Eric Massa is leaving Congress sooner than we thought. When he announced his retirement Wednesday — some people suspected it actually had to do with an ethics probe rumored to be about Massa’s harassment of a male aide, but Massa said it was due to health reasons — the first-term Representative gave the impression that he would hang in until the end of his term.
Massa and his staff have been tight-lipped about the whole thing, only saying that the allegations are false, and yes, the Ethics Committee did question Massa, but there hasn’t been a “complaint” lodged yet.
Massa appears to have kept his plans secret all the way up to the end; on Tuesday he gave a public endorsement of fellow New York Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak for a Senate run on Tuesday, which cannot be of use to Sestak now, but maintained the illusion that Massa was still in the game for a few more days.
This will make it harder for the Democrats to defend the seat. If Massa had stayed in, they would have had till November. Now the governor has to call a special election within 40 days of Massa’s vacancy.
On the other hand, now there won’t be so many “scandal-plagued Democratic Congressman stories” in the press. About Massa, we mean.