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  • Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Republican Corruption in NY State: Sweeny and Fossella

    NY State Republicans may not quite be as corrupt as their counterparts in Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky (the three most corrupt Republican State Parties in the nation), but, my own NY State is not immune to the largely Republican Culture of Corruption. Some time back I brought up the hypocrisy and corruption of Republican Congressman John Sweeny (NY-20) who did his best to distance himself from the Republican mega-scandal involving lobbyist Jack Abramhoff but is himself just as much a part of the Republican-Lobbyist Culture of Corruption as any Republican. I also have blogged extensively about some corrupt ties between a particular developer (Bruce Ratner) and New York politicians (Republicans Michael Bloomberg and George Pataki (Ratner's law school chum)...as well as Democrat Marty Markowitz). Today I want to review Sweeny's corruption and introduce a new target of my campaign against corruption in NY State: Congressman Vito Fossella (NY-13).

    Corrupt Republican Congressman Sweeny: This is drawn from a Daily Kos diary:

    Sweeney, known for his defense of the indicted Tom DeLay and his close ties to Bush's inner circle...jetted off to Park City, Utah for a "Skiing with Sweeney" weekend, a $2,000 event that included dinner at the home of Jeffrey Kimbell, a pharmaceutical lobbyist. His second annual "Skiing with Sweeney" weekend…

    According to the invitation, attendees were to check in...Thursday, ski on Friday and then go to dinner at the home of Jeff Kimbell, whose D.C. lobbying firm, Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, lists among its clients pharmaceutical heavyweights like Novartis and Allergan.

    His actions also earned him a strong rebuke in the Albany Times Union…:

    "There was Mr. Sweeney, a Clifton Park Republican, soliciting money last weekend on a Utah ski holiday where access to power was literally for sale.

    [snip]

    Not very subtle, especially when the invitation to this gathering so crassly noted that Mr. Sweeney is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which controls a big portion of the fruits of access to government…"


    And here are some of Sweeny’s donors:

    Alexander Strategy Group, the lobbying firm run by former Tom DeLay staffers, Ed Buckham and Tony Rudy, that announced that it would be closing operations in the wake of the Abramoff guilty plea. The plea deal with Abramoff gives all the appearance that indictments of Mr. Buckham and his associates will be forthcoming.

    Greenberg Traurig, one of the lobbying firms that Jack Abramoff was using as a front for his bribery and corruption enterprise. Preston, Gates, Ellis is another.

    TYCO International, that model of responsible corporate behavior, has recently revealed that it hired Abramoff and Greenberg Traurig during this time to lobby congress on their behalf.

    Gee, sure sounds like Sweeny may be a good target for investigation.

    In addition to his own corruption, John Sweeney voted to weaken the ethics rules in a move that many say served only to protect Tom DeLay. Sweeney also voted to allow Tom DeLay to continue serving as Leader even if indicted. Sweeny, NY Republican, is part of the Republican Culture of Corruption.

    Corrupt Republican Congressman Vito Fossella: Vito Fossella is the only Republican Congressman from NYC. He is a loyal toady of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and has refused to condemn Rove and Cheney for insensitive statements regarding NYC and 9/11. Fossella represents Bush, Rove and Cheney, not NYC. But it turns out he is also as blatantly corrupt as any Halliburton Republican. This is from the Brooklyn Papers

    Bay Ridge’s four-term Republican congressman has been dipping into campaign funds to finance pleasure trips to exclusive resorts in Florida, Colorado, Nevada and California, according to published reports.

    Rep. Vito Fossella violated federal law when he took $53,142 from his campaign war chest to pay for fun-filled trips to the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and the Lodge at Vail, according to the Daily News.

    The trips often included his wife and two children, the News reported.

    In addition to the alleged misuse of campaign funds, the congressman took $11,000 from political consultants and corporate sponsors for “fact-finding missions,” including a $5,000 stay at Turnberry Isle Resort near Miami, which he charged to a political consultant’s credit card.

    Fossella also failed to disclose a free roundtrip to Miami on the private jet of the late Richard Adeo, cited by federal authorities as a Gambino crime family associate.

    He even sent out a taxpayer-funded mailing in which it appeared that Muppets Elmo and Rosita were endorsing him — a no-no in the public TV world...

    Fossella has been under increased scrutiny in the wake of corruption scandals that have rocked the national GOP, including the fall of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

    Clear links between Abramoff and Fossella were previously reported. Records show that Abramoff hosted a 2002 fundraiser for Fossella at a Yankees/Orioles game in Baltimore that raked in $1,000 a ticket. Fossella has denied that Abramoff was involved in the event.


    Misuse of campaign funds and bribery...er, I mean "fact-finding missions" that included luxury stays for himself and his family paid for by consultants. Links to convicted criminal Abramoff (and lying about it!). Close association with Mafioso. AND, worst of all, exploiting Elmo and Rosita! My baby son (a huge Elmo fan) would be horrified! Shame on Fossella!

    So you know the score. Write the media and complain about the Republican culture of corruption and their failure to realize that America hates corruption. Focus on Fossella and Sweeny and their addiction to lobbyist money.

    And don’t forget, Sweeny and Fossella are also targets of the Sweep NY State campaign so PLEASE donate to defeat Sweeny in the NY-20 and Fossella in the NY-13 race! You can take part in defeating Republican Corruption!

    3 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well, Vito Fossella is a part of the Bush/Abramoff culture of corruption,

    I also discuss Vito Fossella in my Target the Corrupt Republican blog,

    And here is what the NY Times had to say about Vito Fossella back in 2006.

    And, for comparison, here is what the NY times says about Steve Harrison, Vito's 2006 and 2008 opponant.

    9:13 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Vito is running scared already. Seems he was so spooked by Harrison last time, he came out nasty and brutish within a day of Harrison declaring, leading a Daily Gotham blogger to declare that Vito Fossella, aka Bagdhad Vito is Freaking Out. Problem is, Vito Fossella is already in debt from last time around. Sounds like Harrison was softening up Vito last time around, leaving him weak and in debt for 2008. By contrast, I have heard from the inside that Harrison had some money left over from last time (donated at the very last minute, so not able to spend it).

    Vito Fossella breaking campaign finance laws.

    But if you really want to know how bad Vito Fossella is, you can read this article titled
    Vito Fossella
    : Bush Lap Dog, Social Security Flip Flopper, and Friend to Criminals.

    9:14 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Interestingly, if you google Vito Fossella number 23 on the list is an interesting Ubrandictionary definition. Apparantly, someone thought Vito Fossella is a "Lying Sack of Shit." I cannot comment on the "Sack of Shit" part of this comparison, however I do know for a fact that Vito Fossella is a liar. Vito Fossella has lied about the legality of his campaign expenditures. It seems that Vito Fossella broke the law in using campaign funds for personal trips for himself and his family. Vito Fossella claimed that "mistakes were made," but the truth was laws were broken. Another lie is that Vito Fossella claims to be independent, but Vito Fossella has voted Bush's party line more than 90% of the time. This has led many to claim that Vito Fossella is nothing more than Bush's Lap Dog.

    9:21 AM  

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