Spin Control

McMorris Rodgers on Weiner: 'I had no idea'

SEATTLE -- Weeks ago, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers co-wrote a guest column with the co-chairman of a new group of congresspersons concerned about local pharmacies staying in business. It sat around for until Monday, when it got published at a time when her caucus co-chairman was getting maximum exposure.

But not the good kind.

That co-chairman is Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who on Monday admitted that he'd been lying for about 10 days by denying he never sent a suggestive photo by Twitter to a woman in Seattle. He fessed up and said not only had he sent that photo, and lied about it, but he'd sent others by Twitter or Facebook, and engaged in other behaviof of which he is now ashamed.

"I had no idea," she said Tuesday in Seattle, where she's the keynote speaker at the Washington Policy Center's conference on health care.

McMorris Rodgers said she wouldn't call for Weiner's resignation, adding she wanted to see what else comes out in an upcoming ethics investigation. "I hesitate to say when someone should resign."

But other Republican members of Congress have resigned when facing similar scandals, and she supports Speaker John Boehner's admonition to the GOP caucus: "You are held to a higher standard when it comes to being a member of Congress."

McMorris Rodgers has been one of the prime movers at getting Republicans in Congress to use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with constituents and supporters. While Weiner's problems point out the possibilities of misuse of the social media, that's not a reason to stay off Twitter.

" I think there are a lot more positiives about opening up communication," she said. providing that one is careful about what kind of communication one is opening up.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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