• No Sweat
  • Friday, March 31, 2006


    This week Jack Abramoff was sentenced for his role in the corruption that is threatening to bring down many top politicians in the Republican Party, Some time back, Republican New York Rep. John Sweeny began calling for the heads of the Republican leadership in Washington in the wake of the Jack Abramoff-Tom DeLay-Grover Norquist bribery and corruption scandal. He wanted to paint himself as not one of the corrupt Republicans.

    Well, like so much the Republican Party says to us, Sweeny was misleading us. He is just as involved in the Republican-Lobbyist Culture of Corruption as any Republican. This is drawn from a Daily Kos diary:

    But no sooner had Sweeney, known for his defense of the indicted Tom DeLay and his close ties to Bush's inner circle, begun circulating his petition, loudly proclaiming his mantle of reformer and the Republicans need for "soul searching," then he 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 last 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.


    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.

    And here is a summary of Sweeny’s corruption from the DCCC website:

    # John Sweeney has taken $4,915 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. No surprise that Sweeney voted with Tom DeLay 92% of the time between Jan. 1 2004 and March 31 2005.

    Is this the kind of government-for-hire that working families deserve?

    # John Sweeney voted to weaken the ethics rules in a move that many say served only to protect Tom DeLay.

    Does the integrity of the House mean so little that John Sweeney would sacrifice it to defend Tom DeLay?

    # When Republicans realized it was "impossible to win the communications battle" over the gutted ethics rules, Sweeney flip-flopped and voted to put the old rules back into place.

    So John Sweeney cares about the integrity of the House after all -- when cable news is covering it.

    # When Democrats offered a solution to clean up the House by strengthening ethics rules, John Sweeney voted to make sure it never even came to an up or down vote.

    So instead of a bipartisan effort to get government working for Americans, John Sweeney stood for cronyism and partisan politics.

    # John Sweeney voted to allow Tom DeLay to continue serving as Leader even if he is indicted.

    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 Sweeny and his hypocritical addiction to lobbyist money.

    And don’t forget, Sweeny is also a target of the Sweep NY State campaign so PLEASE donate to defeat Sweeny in the NY-20 race! You can take part in defeating Republican Corruption!

    Saturday, March 04, 2006

    Randy Cunningham Receives Eight-Year Sentence

    A former target of my anti-corrption campaign is finally getting his reward for being one of America's most corrupt politicians. Randy Cunningham (R-CA) has received an 8 years, 4 month sentence in federal prison for bribery. Score one for the people against Bush and DeLay's culture of Corruption.

    From Truthout:

    After the GOP representative's emotional plea for leniency, the judge sends him to federal prison for bribery.

    San Diego - A judge rejected Randall "Duke" Cunningham's tearful bid for mercy today and sentenced the war hero, "Top Gun" instructor and disgraced former congressman to 8 years, 4 months in federal prison for bribery.

    Looking thin and haggard, Cunningham, with head downcast, listened as US District Judge Larry A. Burns imposed the sentence.

    "You've undermined the opportunity [that] honest politicians have to do good," Burns said.

    Burns ordered Cunningham to pay $1.8 million in restitution and refused his request for a week to say goodbye to his family. Cunningham was led from the courtroom by US marshals.

    Burns said the only reason he didn't give Cunningham 10 years was because of his military service during the Vietnam War.

    Cunningham, a Rancho Santa Fe Republican, confessed to taking $2.4 million in bribes and evading more than $1 million in taxes.

    Kudos to the normally horrible and right-wing biased San Diego Union for breaking and pursuing the story of Cunningham's disgusting corruption.

    But I say we need to go further. CA-50, Cunningham's district, is traditionally Republican. But people around the nation are getting fed up with Bush's horrible record running the nation and with the Republican culture of corruption. Democrat Francine Busby is running to replace Randy Cunningham in an April special election. We have a chance to really punish the Republicans for their corruption by taking one of their previously "safe" districts. Support Francine Busby for Congress and show the Republicans that corruption has its consequences.