health care reform a bit easier, the former congressman’s explanation for his retirement has changed repeatedly in recent days. On Wednesday, he said that a recurrence of cancer would require him to retire. The next day, after Politico reported that a male staffer had filed a sexual harrassment complaint against Massa, the Congressman told TPM’s Brian Beutler that the allegations were “totally false” and he was just a “salty old sailor.” On Friday, Massa issued a statement assuring his constituents that “there is no doubt that this Ethics issue is my fault and mine alone.” Then, on Sunday, Massa went on a local radio show in his district to explain that Dem leaders—including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel—were part of a conspiracy to end his political career.

Despite Hoyer’s denials, Massa appears to be sticking with his latest story. He’s still scheduled to spend an hour talking about the subject on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show tonight. “All Americans need to hear him,” Beck says.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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