As House Minority Leader Nancy “which-side-am-I-on-today?” Pelosi (D-CA) and other “fine-upstanding-Democrats” continue to screech against what they call the Republicans’ culture of corruption, they conveniently forget that it is they who wrote the playbook and continue to gleefully indulge themselves in it. Hmmm. Wasn’t it Ms. Pelosi who in 2001, along with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH—who is also on the House Ethics Committee…of all things!) and her family, took a party trip to the Puerto Rican island of Vieques—financed by lobbyist firm Smith, Dawson & Andrews? OOPS! Later, they attempted to back-track by saying they had made a “human error” in listing the lobbyists instead of the anti-US Navy “Todo Puerto Rico con Vieques”. Oddly, however, subsequent calls to TPRV showed that the ostensible organization had neither its own phone number nor office space. However, as the Washington Times’ Charles Hurt reported, the lobby firm of Smith, Dawson & Andrews not only had clients in Puerto Rico but: “Its clients include the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration and several Puerto Rican city governments.” I guess this was just one of those Democrat “coincidences”. Uh-huh. Sure it was.
Then, there is yet another little Pelosi “issue”. The ‘Culture of Corruption’ spokes-mistress was found guilty September 2005 of federal election law violations, for operating two leadership political action committees (PACs) in order to circumvent contribution limits. She was also found guilty of exceeding the limits on amounts donors may legally give to PACs. This is our pure-as-the-driven-snow Rep. Nan.
Now—taking a look at the Abramoff debacle may be of interest. First, lobbyists are supposed to “lobby” in favor of their clients. That’s what lobbyists do. That’s their job. However, lobbyist Jack “if-I can’t steal-from-my-clients-and-my-firm-I-can’t-make-enough-money” Abramoff took it to an entirely new level. It appears that Abramoff attempted to bribe virtually every House and Senate elected official—and it sounds as if he got a lot of them from both political parties. As expected, the Democrats are concentrating only on some Republicans who have accepted money from Abramoff. However, there appear to be lots of Democrats who accepted Abramoff’s “ill-gotten gains” too! Corruption of this sort, on any level, is abhorrent. But, this one could turn out to be unprecedented.
As Ms. Pelosi and her minions have been kind enough to acquaint the public with Republicans (specifically their favorite whipping-boy Rep. Tom DeLay R-TX) who may be implicated in the Abramoff scandal, I felt that a return favor was in order.
First and foremost there is the Democrat Senator from Nevada Harry “I-killed-the-Patriot-Act!” Reid. Word has it that Reid accepted about $130,000 from the Abramoff group and at least $61,000 from Abramoff client—the Coushatta Indian tribe. When asked if he would return the money, a spokesperson for Harry said that the Abramoff scandal was “a Republican problem” and that Reid would not return any money.
Question: Is Reid going to claim, as other Democrats have become fond of doing on every issue, that it’s President Bush’s fault and that the president forced him to take and keep the money? I’ll betcha’ he’ll find some way to do it! Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is also said to have accepted over $130,000 from one of the Abramoff groups. Other Democrat leaders mentioned as having received “tainted” Abramoff money include (but do not seem to be limited to) Senators Biden, Clinton, Kerry and the 2 Senators Kennedy—Patrick and Ted—and former Senators Daschle and Gephardt. Whew!
It looks as if the Democrats have their own splainin’ to do! It also sounds as if this Culture of Corruption has invaded and taken over much of the US Congress. This is serious business and if the Democrats and their mainstream media offer up only one side of the issue, the overall problems will never be corrected. Any elected official who accepts real bribes for favors in a quid pro quo fashion, and if the crimes are proven, should be forced from his or her office. But, let’s remember that the corruption virus is non-partisan and infected both sides of the aisle. And it would appear that not all Democrats have decided to give their Abramoff-provided money back. If any of them were elected to represent your state, you just might want to ask them what they have decided to do with their pieces of the Abramoff action. It just might be an eye-opener. It might also greatly assist you in making the decision as to how to cast your votes.
Sher Zieve is a long-time syndicated columnist who generally writes columns of a politically Conservative and Constitutional nature. She also interviews notable people with an interesting and/or newsworthy story to tell. These include politicians, writers, activists and others in the news. Her work has been and continues to be carried by both national and international publications. Sher appears regularly on national talk shows.