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The blotter

House Democrats don't plan to call on Republicans to expel Rep. Bob Ney (R), who has now forfeited all his committee assignments.  Roll Call says that if Democrats were to call for Ney's expulsion, it would draw attention to their own scandal-plagued colleague, Bill Jefferson, who's at the center of -- although not convicted of wrongdoing in -- a federal bribery probe. 

Although Democrats' "culture of corruption" charge against Republicans has faded, the Wall Street Journal says "widespread voter dissatisfaction with Congress has the electorate in a less forgiving mood.  This campaign season also is marked by a number of close contests, making politicians vulnerable to charges of ethical lapses -- and raising the political stakes if the charges stick."  The Journal notes that "[e]thics and personal controversy last figured this prominently" in 1994. 

The New York Daily News notes that the FBI has had to increase the number of squads investigating lobbyists and lawmakers "because so much wrongdoing is being uncovered," according to the FBI assistant director.  "Two years ago, only 400 agents worked on public corruption cases.  Now, 615 agents nationwide - including 30 in New York - are trying to nail public servants for betraying the public trust in 2,200 ongoing cases."