House Democratic Whip David Bonior demanded an independent counsel be appointed to investigate a nagging mini-scandal surrounding HouseSpeaker-elect Newt Gingrich. The Newt's main political rival back home, former Democratic Rep. Ben Jones, contends phone records show the incoming Speaker freely mingled his congressional staff, his political action committee (known as GOPAC) and assistants on a college course he teaches -- and markets through tapes and videos. Bonior, who has called GOPAC a slush fund, said, "Right now, there are charges pending . . . that Mr. Gingrich has engaged in a web of corrupt activities that allegedly violate the rules of the House . . . as well as the federal tax code." Gingrich's staff shrugged him off, saying they expected the ethics committee, which the Speaker-to-be attempted to fold, would drop the matter soon.Post your opinion on theWashingtonbulletin board.