Democrats Decry GOP Threats Against Soros

Posted June 30, 2005 at 3:15pm

A quartet of senior House Democrats called on Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) Thursday to denounce Republican comments suggesting Major League Baseball might be punished if it sells the Washington Nationals to liberal financier George Soros.

The controversy began after a story in Monday’s Roll Call quoted Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R-Va.) saying it would be “Major League Baseball that gets hurt” if the team were to be sold to an investor group that includes Soros. Davis also pointed out that MLB enjoys an exemption from anti-trust laws.

Davis has since backed off his comments somewhat, but Democrats are still up in arms at the suggestion that the league might be punished for dealing with Soros.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Judiciary ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Education and the Workforce ranking member George Miller (D-Calif.) wrote to Hastert Thursday saying, “These published threats, let alone such retribution were it to occur, constitute a dismaying example of the misuse of authority and abuse of political power that have become all too familiar.”

The letter also pointed out that House ethics rules “prohibit Members from using their official power for partisan retaliation.”

Hastert’s office did not return a call seeking comment.

— Ben Pershing