Pop quiz: If we'd asked on Monday, which Empire State Democrat would have seemed closest to resignation? Probably embattled Gov. David Paterson or maybe Rep. Charlie Rangel, who's been haunted by an ethics investigation. The surprise winner, though, is Rep. Eric Massa, a first-term congressman representing a western New York district. The Washington Post, Politico, and other outlets are reporting that Massa will announce his resignation on Monday.
It's been a strange and quick fall for Massa, a cancer survivor who made health reform a central part of his election campaign, but voted against the bill in the House, arguing that it didn't go far enough. On Wednesday, he announced that he would not run for reelection, and although he attributed the decision to his health, it quickly emerged that Massa—who is married—is under investigation for sexually harrassing a male staffer. Massa's resignation adds another layer of intrigue to the health debate, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi scrambles to round up a majority in the House. In the 2008 presidential election, Massa's district voted for John McCain in a close race.