Black Eye

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It seems that Nancy Pelosi is not going to get off scot-free from her little miscalculation of exempting American Samoa from the much touted minimum wage law. The media is paying attention and is reporting on in, albeit with considerably less enthusiasm than they would if a Republican had been involved. But it is getting noticed.

Indeed, Eni Faleomavaega, a Democrat who represents American Samoa in the House as a nonvoting delegate, has said applying the minimum wage increase to his territory would devastate the tuna industry — and thus the island chain's economy.

That Speaker Pelosi would go along with this argument undermines her party's contention that minimum wage increases are all roses and no thorns.

Now a backtracking Speaker Pelosi has asked a committee to tweak the legislation to cover all U.S. territories before it goes to the White House for President Bush's signature. She's willing to sacrifice a developing economy to appear principled.

How refreshingly … political of her.

Had this been the other party, the full hue and cry would have been on. The media is so far ignoring reports that there may be some conflict of interest in finances involved here. (I'd suspect that that tidbit of information is on file, though. When the media has a need for it, it will suddenly pop up.) But even this much negative coverage serves to deliver a political black eye to the new speaker. Yet another one, that is.

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