Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2016.
Whitfield is the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation regarding allegations that he improperly used his office to help his wife lobby Congress for the Humane Society.
But the Kentucky Republican made no mention of the ethics investigation while announcing his retirement.
“Representing the people of the 1st District for 21 years has been an honor,” Whitfield said in a statement. “While many Americans are frustrated with the institution of Congress, I still believe that politics is a worthy vocation and I know many men and women of character will always be willing to serve.”
House rules prohibit lawmakers’ spouses from lobbying their offices. Whitfield’s wife, Constance, is a registered lobbyist for the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
The House Ethics Committee announced in March that it had opened an investigation following a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics alleging that Whitfield’s wife lobbied for multiple bills her husband supported regarding animal welfare. Whitfield has denied the allegations, maintaining that he introduced the legislation of his own volition.
I mean granted, there are a lot worse ethics violations than "my wife lobbied for the Humane Society" but Ed's been running his Paducah/Murray district since he was swept into power during the Contract With America election in 1994.
More importantly, Ed Whitfield runs the House Energy Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power, which means he's been a one-man wrecking crew against global warming legislation and of course denies climate change is even a problem.
Frankly that's one less jackass Republican in the House to muck things up. We'll see who the Kentucky Democrats can get to run against him.