Wednesday, April 13, 2005

DeLay Faces Further Criticism

Tom DeLay continues to be the target of criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats, this time from Newt Gingrich who said "DeLay's problem isn’t with the Democrats; DeLay's problem is with the country."

The statement came in an interview with CBS News, which also reported that "
Gingrich said it's time for DeLay to stop blaming a left-wing conspiracy for his ethics controversy and to lay out his case for the American people to judge."

Earlier in the week, Republican Congressman Christopher Shays called for DeLay to step down. Not surprisingly, the Washington Post reports Shays is being shunned by many fellow Republicans, but wonders "whether Shays's rebellion remains the act of one gadfly or becomes the sort of movement that occurred after John B. Anderson became the first Republican in Congress in 1974 to call for President Richard M. Nixon's resignation."

DeLay has refused to respond to recent criticism, and instead has escalated his attacks on the judicial branch, as even conservative Republican judges are no longer acceptable to the far right wing cabal which now controls the Republican Party and has been seeking to eliminate the last traces of Constitutional separation of powers. DeLay's latest attacks on the judiciary have been so extreme that even George Bush has appeared reluctant to go along, expressing at least verbal support for an independent judiciary. Presumably Bush knows better than to bite the hand that put him in office.

DeLay has been repeatedly reprimanded by the bipartisan House Ethics Committee until he replaced the conservative Republican chairman with a DeLay loyalist, and changed the rules making it considerably more difficult to have ethics charges investigated. Previously a tie vote in the Ethics Committee, which has an equal number of members from both parties, would be sufficient to bring about an investigation. Under the new rules, the matter will not be investigated based upon such a tie. Efforts this week to have a bipartisan investigation of the House's ethics procedures were rejected.

1 Comments:

Blogger raindog said...

RUSH: Barbara Boxer, by the way, the LA Times contacted her about all these members of Congress that are employing their family members and so forth. "Barbara Boxer said that she had heard horror stories from colleagues about campaign workers who had absconded with funds, and she knew that she would never have that problem if she put her son, Doug, in charge. Boxer added that she turned to her son because he was the most qualified candidate. 'Who is the best person to run your operation — that's the key thing to me.'" Do you understand this, folks? Barbara Boxer has just said that outside of her family, there's nobody qualified to work for her in this great country, where we don't pay people enough money, and this is a good-paying job. In this great country with so many qualified people, she couldn't find anybody she could trust other than her son.

So you see the way this works. It goes on all the time but it doesn't matter when Democrats do it. But when Tom DeLay does it, well, there's an opportunity. But in the old days there wouldn't have been an alternative media to call attention to all these other congressmen that are also doing the same thing and taking the same trips that DeLay's taking and even more. And so what happens is in the old days, 20 years ago, DeLay would be toast. DeLay would be finished. There wouldn't anybody out there defending him. Republicans would run for the tall grass. They would cower in the corners in fear and they'd probably be throwing DeLay overboard just to get the heat off of them. But now when the mainstream media uses their 30 and 40 and 50-year-old template to go after a Republican, guess what? There's all kinds of people to point fingers at the media for their unfairness, their bias, and their selective application of outrage. And then it all gets thrown back on them, and they are forced to go back and cover all the Democrats that do the same thing. But when they cover all the Democrats, Barbara Boxer says, "I just can't find anybody qualified that I trust more than my son," period, end of story, okay, no problem, Ms. Boxer. But since Tom DeLay, as a pest control owner is responsible for killing millions, his family's also worthless as far as the press is concerned and so let's tar and feather everybody. And that's how it works.


Now, this, folks, is a classic, great illustration, and why I don't worry about the mainstream press anymore. They're still operating just like the Democrats are, off of a 30-year-old playbook. You know, I ran into a journalism student. I run into journalism students all the time, or wannabe journalism students. You know what I tell them? I say, "Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, TV or print?" "Well, I want to work at 60 Minutes. I want to work at a network, maybe Washington Post, New York Times." Of course. That's where every budding young journalist wants to go. I'll tell you how to do it. Start out small, go get your first job at a local newspaper, find some local skunk in your local community and destroy him. Just do a series of profiles about how this guy is dirty and rotten to the core, he's Crabby Appleton. You destroy somebody, you take somebody out and that's when the big guys will notice you. And you keep taking people out and you keep destroying careers and reputations of the people the press doesn't like and you'll get noticed and you'll start climbing the ladder. " That's how it works, and I am not exaggerating, ladies and gentlemen, at all, not in the slightest.

Let's go back to the audio sound bites. Nancy Pelosi. Now, let's review what happened here. Nancy Pelosi had to pay, her campaign or whatever, had to pay a $21,000 fine to the FEC. We had the story yesterday, and basically what happened was that she had funneled illegal campaign contributions to the tune of a hundred grand to other Democrats from her PAC at a time she was seeking a leadership position in the House of Representatives. She was in effect buying support. This was illegal. The FEC fined her 21 grand. I don't know why the fine was only 21 grand when the amount of the illegal donations was a hundred grand, but still. So it's a huge story, and she's a member of the leadership out there, is she not? Yes, yes, yes. So yesterday she had a press briefing with Democratic leaders. She was out there with Dingy Harry. A reporter said, (paraphrasing) "Hey, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee got to the room actually before you did and basically said, 'Well, those who live in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones. List of articles about your PAC and some other things, Senator Reid, they also brought up a 2003 LA Times article about your family in Nevada,'" and that was on this show last week. I mean, 2003, who's been talking about that but us? Nobody. I went out and got that story. Again, I'm going to refresh your memory with it right after this bite if you don't remember it. And so they were finally asked about this yesterday and here's Pelosi's answer.

PELOSI: It's an interesting tact when you have such an incredible array of charges against you, and in fact on a repeated basis the Ethics Committee has spoken out about that behavior, to try to turn the attention someplace else, but the issue is here, the ethical fitness of Tom DeLay to be the majority leader of the House and if the members, the Republican members, find that standard one that is acceptable to them.

RUSH: I didn't hear her answer the question, did you? She didn't answer the question whatsoever. She just turned it right back on DeLay and talked about the seriousness of the charges against him. DeLay hasn't been fined. DeLay doesn't have an FEC fine, 21 grand against him for illegal campaign contributions from his PAC. DeLay doesn't have anything. He's been found guilty of nothing, folks, just a bunch of baseless charges thrown out like this by Nancy Pelosi and other people. Classic. Then Harry Reid blows off the allegations against him by saying the American people are looking at Tom DeLay, not him or Pelosi. Reporter said, "Senator Reid, do you like being pulled into this House dispute, so to speak?"

REID: The problems that Tom DeLay has are problems of his own making, and whatever the organization is that got here before us, they can do whatever they want to do to try to take the focus away from Tom DeLay. But I think the American people, including the people from his congressional district, are looking at Tom DeLay, not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.

RUSH: Well, let me tell you what Dingy Harry, you can go ahead and look at whoever you want. We are looking at you and we are looking at you through a microscope and we're looking at Nancy Pelosi through a microscope. We're looking at you through an electron microscope and it's not a pretty site. Nancy Pelosi, with that $21,000 fine from the FEC, it may be chump change, but you guys try to turn all these things that you are doing and have done away from yourselves and back on Tom DeLay who has not been accused or convicted with doing anything yet. Fine. You go ahead. You rely on your willing accomplices in the mainstream press, but those of us out here who are well aware of what you are doing, Senator Reid. You're blocking the Senate. You're holding up business in the Senate. You're violating the Constitution by changing the filibuster rule. You don't have one thing in your agenda you stand for. You're not advancing anything positive. You're nothing but a bunch of obstructionists. You people are doing nothing but dishonoring the organizations you belong to, and we're watching you and we're looking at you and we're going to tell people about you. You may think you've got cover because the LA Times and the New York Times and the Washington Post and networks are not going to talk about you, but you don't have cover because we are going to talk about you.

And you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to remind people right now what I reminded of them last week. I have right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers an LA Times story that was ignored when it came out. When you print this baby out it's nine pages in your printer. It is from June 23rd, 2003. The Senator's Sons, Part 2: "In Nevada, Reid Is the Name to Know. Members of one lawmaker's family represent nearly every major industry in their home state. And their clients rely on his goodwill." Let me reread this for you. Members of Harry Reid's family represent nearly every major industry in Nevada and their clients rely on his goodwill. Here's the beginning of the story.


"It was the kind of legislation that slips under the radar here. The name alone made the eyes glaze over: 'The Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002.' In a welter of technical jargon, it dealt with boundary shifts, land trades and other arcane matters — all in Nevada. As he introduced it, Nevada's senior U.S. senator, Democrat Harry Reid, assured colleagues that his bill was a bipartisan measure to protect the environment and help the economy in America's fastest-growing state. What Reid did not explain was that the bill promised a cavalcade of benefits to real estate developers, corporations and local institutions that were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees to his sons' and son-in-law's firms, federal lobbyist reports show. The Howard Hughes Corp. alone paid $300,000 to the tiny Washington consulting firm of son-in-law Steven Barringer to push a provision allowing the company to acquire 998 acres of federal land ripe for development in the exploding Las Vegas metropolitan area."

This is in legislation sponsored and written by Harry Reid. He's writing Senate legislation that gets 300 grand from the Hughes corporation, ends up in his son-in-law's firm. "Barringer is listed in federal lobbyist reports as one of Hughes' representatives on the measure that his father-in-law introduced. Other provisions were intended to benefit a real estate development headed by a senior partner in the Nevada law firm that employs all four of Reid's sons — by moving the right-of-way for a federal power-transmission line off his property and onto what had been protected federal wilderness. The governments of three of Nevada's biggest cities — Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson — also gained from the legislation, which freed up tens of thousands of acres of federal land for development and annexation. All three were represented by Reid's family members who contacted his staff on their clients' behalf. The Clark County land bill, which was approved in a late-night session just before Congress recessed in October, reflects a new twist in an old game: These days, when corporations and other interests want to cement a vital relationship with someone in Congress, they're likely to reach out to hire a member of the family."

So not only are members of Congress hiring their own families, they have firms that they're funneling business to hire their family members, so their family members don't having to out into the workforce and find jobs like everybody else does. It's patronage either in the senator's office or in the senator's state for firms benefiting from their relationship with the senator. Dingy Harry, you are so smelly, Tom DeLay is like a rose compared to you. I mean, this is incredible. Reid said he supported a bill because it's good for Nevada not because it helped his family. Why, of course! Rely on that. (paraphrasing) "I'm just trying to take care of my state. The fact that my family is benefiting to the tune of hundreds of thousands is inconsequential to me." When it comes to lobbying relatives Dingy Harry offered the same excuse that Tom DeLay is, "Hey, everybody does it, he's got plenty of company." Dingy Harry said, "'Lots of people have children, wives and stuff that work back here. It is not as if a lot of cash is changing hands.' Seeking favors is as old as the Capitol, but the new tendency to come at it from the side — through family members — may be a consequence of campaign-finance reform: As restrictions have tightened on traditional political giving, interest groups have cast about for new ways to ingratiate themselves," with members of Congress and, bammo, the way you do it. Hire their family members in your firm and your firm will profit immensely. "Seventeen senators and 11 members of the House have children, spouses or other close relatives who lobby or work as consultants." This is not working for them.

This is a 2003 story that nobody cared a rat's rear end about, folks. "At least 17 senators and 11 members of the House have children, spouses or other close relatives who lobby or work as consultants, most in Washington, according to lobbyist reports, financial-disclosure forms and other state and federal records. Many are paid by clients who count on the related lawmaker for support. But Harry Reid is in a class by himself. One of his sons and his son-in-law lobby in Washington for companies, trade groups and municipalities seeking Reid's help in the Senate. A second son has lobbied in Nevada for some of those same interests, and a third has represented a couple of them as a litigator. In the last four years alone, their firms have collected more than $2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington. So pervasive are the ties among Reid, members of his family and Nevada's leading industries and institutions that it's difficult to find a significant field in which such a relationship does not exist."

Now, I challenge anybody at the AP, CBS, NBC, CBS, whatever, Washington Post, New York Times, contrast this with what you're alleging about Tom DeLay. Just contrast it. Just do a side-by-side box story, list this, list that. What Harry Reid is doing may not be illegal, but what about the appearance of impropriety? Versus what DeLay is only accused of, trips and hiring his family members? Do it! I challenge you. I will not hold my breath.


BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The next two are, and I apologize, but the Las Vegas Review Journal ran a story December 14th, 2003. The LA Times story I just shared with you about Dingy Harry, June of 2003. "The youngest son of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has left the Washington office of a prominent Las Vegas law firm to take a job with the Greenspun Corp. in Henderson. Key Reid, 28, had managed the Washington office of Lionel Sawyer & Collins since it opened on March 11, 2002. He was the only attorney in the office. Former Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., who joined Lionel, Sawyer & Collins two years ago and lobbies Congress for the firm, worked with Key Reid during trips back to Washington. 'He let us know in November that he had decided to return to Nevada,' Bryan said. Key Reid could not be reached this week. He did not respond to voice messages left for him at Lionel Sawyer & Collins and at Greenspun Corp., a real estate development firm." So I don't know what it means, but it just means that one of Harry's sons left that law firm so only three of them are at the law firm. Key Reid went to a different firm, a real estate development firm out in Las Vegas, so it's related to the news uncovered by the LA Times in June of that year.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Just to wrap up this Las Vegas Review Journal story. In July, the Los Angeles Times published a series of articles listing 17 senators and 11 House members whose relatives lobby or work for clients with business before Congress. I know what you're saying here, folks. I know what you're saying. "Wait a minute, Rush, keep ripping on the mainstream media, they're the ones that reported it." Yeah, yeah, yeah, LA Times did. Did you ever hear about it? Did Dan Rather ever pick it up? Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, either of them ever pick it up? AP ever pick it up? New York Times or Washington Post ever pick it up, anybody ever look into it? No. It required extensive research on our part through newspaper archives, ladies and gentlemen, to dig this up. So don't tell me, the mainstream media did this, Rush. The LA Times did. They did it on Harry Reid and a whole bunch of others, too, and it wasn't just one story, it was a whole series. Have you heard about it before today? You've not. In July the LA Times published a series of article listing 17 senators, 11 House members who relatives lobby or work for clients with business before Congress. One of those articles spotlighted Reid and his four sons who were all employed by Lionel, Sawyer & Collins the largest law firm in Nevada. After being interviewed by the newspaper Senator Reid decided that his son Key and son-in-law Stephen Behringer, also a lobbyist, should not be allowed to visit his office on behalf of clients. (Gasping.) Does that mean he thought he was doing something wrong? (Gasping.) Or he just wanted to avoid the appearance of impropriety? Hmm.

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6:28 AM  

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