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Old 04-16-2005, 07:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
NCB
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Is there a bigger scumbag than Harry Reid?

http://www.latimes.com/la-na-sonsday...ck=1&cset=true

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_ho.../22792861.html

Nice flow chart

or Nancy Pelosi?

http://www.rollcall.com/pub/49_75/news/4293-1.html

or Chucky Schumer?

http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york050503.asp

or Barbara Boxer?

http://www.theweeklystandard.com/Con...3/075hstwb.asp

or Hillary Clinton?

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive...2clinton1.html

Tom Delay looks like an amatuer compared to these scumbags
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I know this isn't my position to do so, but I figured it was appropriate:

Quote:
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Edit: Linking the Weekly Standard as an objective source is hardly productive.
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Uhhh..........no.....Tom Delay, Speaker Hastert, Bush, Norquist, et al,
currently have a lock on most menacing scumbagdom, as my references
below demonstrate.

When Clinton was president, and the republican controlled house and senate
passed a bankruptcy "reform" bill similar to the one that Bush will sign, Clinton
put it in his pocket, and let it die. Your scumbags truly menace and damage
working class Americans.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/apr2005/nf20050415_2315.htm">http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/apr2005/nf20050415_2315.htm</a>
APRIL 15, 2005

NEWS ANALYSIS
By Eamon Javers

Denny Hastert's Late Payment
A long delay in paying for a fund-raiser at an eatery owned by scandal-plagued Jack Abramoff could prove embarrassing to a GOP Mr. Clean
Signatures restaurant, the expense-account haven owned by super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has hosted at least 60 GOP fund-raisers since it opened on Washington's Pennsylvania Ave. NW in early 2002. But the June 3, 2003, lunchtime gathering was special: The guest of honor was House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and the event was a relatively intimate gathering dominated by lobbyists from Greenberg Traurig, the law and lobbying firm where Abramoff then worked.

The problem? Nobody paid for the lunch -- or reported it in disclosure documents as an in-kind contribution -- as federal election law requires, BusinessWeek Online has learned. The tab -- which Hastert's office would not disclose -- was paid only this month, around the time that BusinessWeek Online began to investigate fund-raisers for Republican politicos held at Signatures. Hastert's office says his staffers uncovered the oversight.

Capitol Hill Republicans are sweating over fallout from their relationships with Abramoff. The lobbyist is under investigation by two Senate committees and a criminal task force involving the Justice Dept. and the IRS for allegedly defrauding his clients -- Indian tribes flush with casino cash -- out of millions of dollars.

ABOVE THE FRAY. An associate of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), Abramoff was a key cog in the conservative political movement in Washington, with ties to scores of GOP members of Congress. DeLay, the House's No. 2 Republican, has been hammered by revelations of trips allegedly funded by Abramoff and his firm. DeLay says he never knowingly did anything improper and denounces coverage of his ties to Abramoff as a politically motivated attack on him by Democrats and what he calls the liberal media.

The long-unpaid bill from the June 3, 2003, fund-raiser is the first sign that Abramoff's largesse extended to Hastert. While DeLay enforced strict partisan discipline in the House and muscled the lobbyists and trade associations that line Washington's K Street, the genial Speaker from Illinois has been the party's Mr. Clean, floating above the fray.

Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean says the Speaker's political action committee, the Keep Our Majority PAC [KOMPAC], discovered the missing payment and recently wrote a check to Signatures to make good on the lunch with Abramoff. "Out of an abundance of caution, KOMPAC recently paid for the event," Bonjean says. He wouldn't disclose how much the PAC paid.

ONE-WAY FLOW. An attendee says Hastert spoke briefly to the audience of 20 or 30 lobbyists about the upcoming House agenda, then took their questions. The suggested donation for the noon event was $1,500 per PAC or individual.

Days after the lunch, Hastert's PAC collected at least $14,750 in contributions, many from Greenberg Traurig lobbyists, federal disclosure documents show. Abramoff himself wrote the Speaker's PAC a check for $2,500 on June 16, 2003, two weeks after the event. A spokesman for Abramoff says the lobbyist has "hosted scores of fund-raisers for various members of Congress" and can't recall each one. Reporting any contributions "is the responsibility of the members, not Mr. Abramoff," the spokesman says.

But no check went in the other direction -- to pay for the use of Signatures or the food and drinks -- until this month. If the PAC hadn't paid -- or reported the value of the event as an in-kind contribution -- it would be in violation of federal campaign-finance laws. "The law defines a contribution as anything of value used for the purposes of influencing a federal election," says Federal Election Commission spokesman George Smaragdis. He declined to comment specifically on the Hastert fund-raiser.

MORE HEADACHES. Does a late make-good count? "If [payment] occurs years after the event, that's not an ideal situation," Smaragdis says. "But is it a violation of the law? That's up for the commission to decide." Judging by its record, the FEC isn't likely to do much. Split evenly between three Republicans and three Democrats, the commission is seldom moved to act on even gross allegations of campaign abuses.

A separate fund-raiser at the restaurant is causing headaches for freshman Senator David Vitter (R-La.). After BusinessWeek inquired about his Sept. 9, 2003, evening fund-raiser at the restaurant -- where then-Representative Vitter raised $12,000 -- the senator sent letters seeking clarification to the FEC and to Signatures restaurant on Apr. 15.

A Vitter spokesman says the campaign had signed a contract agreeing to pay for the 16-person event and provided Vitter's personal American Express card number to cover the tab -- but was never billed. Nor did the campaign report the event as an in-kind contribution.

A notice advertising the event to potential donors said the $1,000 per-head cocktail reception would be hosted by Abramoff, but Vitter's office now says that the lobbyist wasn't at the dinner.

GREAT LOBSTER. In his letter to FEC General Counsel Larry Norton, Vitter asks the commission for advice on how to "report this information on our FEC reports.... We do not want to compound one reporting error with another." In a letter to Signatures, Vitter says the restaurant "did not comply with the terms of our agreement" to charge the event to his personal credit card. "I am hereby directing you to charge my credit card today for the costs of the event and to immediately furnish me with proof that the charges have been duly posted," he writes.

Signatures opened in 2002 in a marquee location on Pennsylvania Ave. NW, halfway between the Capitol and the White House. Less than five minutes by cab from the House floor, it became popular for congressional fund-raisers.

Dinner entrees cost $21 to $41, including the chef's favorite -- a caramelized vanilla-basted Maine lobster with truffle tapioca risotto. A 2002 restaurant review in The Hill newspaper notes that the eatery features a slew of historical items for sale, including President Gerald Ford's signature on a replica of his pardon of Richard Nixon, for about $5,000, a signed portrait of Czar Nicholas, and signed letters or photos from Winston Churchill, General George Patton, Rocky Marciano, Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison, and gangster Meyer Lansky, all selling in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
Quote:
<a href="http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&q=abramoff+vitter+Times+Picayune&btnG=Search+News">Vitter admits error on fund-raiser tab</a>
More From The Times-Picayune
Vitter admits error on fund-raiser tab
He failed to pay expenses of dinner lobbyist organized
Saturday, April 16, 2005
By Bill Walsh
Washington bureau

WASHINGTON -- Sen. David Vitter, R-La., told the Federal Election Commission on Friday that because of an oversight, he failed to pay the expenses for a fund-raiser organized for him by controversial Indian gambling lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Vitter's ties to Abramoff have come under scrutiny as a congressional committee continues to probe the lobbyist's alleged attempts to influence tribal elections and about $80 million in fees he reportedly charged to tribal clients, including the Louisiana Coushattas.

Vitter's long record opposing legalized gambling has made his ties to the gambling lobbyist all the more curious. Most controversial is the Sept. 9, 2003, fund-raiser at Signatures restaurant, midway between the White House and the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

Abramoff was reportedly a part-owner of the tony restaurant, and his name appeared on invitations to the private, sit-down dinner, which Vitter said drew about 16 people and raised $12,000. Vitter said Abramoff didn't attend.

In a letter to the Federal Election Commission on Friday, Vitter said that despite a written request at the time, the restaurant failed to charge his credit card for what he said was about $1,500 in expenses. On Friday, he also sent a letter to the restaurant asking that the bill finally be charged to him. In an interview, Vitter said his campaign was also at fault.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/04/11/news/delay.html">http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/04/11/news/delay.html</a>
By Philip Shenon The New York Times

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

WASHINGTON Jack Abramoff, one of Washington's most powerful and best paid lobbyists, needed $100,000 in a hurry.
.
Abramoff, known to envious competitors as "Casino Jack" because of his multimillion-dollar lobbying fees from the gambling operations of Indian tribes, wrote to a Texas tribe in June 2002 to say that a member of Congress had "asked if we could help (as in cover) a Scotland golf trip for him and some staff" that summer.
.
"The trip will be quite expensive," Abramoff said in the e-mail, estimating that the bills "would be around $100K or more." He added that in 2000, "We did this for another member - you know who."
.
Abramoff did not explain why the tribe should pay for the lavish trip or identify the congressmen by name. But a tribe spokesman has since testified to Congress that the 2002 trip was organized for Representative Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio and chairman of the House Administration Committee, and that "you know who" was Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, the House majority leader and old friend of Abramoff's.............
Quote:
<a href="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3131825">http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3131825</a>
April 13, 2005, 8:53AM

GOP leader's ties to lobbyist deepen his own controversy
Some say Jack Abramoff is just doing his job, but a probe is putting heat on him — and DeLay
By MICHAEL HEDGES and BENNETT ROTH
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay finds himself in political controversy partly because of his close relationship with Jack Abramoff, a former action movie producer turned superstar lobbyist who is now the target of a federal grand jury investigation.

Abramoff, whose alliance with DeLay has been rooted in religious values and conservative politics, has been accused of bilking Indian tribes of tens of millions of dollars. His alleged exploitation of Texas' Tigua Indians and other tribes is at the center of the U.S. Justice Department inquiry.

There is no indication that the federal probe has targeted lawmakers. But subpoenas issued by the FBI focus on activities that included DeLay, who has denied wrongdoing.

Some of the subpoenaed records detail Abramoff's work with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington nonprofit organization, according to President Amy Ridenour.

The center was listed in DeLay's travel disclosures as paying for his trips to Moscow and Britain.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw tribe, represented by Abramoff, and eLottery Inc., a gaming company, contributed to the center at the same time DeLay went to Britain.

The combined donations were $50,000, roughly the cost of DeLay's trip, raising the question of whether the companies were asked to pay for the trip by Abramoff as a way to influence DeLay and in possible violation of campaign finance law.

In addition to the Justice Department, two Senate committees are investigating Abramoff's activities with the Indian tribes.

Abramoff made it clear to his tribe clients that part of his six-figure monthly fee was buying his help as someone close to DeLay, according to witnesses at Senate hearings last year.

Bernie Sprague, of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe, testified he informed federal investigators that Abramoff told him to make large contributions to a charity controlled by Abramoff as a way to impress DeLay.

Texans for a Republican Majority, a DeLay-founded political action committee, received at least one donation, of $1,000, from the Mississippi Choctaw Indians, an Abramoff client involved in legal gambling.

Abramoff's lawyer denied any wrongdoing took place.

DeLay spokesman Dan Allen declined to comment in general on the relationship between Abramoff and DeLay, R-Sugar Land.

He said he could not comment on specific donations and trip expenses without doing further research.

"Jack Abramoff has become the Beltway version of a human punching bag," said Andrew Blum, spokesman for Abramoff's attorney, Abbe Lowell. "Mr. Abramoff is being criticized for doing what lobbyists do: making proper and legal campaign contributions and traveling with members of Congress."

Making his mark in D.C.
Nevertheless, Abramoff has been hounded by questions about the propriety of the $66 million he and a partner, former DeLay spokesman Michael Scanlon, got in lobbying fees from Indian groups.

Abramoff compounded his problems when, in e-mail released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, he called his Indian clients "monkeys" and other racist, derogatory names.

Native American Ben Nighthorse Campbell, then a GOP senator from Colorado, said, "These do not sound like the comments of an educated man. It sounded like the comments of somebody out of 150 years ago and some form of bigotry."

It was a rebuke to a man who had made his mark in Washington with a push-the-envelope style, eclectic client list and ability to schmooze with Republican movers and shakers.

In 2004, Abramoff, 46, raised at least $100,000 for President Bush's re-election campaign.

When Abramoff came to Washington 23 years earlier to assume the chairmanship of the College Republicans, he formed ties that would later prove handy in his lobbying. Also, he got a law degree from Georgetown University in 1986.

The College Republicans' executive director under Abramoff was Grover Norquist, later a conservative activist who helped Newt Gingrich engineer the GOP takeover of the House in 1994.

In 2001, Norquist arranged a meeting between President Bush and the chief of the Louisiana-based Coushatta Nation Indian tribe, an Abramoff client.

The Coushatta later sent a $25,000 check to the group that Norquist heads, Americans For Tax Reform.

A College Republicans intern under Abramoff was Ralph Reed, who became executive director of the Christian Coalition and is now a consultant.

Abramoff recruited Reed to organize a grass-roots effort to pressure the Texas attorney general's office to shut down Indian casinos in the state. Abramoff and Scanlon then turned around and persuaded one of the tribes, the Tigua of El Paso, to hire them to lobby to get the casinos reopened.

Reed, now running for lieutenant governor of Georgia, worked in connection with Abramoff in a lawful and effective way, a spokeswoman said.

Abramoff took a notable break as a Washington power broker by dabbling in the 1980s in the movie business, producing the action film Red Scorpion, which featured U.S.-backed guerrillas fighting Soviet agents in Africa.

Congressman defends trips
DeLay and Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew, were introduced in the early 1990s by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a Seattle-based talk show host who heads the nonprofit organization Toward Tradition, which seeks to further ties between observant Christians and Jews.

Abramoff used his relationship with DeLay to help one of his top clients, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, which was fighting an effort by congressional Democrats to strip the islands of their exemption from U.S. wages and immigration laws.

In December 1997, DeLay, his wife, Christine, and three aides traveled to the islands with Abramoff on a trip paid for by the U.S. territory's government and the Saipan Garment Manufacturer's Association.

During the trip, DeLay offered a toast calling Abramoff "one of my closest and dearest friends," according to a variety of news reports.

DeLay then helped win an extension of the islands' exemption from federal laws.

Also, DeLay took took two trips sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, to Russia in 1997 and Britain in 2000. The congressman has defended the trips as appropriate fact-finding tours.

But in both cases, the group got funding around the time of the trips from organizations with a stake in influencing DeLay on legislation. The contributions were solicited by Abramoff, a member of the NCPPR for several years until resigning last fall, Ridenour said.

"Jack has made some mistakes," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said, "but he is not the dishonest, malevolent, arrogant, wheeler-dealer that people are portraying. He is a fine man."

Others are less charitable.

Gary Ruskin, who heads the Congressional Accountability Project affiliated with Ralph Nader, said Abramoff stood out in a town filled with high-priced lobbyists.

"Jack Abramoff was a guy you could buy to make sure your policies happened," he said. "And his relationship to Tom DeLay was central to all of this."
Quote:
Tom DeLay’s Transgressions: A Pattern of Misbehavior

Unprecedented four admonishments by unanimous votes of the bipartisan House Ethics Committee
<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>K Street Project (1999)</strong> – Admonished for threatening Electronic Industries Alliance for not hiring a Republican as its president. The Ethics Committee itself initiated this investigation.<br />
<em>Source: “Ethics Panel Chastises DeLay For Threatening Trade Group,” The Washington Post, May 14, 1999</em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Westar Energy (2004)</strong> – Admonished for creating at least the “appearance” that Westar Energy executives were provided special access at a West Virginia golf retreat as result of $25,000 in corporate contributions to Texans for a Republican Majority, a political group affiliated with DeLay. At the time of the retreat, the House was about to consider an energy bill that Westar hoped to influence. A complaint filed by former Rep. Chris Bell (D-TX) initiated this investigation. <a href="http://www.house.gov/ethics/DeLay_memo.htm"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />
<em>Source: Memorandum to Members of the House Ethics Committee</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Texas Redistricting (2004)</strong> – Admonished for using government resources for a political undertaking. Delay’s staff contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during the 2003 Texas redistricting battle to obtain information from FAA databases on the whereabouts of Democratic Members of the Texas House who had fled Austin in a plane for the purpose of denying the House a quorum. A complaint filed by Bell initiated this investigation. <a href="http://www.house.gov/ethics/DeLay_memo.htm"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />
<em>Source: Memorandum to Members of the House Ethics Committee</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Medicare Bill (2004)</strong> – Admonished for offering to endorse Rep. Nick Smith’s (R-MI) son, who would be running for Congress, on the House floor in exchange for Rep. Smith’s vote in favor of the Medicare/prescription drug bill. The Ethics Committee itself initiated this investigation. <a href="http://www.house.gov/ethics/Medicare_Report_Cover.htm"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />

<em><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Source: Investigation of Certain Allegations Related to Voting on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003</font></em></font></li>
</ul>

<h2>Pending case</h2>

<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Illegal Campaign Contributions (2005)</strong> – The House Ethics Committee last year was asked to investigate Rep. DeLay for allegedly using his political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), to launder corporate money to Texas state campaigns in 2002, a violation of state law. The committee decided not to take action on the complaint until after Travis County (Austin), Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle completes his investigation of TRMPAC activities and until indictments against DeLay associates in Texas are disposed of. <a href="http://www.house.gov/ethics/DeLay_memo.htm">Link</a><br />

<em>Source: Memorandum to Members of the House Ethics Committee</em> </font></li>
</ul>

<h2><br />
Questionable Conduct (not considered by House Ethics Committee)</h2>

<p> </p>

<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Celebrations for Children (CFC)</strong> – This charity, which counted DeLay political operatives among its officers, planned to sell tee times to Long Island golf courses, as well as VIP tickets to Broadway plays, yacht cruises and other events that offered access to DeLay during the 2004 Republican convention in New York. The plan was an attempt to misuse the charity’s IRS tax-exempt status to circumvent the ban on raising soft money. After the charity’s plan drew unfavorable attention from the House Ethics Committee, the charity backed away from its convention plans. <a href="http://www.ncrp.org/Releases/PressRelease_ComonCause.htm">Link</a><br />

<em>Source: “Charity Tied to DeLay Is Questioned; Group Asks Lawmakers To Demand Ethics Probe,” Washington Post, March 24, 2004</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Cruise Ship in N.Y.C.</strong> – DeLay proposed anchoring the 2,224-passenger Norwegian Dawn cruise ship in the Hudson to accommodate Republicans during the Republican National Convention as an exclusive hotel for lawmakers, lobbyists and special guests. This plan was criticized for providing an environment of special access for large contributors to elected officials. The idea was scrapped after unfavorable publicity.<br />
<em>Source: “They’ll Take Manhattan: Republicans Drop Ship Idea,” The New York Times, December 3, 2003</em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Legal Defense Fund Contributions</strong> – After Public Citizen complained about possible ethics violations, DeLay was forced to return contributions to his legal defense fund from registered lobbyists because House ethics rules explicitly prohibit such contributions. <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1037676,00.html"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />
<em><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Source: “Gifts Broke Rules, DeLay Trustee Says,” The New York Times, December 8, 2004</font></em></font></li>
</ul>

<h2>The Latest Ethics Allegations Against Tom DeLay</h2>

<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">A trip DeLay took in 1997 to Moscow may have been underwritten by business interests lobbying on behalf of the Russian government. The $57,238 cost of the trip was reportedly transferred from a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas, Chelsea Commercial Enterprises Ltd., to the nonprofit group, the National Center for Public Policy Research, which officially paid for the trip. On the trip, DeLay met with two registered lobbyists for Chelsea, including Jack Abramoff.<br />
<em>Source: “A 3rd DeLay Trip Under Scrutiny; 1997 Russia Visit Reportedly Backed by Business Interests,” Washington Post, April 6, 2005.</em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">DeLay's political action and campaign committees have paid his wife and daughter more than $500,000 since 2001. According to disclosure forms, the payments were for “fund-raising fees,” “campaign management” or “payroll.”<br />
<em>Source: “Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader,” Washington Post, April 6, 2005.</em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Accepting illegal gifts of foreign travel, lodging and an exclusive golf outing from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Although DeLay listed the nonprofit National Center for Public Policy Research as the sponsor of a $70,000 trip, Abramoff reportedly had actually solicited checks from two of his clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and eLottery Inc., to pay for the trip through the nonprofit group. Two months after the trip, DeLay helped kill legislation opposed by the tribe and the company.<br />

<em>Source: “Probe of Abramoff and Nonprofits’ Money Opens; Senate Finance Committee Seeks Records on Trips by Reps. DeLay and Ney, Donations to Indian Tribes,” The Washington Post, March 17, 2005</em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Taking trip to South Korea with other House Members and staff funded by Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, a business-financed group created with the help of a lobbying firm headed by DeLay’s former chief of staff. The Council is a registered foreign agent, and House rules state: “a Member, officer or employee may not accept travel expenses from a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal.” <br />
<em>Source: “S. Korean Group Sponsored DeLay Trip; Visits May Have Broken House Rules,” The Washington Post, March 10, 2005</em></font></li>

</ul>

<h2>Protecting Delay: Changing Ethics Rules</h2>

<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Changed House ethics rules to let a complaint die if the ethics committee cannot decide whether it should be investigated within 45 days. <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/3/14/84254/7118">Link</a><br />
<em>Source: “After Retreat, G.O.P. Changes House Ethics Rule,” The New York Times, January 5, 2005</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Changed House ethics rules to allow either party to block an ethics investigation by voting along party lines, thus denying a majority vote to allow it to proceed.<br />
<em>Source: “After Retreat, G.O.P. Changes House Ethics Rule,” The New York Times, January 5, 2005</em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Changed House ethics rules to allow several members involved in a single ethics investigation to hire the same attorney. House rules had prohibited this practice in order to ensure one attorney could not gain access to too much information and potentially coordinate testimony.</font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">The House Republican Conference changed its internal rules, rescinding a provision that required a member to step down from a leadership post if indicted. The rule change was itself later rescinded after adverse publicity. <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/1/4/05045/68740"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />
<em>Source: “GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect DeLay’s Post,” The Washington Post, November 17, 2004</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Unsuccessful attempts were made to change House ethics rules to eliminate the broad rule that Members should conduct themselves in a manner that “reflects creditably” on the House. This had been the basis for sanctions by the ethics committee and the House. <a href="http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=194883&ct=323708"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />
<em>Source: “House to Consider Relaxing Its Rules; GOP Leaders Seek Ethics Changes,” The Washington Post, December 31, 2004</em> </font></li>
</ul>

<h2>Protecting Delay: Ethics Committee Purge</h2>

<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Speaker Dennis Hastert removed Rep. Joel Hefley (D-CO) as chairman of the Ethics Committee that oversaw three admonishments of DeLay in 2004. Prior to his removal, Hefley said of Republican colleagues he would not name: “They said I was hurting my career here. The implication is that some form of retribution would be taken.” Hefley also told a newspaper after the third DeLay admonishment: “I’ve been attacked; I’ve been threatened.” <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/2/2/144315/6593#"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />

<em>Sources: “Ethics Panel’s Chair Is the Toughest Seat in the House,” The Washington Post, January 7, 2005; “Hefley: ‘I was threatened’,” The Hill, October 13, 2004</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Replaced the two members of the Ethics Committee, Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), who both admonished DeLay and voted against the Republican Conference rule changes to protect DeLay, with two Republican loyalists, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Tom Cole (R-OK). Smith and Cole contributed $10,000 and $5,000, respectively, to DeLay’s legal defense fund. Smith also co-hosted a fundraiser with DeLay for Texans’ for a Republican Majority, which is now the subject of a grand jury instigation. <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/2/7/121053/1369"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />

<em>Source: “Ethics Purge,” The Washington Post, February 5, 2005</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), who replaced Hefley as Ethics Committee chairman, fired several longtime committee staffers, including John Vargo, the staff director and chief counsel, and Paul Lewis, a counsel. Hastings’ office defended his decision to replace Vargo and Lewis as standard practice for a new chairman, although both Vargo and Lewis had been working on the committee since before Hefley was its chairman. <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/2/17/8819/05508"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />
<em>Source: “Critics Slam Hastings’ Dismissal of Ethics Staff,” Roll Call, February 17, 2005</em> </font></li>

</ul>

<h2>Protecting Delay: Intimidate Accusers</h2>

<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">After being scolded twice by the Ethics Committee in one week, DeLay responded through his lawyer with a letter to the chairman of the House Rules Committee alleging Rep. Bell’s complaint was filed in order to “raise funds for non-member groups,” specifically Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The letter stated “Bell and CREW lodged libelous and specious allegations against Majority Leader DeLay ... apparently with blatant disregard to the veracity of their statements.” In response, Ethics Committee Chairman Helfey said: “If DeLay and his lawyer feel he was treated unfairly, they can come back and we can open it all back up again.” <a href="http://washingtontimes.com/national/20041009-010916-5621r.htm"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a> <br />

<em>Source: “DeLay attacks accuser after ethics panel rebuke,” The Washington Times, October 9, 2004</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Even though the Ethics Committee admonished DeLay for two of the allegations raised in a complaint filed by Rep. Chris Bell (R-TX) (and is withholding a ruling on a third allegation pending the outcome of prosecutions in Texas), the Ethics Committee in November 2004 warned Bell against using “excessive or inflammatory language or exaggerated charges” and threatened disciplinary action against Members who filed complaints the committee considered excessive or inflammatory. This action serves to discourage the already rare Member-filed complaint to the ethics committee. <a href="http://www.house.gov/ethics/Bell_letter.htm"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a> <br />

<em>Source: “Foe of DeLay Rebuked By House Ethics Panel,” The New York Times, November 20, 2004</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Retaliation against Ronnie Earle, the Texas district attorney who is investigating possible violations by DeLay. Specifically, legislation introduced in the GOP-dominated Texas legislature to halt Earle’s high-profile grand jury probe. The legislation would have taken authority over campaign finance violations from the district attorney and given it to a special office in the Texas Ethics Commission that would have the power to stop district attorneys from prosecuting election code violations. <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/2/14/95457/1499"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />

<em>Source: “Texas Ethics Bill Could Allow Appointees to Bar Prosecutions,” The Washington Post, February 20, 2005</em> </font></li>
</ul>

<h2>Fixing the Problem?</h2>

<ul>
<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Mollohan Resolution</strong>: Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV), the ranking member of the House Ethics Committee, introduced a resolution (H Res. 131) March 1, 2005 that would undo the controversial changes made to the House ethics rules at the beginning of the 109th Congress. The resolution would repeal the new rule allowing either party to block an investigation by voting along party lines; repeal the new rule allowing a case to die if the committee takes no action within 45 days; repeal the new “collusion” rule, allowing one lawyer to represent more than on individual involved in an ethics case. The resolution has 206 co-sponsors, including Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and former Ethics Committee Chairman Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO). It has been referred to the House Rules Committee and a subcommittee, ironically, also chaired by the new ethics committee chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), who can block the resolution from moving. Mollohan has threatened a discharge petition if the resolution is not brought to the House floor. <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/3/14/84254/7118"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />

<em>Source: “Mollohan Offers Resolution To Reverse Ethics Changes,” National Journal’s CongressDaily, March 02, 2005</em> </font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Committee Organization Stalls</strong>: Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), ranking member of the Ethics Committee and his Democratic colleagues on the panel refused to allow the committee to operate under the new rules adopted at the beginning of the session. They blocked the committee from organizing or operating in the new Congress until the new rules changes are repealed. <a href="http://www.commonblog.com/story/2005/3/14/84254/7118"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Link</font></a><br />
<em><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Source: “Ethics Panel Faces Organizational Fight,” Roll Call, March 10, 2005</font></em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Pelosi “Privileged” Resolution</strong>: Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House minority leader, introduced a “privileged” resolution (H. Res. 153) March 15, 2005, that would have established a bipartisan task force to recommend changes to House ethics rules. The House voted to table (kill) the motion, 223-194, along party lines, except that Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO) voted against tabling. (To read the resolution and House debate on it, <a href="http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2005_record&page=H1435&position=all"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">click here</font></a>. For a breakdown of how House members voted, <a href="http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2005/roll070.xml"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">click here</font></a>.)<br />

<em>Source: “Hefley joins Dems on ethics,” The Hill, March 16, 2005</em></font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Slaughter Request of the House Rules Committee</strong>: In a March 17, 2005 letter, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), ranking member of the House Rules Committee, asked Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) to hold hearings on the House ethics process and move the Mollohan resolution. (link to <a href="http://www.slaughter.house.gov/HoR/Louise/News/Press+Releases+By+Date/2005+Press+Releases/Report+on+Abuse+of+Power.htm"><font face="Times New Roman" size="3">Slaughter news release</font></a>)</font><br />

<li><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3"><strong>Hastings Requests More Funding for Ethics Committee Despite Staff Cuts</strong>: Ethics Committee chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) asked the House Administration Committee for an additional $1.7 million in its fiscal 2006 budget, 55 percent more than the $3.1 million it received this year. Hastings claims the additional money would be used to add staff to increase the committee’s “investigative capability” and improve ethics education for Members and staff. Ironically, this request comes a month after Hastings dismissed John Vargo, a member of the ethics committee staff since 1996, and Paul Lewis, a former Justice Department lawyer who joined the committee staff in 1997. Currently, the Ethics Committee can not conduct any business until the face-off over accepting the controversial new ethics rules forced through the Houseis resolved.<br />

<em><font face="Times New Roman" color="#000000" size="3">Source: “Hastings Seeks $1.7M Increase For Revamped Ethics Panel,” National Journal’s CongressDaily, March 17, 2005<br />
</font></em></font></li>
</ul>
</td></tr>

Last edited by host; 04-16-2005 at 09:49 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Personally, i think NCB is a hybrid individual made up of different parts of pat robertson, oral roberts, joseph farah, jeb bush, ollie north, john erhlichmen, tex colson, newt gingrinch, robert bork, jerry falwell, benny hinn, and pat boone.

I didnt include bush jr. in this list because bush isnt able to think for himself. Others tell him what to say and think. If you look very closely at bush when he speaks, you can see Cheney's hand up george's rear side, moving his lips.
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobo123
Personally, i think NCB is a hybrid individual made up of different parts of pat robertson, oral roberts, joseph farah, jeb bush, ollie north, john erhlichmen, tex colson, newt gingrinch, robert bork, jerry falwell, benny hinn, and pat boone.

I didnt include bush jr. in this list because bush isnt able to think for himself. Others tell him what to say and think. If you look very closely at bush when he speaks, you can see Cheney's hand up george's rear side, moving his lips.

I resent the Pat Boone comparrison

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Old 04-16-2005, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wait, doesn't this belong in Tilted Humor?

Good post NCB, I don't agree but I like your angle - good point & thought provoking. But you should have included a comment with your links.... hmmmm?
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jorgelito
Wait, doesn't this belong in Tilted Humor?

Good post NCB, I don't agree but I like your angle - good point & thought provoking. But you should have included a comment with your links.... hmmmm?
Yeah, I thought about it but thought it would have lost the impact of the message.

The bottom line is that both parties have members who do this sort of shit. I hate it and wish that they would pass a real law limiting what they could do instead of passing the bullshit CFR bill which limits political ads (speech) 30 days before a primary and an election.
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So we're not only equalizing a "Hollywood Tribute to William Jefferson Clinton" that moved funds to Hillary Clinton (as well as a bunch of cronyism) with a fake children's charity that moved funds to Tom Delay (as well as a bunch of cronyism), but in fact we're claiming that Tom Delay is not nearly as much a "scumbag" as Hillary Clinton (as well as a bunch of politicians that have practiced cronyism)?

Manipulating Hollywood is more of an outrageous practice than manipulating children?
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sure, both parties have scumbags, but the fact remains that there is no bigger scumbag than Tom Delay
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm sorely tempted to close this thread.

You guys know that we like a) commentary with threads and b) a topic that can be discussed reasonably, not a shotgun attack that invites a flame war.

I'll leave it open for a few hours to see if any good can come of it, but if not, it's gone.
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
So we're not only equalizing a "Hollywood Tribute to William Jefferson Clinton" that moved funds to Hillary Clinton (as well as a bunch of cronyism) with a fake children's charity that moved funds to Tom Delay (as well as a bunch of cronyism), but in fact we're claiming that Tom Delay is not nearly as much a "scumbag" as Hillary Clinton (as well as a bunch of politicians that have practiced cronyism)?

Manipulating Hollywood is more of an outrageous practice than manipulating children?
Manx, the bottom line is this: they're all scumbags. Money and power corrupt and corrupt absolutely.

What truly burns me is that these f*ckheads invoke the Lord's name to claim that the scams they are running are righteous. and so sucker in all good non-thinking christians to their side.

Religion is religion. Politics are politics. The twain should NOT meet.
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Old 04-16-2005, 03:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
I'm sorely tempted to close this thread.

You guys know that we like a) commentary with threads and b) a topic that can be discussed reasonably, not a shotgun attack that invites a flame war.

I'll leave it open for a few hours to see if any good can come of it, but if not, it's gone.

Actually Lebell, I think the tone of this thread is amazingly light-hearted compared to the road some threads here go down.

I actually appreciate NCB being willing to inject a little humor into Politics.

(Sticks hand out window. "Yep, it froze over...")
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
I'm sorely tempted to close this thread.

You guys know that we like a) commentary with threads and b) a topic that can be discussed reasonably, not a shotgun attack that invites a flame war.

I'll leave it open for a few hours to see if any good can come of it, but if not, it's gone.

Oh, do you mean like the poetic commentary that opended the Delay thread?

Quote:
Delay is probably the biggest a$$hole in Washington, followed closely by most of those warped 'evangelical' types who jumped on that poor woman's case in order to pander to their constituency.

It's so f*ing obvious that he is doing this to deflect attention from his own crimes.

Delay, a known scumbag, liar and hopefully soon to be kicked out of the house for massive ethics improprieties as well as kickbacks, wants to impeach the lower and upper court judges who merely followed the law.

It's obvious that this scumbag doesnt even know what the law is or he wouldnt keep breaking it.

Hell, even the people who control bush immediately distanced themselves from this creep.

What does he want to do? Create his own set of laws? His own government?

My skin crawled and i wanted to scream out loud in rage every time i saw those hordes of creepy and fanatical born-agains and right-to-lifers who prayed at endless candlelight vigils for not only Schiavo's vegetative and lifeless survival but also for moral punishment and even the death of the various judges and lawmakers and doctors who dared uphold Florida law and make honest decisions about Schiavo's tenuous condition and told the government to butt the hell out.

I dont know is this ignorant jerkoff is a lawyer but if he is, he should be disbarred in an instant.
The hatred towards the creepy people that prayed takes the cake. Yet, not a word from anyone here. But I post the ethical sins of Dems, and I get warnings in the form of "TFP rules and guidelines" on flaming.

Lebell, you wanna shut this thread down, have at it. This thread was a rebuttal to the Delay thread concerning the hypocisy of the Dem leadership. But please, don't mistake harsh rebuttals for flamebait and pretned to be only concerned about the level of discourse. For if that was the case, the 1st scumbag thread would have been closed long ago.
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So it's come to the two sides openly calling eachother names. So much for intelligent conversation. And people wonder why I started avoiding political discussions.

And I'm not blaming one side or the other. I'm blaming both.
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Old 04-17-2005, 05:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Sometimes.....you just gotta shake your head and watch.......
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Well, I gave it almost a full day and nothing good came from it.

Closed.
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