• No Sweat
  • Sunday, August 28, 2005


    Two of the least popular governors in the nation are also two of the most corrupt Republicans in the nation—Gov. Blunt of Missouri and Gov. Taft of Ohio. Taft is, in fact the LEAST popular Gov in the nation and the strong showing Paul Hackett made in the OH-2 special election may have in part been due to the fact that Ohio voters are getting tired of the disgusting corruption of the Republicans. Well, as I covered earlier, Kentucky is another state where the state Republican party is so mired in corruption it is bound to affect their popularity.

    Kentucky’s Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher is under investigation for corruption. AND he is the 5th least popular governor in the nation! What do you know? Americans don’t like corruption! That is why I am focusing so strongly on exposing corrupt Republicans. Corruption in the Repub party is so widespread and so disgusting, it makes America look like a Banana Republic. It is embarrassing to all of us!

    Fletcher's administration is suspected of violating the state's merit system laws and using politics as the basis for hiring or firing government employees. In essence, they are going back to the time of the so-called “spoils system” where government firing and hiring was a rewards system for political allies. This was considered unacceptable more than 100 years ago and was ended on the Federal level by the Civil Service Act of 1883 which made it illegal to fill various federal offices by the spoils system. Kentucky also has a “Merit Law” that outlaws the corrupt spoils system. Yet Repub Gov. Fletcher wants to go back to and older time, where corruption was accepted as normal.

    Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has been subpoenaed to appear before a special grand jury investigating personnel practices within his administration…

    Thus far, nine current or former members of Fletcher's administration have been indicted on a series of misdemeanor charges alleging violations of the Merit System personnel law.
    One person, dismissed former Transportation Cabinet commissioner Dan Druen, also has been named in 22 indictments for witness or evidence tampering.
    All those who have been arraigned have pleaded not guilty.
    The charges allege the officials routinely plotted to circumvent the law that requires personnel decisions be made on the merits of the candidate in favor of their political influence and support for Fletcher.

    We need to really push this theme: Americans hate corruption and the Repub Party is disgustingly corrupt. The five least popular governors in America are all Republicans and all are suspected of corruption on some level. The three MOST corrupt of these 5 rock-bottom Governors are Matt Blunt (MO), Ernie Fletcher (KY) and Bob Taft (OH).
    Please write letters to the editor commenting on these trends—the increasing corruption of the Republican Party combined with the fact that the least popular Governors in America are all Republicans suspected of considerable corruption. Express your disgust and embarrassment at the fact that the political party of the President is so mired in blatant and sleazy corruption. Keep up the pressure!

    Friday, August 19, 2005

    TARGET THE CORRUPT REPUBLICAN: Ohio Corruption Continues

    The Republican party of Ohio continues to be the most amazingly corrupt state party I have personally ever heard of. And I mean EVER! I have previously covered the corruption of Ohio Republicans, from Congressman Mike Oxley to Governor Taft to other smaller fish elsewhere on this blog. But things have progressed further. The Governor now faces criminal charges and the Attorney General is in trouble.

    Here is a Daily Kos diary on the problems of Governor Taft, drawing from the Columbus Dispatch:

    Gov. Bob Taft is expected to be charged this afternoon in Franklin County Municipal Court with four criminal misdemeanors for failing to disclose golf outings and possibly other favors…

    Taft's problems surfaced in connection with Thomas W. Noe, a prominent Republican campaign contributor who managed failed rare-coin investments for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Taft appointed Noe to the Ohio Board of Regents and Ohio Turnpike Commission. Noe resigned from both jobs in the wake of the coin scandal.
    Noe, a Maumee coin dealer, has been accused of stealing nearly $4 million from the $50 million investment for personal use, and his lawyers have acknowledged a shortfall of up to $13 million.

    Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating, and three special grand juries have been seated. Noe, who denies any wrongdoing, has not been charged.
    Things really began unraveling on May 23 when Charles contacted the governor's office seeking records. He had found allegations, during the course of his investigation, that members of the governor's staff received lodging, accommodations and other items from Noe.

    Taft subsequently sent a letter to the Ethics Commission on June 14, acknowledging that he failed to list multiple list golf outings and other events on his financial disclosure forms over several years.

    This is all part of the current Republican practice of taking pretty blatant bribes (there, I said it!) from lobbyists and then pretty much support whatever those lobbyists want. Tom DeLay (TX), Randy Cunningham (CA) and the Blunts (MO) are further examples of this kind of disgusting Republican corruption.

    Now here is the amazing thing: Governor Taft pleaded NoLo, as we used to say in Los Angeles (“no contest” to the rest of you) meaning that he in essence admits guilt without legally admitting guilt. Here is a Daily Kos article on his guilt:

    From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

    Taft is found guilty

    Ohio Gov. Bob Taft publicly apologized and pleaded no contest today to four misdemeanor ethic charges in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for failing to disclose more than two dozen golf outings and other gifts he received.
    Taft, whose wife, Hope, accompanied him to court, was found guilty, fined $4,000 and ordered to write an email apology to state employees, and to send an email to the news media apologizing to the people of Ohio.

    Taft told the court that he was disappointed in himself for failing to meet the high ethical standards that he expects all state employees to meet. Taft is the first Ohio governor to be convicted of a crime while in office.

    Slap on the wrist for what is, in essence, nasty corruption. Let’s make this clear: Republican Governor Taft of Ohio is guilty of corruption and the Republican party still supports him. This is a continuing pattern of apologizing for corruption by the Republican Party.

    But Taft isn’t the only Ohio Republican to be corrupt. Let’s make THIS clear: corruption is rampant throughout the Republican Party, particularly in Ohio. Now, the attorney general of a state is supposed to be the top law enforcement official for that state. The Republican attorney general of Ohio is himself corrupt. His problems stem from the same “coingate” scandal that is dogging Governor Taft. Here is a Daily Kos diary covering attorney general Jim Petro’s latest problems.

    The gist is that Petro has been refusing to disclose to the public documents relating to a workers comp. fund and the “coingate” scandal. When Petro first argued that the documents were protected by the "trade secret" privilege, a court denied his defense and demanded he turn over the documents. He then, in contempt of court (an attorney general in contempt of court!!), he failed to turn over the documents. When once again ordered by the courts to produce the documents, he produced EDITED versions of those documents, in essence violating the court order. This is roughly where the case stands.

    Again, let’s make this clear: the Republicans are violating court orders, hiding facts from the public and, in essence, deeply engaged in corruption.

    These examples of Republican corruption are finally getting some press. But if we don’t keep pushing the media and Congress to pay attention to this corruption, it will be quickly forgotten. PLEASE, write your local media and the Ohio media complaining about Republican corruption. Aren’t we all embarrassed by this corruption? Isn’t this un-American?

    Also, if you like, write your Congresscritter demanding an investigation of this corruption.

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Target the Corrupt Republican Campaign (The Ghost of Randy Cunningham)

    I have already covered the corruption of California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and covered the fact that, partly due to the bad press this corruption has had, Randy Cunningham is not running for re-election in 2006. But the ghost of Randy Cunningham may haunt the Republicans in the CA-50 district. This illustrates one of the effects exposing corruption is having. Already Ohio is having trouble even in solidly Republican districts (like OH-2) partly because the Ohio Republican Party is so scandal-ridden and these scandals are coming to light all over the state. Now it may be the turn of a very Republican district in California.

    CA-50 is solid red. It is in San Diego county and Dems generally have no chance there. But 2006 may be as different as the OH-2 race just was in 2005. This year, Democrat Francine Busby is already looking like a strong challenger against which ever Republican gets in line to replace Corrupt "Duke" Cunningham.

    As covered in a Daily Kos article and reported in the San Deigo Union: (warning, the San Diego Union is not a well-written paper!)


    August 8, 2005

    Francine Busby is feeling on fire.

    Thanks to Duke's hari-kari, his effervescent foe has morphed into the It

    "This is going to be the hottest race on the West Coast," the Cardiff
    candidate pledges with a sunny, know-it-all grin. "This is going to be the
    most competitively fought congressional seat this side of the Rockies.
    It's not a blow-away for Republicans in this district anymore."

    Two months ago, you'd have said Busby was blowing smoke with this cocksure

    Today, given what's transpired, a visitor to her two-story house
    overlooking the San Elijo Lagoon takes notes and nods sagaciously.

    Lordy be, the 50th - a presumably "safe" Republican district that
    stretches from a part of La Jolla and Clairemont north to Escondido and
    San Marcos, as well as along the coast from Del Mar to Carlsbad - appears
    to be up for grabs by either party...

    After running a spirited, but soundly losing, campaign last year against
    Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe, Busby was gearing up for
    yet another round when Cunningham was exposed as the world's shrewdest
    dealer in real estate and yachts - but a fatally flawed politician.

    In a flashbulb, Busby went from wallflower also-ran to glamour girl.

    The exposure of Republican Corruption in Texas has made DeLay's seat potentially competative, made OH-2 surprisingly competative, and is now making a "safe" Republican seat competative.

    This is extraordinary! In fact, this is almost unheard of in modern politics! Don't get me wrong. ALL of these will be hard fights for the Dems. But the point is they will, for the first time in maybe 20 years, be hard fights for the Republicans too! And this is one reason why we have to fight corruption so hard. Those who are as corrupt as the Halliburton Republicans of the Bush era deserve to be brought down. And aparantly much of America agrees.

    Please take note of my many actions on this blog and remember, your letters to the editor exposing Republican corruption will help turn America around. And help out Democrat Francine Busby.

    Target the Corrupt Republican Campaign: Halliburton Republicans

    What do you give a company that overcharges and profits from the death of American soldiers? If you are George Bush you give them more contracts. That is the situation with Haliburton. I have been focusing on the corruption of individual Republican politicians so far. And I will continue that focus in the future. But this week I want to focus on another aspect of Republican scandals: the company called Haliburton.

    I will start by excerpting an article from Counter Punch:

    The damning investigation by the Defense Contract Audit Agency was completed in early October of 2004 and shipped up the line to Pentagon's dark triumverate, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. And there it sat. The Pentagon's civilian leadership mothballed the explosive report for more than five months, until after the election, the inauguration, the State of the Union Address and the Defense Department budget request had all safely transpired.

    Even congress was denied a peak at the report's findings until mid-March 2005. The Pentagon rejected 12 separate requests from Congressman Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who has spearheaded the ad hoc congressional inquiry into Halliburton's contract abuse, seeking to examine the internal audits of Halliburton's $2.5 billion contract for fuel supplies and other services to the US military and occupation government in Iraq.

    Waxman charged that the Pentagon withheld the damaging reports at the behest of the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, the former CEO of Halliburton.

    The Halliburton audits were also concealed from a team of investigators from the United Nations, which is probing profiteering from oil contracts in Iraq. More than $1.5 billion of Halliburton's $2.5 billion deal was funded by Iraqi oil sales overseen by the UN.

    "The evidence suggests that the Pentagon used Iraqi oil proceeds to overpay Halliburton," says Waxman. "And then the company and the Pentagon sought to hide the evidence of these overchages from the international auditors."

    The most peculiar billing found in this limited series of transactions was a $27.5 million charge for shipping cooking gas and heating fuel that the Pentagon auditors valued at $82,000. This single invoice amounted to an overcharge of more than 335 times the value of the liquified natural gas delivered by Halliburton's subcontractors.

    The auditors examined only a single task order in Halliburton's scandal-plagued contract with the Army Corps of Engineers, yet their report lambasted nearly every aspect of the deal, from the no-bid award to the cost-plus nature of the contract to the almost total lack of supervision of the work orders and the subcontractors.

    From May 2003 to March 2004, Halliburton sent the Corps of Engineers bills totalling more than $875 million for supplies of fuel to US operations in Iraq. For this task order alone, the Pentagon auditors estimated that Halliburton overbilled the government by at least $108.4 million. That's real money, even by Pentagon standards.

    But that's only a rough opening bid for the true scale of the looting, in large part because the company's indefatigable stonewalling. The auditor's report accuses Halliburton of misleading the government inspectors at nearly every turn. For example, the auditors allege that Halliburton simply refused to hand over any information on its subcontractors in Kuwait. "Halliburton failed to demonstrate its prices for Kuwait fuel were 'fair and reasonable'", the auditors wrote in their report.

    Similarly, Halliburton kept the Pentagon investigators in the dark about the prices it paid for purchasing fuel from Turkey and Jordan.

    The Defense Contract Audit Agency report comes on top of previous investigations tagging Halliburton, and its Kellogg, Brown and Root subsidiary, for more than $442 million in "unsupported" billings for its work in Iraq, including charges for meals that were never served, $45 cases of pop, unnecessary heavy equipment, tailoring fees and $152,000 for movie screenings. In all a report prepared by the Democratic Policy Committee estimates that Halliburton's overcharges in Iraq alone exceed $1 billion.

    And this company is STILL in charge of our operations in Iraq. They STILL get no-bid contracts. We are rewarding blatant corruption. This is TYPICAL of the Republican attitude towards corruption—reward it! But it gets worse.

    And now we get back to our old friend, Tom DeLay. From the Campaign for America’s Future:

    Tom DeLay's blatant abuse of power knows no bounds. In the dark of night (around 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning), DeLay slipped a $1.5 billion giveaway into the energy bill to big oil companies - including Halliburton and Marathon Oil. No Surprise. Oil and gas companies are DeLay's top career contributors.

    Tom DeLay's dirty deed benefits his own oil and gas buddies in his hometown of Sugar Land, Texas. His slippery insertion doubles the tax incentives to the richest oil companies of them all, Halliburton and Marathon Oil. As watchdog Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) so aptly said, "If Congress has an extra $1.5 billion to give away, the money should be used to help families struggling to pay for soaring gasoline prices - not to further enrich oil and gas companies that are rolling in profits."

    And here is more from American Progress

    DeLay's Sweetheart Deal

    Majority Leader Tom DeLay may have faded from the front pages, but he's still up to his dirty tricks. Yesterday, Rep. Henry Waxman revealed that DeLay slipped a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas into the energy bill. But it gets worse. The provision was "mysteriously inserted" into the text of the energy bill "after the conference was closed, so members of the conference committee had no opportunity to consider or reject this measure."

    THE ANATOMY OF A SCAM: The $1.5 billion is designated for "oil and natural gas drilling research." Ordinarily, any company could apply for these funds directly from the government. But DeLay does things a little differently. In this case, the bulk of the money must be handed over to "a corporation that is constructed as a consortium." As it so happens, "the leading contender for this contract appears to be the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) consortium, housed in the Texas Energy Center in Sugar Land, Texas," Tom DeLay's home district. RPSEA "has been advocating such a research program and is in a better position than any other group." (DeLay testified in support of the program before a House subcommittee last year.) If RPSEA wins the contract they can keep "up to 10% of the funds - in this case, over $100 million - in administrative expenses."

    DISPENSING WITH DEMOCRACY: The $1.5 billion giveaway was added to the bill after "Democratic negotiators went home Tuesday at 4 a.m. believing a deal had been finalized and the provision wasn't in the bill." The program was not included in the draft version of the bill and a DeLay spokesman said "he could not explain how the item was added to the final version of legislation prepared by the Senate and House negotiators."

    DELAY - ROBIN HOOD IN REVERSE: The broader question is: why do taxpayers need to provide another huge subsidy oil and gas companies? As Waxman notes "The oil and gas industry is reporting record income and profits. According to one analyst, the net income of the top oil companies will total $230 billion in 2005." Halliburton, which is a member of the consortium, would be eligible to "receive awards from the over $1 billion fund administered by the consortium."

    Tom DeLay added a $1.5 billion giveaway to oil companies, including the corrupt Haliburton, into the Energy Bill that Congress just passed. So Tom DeLay, mired in corruption himself, is giving OUR TAX MONEY to Haliburton, the company already caught in the act of bilking taxpayers.

    I think we need to really shout about this to the media! Republican corruption is feeding off our hard-earned dollars! Write the media and let them know what you think of Haliburton’s corrupt war profiteering and corrupt Tom DeLay’s use of our tax money to help out corrupt Haliburton.