Republican House Conference chairman apologizes to Dodd

Rep. Mike Pence has apologized to Sen. Chris Dodd over a policy brief that included a personal attack.

Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House GOP conference, called Dodd (D-Conn.) last week to apologize personally for the brief, which was written by a House GOP staffer.

Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, had called the personal attack on him “pathetic” when The Hill first reported on the policy brief last week.

Pence also directed that the brief be removed from the conference’s website so that it could be revised. The new version has since been posted.

“At the chairman's request, the policy brief was temporarily taken down to remove personal references,” said conference spokeswoman Mary Vought.

The original brief included references to 2008 allegations that Dodd acted unethically in accepting favorable treatment on mortgages for homes in Washington and Connecticut.

It was titled, “Taxpayers should not trust the ‘Friend of Angelo,’ ” a reference to a special VIP program established by former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, who has been charged with civil fraud and insider trading by federal investigators.

The brief went on to criticize the banking reform bill that Dodd drafted and moved through the Senate Banking Committee, but it emphasized references to the mortgage controversy.

Dodd’s office on Tuesday declined to comment on the House GOP actions.

In an interview last week, Dodd emphasized that he had never met Mozilo. The Senate Ethics Committee last August cleared Dodd of all charges.

The 2008 mortgage controversy led in part to Dodd’s announcement in January that he would not seek reelection.

He called the original brief “a pointless accusation from people who are kind of, you know, pathetic individuals. They always have been. And obviously the record reflects an examination of the question, and the question was answered by Democrats and Republicans unanimously, that there was nothing to the charge.”

He said criticism of his bill was fair and acceptable but called the personal attack “pathetic.”

Pence has a record of urging civility in politics, telling Republicans while running for a leadership post in 2006, “As your leader, I will not encourage you to use negative personal attacks on the floor or in your campaigns.”

Vought emphasized that House Republicans continue to stand against the banking reform bill itself.

“It has now been reposted, but we will continue to vigorously oppose the Democrats' efforts to make taxpayer-funded bailouts permanent,” Vought said of the policy brief.

The revised policy brief, titled “Taxpayers should not trust the ‘party of bailouts,’ ” was published Tuesday at http://www.gop.gov/policy-news/10/03/30/taxpayers-should-not-trust-the. The revised version mentions Dodd in his capacity as Senate Banking Committee chairman, but does not reference the mortgage situation.