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Speaker Pelosi throws cold water on resolution to honor Michael Jackson

July 9, 2009 |  9:03 am

Even in death, Michael Jackson has the power to create controversy.

During the Monday memorial service in Los Angeles, Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee told Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Californiathe thousands of mourners in Staples Center (and the hundreds of millions of fans around the world, eagerly watching on television) that she would introduce a resolution in the hope of honoring the King of Pop for his humanitarian efforts around the world.

The Democratic congresswoman displayed a framed copy of the resolution she was proposing and insisted it would come to the floor.

On the face this would seem to be a no-brainer: iconic singer and long-time donor to charities gets a last recognition. Besides, anyone whose death can so monopolize the public arena should be a slam-dunk for a congressional resolution.

Not so fast, as The Ticket warned Wednesday in this item.

Some Republicans, including Long Island Rep. Peter King, said they had problems with the adulation pouring over Jackson. King, in a video posted on YouTube, called the....

...late singer a “pervert, child molester, [and] pedophile" and said he would oppose any resolution.

This morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in and seemed to throw cold water on a resolution, but indicated she would allow members to express their sorrow.

 "Do you favor bringing a Jackson memorial resolution to the floor?” Pelosi was asked at a televised news conference.

“Michael Jackson was a great, great performer," Pelosi said. There’s "lots of sadness there for many reasons."

The speaker then tried to strike a diplomatic note, replying that there is “ample opportunity for members to say what they want on the floor, so a resolution is unneeded.”

The issue, of course, involves the molestation charges brought against Jackson. The congresswoman noted at the memorial that Jackson was acquitted of the criminal charges and attacked those who "don’t understand the hearts of entertainers" and "don’t know how they heal the world on behalf of America."

"We understand the Constitution,” the Texas congresswoman said at the memorial. “We understand laws and we know people are innocent until proven otherwise. That is what the Constitution stands for."

The congresswoman explained how she helped bring Jackson to a 2004 meeting in her Capitol Hill office with ambassadors from African countries. At the time, Jackson was considering a tour to raise money to fight AIDS.

– Michael Muskal

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Photo: Susan Walsh / Associated Press
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