Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republicans Join the Guilt By Assocation

Return His Sleazy Money?

Yes, Eliot Spitzer, New York Governor has gotten caught up in a prostitution scandal. And yes, he’s a bad boy, a bad naughty boy (if you catch the reference, you’ll get half my point), and his credibility will suffer as a result. But this? This is just plain silly.

The Republicans have got little credibility on this matter. They cheat on their wives, get caught in the wrong kind of stances, wearing age-inappropriate underclothes and it never becomes a reason to return campaign funds. But that's how desperate they are at this point.

And they should be desperate. They're running out of money, and even some of the money they do have has disappeared into somebody's pocket.

So, anything to scare down Democratic coffers, especially given how little they can scare up for themselves.

Now, if we were talking something like the Rezko scandal, where political corruption and favors done for contributions are a part of the situation, I'd be the first to advise the dropping of the funds. But so far, there's no evidence that the money that Spitzer raised, at a time when he was more respectable, has any involvement in the scandal whatsoever. If that's the case, the only problem is guilt by association, and if that were how things were done in politics, the Republicans would have to give back millions, to be sure. Ask the Republicans whether they'll give back the money Giuliani raised for them.

No, I didn't think so.

Believe me, I really don't have much love for what the guy's done, and I'd breathe a sigh of relief if he resigned. The reality of the matter is, though, that e-mails like the ones the NRCC is sending out are nothing better than the usual hypocrisy from a party that pretends to be the moral guardians of the nation.

Some might claim that I'm forwarding a double standard here, but the reality is, I don't mind Republicans riding out the occasional scandal like this to hang around. The Republicans are likely far more outraged at Larry Craig's continued presence. It's uncomfortable to say the least, but I doubt most Democrats are going to be picketing for his removal. We're a party that likes private lives private, even if we are easily amused by the sordid details of what happened to those on the right.

What I find less than amusing, and just a bit annoying is that they have the temerity to try and intimidate us about morals in our party. We're hardly dumb enough to take tips on avoiding sleazy connections from the Republicans.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 10, 2008 6:34 PM
Comments
Comment #247576

All I can say is, if Spitzer can afford to blow $4,000 on a hooker, they are paying him WAY too much money.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 10, 2008 8:17 PM
Comment #247578

I was wondering when someone would jump on this scandal. By rights Spitzer should resign, and so should a rep or ind. if cought doing something illegal. Clinton stayed in office why not let this guy stay? I don’t see why you bring up Republicans when the Democrats are just as sleazy. You dig far enough in closets God only knows what you will find, even for your precious Obama.

Posted by: KAP at March 10, 2008 8:26 PM
Comment #247593

Ummm Kap, Isn’t soliciting a prostitute illegal?

I presume you were wondering when someone at Watchblog would post, since even Drudge didn’t get this story that the NYT broke today.

Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 10:20 PM
Comment #247594

Woody,

Damn that Spitzer going around raising the price of everything!!! OK, it’s an old joke, I know.

Is their anyone out there that isn’t a complete hypocrit?

I hope he enjoyed it. It sure as hell was a costly screw. At least he has better lookers than Bill.

Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 10:28 PM
Comment #247596

I thought the big story is the fact that he was holding EVERYONE else to a higher standard. That he seemed to be the guy who always upheld the law and expected EVERYONE else to. The way he was going after people one would think he had done no wrong and never would.
How is this a republican or democrat issue?
It is about a guy who broke the law.
Maybe he should have worked to get prostitution legalized before he used their services. That way he would have only been in trouble with his wife.

Posted by: Dawn at March 10, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #247599

KAP-
On the subject of “My precious Obama”? I’m not going to borrow trouble where there isn’t any yet. If he’s got skeletons in his closet, he wouldn’t be the first politician like that, and it’d be sad. But I’m not going to fret and worry about such things when nothing’s happened so far. I’ll let your imaginations run off with themselves, and remain grounded for my own part.

Yes, Democrats can be just as sleazy as Republicans. It’s the Republicans, though, who put themselves on a moral pedestal, who try and apply all kinds of laws to the average man and woman, for their own good. Democrats aren’t so concerned with regulating the bedroom, so it tends to be your own problem if you get into trouble about these things. For Democrats, this is an embarrassment, but it’s not going to disillusion a major faction of the party the way Mark Foley or Larry Craig have.

It’s not that the vices in question aren’t objectionable to us. It’s just that we’re less apt to say that something requires resignation if it happens to deal with sexuality. If he had been outed as gay or exposed as having an affair, this would have been gossip for a while, a little embarrassing, but soon old news.

The main sticking point here is that prostitution is highly illegal. That may be why he ends up having to resign. Whether or not he is charged, breaking the law is the disgrace most Democrats are going to be mad at him about, and they won’t really have so much of the entrapment feel that Clinton’s perjury had. This, you could only really bring on yourself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 10, 2008 10:59 PM
Comment #247601

At least Spitzer came right out with it.

Nobody made Clinton commit perjury, he did that himself.
If he had admitted what he had done, told everyone he messed up and is fixing things with his wife, and not tried to lie his way out of it, things would not have played out the way they did.
He brought it on himself.

Posted by: Marie at March 10, 2008 11:07 PM
Comment #247602

‘It’s not that the vices in question aren’t objectionable to us. It’s just that we’re less apt to say that something requires resignation if it happens to deal with sexuality. If he had been outed as gay or exposed as having an affair, this would have been gossip for a while, a little embarrassing, but soon old news.’
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 10, 2008 10:59 PM

Then why is it both sides go after anyone with these indiscretions?
It constantly goes back and forth. Which side is worse? Who can we catch doing what?
We are lucky any new people run for office in our country.
If it weren’t for the perks, BOTH sides make sure our politicians receive, none of them would stay either.


Posted by: Dawn at March 10, 2008 11:17 PM
Comment #247604

Dawn, I don’t think it’s a problem if people who want to hire prostitutes or indulge in other illegal and immoral behaviors hesitate to run for office because of all the public scrutiny.

But what I think is very likely is that politics attracts a certain kind of personality type. Some very egomaniacal narcissitic types who think that they’re somehow special and that rules apply to other people.

It’s the Republicans, though, who put themselves on a moral pedestal, who try and apply all kinds of laws to the average man and woman, for their own good.

Is this true at all? I don’t think that Democrats by and large think that prostitution laws shouldn’t be applied. And if you’re talking about sexual morality in general, Republicans aren’t out there saying that cheating on your spouse should be against the law. Or that anybody having any kind of consensual sex at all should be criminalized.

Furthermore, Democrats propose all kinds of laws for the “average man and woman for their own good.” Arguably they put forth a lot more such laws than Republicans ever do.

Posted by: Liam at March 11, 2008 12:08 AM
Comment #247606

In my neck of the woods prostitution isnt illegal. The problem with Spitzer is he actively prosecuted others and then decided it was ok for himself. Throw the bum out double standards reek.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 11, 2008 1:26 AM
Comment #247607
When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself a public property.

Thomas Jefferson said that — and he was making an excellent point, of course. Meanwhile, Jefferson himself had a torrid affair with Sally Hemmings, a slave he “owned”, and fathered at least one child with her. Fortunately for him, there was really no such thing as the “media” back in those days.

Still, the point remains: Far too many politicians do not consider themselves a public property when they assume public office.

Stephen:

And yes, he’s a bad boy, a bad naughty boy (if you catch the reference, you’ll get half my point),

I for one, definitely catch the reference, but I’m afraid I’m having a little trouble seeing exactly what your point is here?
Unless you’re implying that Democrats can all breathe a sigh of relief that Spitzer was willing to pay for his call girl, rather than trolling scum-bag style for free ‘n’ anonymous bottom-of-the-barrel public-bathroom sex the way Creepy “Wide Stance” Craig does.

and his credibility will suffer as a result.

Well, that’s certainly what many people are going to immediately claim. Yet, personally I’m starting to wonder why it should.
Seriously, isn’t it starting to seem like a truly vast majority of politicians (of all stripes, and sexual persuasions) are secret sex addicts of one sort or other — apart from, and even despite, how well or how poorly they handle their jobs?

I guess I’m beginning to wonder if the French haven’t been taking a far more realistic approach to issues such as this.

But this? This is just plain silly.

Yes, that is absurd in the extreme. Indeed, it is jaw-dropingly ridiculous, and so are all of the Republicans who wish to expand this scandal as insanely far as they can possibly make it go.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 11, 2008 1:31 AM
Comment #247610

Liam-
I’m not questioning the legitimacy of prostitution laws, though some have. I’m talking sodomy laws, defense of marriage, insistence on abortion as a constant wedge issue, the Terri Schiavo case, and so on and so forth. From School Prayer to Family Values, such policy platforms have been a mainstay of the Republicans party, and everybody knows it.

As for what the Democrats do propose in the way of laws? If you take the sentence out of context, it’s easy to muddy the waters on what I meant, but as long as we’re not playing literal-minded semantics here, it’s obvious the laws I’m referring to address the family values/Christian nation issues that Republicans have worked hand in glove to make a priority. If it’s no longer such a concern, why has John McCain sought and received an endorsement from John Hagee, or mended fences with Bob Jones?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 11, 2008 1:39 AM
Comment #247611

Veritas Vincit-
Production values don’t really impress me when it comes to this kind of thing. The services of a two-dollar prostitute is no less illegal than that of a thousand dollar prostitute in New York.

To be clear, I’m hardly saying this is anything other than what it is: an embarrassment and a scandal, especially coming from Spitzer.

It’s the rank hypocrisy, though, of Republicans hauling out the sleaziness card to pressure Democratic Candidates and officeholders to give up funds on the grounds that the money raised by Eliot Spitzer is somehow tainted. Like I said, were this a corruption investigation he got nailed on, I’d say drop those bucks like the hot potatoes they are, if you can.

However, a prostitution bust is neither here nor there as far as the fund-raising goes, and I really doubt they kept multiple divorcee and adulterer Guiliani out of the spotlight when they wanted money. In the context of New York, it’s a double standard.

Democrats and Republicans are equally fallible, but in the eyes of the New York Republican Party, it seems like political party determines who’s sleazy and who’s not.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 11, 2008 1:48 AM
Comment #247612

Spitzer set himself up as a moral inquisitor. That is why he fell so far. He turns out just to be another spoiled rich kid, not the great crusader.

What he did was illegal. It is more than a personal failing. Dems made a big deal about that guy tapping his foot in the public rest room and the reason it stuck so much was that he had previously set himself up on moral issues. This is what Spitzer has done.

The NYT tried to make a big deal of a fictitious McCain affair. That sort of thing seemed to made a difference to some people back then Now we have a clear case where a leading Democrat moralist is caught with his pants down and his wallet out. I think it is amusing and will happily be using it to ridicule Dems for some time to come.

Dems are so generous. Just when they look like they are going to get their act together, the start their infighting and try to disenfrancise half of their voters (as in Obama v Hillary) and just when they want to grab the moral high ground, their leading moralist grabs expensive ass.

$4000. I guess that not all Dems are struggling to make ends meet. Oh - I guess that is what Spitzer was doing. Did he pay taxes on that? Did his “sex worker” pay Social Security taxes?

And yes, I will be expanding on this. Why? because it is fun and because I can.

Thank you, Dems.

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2008 1:59 AM
Comment #247613

Jack

You are right the guy is morally wrong. Like republicans he preaches one thing and practices another. He should suffer the same consequences.

So please enjoy the bone we have thrown you. We certainly have had more than our fair share of treats the last few years. For you guys they have been few and far between and everyone should be able to have a little unexpected fun from time to time. But need I remind you that once the fun is over it is back to discipline training. ;)

Posted by: RickIL at March 11, 2008 8:06 AM
Comment #247615

KAP:

“I was wondering when someone would jump on this scandal”

Are you kidding me? It took Stephen less than 4 hours to jump all over it. But I am not surprised that he uses the failings of one of his own to immediately jump all over republicans. He uses questionable sources and gives no evidence other than the say-so of some web site with no particulars.

You are right, KAP, he should resign and that is the right issue.

Stephen:

If I were running for office and he raised money for me, I would give it back, but that is not the problem you should be facing here. By engaging in the services of a prostitute he is opening himself up to being blackmailed to a very significant degree. Imagine the leading public official of N.Y. state at the mercy of organized crime boses. And make no mistake, prostitution is largely controlled by organized crime.

Many of you posting here are quick to mention Republicans such as Mark Kirk. You jump all over this scum bag, as we all should and did, about sending emails of a highly perverted nature to people in his employ. But what about people like Jerry Studds? Remember him? He died not too long ago. He is the Democrat who, unlike Mark Kirk who never touched anyone, Jerry Studds (appropriately named) actually had sex with two of his pages who were minors at the time. If he were anyone other than a Democrat in office he would have gone to jail as he should have. But no, the dems thought so little wrong with what he did they not only just censured him, they eventually gave him back his chairmanship of his committee. And I even think that Jerry was from N.Y. though I may be wrong about that.

And what about your beloved Barney Frank, whose live-in lover was starting up a prostitution ring right in Barneys townhome.

When repubs are caught doing something wrong for the most part the do the right thing and step down from leadership positions or resign altogether. The exception being Larry Craig, the SOB should be thrown out and stripped of his pension just for trying to stay on in a position of public trust. Dems on the other hand, lawyer up and try to stick around. William Jefferson, any body?

So Stephen, stop harping on statements and emails from your hated Repubs, and start focusing on the real issue, Eliot must go.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at March 11, 2008 9:53 AM
Comment #247617

Oh the travesty that Republicans would try to politicize a Democrat’s indiscretions.

Please…..

Posted by: George in SC at March 11, 2008 10:08 AM
Comment #247619

Jack-
With all due respect, he was a good prosecutor. It just looks like he had feet of clay.

We don’t know yet whether McCain’s affair is fictitious. Word is, he had plenty of non-ficticious affairs during his first marriage.

There are Democrat hypocrites out there, too. But we don’t set ourselves up as the party of sexual morality. We don’t kid ourselves that we don’t have our share, like the rest of the population does, of unfaithful husbands, men who visit prostitutes, or closeted or open homosexuals. We’re not pursuing an agenda that purports to be superior in that manner.

The humor for us in the Larry Craig and David Vitter stories lies in the fact that these guys and the Republicans were moralizers of the highest order.

Spitzer is best known for his pursuite of white-collar criminals, not for his opposition of vice or sexual deviance. The irony factor for him is that he broke the law, more than he compromised some publically expressed disdain for sexual immorality. It’s his general integrity that made this a shock.

Beirut Vet-
You’re right that he could have been blackmailed over it, and that’s one reason why I think he should resign. And it might score some points to give up the money. That said, there’s no real taint to it of real corruption.

As for the scandal with Franks and Studds? They deserved to be punished for their ethical improprieties. Whether they would resign was their business. The voters decided to forgive them. The trick is, as far as I know, neither of those two added to the irony factor by being as vocal of homophobes as Mark Foley and Larry Craig. As long as the Republicans remain a party where homosexuality is a problem, those who loudly decry it on one end, and engage in that kind of conduct on the other end, will end up looking like big hypocrites.

This is especially true when it comes to adultery. My word, do your folks have no room to judge. Henry Hyde, David Vitter, Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr- so on and so forth. You guys pursued the Monica Lewinsky thing with an insane degree of puritanical glee.

More to the point, Spitzer came right out and admitted things, unlike Craig or the Republicans Larry Flynt outed as adulterers. He at least had the decency to admit things, which makes him better than Clinton (whose dishonesty in the affair I resent) and much better than Craig, who still tries to pretend that nothing happened.

I’ve said that Elliot should resign. Do you want me to to lead a lynch mob against him too? I think it’s only right to remind people that the Republicans are hardly the people to be playing political games about sleaze.

George in SC-
Oh the irony that they would see themselves as fit to judge after supporting Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. You can politicize all you want to, but in the end, these kinds of indiscretions hurt you worse than us, and your insistence on focusing media attention on them insures that the next scandal will blow up in your own face.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 11, 2008 11:03 AM
Comment #247620

BV,

“But what about people like Jerry Studds? Remember him? He died not too long ago. He is the Democrat who, unlike Mark Kirk who never touched anyone, Jerry Studds (appropriately named) actually had sex with two of his pages who were minors at the time.”

Before you go off on a rant like this, you might actually want to get your facts straight.

No matter how reprehensible Studds’ act was, and I am by no means defending his actions, the “minors” you speak of were beyond the “age of consent” in the District of Columbia.

Spitzer’s hypocrisy of actively prosecuting prostitution, yet seeking out a “high class” call girl (one could hardly compare a $4,000-5,000 an hour service to a common streetwalker) for himself is the real crime here.
Just as Jimmy Swaggart did before him, Spitzer set himself upon a pedestal of righteousness, and has been exposed as a hypocrite.

It is for that he should step down.

Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2008 11:15 AM
Comment #247623

There are a couple of questions and observations that need to be made.

1.) Did Spitzer pay money to have sex? Yes? That’s illegal. He should be prosecuted (but he won’t be. More on that in a few.)

2.) Did Spitzer have a huge enough ego to think that in this day and age of absolutely no privacy whatsoever that he WOULDN’T get caught?

3.) This will all go away quickly, as soon as Spitzer makes a plea bargain. He’ll agree to resign and plead guilty in exchange for no jail time…just some community service and maybe a fine.

All said and done, the only ones hurt by this “flash in the pan” scandel are his wife and kids and Barak Obama.

Barak Obama, you say? How could it hurt him?

This scandel de jour will push the news of Obama winning Wyoming and Mississippi to the “bottom of the fold” and the news of his regaining “the big MO” will not happen or will be marginalized.

Posted by: Jim T at March 11, 2008 11:43 AM
Comment #247624

Stephen-

I’m not hurt at all as I’m not a Republican.

You seem to think this is the first time an opposition party has politicized an issue of the other party. Rather, this is just another scandal in a long list of scandals by persons in both parties who believe that the laws don’t apply to them because they are “special”. The next scandal will just be the next scandal.

It just goes on and on Stephen: Jefferson’s slave, Thurmond’s love child, Teddy’s midnight swim, Nixon’s “I’m not a crook”, Rostenkowski, Jefferson……

It’s the same old, old story. And by pointing out the so called hypocrisy you are no different than the Republicans that you are decrying. Just wait till next time so I can throw mud in your face!

There is no moral high ground in politics. The Republicans don’t have it, the Democrats don’t have it, the Greens don’t have it. There’s just a bunch of “special” people with an unlimited supply of mud.

Posted by: George in SC at March 11, 2008 11:58 AM
Comment #247625

With all the illegal wire taps, torture the annexation of the justice department by the bush crime family and for the last 6 years you have not gotten anything more than this Spitzer thing???????

Sorry it has been such slim pickings with all the effort you have put into it!!!!!!!

I hope you realize that the next election does not look good for the wing nuts!!!!!!!

But thanks’ for putting the machinery in place now we can use it on you!!!!!!!

That is all I have to say about this Spitzer thing!!!!!! I am at the airport and I need to check out the restroom my grandson needs to use it.

Posted by: Outraged at March 11, 2008 12:01 PM
Comment #247627

Look, I understand that everyone thinks what Spitzer did is sleazy, because it certainly is. But why is there always an immediate call for a politician to step down only when they’re a Democrat?
Did David Vitter step down after being exposed for exactly the same thing? NO, he didn’t. Did Larry Craig step down for something as disgusting as trolling for anonymous public restroom sex? NO, he didn’t. Are Republicans complaining that they haven’t stepped down? If they are, it hasn’t exactly been making the news, has it?
Did anyone smear Mitt Romney because Larry Craig was his Senate liaison? NO. Did anyone blame John McCain when Rep. Bob Allen, a co-chair for his Florida campaign also got caught trolling for sex in a mens public restroom? NO.
Did Democrats make an issue of the money any of these men ever raised for their party? NO, we haven’t.

The attempt to employ a double standard is absurd, and any attempt by Republicans to ridiculously climb upon their high moral horse and shout down judgments on Democrats for current political advantage is completely pathetic and hypocritical.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 11, 2008 12:23 PM
Comment #247628

Rockey:

Maybe it is you who should check your facts. Jerry’s conquests were 17 and NOT beyond the age of consent, even in decadent Washington. Oh, and I am sorry for one error, it was Mark Foley, not Mark Kirk who is the sleaze bag in question.

“Spitzer’s hypocrisy of actively prosecuting prostitution, yet seeking out a “high class” call girl (one could hardly compare a $4,000-5,000 an hour service to a common streetwalker) for himself is the real crime here.”

I agree here but feel it goes beyond this. Look at it this way. My wife and kids are the most important people in my life. Those of you who are married will understand and probably feel the same way. Now, if Eliot is willing to violate the trust of the most important person in his life, if he is willing to screw her over (pun intended) then he will not hesitate to screw over everyone else. His character is now in question just as all those who went before him Repubs or Dem, it does not matter.

His wife and kids are not the only ones hurt here. The rest of us, Rep and Dem who saw in him a moral standard that we could admire and respect no matter his party affiliation. Sure, those on the left will shriek “you Repubs are no better”. They do not remember that it is the majority of Repubs who call for resignations because we do not tolerate this behavior in our ranks. That we can not make Larry resign is not the issue. That we vociferously call for that resignation is the issue. When we call for resignations on the Dem side is when we hear the childish refrain “you do it too”.

Stephen:

” there’s no real taint to it of real corruption.”

No corruption here? Are we now going to argue the definition of the word “is”? Because if you look up the word corrupt in the dictionary you will find “evil or morally depraved,” He violated the same laws he swore to and vigorously prosecuted. He violated the public trust. He set himself above the law……and you are absolutely right, he should resign.

“I’ve said that Elliot should resign. Do you want me to to lead a lynch mob against him too?”

I will hold the rope :-)

Posted by: Beirut Vet at March 11, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #247632

I found this article on Reddit.

While I think it is a waste of time to attempt to block the use of CIA programs that screen for “terrorist” data, the missuuse of wiretaps, etc. for political gain should be taken extremely seriously.

This article, though just conjecture, raises interesting points.

But my favorite is the coinage of the phrase Eliot Mess.

Posted by: googlumpugus at March 11, 2008 12:55 PM
Comment #247635

George

You are correct imo that no party can legitimately claim any moral high ground. However the republican party does actively pursue this avenue. They directly link themselves with conservatives and literally make the claim that they do aspire to and live by a higher moral standard than liberals. Prostitution is illegal in NY so he obviously has committed a crime and should be held accountable. The real problem as I see it lies in the fact that he has actively prosecuted prostitution rings. He violated an ethical and moral standard by participating in the very crimes he works at prosecuting. This does indeed make him a hypocrite. It also makes him a bad democrat and a weak person. Just the same as all those republican political figures who have been caught in compromising situations of late. The fact that Larry Craig has been allowed to continue in office does little to support claims of a higher morality for the republican party. If indeed they held some sort of moral high ground they should insist that he resign immeadiatley because his behavior is not in keeping with so called republican standards.

All this makes me wonder why the majority of conservatives link themselves so closely with the repbublican party. It seems to me that the party has falsely used claimed support of your values to gain end results that obviously have not necessarily been in keeping with those values.

Perhaps I am missing something here. Maybe the better question is do all self proclaimed republicans consider themselves as a conservative? Can there be such a thing as a liberal conservative or conservative liberal? The latter seems a bit redundant to me. At any rate I sometimes think that all this labeling serves only to further divides between a whole lot of Americans who in the end are all in the same boat.

Posted by: RickIL at March 11, 2008 12:59 PM
Comment #247636

You know what is so funny. He belonged to some kind of thing called the Emperor’s club. It is like an organized sex club for the very rich - sort of like “the Story of O”. And what coin this guy has! $4300 a pop and he was popping on a regular basis. if Dems are the party of the ordinary man, I am in the wrong line of work.

This is as much fun as when Clinton pardoned Marc Rich - what a name for ridicule for a pardon buyer. Now we have the Democratic man of the people who can spend $4300 for a couple hours of paid sex and can belong to the Emperor’s club that sort of francises the fun.

googlump

You think they didn’t have a warant to go after this big fish? this is nothing like the terrorist program. You really don’t have a good idea re the terror taping program.

But you would think someone like Spitzer would be a little smarter with his high-class-hos.

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2008 1:01 PM
Comment #247638

Jack,

I didn’t say it was or that they didn’t have warrants. My poiint was that I think the to-do over warrantless wire taps is a waste of time. I’ve argued this before. Irregardless of law people and governments will snoop to the best of their ability to do so. It is the misuse of this information that we need protection from and prosecution of. Did you read the article?

I’m not excusing Eliot Mess.

It shows even Democrats are vunerable to arrogance and stupidity. The rich think they are invincible in Capitalist USA. Personally, I think both parties pander to the rich and are full of arrogance. Except during election year speeches, of course.

What the article implies and suggests is that there could well be a political motive behind all this.

Posted by: googlumpugus at March 11, 2008 1:26 PM
Comment #247641

stephen

“We don’t know yet whether McCain’s affair is fictitious”

yeah, and we don’t know if it’s factual either. the amazing thing is, that as soon as one of your own is caught with his pants down ( literally speaking ) your first reaction is always to say that the republicans are worse. why not just adress the issue at hand, ELLIOT SPITZER DEMOCRAT IS A HYPOCRITE. enough said.

Posted by: dbs at March 11, 2008 1:34 PM
Comment #247645

Spitzer should resign on the grounds of insanity. My last encounter with a prostitute was a number of years ago, probably on A1A coming from the beach by Patrick AFB. The entire conversation on her side was “I’m working…Want some head?… 20 bucks” Talk about inflation!

It looks like Rpblcn rats might be leaving a sinking ship and raiding the cheese on the way out.

On Rezko, it’s the “clout list” that matters, in a place where people get jobs where they never do anything but collect a paycheck.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 11, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #247647

Jack-
First, I find it funny that Republicans are also using class critiques as a way of striking at the Democrats. Does every Democratic leader have to be of lower socio-economic class? It’s the policies more than the personnel that matters when it comes to who’s the real party of the people. Last time I checked, your party still believed in trickle-down economics, that most elitist of sensibilities, and still took the side of the corporations almost reflexively.

One politician employing high-class hookers to get off does not make the entire part one of elitists. If you believe that a valid argument, then Larry Craig makes every homophobe a closeted gay man, and Vitter makes every Republican a pervert.

The Republicans take the damage they do on these things because they insist on telling the rest of America how to run their private lives. If they acted like these scandals and people’s sexuality were none of their business, and none of the government’s, they wouldn’t get raked over the coals.

dbs-
I’m not saying Republicans are worse. I’m saying everybody’s just as bad, but the Republicans try to make themselves out to be superior on these kinds of matters, when they ignore these things and worse from their own people. It’s the cynicism of the e-mail calling for the return of the money that ticks me off, the assumption that they are fit as a party to pressure the Democrats on these matters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 11, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #247648

Aides say it is likely he will resign soon.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 11, 2008 2:36 PM
Comment #247650

“Jefferson himself had a torrid affair with Sally Hemmings, a slave he “owned”, and fathered at least one child with her. Fortunately for him, there was really no such thing as the “media” back in those days.”
///Historical accuracy alert///
This was a big scandal reported in the media, starting with James T. Callender, in the The Richmond Recorder, in 1802, in September, he drowned the following July in 1803.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jefferson/cron/

RickIl, “please enjoy the bone we have thrown you” double entendre much, but it’s Spitzer’s ears that are the most disturbing, It looks like someone has been holding on to him by his ears for years.

On Mark Kirk, we are hoping to defeat him , Dan Seals is running against him again, the main problem last time was that he lives a little outside the district.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 11, 2008 2:56 PM
Comment #247655

They staked out and got Spitzer. Are you telling me anyone else transfers a few thousand dollars gets this kind of investigation?

Happy days for the corrupt white collar criminals. There is no more oversight in New York.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 11, 2008 4:16 PM
Comment #247656

Stephen D.
I would expect a Dem, Rep, or independent to be held accountable for their indescretions. And I would not blame the other parties for their stupidity.

Posted by: KAP at March 11, 2008 4:20 PM
Comment #247657

Stephen

That is the beauty of the Spitzer affair. He was always telling other people how to live. He was sanctimonious and rich. He has almost nobody supporting him for any but political reasons because he managed to annoy almost everybody he knew.

There are lots of rich Democrats. Next door to Spitzer is Corzine in NJ, who bought his way into the office. John McCain had to borrow $1 million dollars from the bank to fund his campaign. Hillary just lent herself $5 million when she needed to tide herself over. The richest candidate in the 2004 election was John Kerry. George Soros bankrolls moveon.org. It is no surprise that as areas get richer, they vote more for liberals. We noticed that in Wyoming. The state is mostly Republican except for the places near Jackson Hole, where all the billionaires have their places. That is solidly Dem. The hard working Democrats of the 1960s have been replaced by the rich lawyers and celebrities who like to talk about oppression but have never really suffered any. Democratic policies reflect their leadership.

I just think it is interesting that this guy can join a sex club called the Emperors club and can afford to pay $4300 each time he attends a meeting. That is a lot of money to put down.

I suppose he was redistributing the wealth to the poor but sexy part of the population.

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2008 4:30 PM
Comment #247658

KAP-
I would blame any party for its stupidity, including my own. Note, please, how many times I have said I want this guy resigning.

Jack-
That said, the parallel you draw is not at all appropriate. There is a difference between Congresscritters perpetually trying to push a religious/moral agenda on the rest of us, and somebody trying to enforce the laws that even you say are important to the stability of the markets.

What bugs me about your responses here are just how centered they are on this meme of Democrats as rich elitists. My God, man, do you actually read up on your own colleagues?

Take a good look. You carp about Soros? Go ahead. I’ll carp about Richard Mellon Scaife. You carp about MoveOn? I’ll carp about AEI and the Heritage foundation. You carp about John Kerry marrying into money? I’ll ask you about John McCain marrying into it.

Meanwhile your party’s policies are so elitist that even some rich folks are saying it’s too heavily weighted in their direction. Like I said before, policies mean more than personnel.

This is the whole point of my post: a party that’s hardly pristine itself on economic justice calling Democrats rich elitists; a party that is hardly without sin itself always eager to cast the first stone, especially when they’re hard up for money and political capital.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 11, 2008 4:59 PM
Comment #247660

Stephen

All you need to know about McCain and money is he had to go to a bank to get a loan. Hillary loaned herself $5million. I don’t recall how much Kerry loaned himself in 2004, but it was more than $1 million.

In the last generation, Dems have really moved into the money. I am not good at these stat searches, but maybe d.a.n. will give us a breakdown of who in Congress is the richest. It is also becoming more and more the case that rich counties are also Democratic counties. During the last election, I canvassed for George Bush and walked around neighborhoods. I found that the poor neighborhoods (where a lot of people didn’t work) were Democratic. The middle neighborhoods (where people were working and building wealth) trended toward Republicans. The richer neighborhoods (where people had wealth and had the luxury of working) trended Democratic.

Republican policies have been more pro-business. That is why I liked them. They are wealth creating. That is also why I didn’t have trouble with Clinton’s economic policies. Things like NAFA and his trade policies were wealth creating. Many of the policies of the Republican congress since 2001 have not been as good. Power corrupts. When Republicans get into power too long, they act like Democrats. This is bad. I thought Clinton (Bill) was okay because he advocated wealth creation.

But Obama and Clinton (Hilary) are no longer talking re wealth creation at all. They are talking re redistribution and that is the road to serfdom. Both the rich and the poor like this sort of policy because neither is really interested in creating wealth.

Posted by: Jack at March 11, 2008 5:23 PM
Comment #247661

Jack:

Next door to Spitzer is Corzine in NJ, who bought his way into the office.

Corzine is being paid to be the governor of NJ at the rate of One Dollar a year.

ohrealy:

This was a big scandal reported in the media, starting with James T. Callender

Yes, it was such a huge scandal and so widely heard about in the Colonial Media that Jefferson won reelection. Btw, I think you must have missed my point in mentioning that. The point I was making was that Jefferson said that people in public office should consider themselves public property, yet it didn’t keep him from acting hypocritically when it came to sex.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 11, 2008 5:28 PM
Comment #247662

Why did you bring Republicans into the mix? It looked like you blamed the republican party because Spitzer needed some stange. I hold all politicians to higher standards no matter what party. And VV those republicans weirdos should have resigned also.

Posted by: KAP at March 11, 2008 5:32 PM
Comment #247666

BV,

“Jerry’s conquests were 17 and NOT beyond the age of consent, even in decadent Washington.”

The facts are that the relationship was in 1973, three years before the age of consent was raised to 18 in the D.C., but the time the law was changed the “victim” was 20 years old. Before that the “age of consent” was 16. Studds admitted the affair in 1983 and was censured by Congress.
That doesn’t excuse this kind of behaviour, it’s just the facts.

http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:X-1FZGijQHQJ:dccampaign.org/files/Facts%2520at%2520Your%2520Fingertips1.pdf+D.C.+Stat.+%C2%A7+46-101&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=us

“DC ST § 46-101 The Law: Notwithstanding any rule of common or other law to the contrary in effect on July 22, 1976, the age of majority in the District of Columbia shall be 18 years of age, except that this chapter shall not affect anycommon-law or statutory right to child support.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15260256/

“In 1983, Studds acknowledged his homosexuality after the page revealed he’d had a relationship with Studds a decade earlier, when the page was 17. Studds was censured for sexual misconduct by the House, then went home to his constituents to answer questions in a series of public meetings and interviews with the press.”


Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2008 5:50 PM
Comment #247667
And VV those republicans weirdos should have resigned also.

Should have, but haven’t, and no outcry has been heard from the GOP or their followers. Additionally, no money they helped raise for the Republican Party has then been made into an issue, unlike what they’re now trying to do with Spitzer.
It’s the kind of do as I say, not as I do hypocrisy that Democrats have come to expect from the GOP.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 11, 2008 5:53 PM
Comment #247670

Some historical facts are in order to put Spitzer in proper perspective:

  • James Traficant (D-Rep.-OH) found guilty and imprisoned for taking bribes, filing false tax returns, racketeering, and forcing his aides to perform chores at his farm in Ohio and on his houseboat in Washington.
  • George Ryan (R), Illinois Secretary of State convicted of racketeering and fraud 2003.
  • Scott Falwell (R) Aide to Gov. George Ryan - Convicted in 2003 of racketeering, mail fraud and obstruction of justice during Mr. Ryan’s tenure as secretary of state.
  • Alexandra Prokos (R) Also Aide to Illinois Gov. Ryan - Convicted of perjury charges involved in an expanding corruption scandal that had already led to the convictions of more than 50 people.
  • Jim Ellis (R) Fundraiser, indicted in 2004 for 13 counts of unlawful acceptance of a corporate political contribution, money laundering charges stemming from $190,000 in corporate funds that were sent to the RNC.
  • Bill Janklow (R - S.D. Representative) convicted and imprisoned for second-degree manslaughter, speeding, running a stop sign and reckless driving.
  • Jack Abramoff (R) Lobbyist - Indicted 2005 for wire fraud, conspiracy, with possible mob connections to murder. Pled Guilty. Cooperating with prosecutors.
  • Ernie Fletcher’s (Ky.-R). In 2005 Gov. Ernie Fletcher granted blanket pardons to everyone who has been or might be charged in the investigation of personnel practices in his administration but said he would not pardon himself. The special grand jury had indicted 13 current or former Fletcher administration officials: Acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert: Indicted, Deputy Secretary Jim Adams: Indicted, Administrative services commissioner Dan Druen: Indicted 6 counts Dick Murgatroyd, Fletcher’s deputy chief of staff: Indicted 19 counts Cory Meadows, executive director of transportation: Indicted 6 counts Darrell Brock Jr., commissioner of the Governor’s Office for Local Development: Indicted Basil Turbyfill, the Governor’s personnel adviser and deputy personnel secretary: Indicted, Bob Wilson, deputy personnel secretary: Indicted.
  • David_Safavian (R) Bush chief of staff of the United States General Services Administration (GSA), indicted and under arrest in 2005 for making false statements to a GSA ethics officer and the GSA-OIG, along with obstruction of a GSA-OIG investigation.” [1] Safavian is the first person arrested in the Abramoff-Reed Indian Gambling Scandal. Lobbying disclosure forms show that in 2004 Safavian was in the employment of Abdurahman Alamoudi, a fierce supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah.
  • In 2006, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R) became the first Ohio governor ever charged with a crime when prosecutors filed four misdemeanor counts against him for violations of state ethics laws stemming from his failure to report 52 gifts which included golf games, meals and professional sports tickets. He pleaded no contest to the charges and was fined $4,000, the maximum Brian Hicks (Taft’s Chief of Staff) : Pled Guilty Cheie Carroll (Hicks’ Exec. Sec’y.) : Pled Guilty
  • Tom Noe (R) Fundraiser, Indicted in 2005 for 53 felonies including theft and money laundering illegal money to the Bush Campaign.
  • Michael Scanlon (R) lobbyist, convicted and pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud in conjunction with Abramoff scandal.
  • Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R) pleads guilty to tax violations in 2005 and admits to taking $2.4 million in bribes. Sentenced to over 8 years.
  • Former Gov. John G. Rowland (R) sentenced to 1 year in prison and 4 months of house arrest in 2005 for selling his office in a corruption scandal.
  • Peter N. Ellef, Conn. Gov. Rowland’s co-chief of staff, pled guilty in 2005 to rigging a vote to award a $57 million construction deal to contractor William Tomasso.
  • Lewis “Scooter” Libby (R) indicted for and resigned due to obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury in the investigation into the leak of a covert CIA agent’s name. Libby allegedly says that he was authorized by Dick Cheney to illegally leak top secret information.
  • Sonny Perdue (R) Gov. of Georgia who championed ethics reform legislation for three years became Georgia’s first governor fined in 2005 by the State Ethics Commission for campaign violations. Pled Guilty.

When it comes to indictments and convictions and guilty pleas, it appears Republicans beat Democrats something like 7 to 1.


Posted by: David R. Remer at March 11, 2008 7:13 PM
Comment #247672

VV
Should have, Didn’t. We could go on and on about politicians who should have resigned but didn’t and that includes both parties. At least Spitzer admitted wrong doing, now we wait to see if he will or will not.

Posted by: KAP at March 11, 2008 7:25 PM
Comment #247674

David Remer,
Shouldn’t Tom Delay and his many and various crimes be on that list?

KAP,
It seems likely he will.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 11, 2008 7:31 PM
Comment #247684

VV
Delay is appropiately named. He’s managed to delay his trial thus far. He’s not been convicted of anything…yet.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 11, 2008 10:09 PM
Comment #247686

Stephen,

When I first saw this on the news I was sitting with a very influential Democrat. His response was facinating. “People who live in glass houses…” he said, “…shouldn’t throw stones.”

For myself, well, I was stunned, both by the ambivalent response of my friend and by the folly of a man who has made really powerful enemies by prosecuting precisely the sort of offense he is now accused of committing. How could he possibly think people would not be looking for any sort of dirt they could get on him, especially with his missteps in efforts to investigate his political foes in New York State? It’s hard enough to keep your hands clean in politics if all you do is associate with powerful people! So why throw $80,000 worth of fuel on the fire yourself?

For three years and change the Howard Dean-led Democratic Party has profitably made corruption in the Republican Party their principle cause-celebre. In so doing they did for the ‘holier than thou’ Republican Party what that party should have been doing for themselves. Now the most ‘holier than thou’ Democrat proves he, too, has hypocrisy issues.

Oh, yeah, that was something else my Democrat friend said. “What goes around comes around.”

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 11, 2008 10:28 PM
Comment #247687

Veritas Vincit,

Democrats don’t care if Delay is ever prosecuted. They got what they wanted when he was forced out of office. The Travis County D.A. who has made the case against him so far isn’t even running for reelection and it is very likely the (very expensive) case will be dropped when his successor takes office.

The Democrat who currently holds Delay’s seat has about as much chance of winning a second term, now that there will really be a Republican on the ballot, as I have of being elected Pope.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 11, 2008 10:38 PM
Comment #247689

David,

About your list- If I look for bugs in the grass under the light of a lamp post at night chances are good I will find them. If I change lamp posts the chances remain about the same.

Politicians are the same kind of people in both parties. They want power. It is we who are too stupid to realize the labels are just convenient artifices intended to make the one kind of creature look better. When one label no longer works the creatures put on the other label, and laugh at us all the way to the bank

And people tell me term limits are a bad idea….

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 11, 2008 10:59 PM
Comment #247691
Corzine is being paid to be the governor of NJ at the rate of One Dollar a year.

And?

I’m afraid I am missing your point…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 11, 2008 11:26 PM
Comment #247697

Lee, personally I am glad those in power do not fear throwing stones thought they themselves live in glass houses. If it were otherwise, corruption would be far, far more rampant than it is.

Spitzer accomplished a great deal of good for New York and New York’s public and investors going after the Gambini crime family and Wall Street snakes. There appears to be a consensus that he overstepped his bounds far more than once or twice, and his zealotry was not confined to adversaries of the public but, to his own as well, with unseemly and probably illegal tactics.

But, then, if we only elected perfect humans, we would have no government at all. Spitzer has outlived his public usefulness as a public servant and he should now go the way of his predecessors whose imperfections outweighed their public contributions.

As for hypocrisy, there are far greater crimes against the public, but not against political adversaries, apparently. No political party is immune to corruption of and by some of its members, and your point is quite valid there.

But, the concentration in the GOP in so short a time is not insignificant. Nor, is the correlation with the GOP’s reverence and love for money and profit achieved through personal initiative, which is philosophically distinct from the Democratic Party’s reverence and love for individual dignity and equality through shared responsibility regardless of merit or initiative. Perhaps this difference philosophically accounts for the difference in concentration of indicted, guilty, and convicted corruptors of public and political offices between the parties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 11, 2008 11:49 PM
Comment #247702
When it comes to indictments and convictions and guilty pleas, it appears Republicans beat Democrats something like 7 to 1.t

I call BS on that number. Sounds like you pulled it out of thin air.

If you’re going back five years and including scandals related to aides, Republicans in state governments, and lobbyists with Republican ties, that is first of all a very incomplete and unscientific list. There are a lot more than that—dozens times more. And dozens times more Democratic scandals as well.

You list 17 convictions of people with ties to Republicans. Not good for Republicans, but if you’re saying 7-1, then you’d have to show that there haven’t even been 3 Democratic scandals over the same period. Which is bunk.

What’s more, there has been one conviction or plea of a Bush administration official. Libby. And how many were there during Clinton’s administration? 33. Does that mean that Democrats are 33-1 more corrupt? No, but such is the worth of such unscientific off the cuff analysis.

Posted by: Liam at March 12, 2008 12:10 AM
Comment #247709

VV

He can work for $1 a year because he is already almost as rich as John Kerry.

When people get big piles of money, they really don’t care much about getting a lot more. They want what their money can buy. Often that is power, which is what Spitzer, Corzine or Soros are buying with their billions. This is not always bad. Bill Gates or Warren Buffet are using their money to try to improve the world. Many rich Dems, however, use their money for politics, which is really a zero sum game.

In the Spitzer case he also buys membership in the Emperor’s club so that he can buy girls from the same reliable source no matter where he travels. I guess it’s good being the king.

Posted by: Jack at March 12, 2008 1:26 AM
Comment #247710

Liam said: “that is first of all a very incomplete and unscientific list. There are a lot more than that—dozens times more. And dozens times more Democratic scandals as well.”

Prove It! Provide the list here. You won’t, because you can’t produce a comparable list in the same time period for Democrats.

Your comment protests too much and produces too little.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 12, 2008 1:36 AM
Comment #247715

David, I’m not going to even try to “prove” anything to someone who is obviously making up statistics (7-1) and who pretends to know what he’s talking about while totally ignoring and not even looking at Democratic scandals in his figures. And who scours around the entire country to include lobbyists and state official and can still only come up with 17 Republican convictions over more than five years. Even while including measly convictions over things like reckless driving!

If I were in your place, I could have easily come up with over a 100 Republican-linked convictions. Problem is that you don’t do your homework but still try to present yourself as an authority.

There were 14 individuals convicted in Whitewater alone, and that’s before we even start with Mark Rich, the other corrupt and convicted cronies or the crimes Clinton commited himself. Google it. Do your own research. I’m not going to do it for you unless you pay me a nice salary. I’d do the research myself to try and dispute an even semi-believable point on your part, but what you’ve offered is just transparently bogus.

33 Clinton officals convicted of crimes. Compared to one Bush official. 33 vs 1. And some people have the unbelievable nerve to talk about Republican corruption.

Posted by: Liam at March 12, 2008 2:07 AM
Comment #247725

This took about 4 minutes:

    Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) bribery scandal (2002)
    California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-CA) was accused on October 10, 2007 of spending tens of thousands of dollars of campaign money for personal expenses, such as $1800 for a meal at a Parisian restaurant and $5000 for wine from Bordeaux
    California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley (D-CA) was accused of laundering campaign funds during his race for Secretary of State.
    California Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-CA) was probed by the FBI in 2004 of his business relationships. In 2006, Perata accepted money from Indian tribes while sponsoring a bill to expand Indian gaming. He also was criticized when he called those who opposed giving illegal immigrants drivers licenses and a guest worker program with a path to citizenship “crackers.” In May 2007, the East Bay Express, an alternative weekly in the Bay Area, published a two-part investigation of Perata, in which he manipulated liberal causes, such as antiwar sentiment, for his own personal and political gains. He was also accused of using campaign donations to support an indulgent lifestyle, and corruption
    Florida Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer (D-FL) jailed on suspicions of electoral fraud in March 2005; charges were dismissed in April 2005 and he returned to office. Ernest Page served as interim mayor while Dyer was facing charges. In 2006, Ernest Page (D) was arrested and convicted for bribery and official misconduct while in the mayor’s office; he was sentenced to 42 months in prison.
    Florida, Senator Gary Siplin (D-FL) was convicted of third-degree felony and grand theft of $5,000 or more for using the state employees for his election campaign (2006)
    Georgia Congressman David Scott (D-GA) has expent $52,000 to $344,000 to himself, friends, family and business from campaigns every election cycle since 2002. Shortly after the 2006 election, he was served with an IRS tax lien for over $153,000.
    Illinois Chicago alderman Percy Giles (D) sentenced to 3 years in prison for racketeering, extortion, among other things in 2000.
    Illinois Chicago alderman Arenda Troutman (D-IL) was arrested and charged with bribery in 2007.
    Illinois Chicago City clerk Jim Laski (D) pleaded guilty to pocketing bribes for steering city business to trucking companies (2006).
    Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards (D-LA) convicted of extortion (2000)
    Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-MD) telephoning Maryland Court of Appeals Judges ex parte, trying to lobby them not to overturn the unconstitutional redistricting plan he had championed (2002)
    Maryland Former Maryland state senator Thomas L. Bromwell (D-MD) was indicted in 2005 on 30 counts of federal racketeering, corruption, and fraud charges, in alleged conspiracy to wield influence to benefit construction company Poole and Kent, in exchange for concealed payments and other favors
    Michigan Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D-MI) allegedly, along with Chief-of-Staff Christine Beatty, fired two police officers for investigating claims that the Kilpatrick used his security unit to cover up their extramarital affairs, in which they both allegedly lied under oath during a whistle-blower’s lawsuit in 2007. He was also alleged to have used his city-issued credit card for expensive travel, his city-leased Lincoln Navigator for his wife and held wild parties involving his security team and strippers at the his mansion through his first 4 years at mayor (2008)
    Minnesota Minneapolis city council members Brian Herron (D) (taped by FBI accepting $10,000 bribe in 2001) and Joe Biernat (accepting free plumbing work on house)
    New Jersey Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey (D-NJ) sex and corruption scandal (2004)
    Tennessee State Senators John Ford (D-TN), Kathryn Bowers (D-TN)) and Ward Crutchfield (D-TN) are accused of bribery among other charges in Operation Tennessee Waltz scandal (2005)
    New Jersey former State Senator Joseph Coniglio (D-NJ) indicted for abusing state grants, mail fraud and extortion(2008)
    New Jersey State Senator and former Newark Mayor Sharpe James (D-NJ) James is accused of numerous corrpution charges including, mail fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud and using city money to boost his salary and pension and to pay for his numerous sexual affairs. (2007)
    New Jersey State Senator Wayne Bryant (D-NJ) pension padding, no-show jobs, mail fraud, wire fraud and bribery (2007)
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 12, 2008 3:26 AM
Comment #247727

This is very enlightening. I thought, “Of course, Dems really know that their party members are more likely to be involved in corruption.” I am surprised to find out that they do not know this simple fact.

I think the reason is clear on this blog. Dem posters quickly jump on accusations and then when nothing comes of them, they continue to count them.. The pattern is clear. Dems accuse more often. The press write more about it. Dems remember the front page story but not the little one on page nine where it says charges were dropped.

Excellent example is their myth making in Florida and Ohio. There is lots of smoke, no fire. I think the ACTUAL number of Clinton folks v Bush folks actually convicted is interesting. 33 Clinton and 1 for Bush. The Dems are like the guy who almost fought the great chicken of Bristol.

Re the emperor of New York – this also shows the big difference in our methods. When a Republican is accused, we usually say that we should wait until the investigation is over and then if he is guilty we don’t defend him anymore. Thus Libby committed perjury. Perjury is illegal. The only mitigating circumstance is that he committed perjury about which there was no underlying crime ever charged.

On the other hand, when a leading Dem ADMITS to a particularly egregious betrayal and repeated crime, Dems try to make a list of Republicans.

Not all of the Dems did it. RickIl, for example took the right tack.

This is a Dem scandal. There have been scandals on both sides, but this one is yours. It is Dem sleaze. Does it show a culture of corruption among Dems? I suppose not any more than among other parties. Remember this for next time.

Posted by: Jack at March 12, 2008 7:28 AM
Comment #247731

All

I have found it quite interesting and revealing to read all the accusation and comparisons in the preceding posts. What you all have done is confirm what we all know to be true. That power corrupts and attracts the corrupted. I doubt that any of these lists are complete. I would be willing to bet money that if one were to break these lists down into times of empowerment by each individual party we would find a correlation. With the possible exceptions of Chicago and Florida where corruption and scandal is the norm 12 months a year no matter who has empowerment.

In recognition that our public figure employees are most likely corrupt or at the very least have associations with the corrupt, I find it a bit silly, shallow and telling that all we can find to do about the situation is argue over which party is the most corrupt or unethical.

I hate to be the guy that kills all the fun. But I am wondering just how serious the rest of you find this situation to be. It seems to me that corruption or accusations of corruption are so prevalent in modern day politics that people have become accustomed to and accepting of that fact as just another day in public service.

I personally find it appalling that so many people seem to accept issues of ethics and corruption so lightly now days. While revelations of corruption or ethics abuse must be devastating for those involved, it seems as though it has turned into entertainment for the rest of us. What do these revelations say about those of us on the sidelines watching the show. Have we become so dis-enfranchised from government that we no longer have any real effect on what happens there?

I am genuinely curious about how all of you here, setting political biases aside, genuinely feel about this situation.

Posted by: RickIL at March 12, 2008 9:54 AM
Comment #247734

The most important reform proposed in the 1994 congressional campaign was term limits. It was defeated, predictably, in the Supreme Court. That was for national offices, of course, but the point is that corruption runs rampant when politicians of any party perceive they can make a lifetime career of politics.

Spitzer is not a Democrat problem. He is a symptom of the kind of people our system attracts to political power. We attract people who do politics as a kind of grand theater-in-the-round. They play a part intended to impress the hapless masses while they aggrandize themselves and comfortably flaunt the rules the common folk must abide by.

As a people we should be seriously asking ourselves how we can do a better job of making a country in which the rule of law is not just an ideal. We should not pretend to ourselves that the most powerful among us are subject to the same laws we are subject to when our system so clearly attracts Larry Craigs, Eliot Spitzers, Bill Clintons, and Mark Foleys to high office. Are those folks going to police themselves? Hell no. It is up to us.

So far we aren’t doing our job.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 12, 2008 10:37 AM
Comment #247735

VULTURES

Posted by: Dawn at March 12, 2008 11:16 AM
Comment #247736

Rick-

Have we become so dis-enfranchised from government that we no longer have any real effect on what happens there?

Yes! And I think it is one of the unintended consequences of American styled liberalism; the more power that goes to Washington the greater the disenfranchisement of the individual and the greater the influence of the organized (special interests), the wealthy, the corporations and the corrupt.

Posted by: George in SC at March 12, 2008 11:28 AM
Comment #247753

The problem is not that those who are corrupt, or corruptable, are attracted to power, that is just the nature of humanity.

The problem is that we give so much power to someone who can use force legally against us. We centralize power over ourselves and put it in the hands of human beings and get upset when they use that power and it corrupts them as a result. All because we don’t want to retain that control over ourselves because we would then have to accept responsibility over our own lot in life, not feel better about it by blaming someone else and not doing anything to fix it.

Take back the power over your own life and this sort of nonsense will be minimized and in the end inconsequential.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 12, 2008 2:16 PM
Comment #247756

George in SC:

Amen

Posted by: Beirut Vet at March 12, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #247760
The most important reform proposed in the 1994 congressional campaign was term limits. It was defeated, predictably, in the Supreme Court.

Wow, I’m going to defend a conservative Court for a second time. We have term limits it is called the vote. Voters are in part the blame, if they do not exercise their right to vote responsibly.

Posted by: Cube at March 12, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #247763

Jack, thanks for “redistributing the wealth to the poor but sexy part of the population”
Old line prosperous suburban communities here are in fact becoming more Democratic. Rumsfeld could never be elected now in the town where he was born , although Rpblcns were very prominent there in my school days. One reason for this is that no communitties are allowed to be “restricted” to “gentile persons of the pure white race”, like they were in the 1950s where I grew up. Wealthy Rpblcns tend to live in newer communities that are either gated or have a large acreage requirement.

People harping on NAFTA should read what Canadians have to say on the subject. They feel we are taking advantage of them on oil and timber. It’s not a one way street, where we always have to get what we want.

People’s lists of criminals don’t include any Bushes, like Georege W. Bush, stock fraud, Jeb Bush, election fraud, and con-man Neal Bush, who has his Spitzer type fun in Costa Rica.

“a huge scandal and so widely heard about in the Colonial Media that Jefferson won reelection”, is a statement exhibiting complete lack of knowledge of the subject.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 12, 2008 3:16 PM
Comment #247765

Jack-
Wealth-creating? Republican policies have been wealth destructive. They have raised public debt, helped finance our competitors at our expense, created one bubble after another through the loosening of restrictions on speculation, encouraged predatory lending and credit practices, encouraged inaccurate accounting and dangerous conflicts of interest within the business world, and made America more dependent on a product that’s been artificially made more expensive.

To put it plainly, it’s not just bad luck this country’s in economic trouble after Eight years of Bush and the generation ascendancy of the Republicans. Money isn’t getting into enough places in our economy and staying there where it’s needed.

Don’t talk to me about the road to serfdom, not with the labor practices your people have encouraged. When people redefine positions so they can avoid paying them overtime, that’s serfdom. When they raise the salaries of executives, but not employees, but expect more and harder work from them nonetheless, that’s serfdom. When you, who once could work your entire career in one job, end up laid-off every other year, we can talk about serfdom.

The Wealth Creation has stayed with the wealthy. Most everybody else is relying on credit, if not drowning in it.

Lee Jamison-
What are you more concerned about, Lee? The game, where “what goes around comes around?” or the reality, where officials who are corrupt need to be rooted out and exposed?

I’m fine with Spitzer resigning. I want DeLay prosecuted. And no, Texas-22 will likely not fall back into Republican hands, because the woman who lost the seat the last time is your candidate once again. Democrats will turn out to be corrupt, of course, but Democrats are less protective of those accused of corruption. Tom DeLay is a good example of how protective Republicans have gotten over their power, with him getting indicted, yet remaining in power for quite some time afterwards.

Republicans have a tendency to think the media’s out to get somebody when these kinds of things happen. Democrats are much less defensive. It didn’t take long for the consensus on Spitzer to become “resignation”. Why? Because we’re not lacking in self interest, and we know from difficult experience that political losses can be the price for political survivalism. The longer you keep an embarrassment like that in office, the worse the fallout.

I will seek to get Republicans who get caught acting corruptly out because what they do is wrong. I seek the same fate for Democrats not only for the same reasons, but for the added reason that they can end up representing us poorly to everybody else.

Liam-
Trouble is, there’s also the factor that there was a bit of an “above the law” mentality for the Bush White House, with the Bush DOJ often acting as a politic adjunct to the White House. The Clinton Administration had a tendency to throw corrupt officials under the bus more often.

Rhinehold-
The Parties each have their share of corrupt people. One main difference, though, is the degree to which Republicans institutionalized theirs, systematized it.

If you asked me, though, if Democrats were capable of the same, I’d say yes, if we let them. We cannot deal with these people passively, if we hope for any kind of reform. We can’t just ask for reform, then sit back and complain about how intractible the problem is. Power will attract those who seek power’s rewards, both politician and lobbyists. Only vigilance on the part of our citizens will keep the chronic problem of corruption under control.

George in SC-
Corporate power grew considerably in the aftermath of the Industrial revolution. The Progressive movement, the modern Liberal movement are a response to that increase in power, and the trouble it brought.

To put it plainly, each kind of politics, conservative or liberal, results in one sort of thing being centralized somewhere, and another thing becoming distributed. In practice, this gets even more complicated, because people don’t necessarily operate strictly according to simplified visions of politics.

In practice, power still has become centralized under the conservatives, it’s just gone more and more to companies more accountable to stockholder and their own greed than to the average person. With government, the body in question can be held accountable, with effort.

No political philosophy can be left to itself. The question is where you want power, why, and what’s the real result of having it there.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 12, 2008 3:18 PM
Comment #247766

Cube,

You and I have to stop meeting like this.

I want term limits in the form of a Constitutional amendment. Sure, we could do it now. We don’t.

Once it was in place we would at least get more people involved in government and turn them over more often. My hope is that gets us a little less ingrained (and empowered) cynicism.

I’d love to see some debate on how term limits supposedly potentially hurt us.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 12, 2008 3:25 PM
Comment #247768

Stephen,

“Democrats will turn out to be corrupt, of course, but Democrats are less protective of those accused of corruption. Tom DeLay is a good example of how protective Republicans have gotten over their power, with him getting indicted, yet remaining in power for quite some time afterwards.”

What?!!! Does the name William Jefferson ring a bell to you? How about Alcie Hastings? Never mind a woman currently running for president whose husband skated on perjury charges as bad as those for which at least fifty people were in federal prison in 1998. Are you not aware that Dan Rostenkowski held on to his congressional seat even after he had been convicted AND IMPRISONED? I could go on….

Are you sure the “Democrats” of which you write hail from this universe and not some alternate one?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 12, 2008 3:42 PM
Comment #247769

Term limits are a passive measure.

What we really need is a vigorous press and a vigilant population.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 12, 2008 3:47 PM
Comment #247771

Lee Jamison-
When the charges were made public, he was knocked from all leadership positions. He was convicted and imprisoned, I believe, after he retired from political life. William Jefferson lost his top positions, and Alcee Hastings failed to gain the top position of the Intelligence committee because of this shadow over his career.

Rostenkowski was swept aside with much of the Democratic Congress back in 1994. We paid the price for the corruption in our ranks. It was a Democratic majority that impeached and removed Hastings from office; he still could run, though, because he was not barred from office by the terms of that impeachment. William Jefferson and him both sought and gained re-election, but the reality of the situation is, there’s little anybody can do to deal with these races at the district level.

As for Clinton? The political overtones went a long way to convincing most Democrats that he should not be forced to resign. That said, Democrats are well aware of the consequences of scandal, having paid for it greivously in the past few years. We’re not really inclined to pay more for it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 12, 2008 4:01 PM
Comment #247780

Man, what happened to Remer after Rhinehold called his bluff?

Posted by: Duane-o at March 12, 2008 4:34 PM
Comment #247781

Stephen,

The Democratic Party supported Jefferson against a Democratic primary opponent after it was obvious he had taken bribes! It took the outrage of the public at the fact that Hastings was the presumptive chairman of the Intelligence Committee to make sure the party would not thus empower him!

What you said was that Democrats do a better job than Republicans at policing themselves. I think that is simply a faith statement on your part. Whistling past the graveyard does no credit to either of us.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 12, 2008 4:35 PM
Comment #247786

George

Yes! And I think it is one of the unintended consequences of American styled liberalism; the more power that goes to Washington the greater the disenfranchisement of the individual and the greater the influence of the organized (special interests), the wealthy, the corporations and the corrupt.

Why do you perceive this as a consequence of liberalism? Are you implying that the effects of a more conservative leaning nation would have been different with regards to ethics abuses in congress? I am not being argumentive here, I am simply trying to understand how one would arrive at this belief.

Posted by: RickIL at March 12, 2008 5:24 PM
Comment #247791

Rhinehold

Take back the power over your own life and this sort of nonsense will be minimized and in the end inconsequential.

I understand your stand on removing governmental influence and control from things like entitlements, health care, welfare etc. In a perfect world I would love to see all individuals as being self reliant. If we remove government from all aspects of our personal lives and rely on the honesty and generosity of the people to help and fund those who need it, what protections would we have against those who would take advantage of our generosity?

Not being a history buff I can not be specific as to why we are in the state of reliance we are in today. It seems to me that as our nation has grown and things like automobiles, airplanes, fuels, toxins, diseases, bad foods, etc grew exponentially along with us. Consequently there also grew a greater need for oversight and regulation to protect us from dangerous and adverse situations.

Are we to leave it to the corporations and special interests of this country to act in the best interests of us who buy their services and products? Are we going to simply rely on them to be responsible when it comes to safety issues such as waste disposal, automobiles and workplace concerns? How will the masses be fairly represented when coming up against these huge conglomerates and corporations? And by what means?

It all seems like a bit of a catch 22 to me. Without government intervention we have no protections. With it we get corruption and special interest rules and regulations designed to favor those we need protection from. Maybe I am being naive but I don’t think it is asking too much to expect those we elect into office to behave lawfully, in good conscience, and in the best interests of those who elect them.

Posted by: RickIL at March 12, 2008 6:16 PM
Comment #247794

Lee Jamison-
We’re talking past each other.

Politicians, being what they are, often do things in the name of power politics that seem disgusting to the average person. The real question is, what’s the party rank and file’s response?

Democrats keep very close watch, especially nowadays in the days of the blogosphere, on the politicians who represent them. If they support telecom immunity, vote for something they don’t like, they will hear about it. The Democratic base is active in fighting back against what they perceive as the weaknesses and the problems of the party. I haven’t seen near that much of a response from the Republicans.

The Republicans are still working a top-down system which values loyalty to the Washington leaders and to the party platform over people fitting the party to them at a local level and having that influence who becomes a leader in Washington.

Only when the Republicans take ownership of their politicians will they start along the path to recovery.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 12, 2008 6:49 PM
Comment #247799

Stephen,

I’ll grant you one thing. Republicans are not presently voting their ideals. They are voting out of fear, nothing better. John McCain is the Republican who could make Republicans love George Bush once again.

That’ll be a hell of a thing.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at March 12, 2008 7:48 PM
Comment #247801

Lee:

Democrats don’t care if Delay is ever prosecuted. They got what they wanted when he was forced out of office.

I don’t know a single Democrat who doesn’t care whether Delay is prosecuted or not. I know I certainly would like him to have to pay for his many crimes. Same goes for the crimes of the Bush Administration.

Rhinehold:

I’m afraid I am missing your point…

Corzine may have paid out a lot of his own money to get himself elected, but New Jersey is getting a real sweet deal out of not having to pay their governor a regular salary.

Jack:

When people get big piles of money, they really don’t care much about getting a lot more.

That’s wonderful news. Then they won’t mind it a bit when we raise taxes on the wealthiest segment of Americans.

“a huge scandal and so widely heard about in the Colonial Media that Jefferson won reelection”, is a statement exhibiting complete lack of knowledge of the subject.

Snark, Snark, Snark. Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong?
From your own posted link:

1804 Thomas Jefferson is easily re-elected president. The Callender exposé is not significant in the campaign.

Stephen Daughtery, great replies in this thread.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 12, 2008 8:27 PM
Comment #247803

I have respect for Spitzer taking full responsibility for his actions and resigning his office. But I think it’s time we all woke up to the fact that neither party is without fault. This petty back and forth aqusations really serve no purpose but only to make each party look foolish. I can imagine what people in other countries are thinking about our leadership and saying no wonder they can’t get nothing done. Enough of this “MY PARTY IS BETTER THAN YOUR PARTY, NO MY PARTY IS BETTER THAN YOURS.” It’s time both parties got together and started working to get this country back to where it should be.

Posted by: KAP at March 12, 2008 9:01 PM
Comment #247822

VV
I didn’t say anything re Jefferson, so I am not the one tired of being wrong.

Re taxes, I don’t really care if taxes go up on the wealthiest Americans, but it tends to be bad for economic growth. Beyond that, I think there is a moral hazard when a small segment of the population pays the bulk of the taxes and the majority pays little. The richest now pay almost all Federal taxes. The lower 50% pays little and the lowest 20% actually gets more back in credits than they pay in taxes.

It is always dangerous when people spend other people’s money or money they do not earn. It is even worse when envy sets in.

Posted by: Jack at March 13, 2008 2:13 AM
Comment #247831

Jack-
Look, over the past generation, the rich have been the almost exclusive beneficiaries of the real-dollar increases in wealth. Their pay has gone up astronomically, the average person’s wages have stagnated. Before you look to taxes for the reason people resent the upper class, look to this fact, to the fact that much of the economic expansion of the last decade or so has remained at the top.

And this despite the fact that people are worked harder than ever before, for less benefits, with worse healthcare, and with greater debtloads required to keep up with the cost of living. Despite strong reductions in inflation, the price of all the products that matter has gone up.

And for what reasons? Because of genuine supply problems? Not necessarily. All too often, it’s because traders and speculators have bid up prices continually. Oil might be 70$ a barrel, if left to actual supply and demand. Homes would be cheaper if people bought them to live in them. Electricity would cost less, require less infrastructural improvements and be more energy efficient if power companies weren’t rolling power across the grid, shutting down generators to artificially raise the price, and all that garbage.

What’s dangerous is an economy where, like Lincoln once said where one guy works harder for his bread, but the other guy eats up the gains.

The system, as run by Republican economic elitists is not merely fundamentally unfair, it’s also inordinately efficient. That is, it creates too much deadweight in the form of debt, too much destructive instability from cooked books distorting the market picture, forces prices too high beyond what supply and demand would merit, and wages for the bulk of the population too low. If things were more balanced, less keyed towards the economic elite and those engaged in non-productive economic activity (speculators), people would not feel taken advantage of, would have less reason to resent the rich.

The real moral hazard here is a system which doesn’t reward hard work consistently, which doesn’t reward experience, which doesn’t reward loyalty. Such a system puts stress on a person trying to get ahead honestly, and acts as a disincentive for hard work. If people gain less and less from hard work, creative work, efficient work, if they’re treated like hired help, they’ll lose motivation, and just do what they can to get by. You can’t get something for nothing. You can’t gain productivity without paying for it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 13, 2008 8:00 AM
Comment #247847

Stephen

People work fewer hours today than they did a generation ago and they make more money. Incomes of the lower half of the population have not grown as fast as those of the upper half, but they have not stagnated. The median income is around 30% higher today than it was in 1965, ADJUSTED for inflation. The median doesn’t tell you much about the very poor or very rich, but clearly the guys near the middle have done well.

Beyond that, the income distribution is very dynamic. In the last 25 years, I have been in every one of the income quintiles. This is very common. Frankly if you stay in the lower quintile your whole live you much be lazy or stupid … or very – very – unlucky.

AND the growing inequality has been a worldwide phenomenon present though Democratic and Republican administrators. Inequality increased very rapidly under Clinton and actually decreased in the first term of Bush. Why? Because the economic downturn destroyed wealth. That is the way we can make things more equal, but pulling people down. Do you want that?

Finally the poor don’t work very much. The lowest 20% of the income distribution hardly works at all and the numbers of hours worked increases with income. Lincoln was talking about a time that was very different than today.

I believe excessive inequality is a bad thing socially. I don’t like rich people like Spitzer or Soros who can be so arrogant because they are so rich. But remedying the situation is not so easy. The rich already pay a much bigger % of the total tax than they did a generation ago. Rates are lower; actual tax paid is higher. The tax system has little effect on inequality except if it is so onerous that it makes the country poorer and takes down everybody.

Remember the simple example. If you have two unemployed men, you have equality. Give one of them a job and inequality explodes.

Re rewarding work etc – I have found that life is not perfectly fair, but it is correlated. My pay has been related to my efforts and skills and I try to make sure the people I work with are similarly compensated. But you have a big problem beyond pay – CHOICE. A couple generations ago, people had fewer choices. Today a person can choose to invest and make money. I have friends who invested and now are well-off and others who pissed it away and have little, even with similar incomes. I also have friends who tried the get rich quick things and lost their money. Choices create inequality.

Re productivity - the growth of American productivity is the envy of the world. We are one of the only big developed countries to have such growth and we are still the most productive country in the world. Whatever we have been doing for the last 30 years may not be perfect, but it has been working out okay.

I am honestly perplexed by these arguments. All the statistics I read tell me things are better. My own experience coming from a unskilled working class family has been that people and firms WANT to help you if you are reasonably smart and willing to work. Investing in stocks has been as easy as falling off a log since the middle 1980s. It is impossible to have lost money if you invested regularly and prudently during from then until now. I have been all over the U.S. and driven coast to coast five times. People seem prosperous. Yet Democrats tell me that we live in this hellish place w/o hope or opportunity.

Life present challenges and opportunities. Both have been easily available for the past generation. My story shows that. John Edwards has a similar story with even greater success. Obama and his wife show that it is possible for people of diverse background to make it big. Life is good for those who understand it.

Posted by: Jack at March 13, 2008 11:17 AM
Comment #247852

“a huge scandal and so widely heard about in the Colonial Media… Snark, Snark, Snark. Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong?”
1802 being in the colonial period, right? Don’t you ever get tired of posting misinformation. Also, this scandal not only informed abolitionism, but the women’s rights movement, you know, like in men owning women. I would think that someone claiming to be a feminist would know that.

Spare the snark, spoil the remark, but how would you characterize these remarks of yours?

“Hillary Clinton IS a monster, no loyalty, willful ignorance, a big bucket of desperation, with no dignity or class, the Clinton Entity, Queen Hillary, no intelligence or judgment stupidly, wouldn’t have sunk so low. If she was thinking clearly, nasty desperation seems to be all she is living on, having not an ounce of class, and being such an obvious angry crank, corruption, cronyism, despicable sh*t, so completely desperate, so mindlessly petty and egotistical, stinking pile of BS, a scorned woman with an ego problem”

Posted by: ohrealy at March 13, 2008 11:41 AM
Comment #247870

“People work fewer hours today than they did a generation ago”

This is a very misleading statement, considering that this was a transition period for families. Woman have in greater numbers transitioned from being a housewife to co-worker.

Besides the data I’ve seen is that work hours have actually increased during the past generation, but by only a few percentage points. But consider that many woman are part-time workers, and it is easy to see how the data can be skewered.

Posted by: Cube at March 13, 2008 2:44 PM
Comment #247873

Big spender Spitzer spent a little time with :
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0312084kristen2.html

Back to 1804, Jefferson was elected by 162 people out of a population of about 6 million.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 13, 2008 3:34 PM
Comment #247874

Jack:

VV I didn’t say anything re Jefferson, so I am not the one tired of being wrong.

Pardon me, Jack. I forgot to put up the attribution on that quote.

Re taxes, I don’t really care if taxes go up on the wealthiest Americans,

Excellent. According to you, wealthy Americans don’t care about constantly getting more money, and obviously none of us really cares if they’ll be made to pay more than they are currently — which is a lower percentage than the middle class has been paying.

but it tends to be bad for economic growth.

Actually the opposite has been true historically.

ohrealy, excuse me for not giving you attribution previously.
You wrote:

1802 being in the colonial period, right?

Not quite, but Washington wasn’t even elected to be our first president until 1789, so I tend to think of the Colonial/Revolutionary period lasting until that year. But since you’re desperate to split hairs in an absurd attempt to score a pedantic point, I’ll willingly amend that 1804 was indeed fifteen years after that period had ended, and change it to The Early American period.

Don’t you ever get tired of posting misinformation.

Point scored — are you happy now?

Also, this scandal not only informed abolitionism, but the women’s rights movement, you know, like in men owning women.

I never claimed that there was no such thing as the press in those days, nor did I mean to imply that no information ever managed to spread in the early years of this nation. I said they didn’t have a media such as ours that could affect politics in a very immediate way all over the thirteen original states, the way that politics in this country are now affected by our modern 24/7 media.

I would think that someone claiming to be a feminist would know that.

Indeed I am aware of that muckraking of all kinds have always caused huge ripple effects to occur throughout our history, and that we’ve continued to make this nation a better place for it.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 13, 2008 3:37 PM
Comment #247875

Oh, forgot to answer this:

how would you characterize these remarks of yours?

As my opinions. Even if you don’t like them.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 13, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #247877

I know Dems like to talk about hard workin’ Americans workin’ harder all the time (Dem candidates always leave the g off the end of their words when talking to and about workers. Listen to Hillary in Ohio. They think it give them the common touch), but it just ain’t so.

Actually, the hours worked have declined. How much they have declined depends on how you measure it. BLS reports a decline since 1964 of only .5%. Current Employment Statistics measure this at 11%. The BLS figures do not make a distinction between paid and unpaid work. This BLS study explains it.

It is not a surprise if the hours worked have stayed about the same or gone down. The argument however is HOW MUCH HAVE THEY GONE DOWN? Hours worked clearly have not gone up. People are not working harder. I am certain that the physical difficulty of jobs has declined with the increasing automation. This is probably one of the causes of our big challenge now – obesity. My father worked 60 hours a week on average. So do I, but my work is a lot less physically demanding.

VV

It depends on how high the rates go. High tax countries tend to have slower growth. Even in the U.S. high tax states grow slower than lower tax states. How you tax also makes a difference. Most developed countries now have lower capital gains taxes than we do and lower corporate income taxes. Ireland’s corporate income tax rate is only 12%, which is one reason that country has enjoyed such economic growth in recent years. This is a big change from a generation ago when we were the leader in pro-growth tax policies.

Besides that, however, if you push almost all the burden onto the rich, you much essentially exempt large numbers of non-rich Americans from paying taxes. This is not a healthy thing to do. Everybody should make a net contribution to our common good. It is a shame if someone is too poor to do his/her part, but we should not spread this to more than half the population.

Posted by: Jack at March 13, 2008 4:29 PM
Comment #247878

It is interesting to see people wonder why we are losing jobs and businesses to overseas locations and then those same people wonder why we don’t tax tohse companies more…

I also find it interesting that it was a Democrat that signed into law the government basically taking all wealth left behind by an emigrating citizen.

Further, it has been pointed out in the past that if we eliminate corporate taxes, 99% of the businesses asked where they would build their new plant or office answered ‘The United States’. It makes it pretty clear WHY the jobs are leaving…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 13, 2008 5:07 PM
Comment #247879

Speaking of taxes, I just got mine back. Since I’m very, very middle class (married, house, 2 kids)I figured I’d compare my situation to that of someone who is rich. Enter Mr. Obama’s 2006 1040.

Mr. Obama had an AGI of $983k and a Federal income tax of $277k. His effective Federal income tax rate was thus 28%. Cheney’s 2006 is on the web; his rate was 29%.

I did a little better in 2007; the same computation for me was 8%. I’m sure Cheney and Obama did better than me on the FICA/Med as it is capped, but I think the benefits are equally capped?? I pay the full 15% FICA and Medicare combined when you factor in my company’s contribution.

Obviously this is totally anecdotal, but the differences in terms of percentages and real dollars (trust me on that one) are staggering. How is it then, that the rich are paying less than the middle class?


Rick-

My comment above is not a statement about conservatism but rather an observation about federalism and the balance between federal and state governments. One of the “tools” of liberalism has been the empowering of the federal government as a vehicle for solutions aimed at “the common good.” The downside of this approach, however, is that when you expand the population called the common good, you dilute the influence that any one individual has on the governance. As one of a group of 10 I have more influence in the political process than as one of a group of 100 (or 300m). Stephen seems to think that the netroots is a good counterweight to this problem, but I’ve yet to see the results. Instead the typical solution is to organize into somewhat homogeneous groups, either by region, race, issue, occupation, industry, etc… and try to influence governance. Of course you have to try and influence the group first, further disenfranchising the individual from the political process.

I’m lucky, I’m friends with 2 staffers and at know one of my Congressman socially. I can at least talk to him about my concerns. That pales in comparison with the wealthy that can donate $2500 to his election, or the PAC that can donate $2,500 to him and every other Congressman in his Party.

Posted by: George in SC at March 13, 2008 5:27 PM
Comment #247892

Jack, Rhinehold, and George,
The middle class is carrying too much of the burden, and the wealthy aren’t paying nearly enough.

According to Warren Buffet:

2007:

Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner.

Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”

Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent. Mr Buffett told his audience, which included John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley, and Alan Patricof, the founder of the US branch of Apax Partners, that US government policy had accentuated a disparity of wealth that hurt the economy by stifling opportunity and motivation.

2008:

This morning, March 3, 2008, Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest persons in the world, is the guest of CNBC. The Oracle of Omaha is discussing a wide variety of subjects, including the distribution of the Federal income tax burden. Once again, he has questioned the fairness of the Federal tax burden, pointing out that he pays a rate of about 17% while all the people that work for him in his office pay over 30% when Social Security taxes are included. He believes that the tax burden should fall heaviest on the group of taxpayers, like himself, that have received the greatest benefit from the opportunities afforded them by America. Here are the numbers that support his position.

Below is income and tax statistics for 2005, the latest year for which detailed information is available, based on actual IRS tax returns for that year.

(DOLLARS IN MILLIONS)

Bottom 75% Top 25%

Total Income $2,438,503 $5,069,455

Total Fed Tax $ 130,944 $ 803,797

Tax % 5.4 15.8

# of Tax Returns 99,518,727 33,458,728

The average income for the bottom 75% of tax filers in 2005 was $24,508. The 99,518,727 tax returns in this category covered slightly over 200 million Americans, men, women and children, two-thirds of the entire population. For the 66,305,818 tax returns in the bottom 50% of tax filers, the average income was $14,572.

If we would had eliminated Federal Income taxes on the bottom 75% of tax filers in 2005, they would have had almost $131 billion in additional income in that year, providing them with funds to purchase healthcare, save for their retirement, or educate their children. Based on Buffet’s suggestion, that $131 billion would have been added to the tax bills of the top 25% of tax filers, raising their average tax rate from 15.8% to 18.4%. By comparison, their tax rate in 1980 was 19.1%.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at March 13, 2008 7:52 PM
Comment #247894

VV-

To get to the 30% I’ll bet he’s adding both employee and employer FICA Med payments. That would put me 23% total for the family of 4, still less than Barak, Dick, and Warren’s secretary (I’ll bet she’s single and rents).

The debate then is whether the caps on FICA and Medicare are fair. Are these wellfare programs, and is the tax nothing more than a general tax, or are these social insurance programs?

Posted by: George in SC at March 13, 2008 8:24 PM
Comment #247905
The middle class is carrying too much of the burden, and the wealthy aren’t paying nearly enough.

You’re half right…

There is too much burden and we are all paying too much. However, you forget a few things, I am for income tax only being applied to the top 5% of earners. And we, as a country, should have to live on that. I think Roosevelt made a huge mistake when he started taking the middle class to pay for his depression relief, he should have borrowed (temporarily) and kept the income tax only on the wealthy.

All it takes is a small opening… now will we ever get the door closed? I doubt it.

Actually, to be truly fair, I don’t think anyone should be paying income tax, but if we are bound and determined to have one, it should be limited to the top 5%.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 13, 2008 11:43 PM
Comment #248177

It is really always the same it seems. It is always the self righteous that get caught. I guess Eliot Spitzer was a good Democrat in other regards but he is just like a self righteous Republican. It must really painful for his family.

Posted by: Ray Guest at March 16, 2008 10:16 PM
Comment #248308

why is it always a Republicans fault when a democrat is revealed to be corrupt? That’s funny.


Elliot had brought New York government to a standstill. Nothing was getting done. He used the police to try and take down his political opponents. There are people he has setting in prison for prostitution that he put there now he wants to go free? And it appears he violated the MANN act which is a federal crime and I think by law means he cannot be governor.


He lost all credibility and ability to end the deadlock HE CREATED in New York Government. He went from pumping the MORAL HIGH ROAD to wallowing in the gutter. Now his own party people are saying things like arrogant, incompetent, had to go.


You have to dig deeper Stephen….you completely missed who he was, what he’s been doing, how badly he had NEw York government all screwed up and why this really was the straw that broke the camels back…why he HAD to go. Yes, more will come out later. It will be interesting to see how many laws he broke…such as with his moving of the money around to cover up the transactions.

Posted by: Stephen at March 17, 2008 9:27 PM
Comment #248636

Stephen,

It looks like I got to this thread late, but I have to question you on the hypocrisy of this issue. Aren’t the Democrats the party of femanism and rights for women? While certainly not a settled issue within that community, there is a significant majority that believe that prostitution should remane a crime because of it’s overall degradation to women.

In Columbus, Ohio where I live there has been a specific program developed called “John” school that is designed to teach the men arrested for solicitation what happens to the women whose services they use. The overall dynamic of punishment is changing as well from punishing the supply side of prostitution to the demand side because of the overall degredation to women. These are in my mind valid initiatives begun by Democrats.

If you want to hold Rep’s up as hypocrits for failing to live up to the moral standards they try to incorporate into policy, then you need to do the same with your own. The Democratic party has held themselves up as the protectors of women for decades now, yet when Clinton was accused of sexual harrassment, no protests. When Spitzer admitted this indescrestion, no protest. Is it really ok for boys to be boys if they are Democrats?

Posted by: Robyn at March 20, 2008 5:25 PM
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