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Featherman: U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah should resign now

"Let me guess, you're calling to ask me about the unemployment," Rep. Chaka Fattah told a reporter, adding, "You're calling to ask me about Afghanistan."

Fattah's thoughts about the investigation into alleged improprieties? "I thought that it was another distraction from the major issues of the day."

Those were Fattah's words.

But they weren't from yesterday, last week or last month.

They were Fattah's words from back in 2010 when another Democrat, U.S. Rep. Eric Massa of New York, was being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct. Fattah was the sole vote against the investigation, in which the House voted 402 to 1 to hold a ethics committee inquiry.

Massa resigned in disgrace that month.

And that's exactly what Fattah should do right now.

Chaka Fattah should immediately resign from the House and withdraw his candidacy for reelection because he has become a distraction.

There will be plenty of time for the facts to emerge.

And to be clear: As of this moment, Fattah has not been accused of doing anything illegal.

But one of his closest former political advisers pleaded guilty last week to lying to conceal more than $600,000 in misspent campaign funds. And if it is found that "Elected Official A" is indeed Fattah, then he will be completely ineffective as the representative for Pennsylvania's second congressional district.

There has been much speculation as to whom would replace Fattah should he resign – either in a special election or in the scheduled general election.  That conversation can and should be had. And certainly, deals will be brokered – that's "Philly style politics." But for now, Fattah needs to step aside so that a local Democratic Party already suffering from the deep wounds of a major political corruption scandal can start the healing process.

Fattah is right. The last thing we need is another distraction preventing our representatives from getting our nation’s business done. Fattah should take his own advice and immediately step aside.