Pelosi cheers on new ambassador to Hungary - her husband's crony

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously declared that she's running the "most ethical Congress ever."

Beyond the continuing series of ethical problems faced by the likes of Charles Rangel and Eric Massa, and past problems with Congressmen Murtha and Jefferson, we now have the Speaker herself being smudged with ties between the new Ambassador to Hungary, whose nomination was cheered on by Pelosi, and her husband who brought the green to the already substantial Pelosi family fortune.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful woman in Congress, proudly sang the praises of her longtime friend and major Democratic donor Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis during the California real estate developer's confirmation hearing in November as U.S. ambassador to Hungary.

"My husband and I are here as friends of the family and admirers of the Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis family," she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the Nov. 18 hearing. "I salute her for her patriotism and for all that she will bring to this position."

What the 12-term California Democrat didn't say was that her husband, Paul Pelosi Sr., a California-based investment banker, has made more than $1 million as part of a business relationship with the new ambassador's father, Angelo Tsakopoulos, that dates back nearly 20 years.

While ambassadorships often are part of a "spoils system" that rewards big donors and the politically well-connected, the Pelosis' relationship with Mr. Tsakopoulos goes well beyond the business-as-usual label.

Since 1991, Mr. Pelosi's real estate partnership investments with Mr. Tsakopoulos have netted him between $1.4 million and $9 million, according to Mrs. Pelosi's personal financial disclosure statements.

I suppose the New York Times was too distracted to dig this news up....


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