et tu, culture of corruption?

Ahh, the sweet taint of cold hard cash. Luckily, Democrats are immune to its contamination. You see when the left says they are free of any ‘scandalized contributions’ what they mean is that even the most vile, corrupt, and contaminated money becomes clean once it’s in Democrat hands. It’s better they keep the money (that they never received from Abramoff), so it can stay clean:

Sen. Patty Murray (D), “…returning contributions from Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff would ‘taint’ the tribes.”


OLYMPIA -- Sen. Patty Murray said Friday that returning contributions from Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff would "taint" the tribes.

The state's senior senator, a Seattle Democrat, said there was nothing wrong with accepting more than $40,000 in campaign donations from out-of-state tribes represented by the disgraced lobbyist.

Abramoff's excesses have been halted, and Congress is considering myriad ethics reforms, she said. ~seattle.pi.com

Yes, Democrats are a special breed. I'm not at all surprised they'd say giving the money back would 'taint' the donors, what surprises me is that they slipped and said it publicly. Maybe it's a culture thing? Maybe they really believe themselves when they say they are above it all, untouched by the vulgarities of life, living on a higher moral plane, where even doing what they define as evil and corrupt, (when it's done by others), is quite the opposite in their case.

Reid has assailed Republicans' ties to Abramoff while refusing to return any of his own donations. He argues there's no need to return the money. ~AP story via breitbart.com

No need? But I thought any appearance of impropriety is proof of corruption? ...Apparently not.

Usually, what this debate consists of is blaming Republicans for corruption when an (R) is involved and demanding their: resignation, impeachment, tar-and-feathering... or what have you. But when a (D) is involved it becomes a campaign finance issue. Meaning that the Democrat or leftist politician is not to blame, IT'S THE MONEY! Otherwise upstanding and conscientious (Democrat) public servants are somehow duped, (similar to the vote on the war I might imagine), into taking money and doing favors for contributions. It's all really, 'money corrupting the political process'.

"Contaminated by contact"

What is it about lobbying that is supposed to be corrupt? Is it the money? Or is it what politicians do for receiving the money?

We're told that 'the Abramoff scandal' is a devastating blow to the Republican party and that NO Democrats have EVER received ANY money from Abramoff and as such are entirely clear of this scandal.

Sen. Harry Reid (D), for instance, is on the frontline slinging mud at Republicans for their 'corrupt ties' to Abramoff. Any money any Republicans received from him and his ilk surely means they are dastardly corrupt indeed. As Harry Reid describes it, the Republican party is more dangerous and corrupt than the mob!

I have been in public service for over 40 years and never been as disillusioned as I am today. In 1977, I was appointed chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission. It was a difficult time for the gaming industry and Las Vegas, which were being overrun by organized crime.

During the next few years, there would be threats on my life, FBI stings and even a car bomb placed in my family's station wagon. What is happening today in Washington is every bit as corrupt as when Las Vegas was run by the mob, but the consequences for our country are worse.

These Republicans have created the most corrupt government in our history. Their "K Street Project" is a shakedown machine that would make the mafia blush. We cleaned up Las Vegas, and we will clean up Washington DC. ~usliberals.about.com

I am reminded of Jimmy Swaggart's passionate and over the top sermons against sexual immorality just before he was caught with a hooker.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.

The activities detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.
~AP story via breitbart.com

Oh, no... not ONE Democrat has ever accepted even ONE dollar of tainted money from Abramoff-- EVER. Apparently meaning that donations from his firm, lobbying partners, and clients is completely different from donations from him as an individual, and no doubt if more than ONE democrat has ever accepted more than a dollar the statement is still true, semantically.

Incredibly, Democrats have no shame at all when pointing the finger at others for the stuff that they do. To brazenly say that Republicans are like the mob and mention car bombs, and death threats in regards to how corrupt Republicans are -- for what? Receiving campaign contributions from or directed by a lobbyist? I guess these Democrats actually think that the American people are that dumb. (Insert liberal quoting Goebels here.)

Yet, part of the fallback accusation is that more Republicans received 'tainted money' than Democrats. Surely just receiving a contribution is not corrupt?

[HARRY REID:] Think about this, the "pay and play" program. You as a lobbyist, you pay, and we Republicans will take care of you legislatively. That's why it hasn't come to the forefront. The arrogance of power, the culture of corruption has not come to the attention of the American public as it has the past several months.

JIM LEHRER: But it's been going on for years and years-- the very things that you and the Republicans agree on to correct have been legal up till now. In other words, these are not the things that Abramoff is charged with or any of these people that you say are going off in handcuffs, right? pbs.org

'Pay and play' corruption...?

Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff's tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.

Ethics rules require senators to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in collecting contributions around the times they take official acts benefiting donors.

Abramoff's firm also hired one of Reid's top legislative aides as a lobbyist. The aide later helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff's firm that raised donations from several of his lobbying partners.

And Reid's longtime chief of staff accepted a free trip to Malaysia arranged by a consulting firm connected to Abramoff that recently has gained attention in the influence-peddling investigation that has gripped the Capitol. ~breitbart

Which is more corrupt? Money or Politicians?

So, instead of seeking real solutions it just becomes yet another political attack on Republicans. The truth is that it is people who are corrupt. Money is just money. It's neither good nor bad, but like an automobile or a toothpick, it is useful and essential depending on what you need it for. But, because of a skewed and widely held definition of money, what it is, how it is acquired, and the particular system within which we all acquire it, many have accepted the false premise that it is money that corrupts politics.

The truth of the matter is that it is politics which corrupts money, not the other way around. Luckily, I am here to give you a different/alternative perspective. To 'open your mind to treason' as it were. (Don't be afraid... it is only your worldview which is in danger.)

Let's start with why in the world anyone would want to give money to a politician, a class of people generally ranked below car salesman and crack addicts. Do you ever ask yourself why there are people lined up with bags full of cash to give to this politician or that? Is there ever a legitimate motivation for giving a politician money?

Turns out, there is. It's called politics. The ability to participate in politics specifically is what freedom of speech is all about, first and foremost. (You didn't think it was just so you could put a crucifix in a jar of urine did you?)

It seems that, in times past, opposing the political party in power meant that you might get jailed, executed, or have all of your property confiscated-- just for supporting the rival party. This may soon be the case again however, because some of us are trying to define money itself as corruption, rather than any act of corruption itself.

I can't think of a worse solution to a false problem than 'nationalizing' political campaigns.

For many years, America’s reliance on privately financed campaigns has effectively disenfranchised large portions of society. With each year, the voice of the average American is becoming increasingly weaker, while the influence of large corporations and special interests groups grows stronger. But it is the fundamental right of every American to have full access to and an equal voice in our political system. The legislative staff of Public Campaign works with Congressional offices to advocate legislation that protects this most fundamental right. We believe that comprehensive campaign finance reform that embraces full public financing – Clean Money Campaign Reform – is the mechanism to reclaim democracy of, by and for the American people. publicampaign.org

"Not one dime went to any Democrat or any Democratic organization" ~Howard Dean, DNC Chairman

Posted by Eric Simonson at February 10, 2006 6:33 PM
Comments
Comment #123397

Ok, so your point is they are all guilty, i agree.

Vote out all the incumbants in this election and send a clear message that we as a nation will not stand idly by and allow our “leaders” to steal any longer.

Posted by: tree hugger at February 10, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #123398

tree hugger,

It’s kind of hard to ‘vote out’ anyone without voting someone in. My guess is that you might be a green party member?

Posted by: esimonson at February 10, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #123401

ESimonson,

I am appreciative of many platforms that the green party puts forth, however i will never paint myself into a corner and simply blindly vote for a party “just because”. Rather i like to look at each candidate and make my decision, not look at the party they represent and make my decision. That seems to be why we are in the mess we are in…

Posted by: tree hugger at February 10, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #123404

Different issues:
1) Giving money to a politician in exchange for receiving a favor, a quid pro quo, is illegal. There is nothing untoward about a Democrat working with a client who also worked with Abramoff, as long as no quid pro quo was in place, no selling of votes. However, Abramoff did not work with Democrats. Abramoff represented a Republican agenda. Abramoff worked with Republicans. It appears Abramoff broke a book full of laws, and many Republicans are being implicated in his law-breaking.

2) Did Reid violate the law? He might have worked with Abramoff clients, but did he work with Abramoff? That remains to be seen. The difference between liberals/Democrats and Republicans/conservatives is that, if Reid did break the law, and behave in a corrupt fashion, Democrats will, without hesitation, throw him under the bus. This is in glaring contrast with the Republicans/conservatives, who do their best to justify and rationalize corruption and law breaking.

3) Money is not speech. Money should not covered by the phrase ‘freedom of expression.’ Freedom of expression is freedom of expression. Money is money. Money is not political thought or opinion. A corporation is not a person. This is simply stating the obvious.

If money would like to contradict me, simply post a comment. Dollars, cents, pounds, shillings, and pence, pesetas (but not lira- God doesn’t want small potatoes), almost any denomination is welcome to speak up. (With a nod to Roger Waters, “What God Wants”).

Same goes for a corporation.

Posted by: phx8 at February 10, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #123408

Eric:

It seems that the Republican answer to any criticism is “Attack Democrats.”

Do you think what DeLay and Abramoff did was OK? Do you think that kicking out all Democratic lobbyists is OK? Do you think there is no quid pro quo in many lobbyist-Republican-legislator connections? Do you think there is no “culture of corruption” in the Republican Party?

Why not address the real issue? Republicans are being attacked. Did they do right? Or did they do wrong?

Don’t go picking on Democrats. Not all Democrats are perfect and neither are all Republicans lousy. But this is not the issue. The issue is that the Republican Party today is corrupt. What do you say about this?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 10, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #123420

Eric-
Are you saying Abramoff himself contributed to Democrats?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #123421

No. Erics post is exactly what the Democrats always pull, they are so pure and innocent. ROFLMAO. It’s the typical liberal DOUBLE standard. Only the ‘other’ guys are ever wrong. Only the ‘other’ guys are the crooks. ROFLMAO

Posted by: pige at February 10, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #123422

Paul,

I’m not sure why you think that pointing out the foibles and hypocrisy of the left is ‘an attack’ when I do it, but not when you do it against Republicans. Hardly seems like a very ‘cooperative’ stance to me. In fact it seems downright competitive.

I recall you repeating Howard Dean’s assertion that Democrats had nothing to do with Abramoff and never took any money—?

phx8,

3) Money is not speech. Money should not covered by the phrase ‘freedom of expression.’ Freedom of expression is freedom of expression. Money is money. Money is not political thought or opinion. A corporation is not a person. This is simply stating the obvious.

Well, I’d like to see you mount a nationwide campaign without money. Or run a printing press with nothing but you free expression. How long, exactly, will it take you to campaign across America on foot? Because it takes money to ‘speak’. The idea that as long as you don’t use money, you can speak all you want is, well, ridiculous.

If money really has nothing to do with free speech then let’s just outlaw all campaign contributions altogether. Public or private. If money has nothing to do with free speech the there is simply no valid reason for you to be able to donate to the Kerry or Bush campaign. You can excercise you free speech with just your vote, or stand on a soapbox in your neighborhood.

1) Giving money to a politician in exchange for receiving a favor, a quid pro quo, is illegal. There is nothing untoward about a Democrat working with a client who also worked with Abramoff, as long as no quid pro quo was in place, no selling of votes.

Thank you— Then the fact that anyone received money from Abramoff is irrelevant. Whether Republicans recieved more than Democrats means nothing by itself. If someone broke the law— then yes they should be prosecuted.

However, Abramoff did not work with Democrats. Abramoff represented a Republican agenda. Abramoff worked with Republicans. It appears Abramoff broke a book full of laws, and many Republicans are being implicated in his law-breaking.

C’mon… do we have to semantically parse ‘working with’ as well? Read the AP story.

2) Did Reid violate the law? He might have worked with Abramoff clients, but did he work with Abramoff? That remains to be seen.

I don’t know. But Reid is accusing Republicans of pay and play. Which it sure looks like he engaged in plenty. Is this hypocritical?

The difference between liberals/Democrats and Republicans/conservatives is that, if Reid did break the law, and behave in a corrupt fashion, Democrats will, without hesitation, throw him under the bus. This is in glaring contrast with the Republicans/conservatives, who do their best to justify and rationalize corruption and law breaking.

You mean like Patty Murray not giving back the money because it will ‘taint’ the tribes who gave it to her in the first place? Nice try.

Posted by: esimonson at February 10, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #123423

Classic Republocrat defense. But they are corrupt so our corruption is OK. In fact, our corruption is better because it is supported by more voters than the other parties corruption.

Yeah, right! Eric is making an argument. He’s making a case! It doesn’t make sense, but, this is politics!!!

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 10, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #123424

What Abramoff gave personally is only the tip of the iceberg. He was running a sophisticated operation by marshalling the money of his clients. Abramoff instructed some of his clients to give money to some Democrats.

This is mostly a Republican problem, but Dems are not without sin and probably should be careful about tossing stones.

Posted by: Jack at February 10, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #123425

I thought the Cons new mantra was innocent until proven guilty. But, I guess that doesn’t apply to Democrats and Americans that make international phone calls.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 10, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #123427

Paul:
“Why not address the real issue? Republicans are being attacked. Did they do right? Or did they do wrong?”
“The issue is that the Republican Party today is corrupt. What do you say about this?”

I don’t know how Eric will respond to you Paul, and truthfully, I don’t really care — but in my opinion this article is a much like a giant, iron cauldron overflowing with scum, calling a tiny espresso pot tarnished.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 10, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #123442

Three more Republican lawmakers tied to Abramoff - Reps. Steven LaTourette - Ohio, Don Young - Alaska, Shelly Moore Capito - W.Va.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 10, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #123443
I recall you repeating Howard Dean’s assertion that Democrats had nothing to do with Abramoff and never took any money

Dean actually said that the Democrats received no money directly from Abramoff, and that is a true statement that is verifiable by looking at the records.

What Eric’s doing here is trying to distract us by pointing to the fact that the tribes that Abramoff conned also donated to the Democrats. And he’s right.

What he doesn’t tell you is that those tribes were donating to the Democrats befre Abramoff got involved. While the tribes continued to donate to the Democrats while working with Abramoff, they actually decreased their donations to the Democrats and significantly increased their donations to the GOP, both on Abramoff’s sugggestion.

So, all Eric has is that the corrupt lobbyist wasn’t able to completely steer all money to the GOP, and he somehow creates a moral equivalance out of it.

No shame.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 10, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #123452

Lawnboy

It is a technicality. Money is fungible. It is like saying that I am drinking only the beer on the left side of my cup.

The problem is that government has too much power to grant favors. Why were these Indian tribes willing to pay the big bucks to a lobbyist in the first place? They were trying to buy advantage that the Congress should not be able to grant.

I do agree, however, that it doesn’t much help Republcans to point to the Dems. It is 75% Republican. On the other hand, the mantra that this is only a Republican problem is incorrect.

Posted by: Jack at February 10, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #123460

Excellent excellent article Eric. These last few days have been a bit sluggish listening to the left say “Our politicians are squeaky clean! Our politicians are squeaky clean!”

Hell, just go back to their last President and you’ll see he lied to a Grand Jury. I don’t care if the subject is how many twiddly winks you have in your pocket, you don’t lie to a grand jury, especially and foremost if your the leader of the nation.

Stand by for this arguement though: “Well, we didn’t take money when Jupiter’s 4th moon aligned with Saturn … on a Tuesday … in a southern sky . . on a Fall day in October … BUT SOME OF YOUR GUYS DID … SO THERE!! YOU GUYS ARE CORRUPT!”

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 10, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #123471

Campaign contributions are one thing, buying legislation in Congress is another. Of course this is really a problem when it comes to things that affect the planet, like global warming. Oil company profits matter more than things like science and protecting th planet.

“Hell, just go back to their last President and you’ll see he lied to a Grand Jury. I don’t care if the subject is how many twiddly winks you have in your pocket, you don’t lie to a grand jury, especially and foremost if your the leader of the nation.”
So you’re saying that lying about a personal matter that doesn’t affect the nation is just as bad as lying to start a war in which thousands of people die?

This just seems like a typical republican tactic, attacking the other side whenever they’re caught doing something wrong. Buch violates the constitution, then steers the blame onto the whistleblowers. Republicans turn into the party of corruption, then try to explain how some liberals “might” have been involved somehow.

Posted by: mark at February 11, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #123476

If I donate a couple of thousand to a congressman who shares my views and he introduces a bill that would benefit me am I corrupt?

If I donate a couple of thousand to a congressman with the stipulation he introduce a bill that would benefit me am I corrupt?

Abramoff is a person of weak moral character who allowed himself to be corrupted by greed. He played on the needs of others, some of which happened to be congressmen, to corrupt them also.

Abramoff, who is a life long Republican, is in the process of reciting his autobiography with his right hand raised. If he dated any Democrats I doubt he will lie for them.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at February 11, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #123519

Ken Cooper:

Exactly where did Democrats say, “Our politicians are squecky clean.”? Kindly provide a quote and link.

It does say something when you’re entire post makes no attempt to defend or justify your Party Members’ actions. No comment at all at DeLay’s cushy job AFTER being indicted.

Very sad.

Posted by: Aldous at February 11, 2006 3:32 AM
Comment #123587

Alduous … You need a link? You haven’t heard from Reid, Pelosi and other dems on national news programs saying how “the republican party is a party of corruption”? You haven’t seen your like minded liberals on these blogs saying how awful republicans are because of how corrupt they are? No, I’m not going to provide you a link to that … it would be like trying to provide you a link proving 2 + 2 = 4. You gotta link for that, or do you wanna dispute it?

1st note: Don’t throw rocks from the rooftop of a glass house.

2nd note: Cunningham admitted guilt. As far as I know all other cases dems have assumed guilty verdicts out of are still ongoing. The ACLU would be upset about you already assuming Delay and Libby are guilty … very very upset!

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 11, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #123590

Paul Siegel:

Your comment: It seems that the Republican answer to any criticism is Attack Democrats.

You show a lack of situational awareness, especially seeing how McCain had to shame Obama into re-engaging a bipartisan effort for lobbying reform.

By the way, the democratic answer to Bush leading us in the war on terror is for dems to wholeheartedly agree with Bush on the threat of WMD (please see: http://media1.streamtoyou.com/rnc/111505.wmv) then yell “Bush Lied! Bush Lied!” as soon as the war’s barely started. Now that’s a partisan attack.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 11, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #123591

I believe the whole point of many of these threads was exactly what jayjay is grousing about, innocent until proven guilty. But only if you’re a Democrat. It would seem from all the discussions of the last few months if a Republican is accused they are automatically guilty until proven innocent. If two politicians are caught in the same room with pockets filled with illicit money the Republican is corrupt and the divine socialist was just about to make a charitable donation.

Posted by: pige at February 11, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #123595

Yep! Most (if not all) from both parties are corrupt and have stacked the deck to keep it that way.
Parties are not the problem. Not at all.
The problem is incumbents.
Think about it.
Look how they perverted the system.
Well meaning newcomers to congress are always outnumbered by incumbents, and hit smack-dab in the face with pressure, temptations, and threats if they don’t play along. They give in to for fear of not getting re-elected without the incumbents support.
Incumbents have it just the way incumbents like it, and they are not about to let anything reduce their power or opportunities for self-gain. In the mean time, they are looking for more ways to get more power.

Foreclosures in my county just reached an all time high since 1989.
Median incomes have fallen for 4 years straight.
The National Debt is costing over $1 billion per day in interest alone, and is now up to 66% of GDP (up from 33% in 1980). And, it is growing very fast at $2.14 billion per day!
The pain level isn’t quite high enough to incent voters to rally yet, but it will get there as the consequences of so much corruption and fiscal irresponsibility impacts the voters more and more.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #123612

What is wrong with attacking Democrats?

Oh, nevermind, they don’t control anything.

The best thing to possibly come out of all of this is for a 3rd party to get at least 25% of the seats in our government. Enough to make it so neither blues or reds have enough power to control anything.
This 2 party system is a big failure all around.

Posted by: dawn at February 11, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #123613

pige,

Do you really not think it goes the other way? Do you really not think that Republicans get free rides from Eric and others (without granting any benefit of doubt to Democrats)?

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 11, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #123618

dawn,
A third party is fine.
Lots of parties are fine.
No problem there.
But, are parties really the problem?
Perhaps, it is what makes up parties?
Incumbents who always outnumber newcomers, and won’t allow newcomers to pass any badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #123622

d.a.n.,

You are right but do you really see it changing soon? Unless there is an outbreak of strokes and heart attacks amongst the aging population in office?

Posted by: dawn at February 11, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #123623

No, but doing nothing surely won’t change anything.
So, I always hold out hope for that reason.
I do think we will resolve it one day.
The question is which path will we take?
(a) Will it be the peaceful, responsible way?
(b) Or, will it be the hard, painful way (again)?

The longer we wait, the closer we come to path (b). Most people won’t like path (b). But if they wait that long, they will only have themselves to thank for it, and politicians will continue to say we get what we deserve for allowing it.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #123630

Eric,

Waaaaaaaaaahhhh.

Sounds like you need a diaper change.

Posted by: Mister Magoo at February 11, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #123631

No, LawnBoy. My point being the Dems have conducted them selves like a tank of piranha after a single chunk of stew meat for the last 6 yrs.. Now they cry ‘foul’ when mere mention is made one of theirs be painted with the same brush they so like to use.

Posted by: pige at February 11, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #123651

Just when you thought eric’s drivel couldn’t become more putrid… We have a term for it at my house “VD”; Verbal Diarrhea.

Posted by: Dave at February 11, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #123660

Mr Magoo, your comments are enlightening.

David, et al,

Where is the Republican corruption? My point is that Abramoff broke the law Democrats try to pull a fast one by saying everyone connected to Abramoff is corrupt. Well, Democrats are connected to Abramoff!

So what’s the real point? Not anything about corruption. It’s about painting corruption on others without doing any work to prove it.

Tell me how receiving money from a lobbyist makes you corrupt.

Posted by: esimonson at February 11, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #123664

Stephen,

Eric- Are you saying Abramoff himself contributed to Democrats?

I’ve got to laugh at your defence of democrats by saying that they didn’t recieve any ‘personal’ contributions. Is this the new definition of corruption in campaign finance? Personal contributions?

I thought the real corruption was the second and third party contributions because they were somehow being ‘hidden’ and covert about where the money was actually coming from?

I’ll reiterate it for you: How is receiving money from a lobbyist corrupt?


It is enlightening to read the comments from the left on this subject, especially when you consider that the last few posts on the left side are exactly what Paul complains about in his comments about attacks. But I guess it isn’t an attack if it comes from the left, just like giving the money back would taint the donors. Go figure.

I enjoy the personal attacks as much as anyone, but it shows that Democrats have virtually nothing to say on this subject. Argument won I guess.

Posted by: esimonson at February 11, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #123683

There a couple of things that should be clear to anyone:

Abhamoff is in the Tell All mode. He has negotiated a lighter sentence for his cooperation and if he is caught lying to protect anyone, be they Republican or Democrat or any other specie of lap-dancer, he may lose his status of “short-timer”. It’s my guess that he will make it very clear to the prosecution who each and every one of the guilty ones are.

There is a difference between a contribution and a bribe. Abhamoff probably gave money to his favorite religion, charity, etc. No one is claiming they are corrupt.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at February 11, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #123688

Eric,

I agree…your defending “your” party by attacking “their” party.

Are politicians on both sides corrupt? Probably so. What do they have to do with Abhamoff?

Look, Abhamoff is tied to the republican party….very strongly. Let’s deal with this first and then start looking for “other Abhamoff’s”. I’m sure they are out there.

Did some people that gave money to Abhamoff also give money to other’s? yeah, and so what? unless we can prove they were also “buying” votes, it’s a mute point.

A third party would be most welcome to most of us moderates. Unfortunately, most of the righties and lefties won’t vote for a third party out of fear of putting “the other side” in power.

Personally, I think most lobbyist are trying to buy votes. It’s up to the individual congress persons to have the ethics to ensure this doesn’t happen. There are a lot of good congress persons on both sides of the isle. There are also a lot of crooks on both sides.

Let’s face it folks. This is a country run by money and for money. That “by the people and for the people” thing is totally ignored.

Regards

Posted by: Tom L at February 11, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #123703

Tom L,

Don’t lose hope.
There are good reasons to have hope.
If nothing else, doing nothing will accomplish nothing.
But, I’ve been there. Where you are.
That it is futile.
Maybe it is.
But, none of us can know that.
So, why not try.
Why not try freedom.
Why not try common-sense.
The key to putting this nation onto the right path is up to the voters.
Voter education is the key.
Voters must do what they were supposed to do all along.
Vote out (or recall) irresponsible incumbents, every election, always. Not once, but every election, until incumbents finally pass some no-brainer, common-sense, badly-needed reforms.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 11, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #123717

All of you posters

Some questions for reflection:

1. Define corruption in the context of the Abramoff affair.
2. Explain why making contact and contributing money to Republican lawmakers is corruption but doing the same to Democrats is not.
3. What purpose is served by attacking the other side? Do attacks contribute to solutions or just give an outlet for anger and frustration?
4. If you could make one change in the law to prevent corruption in the lawmaking process, what would it be?
5. What would be the effect of channelling all the energy used in attacks into working toward true reform?

Just asking

Posted by: John Back at February 11, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #123727

I’m for replacing any guilty bribe taker,but, so far only accusations are being hurled and the trials seem to be by the newspapers and their publishing “facts” about both sides.There will be no place on earth anyone will be able to get a fair trial.The smart thing would be to give the proof to the Prosecution if there is proof and not just accusations.I recall accusations of vote tampering but no trials and no convictions yet.I recall accusations of Repubs preventing preventing Dems from voting,but ,so far only the Dems have been convicted of preventing voting by vandlizing cars being used to transport Repubs to polling places,and by a State Congressman’s son.I may have missed some incidents.Most of what is being said will probably convince some people,but,I for one am going to wait for charges,trial,and conviction or acquital.I will want to replace any convicted.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at February 11, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #123777

John Back

4. If you could make one change in the law to prevent corruption in the lawmaking process, what would it be?

How about actually using ethics(or being ethical)(real ethics) in making decisions?

Posted by: Linda H. at February 11, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #123780
4. If you could make one change in the law to prevent corruption in the lawmaking process, what would it be?

John,

One purpose per bill.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 11, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #123793

A 3rd Mainstream “Centrist Party” if you will does seem attractive. It’s where most Americans are, aren’t they? But do we really want to elect a president, such as Clinton’s first win, with a significant percentage below 50% of the vote? I’m not talking about a 1960 JFK or 2000 GWB 49.8%, I’m talking about 40% (Clinton 1992) or even lower potentially. I like seeing 2 choices for president.

I’m not saying a strong mainstream party wouldn’t work. Hell, they’d probably get my vote more than 50% of the time … but it just wouldn’t be as attractive as most people think.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 12, 2006 1:08 AM
Comment #123844

Linda H.

How about actually using ethics(or being ethical)(real ethics) in making decisions?

Because depending on how you define ethics, we can have some radically divergent ideas on what is ethical.

Posted by: esimonson at February 12, 2006 6:19 AM
Comment #123846

Dave,

Just when you thought eric’s drivel couldn’t become more putrid… We have a term for it at my house “VD”; Verbal Diarrhea.

Thanks for the substantive (and non-personal) input.

Posted by: esimonson at February 12, 2006 6:28 AM
Comment #123898

Linda H.,
Yes! Many want to distract us with what is legal or illegal (or which party is more corrupt?). What is important is what is simply what is unethical. But, clever politicians want to spin it and make it look harmless. We have legal plunder (e.g. abused eminent domain laws), but that does not make it ethical.

JayJaySnowman,

One-Purpose-Per-BILL

I think you’re right about that. If I had to pick one thing, that would be the one thing that would increase transparency, which would yield more outrage, then more accountability, and result in more responsibility.


esimonson wrote:
Because depending on how you define ethics, we can have some radically divergent ideas on what is ethical.

Eric, you should have been a politician. That is such a blatant, obvious, underhanded tactic to shift the focus, derail the true goal, obscure the facts, and try to distract people into lesser substantive issues.

Rather than focus on what is right, you want to fuzy the edges, and distract everyone from the root problem. Why? That might fool some. But, just those also too fond of wallowing in the petty, partisan warfare. But, it’s getting old. The voters will figure it out. The sooner the better. Bought-and-paid-for incumbents and their hacks are gonna have to start doin’ some explainin’ . Voters are startin’ to see that everything they have tried up to now ain’t workin’ and they’re growin’ wise to the clever distractions used to manipulate them. The government continues to grow increasingly corrupt, and the discussion is now starting to boil down to who is the least corrupt of the corrupt.

Sad indeed.
Do you want to be viewed as one of those clinging to it? Fueling it? What’s wrong with voters simply voting out irresponsible incumbents? If they’re irresponsible, should we let them stay? Or, make them pay for looking the other way, and refusing to pass badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms and ignoring our pressing problems that are threatening the future of our nation ?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 12, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #123935

The closest things we have to centrist are Lieberman and McCaine….both of whom are shunned by their parties….

Posted by: Tom l at February 12, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #123945

How is receiving money from a lobbyist corrupt?

OK, I’ll bite. Lobbyists are supposed to “lobby” thier agenda, that is call, write, visit, invite to an event,and explain to every and all lawmakers why thier issue, agenda, bill, etc. should be introduced, voted on, made law, whatever. As soon as money trades hands in the effort of “lobbying” it becomes bribing and vote buying. The act of a law maker accepting money from a lobbyist and voting for, introducing a bill conducive to, the lobbyist’s agenda is guilty of taking a bribe.

It seems pretty simple to me

Posted by: gmduggan at February 12, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #124276

“Oh, no… not ONE Democrat has ever accepted even ONE dollar of tainted money from Abramoff— EVER. Apparently meaning that donations from his firm, lobbying partners, and clients is completely different from donations from him as an individual, and no doubt if more than ONE democrat has ever accepted more than a dollar the statement is still true, semantically.”

Last time I loked NO ONE has said the NO democrat has taken the lobbest’s “bribes”. BUT that isn’t to be said that no repug has done the same thing and then done exactly what the lobbiest had wanted. The repugs have taken OUR house and made it into the auction house all the while having the brain-dead masses shut their eyes to what is being done in our name. I don’t know about you….apparently you refuse to think for yourself and will prate and bleat the rheteric and propaganda of the right because you seem to be incapable of thinking for yourself. TOO BAD…..I was raised repugnant and then I grew up and learned THINK for MYSELF. Those who refuse to do the same bore me and make me shake my head in amazement of their ignorance.

Posted by: qitqat at February 13, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #124361

Follow the money. That means look to see who got money and how they reacted to that money in terms of voting. Any pol who took money and changed their support of legislation according to the desires of Abramoff’s clients is prima facie tainted. Proving intent is more difficult, but there’s where to start.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at February 13, 2006 2:20 PM
Comment #124586

Follow the money.
Always wise advice.
Journalists know all about this.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 13, 2006 10:55 PM
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