Pete Stark out as Ways & Means Chairman

Politico reports that after a tenure measured in hours, Bay Area Congressman Pete Stark has "stepped aside" as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman write:

Officially, Stark stepped aside to keep the gavel of the panel's Health Subcommittee. But lawmakers and aides said Stark faced a rebellion within the committee and the caucus over his sometimes bizarre behavior and penchant for making offensive comments.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen told Stark at a Ways and Means meeting Wednesday that stepping aside would be in the best interests of the party, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the meeting.

Panel members voted unanimously in favor of recommending Levin for the post once Stark stepped aside, according to Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas).

As I pointed out yesterday, Stark is a loose cannon and a nasty piece of work, prone to outrageous statements. He was certain to become a focus of attention, and that was just too much for the Pelosi forces to accept. Sander Levin of Michigan, his replacement, is at least minimally civilized, if still a hopeless lib.