Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Corruption is Purely Republican

In my post yesterday I said that the corruption scandal brought about by Abramoff turning state’s evidence would involve Democrats as well as Republicans. This is what usually happens and this is what the media led me to believe. But it is not true. Abramoff did not give even one penny to Democrats. With hindsight it makes sense. Why should he give money to Democratic legislators when the Republicans have stripped Democrats of all power and he, Abramoff, was a big instrument in bringing K-Street lobbyists into the Republican fold?

Hard to believe, isn't it? As the saying goes "All politicians are crooks." As soon as the scandal broke, Republicans were busy trying to implicate Democrats. "Everyone does it," they shouted.

Well, everyone does not do it. In this case, the Democrats were left out. Howard Dean was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, and this is part of their conversation:

BLITZER: Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges, among other charges, a Republican lobbyist in Washington, should the Democrat who took money from him give that money to charity or give it back?

DEAN: There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money. And we've looked through all of those FEC reports to make sure that's true.

BLITZER: But through various Abramoff-related organizations and outfits, a bunch of Democrats did take money that presumably originated with Jack Abramoff.

DEAN: That's not true either. There's no evidence for that either. There is no evidence...

BLITZER: What about Senator Byron Dorgan?

DEAN: Senator Byron Dorgan and some others took money from Indian tribes. They're not agents of Jack Abramoff. There's no evidence that I've seen that Jack Abramoff directed any contributions to Democrats. I know the Republican National Committee would like to get the Democrats involved in this. They're scared. They should be scared. They haven't told the truth. They have misled the American people. And now it appears they're stealing from Indian tribes. The Democrats are not involved in this.

People wonder why Democrats talk about the Republican Culture of Corruption. Here's your answer. Every time a Republican is accused of anything, the answer is always that it's the fault of Democrats or liberals or Bush haters. Republicans are as pure as the driven snow. They are the party of moral values. And when Republicans are caught red-handed, then they blithely say that Democrats do it too. They don't realize they are admitting they are crooks; they claim Democrats are crooks too.

This scheme has worked before. But not this time. It is obvious that no Democrat is involved. The scandal is entirely Republican. This is all part of the Republican Culture of Corruption.

Let's vote the bums out!

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 9, 2006 5:24 PM
Comments
Comment #111547

It was my understanding that several democrats DID receive money from Abramoff (not that receiving money is necessarily illegal).

Perhaps there is a distinction as to whether or not the money came directly from him, but I still think several Dems would fall into that group.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 9, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #111550

Paul,
Thanks for posting this. It will be difficult to overcome Republican noise. But from everything I’ve seen, no Democrat took money from Abramoff. This is a Republican scandal, started by a corrupt Republican lobbyist, involving corrupt Republican congressman, in order to illegally pursue a Republican agenda.

Posted by: phx8 at January 9, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #111551

Paul,
Thanks for posting this. It will be difficult to overcome Republican noise. But from everything I’ve seen, no Democrat took money from Abramoff. This is a Republican scandal, started by a corrupt Republican lobbyist, involving corrupt Republican congressman, in order to illegally pursue a Republican agenda.

Posted by: phx8 at January 9, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #111556

Now the other side of the story. Ried of nevada got 67,000 from Mr A. Hillary got 2,000.00 and several other dems got money from Mr A. So now you know the rest of the story. This is a no spin zone.

Posted by: Thomas at January 9, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #111558

Thomas:

And I’m assuming you will be posting where you got your information…?

Posted by: ant at January 9, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #111559

It is likely that no Democrats got money directly from Abramoff. His personal contributions, however, are not significant.

Let’s take the most prominent example. Harry Reid got $66,000 from the Indian tribes Abramoff represented. It could be that they just decided to give the money without Abramoff’s urging, but if you are working a PR campaign, it is the total effort that counts. It is as if you and I are carrying a couch up the stairs and when it gets to the top, you only sit on the side you carried. Technically, I suppose you are right that you didn’t take any help from me on that side of the couch.

This is mostly a Repubican problem. Unfortunatley, they have followed in Democratic footsteps when they got into power. It looks like the problem may be that government is just too big and complex so that it allows such corruptions.

BTW - quoting Dean is not much of a proof for anyone but hard core Dems. This is the guy who said he hated Republicans and all they stand for. Can you expect someone with those stated strong emotions to be fair and balanced? He makes no pretense of being a disinterested observer.

Posted by: Jack at January 9, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #111561

you guys are too much—use your time to help someone—im a free american who leans a bit right, and you all disgust me—all the time, energy and money—it boggles the mind—

Posted by: charlie at January 9, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #111565

Actually Thomas, his comments are true.

Abramoff did not directly give any money to Democrats in Congress.

If anyone can find information that contradicts this, I’d be happy to read it (as my understanding was contrary).

This is a list of his political donations. None of the money went to Democrats.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 9, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #111569

Well, if Howard Dean says that no Democrats took money, then I guess that settles that. We all know that Howard never stretched the truth or miss-spoke!

Neither side is without taint. Let’s let the investigation run its course and let’s vote out ALL of the bums…Repubs AND Demos!

Posted by: mac6115cd at January 9, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #111571

Charlie:

you guys are too much—use your time to help someone—im a free american who leans a bit right, and you all disgust me—all the time, energy and money—it boggles the mind—

That’s not really appropriate, and it doesn’t seem to add anything to the discussion.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 9, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #111572

Jack–

It is likely that no Democrats got money directly from Abramoff. His personal contributions, however, are not significant.

Ah yes, that makes more sense. Dean may be technically correct, but the fact doesn’t seem incredibly relevant.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 9, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #111574

I have a sneaking suspicion that there are hairs being split here. I haven’t seen anything that out and out proves the dems didn’t get anything. But I have seen some things that state that dems got money from the indian tribes that Abramoff represented. So…I’m betting that there is some hair splitting going on, and my guess is that one applied this hair splitting to the republican side most of those would fall out too.

That’s not to say that this isn’t mainly a republican thing. They’ve jumped head first into a pool of mud and are pointing at the democrats and saying, “Why are YOU talking! You have a dirty boot!!” But still I’d like to know what the specifications are for saying “No money recieved from Abramoff” and how that applies to republicans as well.

Posted by: chantico at January 9, 2006 5:57 PM
Comment #111576
BTW - quoting Dean is not much of a proof for anyone but hard core Dems. This is the guy who said he hated Republicans and all they stand for. Can you expect someone with those stated strong emotions to be fair and balanced? He makes no pretense of being a disinterested observer.

I love your BTW to discredit Dean, its exactly what Paul Siegel posted about the Republican tactics. Why not attack Bill Clinton while you’re at it. Unfortunately, for the Republicans the information is from the FEC, Dean did not make it up and yes, Dean is not the only one who loathes Republicans. Good Luck in 2006.

Posted by: Pat at January 9, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #111577

Certainly everyone who might have had contributions are not crooks. There is absolutely no doubt that this present scandal was organized, directed,supported and condoned, by the Republican leadership in Congress. One of the eaiest and best ways to help prevent this problem is to eliminate any elected officials from establishing any kind of fund to be used for any campaign that his own. It is the use of theses kinds of PAC’s that contributed signifcantly to these problems. There have always been those in Congress willing to sell their votes and souls for money, but nothing has even vaguely approched the magnitude of a Party’s support and participation as present Conservative Rebulicans have.

Posted by: Richard at January 9, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #111578

This is from the Washington Post January 5 -
“Democrats are hoping to capitalize on Republican ethical woes. But as The Washington Post reported in June, some prominent Democrats, including former senator Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.), Sens. Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), were among beneficiaries of the largest campaign contributions from Abramoff’s associates and clients.”


From USA Today January 4 this is a list of the top 10 recipients in each party. It is mostly a Republican problem, but Howard Dean is mistaken that it is only a Republican problem. I was evidently mistaken re the exact amount Reid got. I thought I recalled hearing him (Reid) use the number in an interview (sorry).

Republicans
Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Ariz., $101,620
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Ill., $69,000*
Sen. Thad Cochran, Miss., $65,500
Sen. Conrad Burns, Mont., $59,950*
Rep. Richard Pombo, Calif., $54,500*
Rep. Jim McCrery, La., $52,750*
Rep. John Doolittle, Calif., $50,000
Don Nickles, former senator, Okla., $40,000
Rep. Dave Camp, Mich., $35,500
Rep. John Boehner, Ohio, $32,500

Democrats
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, R.I., $42,500
Sen. Patty Murray, Wash., $40,980
Rep. Charles Rangel, N.Y., $36,000
Sen. Harry Reid, Nev., $30,500
Sen. Byron Dorgan, N.D., $28,000*
Tom Daschle, former senator, S.D., $26,500
Brad Carson, former congressman, Okla., $20,600
Rep. Dale Kildee, Mich., $19,000
Rep. Steny Hoyer, Md., $17,500
Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa, $15,500
* - Returned at least some of the contributions or donated them to charity

Posted by: Jack at January 9, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #111581

Jack–

“Democrats are hoping to capitalize on Republican ethical woes. But as The Washington Post reported in June, some prominent Democrats, including former senator Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.), Sens. Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), were among beneficiaries of the largest campaign contributions from Abramoff’s associates and clients.”

I suppose this is where the distinction lies … they may have received money from “his associates and clients,” but none of the money came from Abramoff directly.

As I said above, that may be a meaningless distinction, but it seems as if he was technically correct.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 9, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #111584

THE CORRUPTION IS PURELY REPUBLICAN

On Word

BULLSHIT!!!

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 9, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #111603

I will make a pact with anyone willing. I will clean up my side of the house if you will clean up yours. No excuses, no buts… any elected official that is indicted in this scandle… that’s enough for me.. If you’re an elected DEM, and you’re indicted - as far as I’m concerned, you have misled us and lied to us. You are removed of your duties. I will make sure that my money and my time support this.

Any takers?

Posted by: tony at January 9, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #111604

Jack,
Here is what Dean said:
“DEAN: Senator Byron Dorgan and some others took money from Indian tribes. They’re not agents of Jack Abramoff. There’s no evidence that I’ve seen that Jack Abramoff directed any contributions to Democrats…”

This is an attempt to confuse the actions of clients with the actions of Abramoff and Republicans.

Posted by: phx8 at January 9, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #111608

Howard Dean was 100% correct in his statement that NO Democrat got money from Jack Abramoff. So lay off Dean as if he lied. He, unlike many others is telling the truth. At least this time.
As for Jack and his post of money taken, he is now using the republican talking points. His post lists people who got money from from Jack Abramoff personally (all republicans listed). The post in regards to the democrates is not Abramoff. The dems received the money directly from the indian casinos, which are associated with Abramoff. You have to see the difference. The Indian casinos have been paying money to both parties for 15 years nows. They may have been paying the money to the dems for good ligit reasons. I also admit they may have paid the money to the dems for the same reasons Abramoff paid the republicans, for votes.
The facts are though, we know Abramoff paid the money to the republicans for votes, he has plead guilty for that. There is no evidence yet, that the money paid by the indian casinos was to buy votes. Maybe, maybe not. So like it or not, the democrats get the benefit of the doubt on this one, at least for now. No proff they have done anything wrong. The same can’t be said about the listed republicans…

Posted by: Rusty at January 9, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #111611

No, Ron Brown, Elephant Shit.

Posted by: John at January 9, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #111612

Thomas may not have listed his sources but Howard Dean is not necessarily a source either, unless you’re joking.

Posted by: Don at January 9, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #111613

Shouldn’t the idea of whether they are guilty of corruption depend entirely upon how the recipients voted or facillitated the Indian Tribes who gave them the money? Reid for instance, doesn’t think he should have to return the money or give it to charity because he worked AGAINST Indian Gaming in his state. Basically he’s saying that despite the money these tribes “donated” it did not effect his decision or his vote in the least.
What perhaps they should be looking at, is the stance all of these politicians were taking before, and then after these tribes donations were given.
Any who appear to have been corrupted by either Abramoff or the Tribes Money should be held fully accountable.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 9, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #111616

Paul, thanks for posting Dean’s conversation with Blitzer. It’s not surprising those senators from North or South Dakota or Nevada: Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.), Sens. Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), would be able to get campaign contributions from Native American tribes without going through the K street mafia:

http://www.kstreetproject.com/index.php

They probably got contributions directly from them for years; the question would be whether or not the money that went to Ambramoff was extorted from them. It reminds me of Nixon’s CREEP tactics

Posted by: ray at January 9, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #111617

Not a SINGLE Democrat has taken money from Jack Em off. HE personally didnt give one dime to any Democrat at any level. The list that Jack has posted above are donations from Indian tribes with gaming intrests. They are no way affilated with Jack em aberoff and act independlty.

This is hardly the case on the other side of the isle. You can spin this one all you want and the facts won’t change. Abermoff is the living and breathing example of what is wrong with our political system.

This is and weill remain a republican scandal.

Posted by: Jeff Gannon at January 9, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #111618

Jack said, “This is mostly a Repubican problem. Unfortunatley, they have followed in Democratic footsteps when they got into power.”

Bravo Jack!!! You forgot to mention that Republicans only took a third of the time to be as corrupt as Democrats!!! I suppose being Conservative just means lower resistance against ethics.

Posted by: Aldous at January 9, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #111623

How’s this for proof:
Complete list of Abramoff’s political contributions I believe that “(R)” after the name means Republican. Now I may not have looked hard enough, but I didn’t see any “(D)”

Posted by: JC at January 9, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #111624

Ron Brown
Sometimes truth hurts. Maybe this time it will help open your eyes. Perhaps it is time for you and other honorable Republicans to stop wallowing in denial and reclaim the party of Lincoln from the scoundrels. The nation is counting on you.

Posted by: Bill at January 9, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #111630

Aldous

Unfortunately, some conservatives are just faster learners.

Anyone who voted quid pro quo for the cash should be out and probably in jail. Dems will make hay out of the Republican troubles, but we have to do something about the structure that creates opportunities for corruption and in fact help the corrupt to prosper. In many ways our attempts to get money out of politics have empowered the type of fund raising entrepreneur who can game the system.

Ask yourself these questions and think about them as if for the first time.

Why would Indian tribes give tens of thousands of dollars to government officials in the first place? You may have formulated an answer. Now consider it in the light of the next question. Why would they give to both sides?

It is one thing to contribute time and money to a candidate who stands for things you believe in. You may even hope to benefit from particular policies. But in order to explain why the same people might contribute to both sides of a debate you have to assume that government has usurped powers to bestow particular favors on individuals.

Abramoff showed how this worked. He represented clients that sometimes were opposed to each other. Some clients had to deal with Abramoff, so someone likes him, just to defend themselves from other clients. It is clear that government has exceeded its legitimate role.

I hope my party will clean house. A good first step was to get rid of Delay. I am encouraged that Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio will run against acting leader Roy Blunt. We Republicans should be more interested in doing good for the country instead of doing well. Maintaining power is not worth it. If it takes losing the Congress, that is a cost I would be willing to pay. We didn’t take over the government to become like the Democrats we drove out.

Posted by: Jack at January 9, 2006 8:13 PM
Comment #111632

The point not being made here is that various groups donate to candidates and politicians on a continual basis, with the HOPES that they will vote their way when an appropriate issue comes up.
The fact that some democratic officeholders received money from indian tribes does not mean that there was anything improper involved. They are legally permitted to donate funds, up to a limit, as long as no quid-pro-quo exists.
If there were some action on the floor of one of the houses of congress (or wherever) which was the direct result of a contribution, then a law has been broken. We know that at least one republican congressman (I forget the name) did exactly that.
If you want to include all of the people who have received money from indian tribes or their PAC’s, and those tribes were also associated with Abramoff, then George W. Bush must answer for the $94,000.00 which he is not willing to return. He is donating to charity, however, $6,000 that was tied to Abramoff.
The fact remains that it is not illegal for individuals or PAC’s to donate money, and it is not illegal for a politician to receive it. The issue here is that Abramoff is an admitted crook, and we should be talking only about the money that came to politicians as a result of his actions.

Posted by: Cole at January 9, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #111635

Bill
Why is it that yaall Libs think that anyone that aint Liberal is Republican? For the 10,000th time I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My eyes were opened to the truth about Republicans back in 1970. They’re just as liberial as the Democrats. And I left the Republican Party. I’ve been an Independent sense.
It’s time yaall Democrats wake up to the fact that the Democrats on Capital Hill are just a corrupt as the Republicans.
The only difference is it’s the Republicans turn to take the heat because they’re in the majority.

BTW, On NBC news this evening they reported that Congress only has a 28% approval rating. Sounds like the right time to get ALL the dead weight ouot of there.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 9, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #111636

JC,

I realize that a site named “newsmeat.com” is undoutedly an unbiased and accurate site but try this out of the way site which lists both Reps and Dems who took money from him:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10723902

And yes that was sarcasm if you do not realize it.

Mike P

Posted by: Mike P at January 9, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #111637

I am encouraged that Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio will run against acting leader Roy Blunt

Yeah, that’s about as good as it’s gonna get from Rpblcns, the guy came into the House because the Rep before him had sex with somebody he shouldn’t. In 1995, Boehner distributed campaign checks from tobacco lobbyists on the House floor. Why he wasn’t arrested, tried, convicted, and put in jail for that, is something that I will never understand.

Posted by: ray at January 9, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #111640

Mike P—

Did you read any of the posts above?

What Dean was referring to (and what the newsmeat site lists) are political donations that came DIRECTLY FROM ABRAMOFF.

Note the first paragraph on your link:

President Bush and several lawmakers have announced they are refunding or giving to charity some or all of the donations they or their political action committees received from once-powerful lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his associates or clients.

“His associates or clients” being the operative phrase, here.

Abramoff himself only donated directly to Republicans.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 9, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #111641

Sorry, forgot to turn off block quotes.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 9, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #111648

Mike P.:

The page at MSNBC does not say that they received “money from him”, as you stated in your post. (meaning Abramoff). It says that “they are refunding or giving to charity some or all of the donations they or their political action committees received from once-powerful lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his associates or clients.”

These are the actions of people wanting to rid themselves of any funds which can be tied directly or indirectly back to any activities of Abramoff, whatsoever. As I mentioned in my post, just because one of Abramoff’s clients also happened to donate money to someone does not mean that the particular donation in question is tainted. The investigation has to get down to what was done as a result of the donations.
Some seem to want to paint this scandal with a very wide brush, but it’s just not that simple. The truth is, John Dean was right. Not one democrat received any money directly from Abramoff. Of course, democrats did receive monies from groups who were also Abramoff’s clients. So what did they do in return? As far as the record shows so far; nothing. Bob Ney (R), Ohio, did do something for the money. It also appears that Tom DeLay did, too.
The final number of actual guilty politicians will be far less than that broad list on the MSNBC website; and they will most likely be only republicans.

Posted by: Cole at January 9, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #111650

Apparently, the checks that Boehner distributed were from tobacco giant Brown and Williamson, a violation of House rules for which he was disciplined, according to:

http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/413/Solet.html
He sounds like just the kind of guy to replace DeLay

Posted by: ray ohrealy at January 9, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #111653

There’s a lot of debate here over a completely pointless issue.

The only issue that matters is bribes and illegal influence-peddling.

FACT: If Abramoff personally donated money to a candidate and there was no bribe involved, then it doesn’t matter. It’s no different from the money any of us gives to candidates.

FACT: If a group associated with Abramoff but not Abramoff himself bribed a candidate, then there was a crime and nobody’s going to get off the hook just because the check wasn’t drawn from Abramoff’s personal account.

What matters is the bribe—not the exact source of the money. If you can’t prove the bribe part, you’ve got nothing. If you CAN prove the bribe part, you’ve got all you need.

Posted by: sanger at January 9, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #111656

Sanger-

That is the point I’ve been trying to make. If there is no quid-pro-quo, then it’s not a crime.

Posted by: Cole at January 9, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #111667

Thanks for your voice of reason, Cole.

I’d caution Republican posters against rushing off the deep end on this Abramoff story, drawing premature conclusions and blindly tossing blame around—that’s what we have the Democrats for!

Despite all the noise in the media, none of us have even the slightest grasp of what this Abramoff story acutally entails, and that’s because the info is not on the public record.

We’ve heard that Abramoff is going to “name names” but so far, he’s struck his deal and has only named one name, Bob Ney. Has anybody looked at what Ney is actually accused of?

If this is the sort of thing Abramhoff is going to serve up, I wonder if we’re not about to see another Fitzmas-style fizzle in which a lot of noise is made but very little actually happens.

Ney’s accused of having been bribed to award the contract to a specific company for installation of wireless telephone hardware in the House of Representatives.

Though Ney had the authority to just award this contract to whoever he wanted, and despite the accusation that he was bribed to give it to a specific company, he ended up submitting the final choice to a vote between the six wireless companies which would incur the expense of installing the hardware.

Three of the six companies voted for the hardware company which was finally given the contract. The other three voted “no preference.”

Now, if this is the test case for Abramoff, you have to wonder how much he really is going to deliver.

Through Abramoff, Congressman Ney recieved a donation from a company which was awarded a contract? A company which three out of six outside independent contractors wanted to work with in the first place while the other three had no preference?

This s pretty thin stuff to pin a case on, and any prosecuter would have a hell of a time making it stick.

Unless there’s a lot more to this story, so far Abramoff is looking like another big fizzle of the Democratic party’s hopes and dreams.



Posted by: sanger at January 9, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #111670

Well, well, well. Jack(ed) Abramoff was definitely one of Bush’s “Pioneers” — which means he raised funds of at least $100,000 or more for Bush. Hey, that puts him in the same league with “Kenny Boy” Lay and Tom “The Hammer” Delay! Seems like the term must refer to the fact that most of these crooks need a “covered wagon” to try to mask all their corrupt activities, eh?

Here is a good article about Abramoff”s many dealings with Bushco: Controversial lobbyist had close contact with Bush team

Posted by: Adrienne at January 9, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #111671

Cole,

You contradict yourself.

You say that it does not say “money from him” and then you quote the article ” donations they or their political action committees received from once-powerful lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his associates or clients”.

Seems to me that you are trying very hard to split a hair.

This thread started due to Dean’s comments blaming it on Reps which are questionable at best with many Dems also shown as having taken money from the Abramoff bucket.

Posted by: Mike P at January 9, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #111673

Mike P.-
I’m not contradicting myself. The point is covered in the rest of the post. I’m not going to repeat it, for the sake of brevity. If you only take that one statement out of context, you won’t understand what I was saying.

Sanger -
There was also something that Ney did involving some statements placed into the record on behalf of the tribes’ casino activities, which I understand were a direct “action for pay” situation. Abramoff told the tribes that the statements would be placed into the record if they donated certain sums to certain places, and it happened. I think they got this info from Abramoff’s emails. The wireless issue, as far as I understand it, was separate.

Posted by: Cole at January 9, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #111677

Jack:
“I am encouraged that Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio will run against acting leader Roy Blunt.”

Oh sure, either of those two are men of truly sterling character!

ray:
“He sounds like just the kind of guy to replace DeLay.”

Yeah. As the above link notes: Boehner “voted to weaken House ethics rules to try and save Tom DeLay from corruption accusations, but then flip-flopped when it became clear that Tom DeLay could not be saved”.
Btw, how do you say his name? Is it actually pronounced “boner”? If so, and if I may quote from something Rocky said to me recently, does this mean America is about to “take it in the shorts” again? :^/

Posted by: Adrienne at January 9, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #111684

Adrienne-
LOL

There’s something about a Blunt-Boner competition that doesn’t sound too appealing to me.

Posted by: Cole at January 9, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #111685

Cole, the wireless issue was specifically cited in the papers of Abramoff’s deal, but “action for pay” situation you cite is a perfect example of the kind of thing cited in relation to Abramoff which looks extraordinarly weak to me (again, based on what we know is in the public record).

How will ANY of this actually play out, legally if not politcally?

There’s no question that Abramoff defrauded and lied to people in order to funnel political donations to various candidates and groups.

But how does any of this stick unless there are signed documents somewhere to the effect that Ney, or Delay, or Harry Reid, or Hillary Clinton explicitly and personally promised to vote a certain way AS A DIRECT RESULT of those contributions?

Unless there are such signed documents (or videotapes, something like that), how in the world can you prove something like that? Are politicians who really do sell influence going to leave such a damning paper trail, or anything like it?

Try this on for size:

What if I tell you that if you donate a thousand bucks to Ted Kennedy, he’ll vote against the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

There’s a HUGE difference between ME telling you that and Ted Kennedy telling you it. Isn’t there?

In this scenario, I’ve commited a crime. Has Ted Kennedy?

To accuse Ted Kennedy of taking a bribe, you’d have to show some scrap of evidence that he was making the promise, not just me.

Everything we’ve seen in the media is just like my example. Abramoff told people that they’d get things in return for their donations. Where is there anything suggesting that candidates themselves made these promises or changed the votes they’d have otherwise made as a result of receiving them?

If the ACLU donates money to Hillary Clinton because they think she’ll vote their way, is that a crime? For that matter, if a criminal donates money to the ACLU and THEN they pass it on to Hillary, does that mean that Hillary Clinton is also a criminal?

So far, we’ve seen nothing that rises above the level of guilt by association—and sometimes by VERY indirect association.

Posted by: sanger at January 9, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #111690

Sanger-

I agree with what you are saying. The actual trail will be hard to follow; if it exists. There seems to be a causal relationship between the contributions and what Ney did, but we (the public) have not seen the incriminating details which tie that knot.
That is why I mentioned that I believe that there will be far fewer actual guilty parties than the broad number of names we are seeing now. I also believe that once you whittle down the list to the actual influence peddling that can be proved, there will be only republicans left on it. But that is logical. Why would you bribe the minority party? It would be a pretty ineffective lobbyist who tried to push their agenda through the party with the least amount of power.

Posted by: Cole at January 9, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #111695

Let me add: there’s no doubt that Abramoff prefers Republican politics. That’s been his history. For this reason, the media has pretty much assumed that he’s going to name a bunch of Republicans in as the scandal unfolds. But not so fast.

If he doesn’t have signed agreements or other records between politicians and himself or (organizations he’s involved with) that explicitly make the connection between money and votes, then why shouldn’t he just name Democrats and advance his political agenda while also striking a deal with prosecuters and winning a lesser sentence?

Where are all the Democratic conspiracy theorists on this one, I wonder? Hasn’t this even occured to you? Don’t you wonder if this isn’t all yet another plot by Karl Rove?

This is an investigation being conducted by the Bush Justice Department after all.

It defies belief to think that any politician, Democrat or Republican, would sign a paper which promised a vote for pay. Therefore, in most cases the ONLY evidence likely to emerge will be Abramoff’s word. And if Abramoff’s word is all there is, how will we know when he’s lying? And without that standard, why should he primarily accuse Republicans? Or accuse Republicans at all?

If there’s no hard evidence—can anyone seriously believe there is?—then why wouldn’t a confirmed Republican party hack attack more Democrats than Republicans?

I agree that Abramoff is a party hack, a liar and a criminal. Believing that such a man is suddenly going to join your team when he has the clear option NOT to is pretty surprising.

Posted by: sanger at January 9, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #111702

Cole, the question of why bribe members of the minority party is an easy one to answer.

Nobody’s alleging that Abramoff or his associates offered bribes that relate to the big issues of the day, such as Iraq, abortion, or anything of the kind, the hot-button issues that break along party lines.

It all has to do with the little stuff that usually goes on beyond public view—especially matters related to Native American casino operations and relatively small government contracts (there’s nothing on the scale of Halliburton here).

This all appears to be connected to Representatives and the fairly obscure pork-barrel spending issues of their home districts.

Bribes, if they happened on this front, would likely attempt to target the swing voters on congressional committees. The swing voter could be a Republican or a Democrat, and there’s no reason to think it would necessarily be one instead of the other since ideology is not really material here.

Posted by: sanger at January 9, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #111705

Sanger -
There are a lot of other things that can be used as evidence besides a signed agreement. Let’s face it; there is rarely a signed agreement in any kind of crime.
There most certainly is conspiracy involved, since any activity involves more than one person. And whenever it involves more than one person, there will be people willing to talk. There will be plea agreements with lower level aides and such which will result in incriminating testimony if crimes were committed.
To quote Chris Matthews, “You gotta watch those lower level aides”.

Posted by: Cole at January 9, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #111707

sanger,
Cole is right. The prosecutors have already got hundreds of Abramoff’s e-mails that are a chronicle of his crimes and either fully or partially expose exactly who he was making his deals with. Supposedly they also reveal quite a bit about the contempt he held for so many of his clients. Therefore, I really don’t think he could to get away with suddenly implicating a bunch of Dem’s, simply for political purposes.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 10, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #111708

The way you can tell Ney was taking a bribe is
that the casino he placed the statement in the
congressional record for is from Florida. He is
a congressman from Ohio. They were not exactly
one of his constituents. It doesn’t take a
rocket scientist to connect the dots.

Posted by: John at January 10, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #111713

Cole: It could very well be that there’s more to this than meets the eye, but I still wonder why so little really does meet the eye. That Chris Matthews is excited doesn’t surprise me. He spent half of every show for six months enumerating the reasons why Karl Rove was going to be indicted… last November. Oops!

Adrienne: The contents of those e-mails have been leaked already, and you’re right about Abramoff showing contempt for his clients. He says some pretty—shall we say, un-PC—things about the Native Americans who were his clients.

There’s no doubt that Abramoff comes off looking like a jerk in his emails. No matter how loathsome his racist remarks are, however, they’re not crimes and basically just reflect poorly on his own character.

Posted by: sanger at January 10, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #111723

sanger:

Considering how many Republicans have been indicted so far, Rove’s time will come.

Just think… these investigations will be over just in time for the Elections!!!

Posted by: Aldous at January 10, 2006 1:59 AM
Comment #111766

Unless there are such signed documents (or videotapes, something like that), how in the world can you prove something like that? Are politicians who really do sell influence going to leave such a damning paper trail, or anything like it?


Does anyone remember the Nixon tapes

Posted by: Zuk at January 10, 2006 6:40 AM
Comment #111787

Abramoff gave money directly to the Republicans and not the Democrats: TRUE

Indian Tribes gave money direct to the Republicans and Democrats: TRUE

Abramoff gave trips and gifts directly to the Republicans and NOT the Democrats: TRUE

Indian Tribes gave NO trips or gifts directly to the Republicans or the Democrats: TRUE

For those who wish to check:
FEC

Posted by: john trevisani at January 10, 2006 7:45 AM
Comment #111789

Sorry the link didn’t post:
The Searchable Federal Election Commission web site…..
http://query.nictusa.com/fecimg/norindsea.html


Posted by: john trevisani at January 10, 2006 7:47 AM
Comment #111790

In all the posts I’ve read here this is the only thing that seems to make any sense to me.

“BTW, On NBC news this evening they reported that Congress only has a 28% approval rating. Sounds like the right time to get ALL the dead weight out of there.”

Rep. or Dem they all refuse to understand that they work for me John Q Public. and if they can’t vote with a clear conscience or for the good of all people then they all should be voted out regardless of political affiliation. I’m tired of our government treating this great nation like a bank only caring about the money IT’S ABOUT WE THE PEOPLE. Our great capitalistic society will be the downfall of this country yet. We care not about the people but about how much money money money we can make from any venture. It’s disgusting and immoral. It’s time to take the country back from the greed mongers that are ruling this country Rep. or Dem. Where is the integrity in gov? We are no longer a Democratic Republic like we think we are we are a nation of greedy seedy despicable people who only care about getting all they can for themselves. Our forefathers are all rolling in their graves in misery watching what they created reduced to rubble. And yes I’m a card carrying voter and a life long Dem. but have never voted for straight party but look at the candidate and his credentials and make an informed decision. That’s what is lacking in this country we feel we have to vote party lines because it gives what a sense of power. No vote in the best candidate regardless of what party he represents.

Posted by: Vic at January 10, 2006 7:47 AM
Comment #111796

Vic -

I agree that this is just the symptom of the ailment facing our leadership. For too long, incumbents have known they’re virtually re-elected, so their focus is anywhere but with their constituents. It might all start with collaboration - working with each other to get each other’s bills passed - but it soon turns into a power grab. The higher you go in the hierarchy, the more power and money comes your way. Both side love to tell us what we want to hear (liberal or conservative) and then they continue with the most lucrative course of action.

I don’t think that everyone is directly involved, but could anyone here truly believe that they are unaware of these issues? As some point they should’ve come forward with an effort to change, or they are considered guilty by association ( or guilty by inaction.)

Right now, I am of the mindset that Abramoff is similar to - say - the KKK. (Not that he’s a racist… no idea, not the point.) Any politician or party who takes money from the KKK is tainted by association. The same is true of Abramoff. I don’t think you’d have to look to hard at his record, past or actions to notice what he stood for, so taking his money is a hand-shake agreement to support his causes.

The case against people who took money from his clients his a bit different, but seems to get at the same conclusion. These Indian tribes were using their money to buy influence - any other conclusion is naive. It fits with every other PAC or Special Interest that gives political money. It’s not a bad thing - if you take money from the Sierra Club, then you will be considered a bit on an environmentalist. If you take money from the NRA, you have an obvious view on gun control. If you take money from the groups who support you point of view (and that of your constituents) then is makes sense. But there’s an association to their cause that you accept along with their money.

What did the Indian tribes want - it seems like an unfair advantage over other tribes trying to start up their own gambling, or possibly exemptions from gambling legislation. I think we need to understand this objective, and then associate that with whomever took their money.

Lots to consider, but very little of it seems acceptable to dismiss.

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #111812

Mike P.

Believe it or not, it’s true. I could propably find you another source, but I’m still half asleep right now.

Posted by: JC at January 10, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #111813

We know abermoff would give money to anyone who would give him a yes vote, he is a lobbyist. That means BOTH REPUBLICROOKS AND DEMOCROOKS.

However, since the democrats do not control jack squat in washington, who do you think recieved more money? My guess it would be the party in power, the Republicrooks. It wouldn’t make sense to do it the other way, outside of a few key swing votes.

There are very few if any clean hands in washington, this shouldn’t come as a suprise to anyone in here. Power corrupts, and money corrupts faster, DUHHHH.

It just seems to me that the Rupugnicans have had more of their TOP LEVEL politicians come into some hot water as of late, and that tells me that abermoff’s job has worked, much to my dismay.

Hopefully this will lead to an impeachment…

Posted by: tree hugger at January 10, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #111815

So much for the holier than thou attitude of the Republicans. Are illegal contributions part of their much touted “family values”?

Posted by: Penny Duff at January 10, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #111817

Penny -

Of course it’s part of the ‘family values.’ The money you have, the higher the value of your family.

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #111819

Shoot - blew that one… should read:

The MORE money you have, the higher the value of your family.

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #111828

If the Republicans want to have the higher moral ground they need a “mea culpa”. They need to admit the problem and act to fix it. Even Agnew pleaded “no lo contendre”.

But, When immoral pigs who wrap themselves in a cloak of “values” are caught, they have nothing but excuses. The fact that they have nothing but excuses says alot; if you actually listen.

Posted by: Dave at January 10, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #111830

—-
But, When immoral pigs who wrap themselves in a cloak of “values” are caught, they have nothing but excuses
—-

mmmmmm - ‘pigs in a blanket…’

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 10:02 AM
Comment #111837

There is not - and never has been a democrat’s equivalent of Tom Delay. His controlling ways are the reason the honest and pragmatic Republicans have been marginalized; and the ambitious self servers have advanced.

Republicans played follow the leader. They deserve what they get.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 10, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #111840

There is not - and never has been a democrat’s equivalent of Tom Delay. His controlling ways are the reason the honest and pragmatic Republicans have been marginalized; and the ambitious self servers have advanced.

Republicans played follow the leader. They deserve what they get.

Posted by: Schwamp at January 10, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #111845

tony,

I skipped breakfast today. So I guess that and my liberal socialist anti-american anti-bush anti-troop stance is showing through…

Posted by: Dave at January 10, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #111848

I have never met a politician who wasn’t a crook, nor a preacher that wasn’t a liar.

Posted by: John at January 10, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #111889

Sanger–

I agree that Abramoff is a party hack, a liar and a criminal. Believing that such a man is suddenly going to join your team when he has the clear option NOT to is pretty surprising.

I’m not quite sure what you’re saying. Abramoff isn’t going to flip out of the goodness of his heart, he’s doing it to avoid a much harsher punishment against himself.

The folks investigating and prosecuting this thing aren’t idiots … and they’re not going to let this guy off just for offering a small amount of “evidence” that might be untrue or that won’t gain other convictions. If he had nothing substantial to offer, then no deals would have been made to begin with.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 10, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #111897

Anyone on this thread that wants to paint the Democrats in this scandal are dead wrong.

Dean was correct.

You can read the National Review editorial here:

http://www.nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry200601100816.asp

Sorry, anyone who doesn’t get the fact that the people like Wolf and Tim Russert and the TV media is wholly in the pocket of the GOP and that they engage in misdirection and actually HATE Democrats isn’t watching.

Americans are being manipulated and lied to every single day in the corporate media. Wolf LIED.

End of story.

Posted by: Chris at January 10, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #111913

mattlaw wrote:
“Abramoff isn’t going to flip out of the goodness of his heart, he’s doing it to avoid a much harsher punishment against himself.

The folks investigating and prosecuting this thing aren’t idiots … and they’re not going to let this guy off just for offering a small amount of “evidence” that might be untrue or that won’t gain other convictions. If he had nothing substantial to offer, then no deals would have been made to begin with.”

I agree 100%, matt.
I think this thing has the potential to become HUGE, because the deal that Abramoff cut with the feds means he’s going to be forced to share whatever it is he knows about DeLay and DeLay’s whole gang of crooks, as well whatever it is he knows about other Republican politicians, staffers and high-ranking operatives (calling Ralph Reed and Grover “bathtub” Norquist!).
And we already know that about twenty politicians and their aides are being looked at by the federal prosecutors due to both Abramoff’s and Scanlon’s deals for lesser sentencing.

I’ve been reading a lot about this scandal, and I’m now starting to get the distinct impression that this may expand well beyond just Abramoff and K Street, because supposedly investigators are looking at a whole bunch of other targets — it’s almost as though they’re viewing Abramoff as something of a MIDDLE MAN in all of this. Why else would the FBI have two dozen agents working on the case full time, and almost fifty chasing other leads all over the country? No. This thing is far from over.

I was reading in the New York Times how the Feds are now looking into another GOP lobbying firm linked to Delay called the Alexander Strategy as a result of all the info Abramoff has been giving them, and that this might implicate ANOTHER bunch of GOP politicians and aides and other lobbyists. Dirty, dirty business — and yes, for the most part I believe most of this is going to end up belonging to the Republican’s.

Of course, I guess there is always the chance that Bushco will step in to try to put the skids on these proceedings with the prosecutors. But if prosecutors ARE allowed to go forward, no doubt the Fed’s will be nailing all kinds of people — people who will then squeal and try to cut a deal in order to avoid jail time. That’s how these things always work — and what they squeal might not even necessarily have anything at all to do with Abramoff.

For example, look what happened with Cunningham — before he stepped down, but after being caught, the Feds made him wear a wire. Who did they ask him to talk to? I certainly don’t know. But I’d be willing to bet it’s making a few people in the House very, very nervous at the moment…

Posted by: Adrienne at January 10, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #111915

Sanger,

Not too fast their my friend. You are usually a good read, but one comment you made about the democrats being the ones who usually throw around the slang or mud if you will is totally off line.
Just think back to 1992 and on. Granted Bill Clinton was the mark then, but the republicans threw all kinds of mud at him, Foster Gate, Flowers Gate, File Gate, White Water etc. etc. etc. I don’t want to talk up yester-year but come on. Like the old saying goes, “If you throw enough mud at the wall, eventually something is going to stick.” Both parties do this.

Posted by: Rusty at January 10, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #111916

Sanger,

Not too fast their my friend. You are usually a good read, but one comment you made about the democrats being the ones who usually throw around the slang or mud if you will is totally off line.
Just think back to 1992 and on. Granted Bill Clinton was the mark then, but the republicans threw all kinds of mud at him, Foster Gate, Flowers Gate, File Gate, White Water etc. etc. etc. I don’t want to talk up yester-year but come on. Like the old saying goes, “If you throw enough mud at the wall, eventually something is going to stick.” Both parties do this.

Posted by: Rusty at January 10, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #111917

Sorry about all the screwed up apostrophes in my last post — I’d been writing that reply on my regular word processor, but then cut and pasted it into the comment box here and forgot to redo all the punctuation before hitting the post button.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 10, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #111921

I have to agree with Chris and Rusty; it’s the GOP’s turn to be in the scandal bubble on this one, and yes both sides do it.

It is natural that lobbying interests are directed at the party in power as they are the ones introducing and moving legislation. I’ve seen first hand in non-profit organizations the jealousy the NRO article talks about between people supposedly serving the public interest and their private party counterparts. Whatever their motivation the GOP must step up and take responsibility for this mess; even if that means sponsoring meaningless lobbying reform legislation.

And yes the GOP has slung a lot of mud in the past, although one could argue that the Democrats have been more successful at getting Republican leaders ousted (Newt and Delay).

I think the point here is, though, the GOP’s scandals do not necessarily make the Democrats a better alternative. History suggests that power corrupts, and trading one set of crooks for another has always been a zero sum game for us outside of Washington. That’s why I don’t that this is a particularly powerful campaign issue, and I don’t see how people here can claim a moral high ground.

Posted by: George in SC at January 10, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #111922

There is much that will be coming out about this scandal over the following months. We will no doubt see many names brought up, but will see very few indictments. The truth that has already come out is the story of how it works in Washington. The donations are solicited for specific actions regardless of the source or the path of the money. The methods of bribery and influence peddling have become more sophisticated over the years. The “K Street Project”, which is largely associated with Tom DeLay, will be revealed to be the corrupt mechanism for influence peddling that it is.
This is not the innocent contribution operation that we were misled to believe. (not that many of us really believed it).
The veil has been lifted, and we now see that much must be done in the form of lobbying and campaign contribution reform to prevent this type of thing from continuing. Are the republicans or even the democrats the ones we want to be responsible for changing things? Do we want the fox to guard the henhouse?
Our government has been for sale for a long time. All of our suspicions were well-founded.
It’s time we voted out all of the old guard who have been even remotely involved in these things and send a message to D.C. We want reform, and we want it now! It has to be sweeping reform, and must eliminate all of the loopholes for illegal contributions.

Posted by: Cole at January 10, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #111926

Sanger,

You have a good point about a paper trail. You may also be right that Abramoff will not be found guilty of anything criminal. However, the U.S. Congress has rules on ethics (kind of funny) that has to do with how and what kind of money can be taken. Also you have the rule of public opinion. This is the real kicker.
Think back about OJ Simpson. He was found not guilty by a jury for criminal behavior. However, a seperate jury found him guilty in the civil case. In the criminal trial you have to be guilty beyond a reasonible doubt. In a civil trial you only have to believe they are guilty (51% sure) or at fault.
In this case, the republicans will lose. The public believes Abramoff bought votes. Whether you or I can prove it or not isn’t important. The general public believes it is happening and therefore it did happen.
As long as we allow politicians to receive private money from people we will have votes being bought by someone for some reason. Just think how much money these big companies could save if they didn’t have to pay these lobbyist’s to go to Washington.

Posted by: Rusty at January 10, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #111930

The corruption is in both parties.
It is all throughout the government.
It is 99% of incumbents.
No one can name 10, 20, 50, 100, or 268 (half of the 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable.
Even the most responsible look the other way.

Look at what they all do they do.

I’m not falling for that partisan warfare crap anymore.
But, I understand how effective and distracting it is.
I too used to wallow in that circular pattern of thought and behavior that distracted me from the fact that both parties are irresponsible and unaccountable. Both parties just take turns ignoring or worsening our many pressing problems, of which only a handful culminating simultaneously (such as an energy shortage) could create an economic meltdown.

Both parties created and/or ignored these pressing problems. Congress has been fiscally irresponsible since 1980. Democrats and Republicans did that together. Voters are to blame too, for letting politicians bribe voters with the voters own money.

The real solution to our problems is for the voters to take off their partisan blinders, and do the one simple, non-partisan, logical, responsible thing they were supposed to be doing all along.

Simply vote out irresponsible government.
Since 99% of Congress and the Executive Branch is irresponsible, we should start voting them all out (all incumbents), repeatedly, until they pass a few simple tests to prove to The People that they are responsible and accountable too.

Thus, I hope the voters will give Congress a very simple test.

Ask Congress to do these things now:
[1] CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
[2] ONE PURPOSE PER BILL
[3] BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
[4] STOP PLUNDERING SOCIAL SECURITY
[5] SIMPLIFY THE TAX SYSTEM
[6] ENFORCE THE LAW
________________________________________
Who could argue against any of that ?
Incumbents perhaps ? Of course they will. Government never reforms itself. There always has to be some galvanizing event to force reforms.

There’s no mystery why bought-and-paid-for incumbents so highly prize their cu$hy, coveted seats of power. Power corrupts. If government is FOR SALE, it is rotten. The only solution is transparency and law enforcement. The only (peaceful) way to attain it is to vote out irresponsible government.

And, if Congress refuses to do these simple, no-brainer, common-sense tasks, voters should continue to vote out irresponsible incumbents, and even start some recalls.

That’s the peaceful way.
It is preferrable to the other way.

But, if we wait around long enough, and allow government to grow increasingly corrupt, we will undoubtedly get to visit that other, painful way.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 10, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #111936

I know that those that are true democrats, Bush bashers, and just simply idiotic followers of lesser than the truth will beleive the media reports. Of course those of the deomcratic party are going to spin this, thier goose is about to be cooked.
Washington is due for a “flush”, it is time to get rid of the “carrier” politicians. This is going to hurt you demos but the democratic party is full of nuts; kennedy, reid, leahy, dean, pelosi, boxer, and the best one of all “FORMER KKK GRAND DRAGON ROBERT BRYD”. The list could go on.
I feel sorry for those who cling to the democratic party, but hang in there, it may change someday. It may shed its self from the kooks who have glomed on.

Posted by: Rush at January 10, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #111940

Sadly,it seems that there is no point for Diogenes to light his lamp looking for a honest man. They seem to have a “flexible” morality within the Beltway. My thought is that we seem to have less of this nonsense when The President is of one party and the Congress of another. The energy needed to cicumvent each others agendas helps to reduce the propensity towards mischief.

Posted by: Jblym at January 10, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #111956

Rush:

Washington is due for a “flush”, it is time to get rid of the “carrier” politicians.

This will likely happen. Of course, it’s going to hurt the party that is in power more.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 10, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #111958

Rush -

Thanks for the motivation. Usually, if there’s a discussion to be had, I’ll dig in. However, you comments really only call for one thing - $50 donation to the Democratic party.

Any other comments? I might have to add more to it.

Posted by: tony at January 10, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #111961

George in SC,

You are so right. However, the democrats had nothing to do with Newt or Livingston being removed from office. Their own actions did. Remember Newt and Livingston were holding hearings on Bill Clinton about Monica. They had told the American public that if the president lied about his sexual affair with Monica that it was impeachable. They held the high ground on cheaters and such.
Then thanks to the Hustler Magazine (I can’t recall the name of the guy) Newt and Livingston were outed by former secretary’s who had affairs with them. They both left office of their own free will. They were not voted out or forced out. They had to save face from the comments they had made about Clinton.
Newt has been married 3 times, each time cheating on his wife with a current secretary. I’m not trying to throw dirt on Newt, nobody is perfect and I understand that. But people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Posted by: Rusty at January 10, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #111978

I’d say there own actions plus a little help to get things going. It would be naive not to believe those stories did have help getting started, similar to what was probably a GOP plant to get memogate going against CBS.

The real interesting thing is the Republicans, because they are the supposed party of responsibility, are easier to get to eat their own. Once, again, you can get it started…..

Posted by: George in SC at January 10, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #111987

Rush
True the Democrat party is full of idiots like Kennedy, Boxer and so on. But the Republican party has more than their share too. DeLay, Limbaugh, Coulter, O’Reilly and so on.
No one party is exempt from having idiots. And it seems to be getting harder to find the ones that aint. I reckon they’re the ones that don’t run for office or put their mouths on the radio.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 10, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #111998

thanks to the Hustler Magazine (I can’t recall the name of the guy)
That would be Larry Flynt, former candidate for governor of Cali and the victim of an assassination attempt in Lawrenceville Ga which left him in a wheel chair for life.

On ONE PURPOSE PER BILL, that would require a change in our form of representative government. Congressman comes to DC to represent their districts, not the nation.

Congress has been fiscally irresponsible since 1980

Except from 1993 to 2000 when William Jefferson Clinton was President of the United States. Rpblcns have reverted to voodoo economics. They still believe in the 2 party system, though. They need the Democrats to be in power sometimes to be able to blame them for raising the taxes to pay for all the unfunded spending when the Rpblcns are in power.

Please do not respond to flaming trolls, their purpose is to hijack the discussion.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at January 10, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #112009

To what length will the Neo-Cons go to promote their cause? (which I believe is domionist theocarcy)

You need only listen to Lindsey Graham today at the Alito hearings to know how bad things are for Americans. Earlier in the day things were refined inspite of obvious disagreement.

The Republicans have truly become the party of arrogant indignation. During that period of time the Senate hearings sounded more like the court of commons than an American Senate hearing.

Anyone that can support that conduct can’t believe in the true democratic process that created this good and powerful country.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 10, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #112016

A rather amazingly honestly editorial from the National Review:

The Abramoff Scandal

It’s the Republicans, stupid.

…The GOP now craves such bipartisan cover in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Republicans trumpet every Democratic connection to Abramoff in the hope that something resonates. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), took more than $60,000 from Abramoff clients! North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan used Abramoff’s skybox! It is true that any Washington influence peddler is going to spread cash and favors as widely as possible, and 210 members of Congress have received Abramoff-connected dollars. But this is, in its essence, a Republican scandal, and any attempt to portray it otherwise is a misdirection.

Abramoff is a Republican who worked closely with two of the country’s most prominent conservative activists, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed. Top aides to the most important Republican in Congress, Tom DeLay (R., Tex.) were party to his sleazy schemes. The only people referred to directly in Abramoff’s recent plea agreement are a Republican congressmen and two former Republican congressional aides. The GOP members can make a case that the scandal reflects more the way Washington works than the unique perfidy of their party, but even this is self-defeating, since Republicans run Washington.

Republicans must take the scandal seriously and work to clean up in its wake.

More from NR editor…

http://www.nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry200601100816.asp

Posted by: Easter Lemming Liberal News at January 10, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #112024

Again we getnoff on this thread so again the litany.
Since re-construction the great social legislation has come from the Democratic Party,usually when both houses of congress and the President are Democrats. To name a few: Womans suffrage, Social Security. Medicare,child labor laws, the Civil Rights Act,the Voting Rights Act, the Wagner Act. The list goes on and on. Democrats led us out of the great depression and led the nation to victory in WW2. They are not perfect of course. There were the dark days when the Southern Democrats were the party of segration. That is not the case now and Democrats have clearly taken the lead against discrimination,all types of discrimination.
In historical terms the Democratic Party is and has been more attuned to the needs of working Americans. This is clear by any but the most convuluted double think.
As for the constant refrain to get rid of career incumbants I do not know about you but when I hire someone I appreciate if they have some experience. The big problem is corrupting influence of money. Getting rid of good public servants ignores the problem and would do more harm than good.
My congresswoman has been reelected several times. Why? Because she deserves to be. The majority of the people in her district agree with me. Right now her office is working overtime to help seniors deal with this precription drug boondoggle we got thrown at us instead of real cost containment. Yeah she is a professional. She was not always. At one point in her life her and her three kids were abandoned. She even was on welfare for a time. She went to school and started her own successful business before running for office.To lose her would ill serve her constituents and the country.

Posted by: Bill at January 10, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #112068

No one should take money for special favors,but,special interest groups have been supporting those who would vote their way as long as there have been groups with a special interests.When most Americans vote for a candidate they vote for who they think represents their interests,namely those in the Constitution,which is why this Country was founded,and all who are elected are sworn to uphold. That document worked for nearly 200 years but since about 1950 or so,it has been abused.A minority in this Country and in our Congress seem to be trying to uphold the parts of the Constitution that did not make the final draft.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at January 10, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #112160

Congress has been fiscally irresponsible since 1980. Democrats and Republicans did that together.

No d.a.n, They’ve been fiscally irresponsible since at least 1933.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 11, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #112170

“”FORMER KKK GRAND DRAGON ROBERT BRYD”. The list could go on.”

I am just chuckling over this each time I read it. It brings so clear to focus the little saying about how many fingers are pointing back when one points a finger at someone else.

When it comes to the President and his youthful (sobered up at 40 years old) indiscretions we are supposed to not hold this against him. People can change… learn from their past and lead productive, honorable lives with a lot to contribute. (Isn’t that the Democrat’s line? I digress.)

*Strom Thurmond
*Trent Lott
*Bill Russell and the 18 Democratic Senators that fillibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964
*David Duke (Grand poobah of KKK, still unrepentent)
*President Bush (Alcohol and possibly other indiscretions we may never know about.)
*Malcolm X
*George Wallace. Even the icon of racism, begged for forgivness and it was given by many. Despite his overt racist actions and comments, he is still regarded somewhat fondly today.

I guess the attacks of Byrd goes back the the Republican belief that “steadfastness” even in the face of conflicting evidence is a sign of integrity.

It is a weakness to change, to grow, to cast off ideas which are hurtful and wrong.

Would you allow your child to continue to deny the existance of something before his eyes? Would you pat him on the head and praise him for his “steadfastness”? If he did admit to the reality before his eyes would you tell him he was “two-faced”, “flip-flopping”?

Yes, Trent Lott was attacked because of what he said at Strom Thurmond’s birthday. Why? Because what he was saying was easily construed as wishing that things were different and racism still ruled the land.

You will note, there wasn’t a whole lot of attacking him on past afilliations or beliefs prior to this.

Can a leopard change his spots? I will ask you to look to President Bush before you answer.

If a person can, then back off on Byrd or be a hypocrite because you aren’t attacking the President on his past.

If a person can’t, then treat the President with just the same courtsey or discourtsey as you will Byrd. To do otherwise would make you a hypocrite.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 11, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #112181

I think it is all well and good that we look back at history and know both parties can be corrupt.

But my god, wake up. The current crop of Republicans, including our President, have engaged in the most outrageous and arrogant behavior in our history, imo. There is no comparison to what the Republicans have done. Breaking the law and defending it; lying before Congress; lying before the United Nations; lying before the American people; the list goes on and on. And hey, let’s face it — there are people that actually believe votes were not counted in two elections or votes were manipulated to change the outcome of an election. It doesn’t get any more corrupt than that.

Even if you think it didn’t happen, the very idea that we’ve become so corrupt that we BELIEVE it may have happened, tells me we have gone down a very dark road.

Furthermore, the point of this thread should be that the media, in this case, Wolf, tried to paint the facts of this case in a misleading way to paint both parties involved. IT IS NOT TRUE. I’m sick and tired of the facts getting in the way of the truth.

I want the frickin’ truth from my press and my government. Is that too much to ask???

Posted by: Chris at January 11, 2006 10:41 AM
Comment #112190

Methinks thou all protest too much. It is the silliest idea to believe that corruption and greed are partisan. The flawed suits that keep getting elected are unilaterally obsessed with keeping and gaining power at the expense of the over all good. Change will come only with real election reform which must include strict term limits.

Posted by: jblym at January 11, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #112194

let’s vote the bums out of office pn Nov.


Phillip A. Brown jr.

Posted by: Phillip A. Brown jr. at January 11, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #112356

“The current crop of Republicans, including our President, have engaged in the most outrageous and arrogant behavior in our history”

I would say the Reconstruction-era Republicans (Charles Sumner, Benjamind Wade, Thaddeus Stevens) were a bit more corrupt. You always must keep the accurate historical context in mind. Ever hear of Watergate? Jack Abramoff and this current crop are not the first.

Secondly, it is obvious Jack Abramoff did not contribute directly to Democrats. This in itself says something about the nature of the problem. It is mostly Republicans who are corrupt here, but can we really split it up exactly, and say that no Democrats were involved? That is simply a dangerous over-simplification.

My question is:
Why would Jack Abramoff NOT want to be seen giving money to both parties?

Posted by: Ben at January 11, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #112360

Because it will prove that there is really no difference between Democrats and Republicans

They are both irresponsible and unaccountable.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 11, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #112582

Ben,

Your correct in saying that both parties have been corrupt at one point or another (if not always.) But the point Chris was trying to make about the republicans of today is very true.

We all know our leaders lie at sometime for some reason. The question is though, what do they lie about, and for what reason are they not telling the truth?

Clinton lied about sex. In his lie, tell us who was damaged by the lie? His family I’m sure. I live here in Calif. it sure didn’t hurt me that he got a blow job. He didn’t lie about anything important to us as a country. Lie? Yes he did.

Bush? Lied about WMD’s, or at least mislead us at to WMD’s. His lie has cost us 2,200 U.S. Lives, 30,000 injured and approx. 40,000 Iriqi people have died. You tell me, is what people lie about equall? Or is there a difference between lies? Did anyone die due to Clintons lie?

Clinton was wrong to have lied to us about his personal private sex life (if asked I guess we should all tell everyone about what we do behind closed doors)under oath he should have told the truth. It is funny how the so called conservitives hate Clinton for his lie, but find it OK for Bush and company to lie/mislead and not hold him to that same standard.

Posted by: Rusty at January 12, 2006 4:00 PM
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