Beyond Abramoff: Several more nasty Republican scandals
1. TEXAS: Texas Rep. Joe Barton was selected as chairman of the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee and is using this position to attack climate scientists. But he also received more than $ 200,000 in campaign donations from the oil/gas industry as well as from the electric utility industry, his two top sources of funding. This is a blatant bribe--Barton is a bought-and-sold Republican doing the dirty work of the oil executives in exchange for campaign contributions.
Barton's corruption and attacks on climate scientists are covered in this article from the American Prospect.
2. KENTUCKY: 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.
3. OHIO: 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
4. MISSOURI: Roy Blunt (MO-7) and his son Matt Blunt (Governor of MO) are among the most corrupt politicians in America today. Here are some excerpts from Blunt Facts regarding the corruption of the Blunt family in Missouri politics:
Rep. Roy Blunt (MO-7) tried to help Philip Morris (one of his big donors and employer of his son, Andrew, and his then girlfriend, Abigail Perlman) by inserting a tobacco industry backed provision attacking internet cigarette sales into the, get this, Homeland Security Bill. Matt Blunt, Gov. of Missouri, used taxpayer's money, including Federal money, to urge people to vote. Problem was, he plastered his own name and face all over the ads even though he was a candidate. He used OUR money to plug himself. Out-of-state donors who needed support from Roy Blunt in Congress donated large amounts of money to his son, Matt Blunt's, campaign. Finally, Governor Matt Blunt has tried to prevent the U.S. Attorney's office from investigating his family's scandals by putting the wife of U.S. Attorney Todd Graves (U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri) on the Blunt Family payroll to the tune of a cool half million dollars a year, and he used taxpayer dollars to do it.
5. CALIFORNIA: And let us not forget Rep. Randy Cunningham of California who resigned in disgrace and pleaded guilty to bribary. We all thought this scandal ended with Cunningham's guilty plea. But rumor has it that there is more coming that will be another major blow to the Republican Party. Rumor has it, Cunningham is turning state's evidence and may have worn a wire. We are all wondering who Abramoff will finger. Now we can also speculate on who Cunningham will finger. Hurricane Abramoff may be followed by Hurricane Cunningham.
6. Nationwide Cronyism: And then there was FEMA's Mike Brown, who was appointed to head FEMA as a favor to Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh, who, in turn, had been Bush's chief of staff in Texas. The bottom line is Michael Brown had no experience and lied on his biographical report to the Senate when he was nominated. The Senate approved him almost without question. The result: when disaster hit Louisiana and Mississippi, Brown fumbled it so badly that, almost uniquely in the Bush administration of failure, Brown was forced to resign. Had the Senate looked at Brown more carefully, they might have realized he was appointed as a reward to Allbaugh, a political appointment unrelated to merit. As with the scandals in Kentucky, Brown’s appointment was a return to the Spoils System of American government that had been disgraced so long ago. And hundreds, maybe thousands, died because of his incompetence. Corruption kills in Bush America!
This is just a sampling of the disgusting, corrupt politics of the modern Republican party. And none of this Abramoff connected. These are SEPARATE Republican scandals and don't even include Tom DeLay (R-TX), Bob Ney (R-OH) and Conrad Burns (R-MT) who are all looking like they may be brought down by the Abramoff scandal.
So anytime someone tries to say that Democrats are as bad as Republican, remind them of these other scandals.