Dems Rally As Task Force Finds In Favor Of Sanchez
By Ann Curley/CNN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 5) -- Calling the investigation a "witch hunt," jubilant Democrats rallied to celebrate a House task force's finding that there was insufficient voter fraud in the 1996 Bob Dornan-Loretta Sanchez congressional race, to overturn the results.
The investigation of the matter began in January of last year, upholding Sanchez's election victory, but leaving a large shadow of uncertainty over her congressional career.
Leading House Democrats in a big round of applause and cheering as Sanchez entered the room, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) thanked members of the Democratic caucus "who stood as a team together, without exception and fought with Loretta and her staff to do what justice should have done over a year ago."
Gephardt praised Sanchez, saying, "She has fought for the interests of the people of the 46th district of California. She has done her job as well as this job has ever been done by any of us and she deserves the respect of every member of this Congress and she has earned the support of her constituents in California."
Sanchez won her election against incumbent member Dornan by 984 votes, leading to allegations of voting by illegal aliens and non-citizens. Democrats labelled the accusations "politically motivated," often disrupting House proceedings over the last year in an effort to conclude the matter.
An emotional Sanchez thanked her colleagues and staff for their unwavering support, saying that "justice can prevail," and adding she was happy to see it.
The panel investigating the matter recommended Wednesday that the case be dismissed. The House Oversight Committee is expected to adopt the recommendation, as is the full House.