• No Sweat
  • Friday, October 27, 2006

    Republican Corruption in Virginia

    The Republican culture of corruption is coming back to bite the so-called "moral party" in the behind. I have particularly written about how the Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky Republican parties are among the most corrupt state parties in the nation. Virginia does not appear to have corruption quite at the level of Ohio's Taft and Ney, Missouri's father and son team of corruption, the Blunts, or Kentucky's spoils system governor. But, just a year ago, revalations about the Virginia Republican party brought the Abramoff scandal right to Virginia and showed that ties between Virginia Republicans and white supremicists are nothing new.

    In a November 4th, 2005 article in The Nation
    , the following revalations were highlighted regarding key Virginia Republicans:

    Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore, fear mongering with the "immigration issue," accepted financial support from US Immigration Reform PAC, an anti-immigrant group with racist ties. But he also took massive contributions from companies known for exploiting illegal immigrants. US Immigration Reform PAC is linked to John Tanton, who is connected with the Pioneer Fund, an organization that advocates eugenics, and which promoted Nazi propaganda films during the 1930s. US Immigration Reform PAC hired Peter Gemma, a Holocaust denier who has spoken alongside David Duke, as a consultant. Gemma also was the media director for the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank. THESE are the people who support Virginia Republicans.

    But Kilgore played both sides. While receiving money from white supremicists who liked his anti-immigration stand, Kilgore also too money from Smithfield Foods, a company that loves to hire undocumented workers then threatens to report them to the IRS if they supported a union. In 2000 Smithfield committed thirty-six labor violations during its union-busting fight in the 1990s. Kilgore got money from anti-labor companies that violate American labor and immigration companies. And this man was the standard bearer for Virginia Republicans just last year.

    Then there is Virginia Republican 2005 Attorney General candidate Bob McDonnell (now the actual Attorney General of Virginia). A graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University, McDonnell was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates thanks to the support of Ralph Reed's Christian Coalition. This self-rightous man financed his campaign through a possibly illegal slush fund set up by the Republican State Leadership Committee. Through this slush fund McDonnell got nearly $1 million from anonymous donors. One reason this was an issue was the fact that there was concern that McDonnell was tied to gambling interests through his connections with Abramoff. McDonnell hired three former associates of Jack Abramoff. One of those Abramoff associates was McDonnell's campaign manager for awhile but ultimately ended up in prison for soliciting sex with a young boy. I wonder if he hung out with Foley as well. To quote directly from The Nation:

    Two of McDonnell's top consultants and his former campaign manager used a Virginia-based Christian-right organization, the Faith and Family Alliance, to launder casino lobbyist Jack Abramoff's money. The Alliance was founded by two former business partners of Ralph Reed, Tim Phillips and Phil Cox, and was directed by Robin Vanderwall. In 2000, Vanderwall was instructed by Reed to deposit a $150,000 check sent by conservative antitax activist Grover Norquist, then write a new check for the same amount and send it back to Reed's consulting firm, Century Strategies. Both Norquist and Reed were being paid by Abramoff to lobby against a congressional antigambling bill on behalf of his client, e-Lottery.

    "I was operating as a shell," Vanderwall told the Washington Post of his role in Abramoff's operation. "I regret having anything to do with it."

    Vanderwall is a longtime associate of McDonnell. They attended Regent University together, and in 1999 Vanderwall managed McDonnell's campaign for Virginia's House of Delegates. Today, while McDonnell campaigns for draconian penalties against sex offenders, Vanderwall serves a seven-year sentence in state prison for soliciting sex with a 13-year-old boy who turned out to be an undercover cop.

    These people make claims to morality even as they money launder, solicit sex from minors, and make friends with union busters and white supremicists. These are big wigs in the Republican Party in Virginia. McDonnell is NOW the Virginia Attorney General. I personally find this repugnant and un-American.

    But lets also look at the comparisons between Virginia corruption and the corruption in the National Republican Party: both involve close ties with Jack Abramoff (now in prison) and both include solicitation of sex with minors. There is a pattern here. I suggest writing some letters to the editor discussing these scandals within the Virginia Republican Party.

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Republican Corruption in New Jersey

    I have been describing the Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky Republican parties as the most corrupt in the nation. I still think that is true, but I am finding that the Republican Party of New Jersey is up there, too. Or at least parts of it.

    Oddly, I had to get this one from a CONSERVATIVE website to find it:

    I found few links to this case on the web, but it really seems like big news for New Jersey. The U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, in an operation called “Operation Bid Rig,” investigated corruption by Republican politicians. This operation led to the arrest in 2005 of at least 11 New Jersey Republicans, including Middletown Republican Raymond O'Grady. For the so-called “moral party,” this seems like quite an embarrassment. Not at the level of Abramoff or coingate or Foley’s sleaze scandal, but something that should be talked about and should be the subject of letters to the editor.
    From the

    The FBI's first sweep in its Operation Bid Rig probe led to the arrest of 11 officials in Monmouth County on Feb. 22, 2005. Their status:

    Paul Zambrano, 50, former West Long Branch mayor and brother of Long Branch Councilman John Zambrano, who pleaded guilty Thursday to one charge of accepting a bribe: Pleaded guilty to accepting $15,000 in bribes.

    Thomas Broderick, 61, former Monmouth County assistant highway supervisor: Pleaded guilty to money laundering that netted him $15,000 in profits.

    Joseph "Joey Buses" McCurnin, 65, former Monmouth County transportation operations manager: Pleaded guilty to aiding in the extortion of a $1,000 bribe.

    Joseph DeLisa, 50, former West Long Branch councilman: Awaiting trial on bribery and extortion charges.

    Paul Coughlin, 42, former Hazlet mayor: Pleaded guilty to accepting a $3,000 bribe.

    Patsy Townsend, 59, former Monmouth County deputy fire marshal and Neptune code enforcement officer: Pleaded guilty to extorting a $1,000 bribe.

    John J. Hamilton Jr., 56, former Asbury Park councilman: Awaiting trial on charges of extortion, accepting a bribe in the form of a $5,000 driveway, attempted witness tampering and making a false statement.

    Raymond O'Grady, 56, former Middletown Township committeeman: Convicted of extorting and accepting $8,000 in bribes.

    Richard Iadanza, 51, former Neptune committeeman: Pleaded guilty to taking $3,000 in bribes.

    John J. Merla, 44, Keyport mayor: Awaiting trial on eight counts of extortion and bribery charges.

    An 11th defendant, Robert L. Hyer, a former Keyport councilman, died before trial. He was charged with extorting a $5,000 bribe…

    All of these, from what I can tell, are Republicans. Perhaps it is time to bring up in the media that Republican corruption has been going on for some time and it affects New Jersey as well.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    CORRUPT REPUBLICANS: a look back

    I started my "Target the Corrupt Republican" blog in July 2005. Among my earliest targets were Tom DeLay (Texas), now indicted, and Bob Ney (Ohio) and Randy Cunningham (California), both of whom pled guilty. Many other corrupt Republicans I have targeted are in the battle of their carreers because of corruption. This includes Conrad Burns (Montana), likely to be defeated by Democrat Jon Tester (populist and organic farmer), Steve Pombo (California) is locked in a dead heat with Jerry McNerney for Congress, and Katherine Harris (Florida), ready to go down in flames trying to run for Senate while her Congressional seat may well be lost to Democrat Christine Jennings (though she needs our help to win!).

    More than a year ago I predicted that corruption was going to be one of the top issues in 2006...and that has come true largely because Democrats have refused to let the Republicans duck the issue. The media has been completely lax in covering Republican Corruption, and the Republican Party itself, well aware of corruption within its ranks, focuses not on cleaning up, but covering up. So it has been left to Democrats to weed out corruption.

    By hammering away at this issue over the past 18 months we have prevented Republicans from carrying on as usual and have got them on the run. Let's keep pushing the issue of honest government, but within our own party and against the uber-corrupt Republican party.

    In addition, I want to remind people that some of this corruption will never be prosectued as long as the descision is up to Republican Attorneys General. So, in addition to my push to get people helping out Democrats running for secretaries of state, I am encouraging people to help Democrats running for attorney general. So please go to my Sec. of State/Attorney General Act Blue site and help out. These may be the most important races of the year because they will determine the integrity of future elections and investigations into Republican corruption, yet they are neglected races. Please help.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    A Rare Case of Republicans Doing the Right Thing

    By and large, whether it is the Abramoff scandal, coingate scandal, the sexual predator scandal (Foley), Swiftboat lies or any of a whole litany of Republican scandals, the Republican reaction to corruption in their midst is to lie, blame Democrats, cover it up, or, when all else fails, bring up Clinton's blow job. By contrast, many Democrats have criticized the corruption of Conrgessman William Jefferson, Alan Mollohan and called for the censure of Bill Clinton for lying to Congress. But Republicans defended and often STILL defend the likes of Jack Abramoff (now in jail), Ken Lay (convicted), Tom DeLay (indicted), Randy Cunningham (in jail), Bob Ney (pled guilty), etc. etc. etc. This permissiveness within the Republican Party for corruption has led to such a massive growth in Republican corruption that it is almost unbelievable. And the Republicans STILL try to claim to be the moral party.

    But, occasionally...VERY occasionally, a Republican, when faced with corruption in the ranks of the Republican party, does the right thing. That is what is happening in Orange County, California, where a Republican Congressional candidate appears to have sent out an intimidating letter with misinformation about voting rights to Hispanic voters. In an almost unprecedented move for Republicans, California Republicans are denouncing that Republican Candidate.


    GOP Calls for Withdrawal of Candidate

    - - - - - - - - - - - -

    By PETER PRENGAMAN Associated Press Writer

    October 19,2006 | GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- Orange County Republican leaders on Thursday called for the withdrawal of a GOP congressional candidate they believe sent a letter threatening Hispanic immigrant voters with arrest.

    Tan D. Nguyen denied knowing anything about the letter in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press but said he fired a campaign staffer who may have been responsible for it.

    County Republican Chairman Scott Baugh, however, said that after speaking with state investigators and the company that distributed the mailer, he believes Nguyen had direct knowledge of "obnoxious and reprehensible" letter. He told the AP that the party's executive committee voted unanimously to urge Nguyen to drop out of the race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

    Of course Loretta Sanchez, who entered Conrgess when she defeated the ultra-right wing idiot Bob "B-2" Dornan, was going to trounce Nguyen soundly, so the Republicans have nothing to lose by repudiating his nasty tactics, but it is still a far cry from the lies and cover ups we have seen from the likes of Reynolds and Hastert regarding Abramoff corruption, Foley's solicitation of sex with minors and a whole slew of other nasty, disgusting Republican scandals.

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    Corruption so Blatant, Even the Republicans Can't Deny it: Abramoff's Ghost

    Republican corruption is becoming so blatant that even Congressional Republicans are deciding not to block an investigation of it. Jack Abramoff may be in jail, but the Republican scandals surrounding his empire of sleaze continue to grow.


    Senate Questions Nonprofits' Tax Status

    - - - - - - - - - - - -

    By JOHN HEILPRIN Associated Press Writer

    October 12,2006 | WASHINGTON -- Five nonprofit groups, including one of President Bush's biggest supporters, may have broken tax laws and put their tax-exempt status at risk by helping convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a Senate Finance Committee report concludes.

    The 600-page report issued Thursday was prepared by the committee's Democratic staff. Majority Republicans, however, had agreed to its release and joined with Democrats in issuing subpoenas for documents and e-mails cited in the report.

    It has become HIGHLY unusual for the Republicans to allow this kind of honest investigation of corruption. They have generally used their domination of both houses of Congress to block all Congressional investigation of Republicans. And, more often than not, they have covered up for their cronies like they did for six years after finding out about Foley's solicitation of sex from minors. So this is a real change for Republicans and shows that even they can't stop the public from knowning what is going on within their own ranks.

    Among the groups named as possibly taking money from Abramoff clients and funneling it into his lobbying efforts on their behalf were Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens Against Government Waste and the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy.

    Tax-exempt groups are barred by law from being paid to lobby or do public relations.

    Americans for Tax Reform is headed by Grover Norquist, a key ally of Bush and a longtime associate of Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser.

    The report said Norquist's group accepted $1.5 million from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, one of Abramoff's clients. More than two-thirds of that money was then passed to Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed as part of Abramoff's lobbying efforts to block a rival tribe's proposed casino in Alabama...

    Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the Senate Finance Committee's senior Democrat, said his staff turned up evidence showing the groups "may have improved a lobbyist's power and profits" by unlawfully exploiting their tax-exempt status, possibly even lobbying the White House...

    The report also questioned the tax-exempt status of other groups, based on their association with Abramoff. It found that:

    --The Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, co-founded by Italia Federici, Norquist and former interior secretary Gale Norton, received at least $250,000 from Abramoff clients to lobby the Interior Department.

    --The National Center for Public Policy Research used money from Abramoff's clients to sponsor golf trips in 2000 and 2003 to Scotland for members of Congress.

    --Toward Tradition, a religion-centered group once chaired by Abramoff, took money for help with generating news articles for Abramoff and his clients.

    Republicans and Right Wing Fanatics: Corrupt to the Core. Let's face it folks. Bill Clinton getting a blow job and lying about it is NOTHING compared with the current levels of Republican corruption. Hell, even Nixon would be impressed! Watergate was minor compared with the layers upon layers of corruption in the Republican Party today.

    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Bush Campaigns for Racists and Abusers of Women

    It is really disgusting when the supposed president campaigns for people who are racist and who abuse women. THIS is what the Republican Party is coming to!

    In Pennsylvania, Republican Congressman Don Sherwood was caught in a very public scandal where it was discovered he had a mistress for 5 years. This was discovered because he tried to strangle her, she locked her self in his bathroom and called 911. After being rescued from the abusive Republican Congressman, she sued him, furthering the scandal.

    In Virginia Republican George Allen has been publically using racial slurs and apparantly has been using them since at least college. He is also thought to have past connections with white supremicists.

    These are the two people George Bush is going out of his way to campaign for. From

    Bush will make separate appearances Thursday for Rep. Don Sherwood, R-Pa., and Sen. George Allen, R-Va.

    Sherwood had been considered to have a safe seat for re-election until a woman filed suit against him and alleged that he had choked her during an altercation at his Capitol Hill apartment. He admitted to having an affair with the woman, 35 years his junior, but denied hurting her. They settled the case out of court.

    "Mr. Sherwood has certainly admitted to what is going on," [White House press secretary Tony] Snow said. "And the president also believes that we're all sinners, we all seek forgiveness and, in this particular case, he's supporting Don Sherwood's candidacy."

    Allen has spent weeks rebutting accusations he used racist language and liked Confederate symbols. The furor began Aug. 11, when the senator called a volunteer for his opponent "macaca," considered by some to be a racial slur, during a political rally.

    This further proves my point that when faced with sleaze, corruption and racism within their ranks, Republicans always close ranks and protects their worst members. Whether it is campaigning for racists, supporting men who strangle their mistresses, or covering up for sexual predator, Mark Foley, or trying to weaken ethics rules to (unsuccessfully) protect the corrupt Tom DeLay, Republicans WALLOW in corruption and sleaze. Now Bush is solidly siding with racism and violence against women. Just disgusting.

    So, I suggest helping to defeat Racsit Allen by supporting Democrat Jim Webb (former Navy secretary under President Reagan) and helping to defeat Woman Abuser Sherwood by supporting Democrat Chris Carney (Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, served multiple tours overseas and was activated for operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle and he has served as Senior Terrorism and Intelligence Advisor at the Pentagon). We have two TERRIBLE Republicans running against two excellent Democrats. Let's show Bush what we think of his racist and abusive candidates.

    Corrupt Republicans in Pennsylvania: Curt Weldon Part 2

    I called attention to the FBI investigation into Pennsylvania Repblican Curt Weldon. The article I quoted (from was fine, but I find's coverage clearer. So, let me present's coverage:

    The FBI is investigating whether Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., used his influence to secure lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, two people familiar with the inquiry said Saturday.

    The inquiry focuses on lobbying contracts worth $1 million that Weldon's daughter, Karen Weldon, obtained from foreign clients and whether they were assisted by the congressman, they said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the criminal investigation...

    Two people familiar with the investigation told the AP on Saturday that the inquiry was being handled by agents from the FBI's field offices in Washington and Philadelphia and was being coordinated by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section. Spokesmen for the Justice Department and the FBI declined comment Saturday.

    Those two people familiar with the investigation confirmed that federal agents were examining Weldon's work between 2004 and 2004 to help two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers connected to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. They had hired Solutions North America Inc., a company operated by Karen Weldon and Charles Sexton, a Republican ally of the congressman.

    Weldon is in denial...he and his campaign claims there IS NO investigation. But it seems that there is.

    This comes at a bad time for Weldon because he already is in danger of losing his seat even before this came out. What should have been a shoo-in 10-term incumbent Republican cake walk had already turned into a tossup because the Democrat, Joe Sestack, is a 3-star general who is actually out raising the Republican. Weldon, not surprisingly, made some nasty attacks on Sestack, but this backfired because it was seen as disrespectful to the military in the district. Now the FBI is investigating Weldon, adding to his woes. This is a prime pick up shot!

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    Republican Corruption in Pennsylvania: FBI investigates Curt Weldon

    Pennsylvania Republican, Curt Weldon, doesn't have to go far to find a lobbyist for mutual back-scratching. Weldon's daughter is a lobbyist. And together, it seems their corruption has gained the attention of the FBI. From

    The FBI, which opened an investigation in recent months, has formally referred the matter to the department's Public Integrity Section for additional scrutiny. At issue are Weldon's efforts between 2002 and 2004 to aid two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers with ties to strongman Slobodan Milosevic, a federal law enforcement official said.

    The Russian companies and a Serbian foundation run by the brothers' family each hired a firm co-owned by Weldon's daughter, Karen, for fees totaling nearly $1 million a year, public records show.

    Karen Weldon was 28 and lacked consulting experience when she and Charles Sexton, a Weldon ally and longtime Republican leader in Delaware County, Pa., created the firm of Solutions North America Inc. in 2002. Both are registered with the Justice Department as representatives of foreign clients...

    But McClatchy Newspapers' sources said the FBI only over the last few months obtained evidence suggesting that the congressman may have broken the law. One of the sources, a federal law enforcement official, said that Weldon had not yet been told about the inquiry.

    The official said that the FBI recently sought the assistance of federal prosecutors in pressuring an unidentified person to provide evidence about the 59-year-old congressman. The attempt to "squeeze" this individual appeared to be an early step, the two sources said.

    Not only does it sound like favors for money going on here, but working for people linked to Milosevic? I mean, why not work for people linked to Hitler or Stalin? What's a little genocide among friends?

    Curt Weldon is just one more example of the Republican culture of corruption and their eagerness to profit even off genocide.

    Republican Corruption in Ohio: Bob Ney pleads guilty

    Disgraced Republican Congressman Bob Ney has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal. He is the first Congressman to plead guilty in this case to date, though it has also brought indictments to the likes of the disgraced Republican, Tom DeLay. Remember, Bob Ney was an early target of my Target the Corrupt Republican Campaign. Tom DeLay was another early target! So far, I think I am doing well in picking them.

    If you want to fight corruption, please consider donating to defeating corrupt Republicans in this year's election (including Bob Ney's OH-18 and Tom DeLay's TX-22 seats), and please consider donating to electing Democratic Attornies General who will pursue, rather than block, investigations into Republican corruption (Secretaries of State races also included).

    Another Rare Example of Democratic Corruption

    I spend a great deal of time discussing the extreme corruption of the Republicans, from war profiteering to covering up for a sexual predator to outright bribes and cronyism, the Republican Party is corrupt as can be, from Bush's Halliburton Republicans nationally right down to the Republican State parties of Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky which each take corruption to an art form. Tom DeLay (indicted), Mark Foley (sexual predator), Vito Fossella (misuse of campaign funds and kissing up to lobbyists), Randy Cunningham (in jail), Bob Ney (pled guilty), Don Sherwood (choked his mistress who then sued him), George Allen (using racial slurs publically throughout his life), Jack Abramoff (in jail), Goveror Taft of Ohio (found guilty of corruption), Governor Fletcher of Kentucky (found guilty of corruption), etc. etc. etc. Corruption permeates all levles of the Republican Party, leading one California Republican, Pete McCloskey, who comes from three generations of California Republican activists, to endorse Democratic challenger, Jerry McNerney, over the Republican incumbent, saying that it is better for the Democrats to capture the House temporarily in order to cleanse the Republican leadership.

    But, unlike the Republicans who lie and cover up for their corrupt cronies, occasionally I have to report on the rare cases of Democratic corruption. I know they are there because here in Brooklyn is one example of a corrupt Democratic machine. But there ALSO is a reform Democrat movement opposed to that corruption, which is slowly winning. You NEVER see that among Republicans. They merely cover up even for sexual predators (for SIX YEARS).

    I have reported on my own local party's corruption (the former head of which is now in jail thanks to DEMOCRATIC efforts to clean up the party). And I reported on the corruption of Democratic Congressman William Jefferson. Now, sad to say, I have another Democrat I need to point out whose corruption seems almost, but not quite, at the level of Republican corruption.

    In the WV-1 Congressional district, we have one of the rare cases these days when corruption is affecting the Dem rather than the Republican. Democrat Alan B. Mollohan seems to have funnelled pork barrell money for his state into his own personal finances. Needless to say, Congressional Republicans who did their best to block probes of the corruption of Abramoff, Cunningham, DeLay, Blunt, Ney, etc. etc. were eager to investigate Mollohan. Now I AGREE with their willingness to investigate Mollohan, but NOT with the Republicans covering up their own corruption. Since I make a huge point of fighting Republican corruption, I have to say WV-1 is a seat I can't endorse the Democrat. Not that I can endorse the Republican! But given the probable corruption of the Dem, I am willing to let him fight his own battle and I hope that Congressional investigations of Mollohan, DeLay, Blunt, Fossella, Sweeny, etc. go forward.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    The Foley Scandal: Debunking the Right Wing Spin

    This comes from Media

    Special Report: Top Foley Scandal Myths and Falsehoods

    Media Matters for America: Republicans/Conservatives Continue to Float Baseless Assertions Throughout Media, Go Largely Unchallenged

    Washington, DC – Today, Media Matters for America released a special report chronicling the growing wave of misinformation floating throughout the media since the Foley scandal broke almost two weeks ago. The report provides the top myths, falsehoods and baseless assertions surrounding the controversy, touching on everything from the media’s failure to challenge the Republican House leadership’s excuses to the media uncritically reporting on Hastert’s ever-changing story.

    “Despite the complete saturation of coverage on this scandal there is still an enormous amount of misinformation floating throughout the media,” said David Brock, President and CEO of Media Matters for America. “Time and again these assertions have been proven inaccurate yet the media has failed to effectively challenge those who insist on spreading these falsehoods. As a result the American people remain uninformed when it comes to the true facts of this case. This report sheds light on the more persistent examples of conservative misinformation surrounding this story so the media and those who rely on the media report the facts can see the truth for themselves.”

    To View the Full Report


    The scandal surrounding the sexually explicit electronic communications then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) allegedly sent to underage former congressional pages -- and the House Republican leadership’s alleged cover-up of Foley’s behavior -- have produced a wave of misinformation. To aid members of the media in covering the scandal, Media Matters for America has compiled a list of the top myths, falsehoods, and baseless assertions surrounding the controversy.

    The following is a brief summary of what the report entails:

    Democrats and Their Allies Orchestrated the Foley Scandal as a Political Dirty Trick

    Many media outlets, without any basis whatsoever, have repeated the charge by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and others that Democrats or liberals are behind the Foley scandal. But these various charges, including claiming that Democrats or their allies knew about the emails and instant messages long ago and, purposefully and in a coordinated fashion, released them to the media in a way designed for maximum political advantage, have no basis. In fact, several media reports have contradicted such charges.

    Hastert Didn’t Learn About Foley’s Behavior Until September 29

    Several media accounts have reported, without challenge, Hastert’s initial claim that he learned of the concerns regarding Foley’s behavior only on September 29, the day that Foley resigned. But, Hastert later said he would not dispute the contention by Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY) that Reynolds had brought the issue to his attention in the spring of 2006 (though he claimed not to remember the discussion), and conceded that his aides had learned of it in late 2005. Further, several outlets entirely ignored House Majority Leader John Boehner's (R-OH) conflicting statements regarding whether he discussed the problem with Hastert.

    Emails which House GOP Had Were Merely “Over-Friendly”

    Many media reports have uncritically repeated Hastert’s characterization of alleged emails between Foley and the former congressional page as “overly friendly,” in order to justify the House Republican leadership’s failure to investigate Foley's behavior when it was first informed of the alleged emails. However, The Los Angeles Times reported that experts in psychiatry and sexual misconduct have suggested that Foley's alleged emails go well beyond “overly friendly”; for example, one psychiatry expert told the Times that “they do in fact raise a red flag.” In one of the emails, Foley allegedly wrote of an underage male page: “[H]es [sic] in really great shape.”

    Foley Scandal Hasn’t Affected Voters or Congressional Races

    Some media outlets, such as CNN, the The New York Times, and The Washington Post, have recently reported without challenge Republican claims that the Foley scandal has not affected voters or congressional races. In fact, several public opinion polls indicate that the Foley scandal could be hurting Republicans. The AP/Ipsos poll conducted October 2-4 found that 66 percent of respondents said that the “recent disclosures of corruption and scandal in Congress” would be at least “moderately important” to their “vote in November,” with 48 percent indicating it would be “very” or “extremely” important. The AP poll had a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

    Hastert and the GOP Leadership Forced Foley to Resign

    Several media figures have falsely claimed or uncritically reported that Hastert and the GOP leadership forced Foley to resign from Congress after they heard of his alleged sexually explicit instant messages with underage pages. For example, in an October 3 entry on the National Review Online's weblog The Corner, National Review White House correspondent Byron York uncritically noted that Hastert, while discussing the Foley scandal during the October 3 broadcast of the nationally syndicated The Rush Limbaugh Show, claimed that “[w]e took care of Mr. Foley” and that “[w]e ... asked him to resign.” But when asked in a press conference the day before taking credit for Foley’s resignation “whether the leadership asked Foley to resign,” Hastert had responded: “I think Foley resigned almost immediately upon the outbreak of this information, and so we really didn't have a chance to ask him to resign.”

    Gay Men are More Likely Than Heterosexual Men to Sexually Abuse Children

    During his appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins used the Foley scandal to promote a falsehood about gay men--that they are more likely than straight men to sexually abuse children--based on the claim that gay men are overrepresented in child sex abuse cases. In fact, a 1995 study released by the American Psychological Association found that “gay men are no more likely than heterosexual men to perpetrate child sexual abuse.

    Fordham’s Claim That Hastert’s Office Was Told About Foley Before ‘05 is Uncorroborated

    Recently, former Foley chief of staff Kirk Fordham asserted that he told Hastert of Foley’s behavior long before 2005, an accusation denied by Hastert chief of staff Scott Palmer. Some media reports have presented Fordham’s accusation and Palmer’s denial as a “he said, she said,” such as an October 16 article in Time magazine. But an unnamed current Republican congressional staffer recently came forth to corroborate Fordham's account according to October 7 reports by various news outlets, including The Washington Post and The New York Times.

    Speaker Hastert “Took Responsibility” for the Foley Scandal

    Numerous media outlets have reported that, at his October 5 press conference, Hastert “took responsibility” for the Foley scandal even though, Hastert also stated at the same press conference that “I haven't done anything wrong, obviously.”

    Conservative Evangelical Voters are Particularly Outraged by the Foley Scandal.

    Many media reports have suggested that conservative Christians are likely to be particularly outraged by the Foley scandal. This suggestion is based on a dubious assumption: that conservative Christian voters—so-called “family values” voters—are more concerned than others with protecting children, and therefore, they will condemn more harshly than others allegations of a cover-up of alleged predatory behavior toward children. Even veteran Republican pollster Matthew Dowd has stated that “[i]t's not just the voters who care about ‘family values’ who might be driven away” by the Foley scandal.

    Upon Learning of Foley’s Emails, House Republican Leadership and Rep. Shimkus told Him to End All Contact with Pages

    Media reports have also falsely claimed that House Republicans privately told Foley in the spring of 2006 to stop all contact with congressional pages. For example, Wall Street Journal assistant editor Brendan Miniter falsely asserted in his October 3 column that upon “look[ing] at the few emails” Foley had written to one page, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), chairman of the House Page Board, decided “to confront Mr. Foley and tell him to cut off all direct contact with underage pages.” Shimkus limited his warning to Foley only to the specific page in question, telling Foley “to cease all contact with this former House Page,” according to a statement published on Shimkus's website.

    CREW Withheld Emails and Other Information from FBI Investigators and Congressional Leaders

    Citizens Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-partisan and non-profit organization, was recently accused of withholding information from the FBI in order to preserve the scandal until closer to the midterm elections. The accusation arose out of reports that CREW sent copies of the alleged Foley emails to the FBI in July. Anonymous Justice Department sources claimed that the copies of the emails CREW sent to the FBI were incomplete and heavily redacted; that CREW refused to comply with requests for further information; and that the FBI did investigate the emails, but determined that there was not enough evidence suggesting a criminal act. The FBI has contradicted itself on these allegations, claiming that it did not pursue the Foley case after receiving the emails because CREW refused to provide enough information. However, the FBI also claimed that it did investigate the emails and found that they did not indicate that a crime had been committed.

    A “Velvet Mafia” on Capitol Hill Knew of Foley’s Behavior and Protected Him from Public Exposure

    Media accounts have also suggested that a cadre of gay congressional staffers protected Foley from exposure. For example, writing in the October 16 issue of Time Magazine, national political correspondent Karen Tumulty uncritically reported that according to “a whisper campaign [that] has been launched in Washington,” former Foley chief of staff Kirk Fordham may have been one of the “gay staff members” belonging to “a ‘velvet mafia’ at the upper levels of G.O.P. leadership” which sought to protect Foley. But, Fordham has claimed that, at least three years ago, he sought to alert Hastert's office to Foley's behavior, and an unnamed current Republican congressional staffer recently came forth to corroborate Fordham's account.

    To View the Full Report CLICK HERE

    Please write your local media and tell them what YOU think about the Foley sleaze scandal. They need to hear from you.

    Sunday, October 08, 2006

    Vito Fossella: Corrupt Bush/Cheney/Rove Lapdog

    Congressman Vito Fossella, the rat that he is, is desperately trying to abandon the sinking Republican ship. Fossella now no longer identifies himself as a Republican, but is claiming to be "independent" despite having voted Republican Party line 92% of the time.

    Well, voting record is not the only way in which Fossella is a Bush/Cheney/Rove lapdog.

    Let's look at the record. Let's start with an article from 2005 from Americans United to Protect Social Security:

    STATEN ISLAND – Social Security recipients and activists delivered a large frosted “Social Security” cake to Congressman Vito Fossella’s office today – to illustrate Fossella’s approach to Social Security -- having his cake and eating it too.

    “Fossella continues to consider legislation that would privatize Social Security by diverting the Social Security surplus into private accounts – even as he says he opposes the sliding-scale benefit reductions promoted by the Bush-Cheney administration,” said Frank O’Connor, a volunteer with the IN THIS TOGETHER campaign. “Fossella wants to have his cake and eat it too – because any privatization plan is inevitably accompanied by benefit cuts and dramatic increases in the national debt.”

    The article then highlights the extreme duplicity of Fossella's stand on this issue:

    "I do not believe the progressive indexing plan I have seen is in the best interests of the people I represent in Staten Island and Brooklyn.” – Fossella Statement 5/26/05

    “I can support personal accounts.” – Fossella Statement, 5/26/05

    Later on Monday, Fossella will be joined at a fundraiser by one of privatization’s biggest boosters, Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Now let's look at that visit Cheney made at this fundraiser for Fossella: (from the WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE)

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005
    Vice President at Dinner for Vito Fossella
    Vice President's Remarks at a Dinner for Congressman Vito Fossella
    The Excelsior Grand Staten Island, New York 6:40 P.M. EDT

    THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you all very much.

    Well, thank you very much, it's great to be back and to visit Staten Island -- the home of one of America's outstanding congressmen -- (applause) -- and friendly territory for our President, George W. Bush. (Applause.)

    I want to thank all of you for coming out today, and, of course, I'm here to join all of you in a tribute to one of our foremost rising stars, if you will, in the U.S. House of Representatives. You know him well, and you know he's a man who comes through time and time again for Staten Island and all of New York.

    Some of you may not be aware that I spent 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives as a congressman. I was the congressman from Wyoming. Wyoming only has one congressman. (Laughter.) It was a small delegation, but it was quality. (Laughter and applause.) And my 10 years of service there taught me to appreciate the qualities of my colleagues and those who were first rate in terms of having good strong convictions, who never forgot where they came from, and who were, in fact, the leaders of the nation. And Vito Fossella is exactly that kind of member. (Applause.)...

    We're going to continue making progress for the American people, and in that work we could not ask for a better partner than Congressman Vito Fossella. (Applause.) Once again, I want to thank all of you for your commitment to the cause we share, and for electing Vito to Congress. Every time you vote for this man, you're voting for a better America, and for a strong, effective, patriotic Congressman who never forgets who sent him to Washington. The President and I look forward to working with Vito for a good many years to come.

    Thank you very much.

    END 7:00 P.M. EDT For Immediate Release Office of the Vice President July 25, 2005

    Clearly, Vice President Cheney does NOT think Fossella is in any way independent but rather considers him one of his best "partners" in enacting the extreme right wing agenda. Including, I might add, the destruction of Social Security.

    Going back a little further, to 2004, here are remarks by Bush at a Bush-Cheney reception in NYC: (again, from the White House website)

    Remarks by the President at Bush-Cheney 2004 Reception
    The Carltun
    East Meadow, New York

    6:25 P.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. Thanks for the warm welcome. It's great...Let me get started. (Laughter.) Thanks for coming. Thanks for your friendship. Thanks for your support. It is great to be back in New York. We have had a fantastic day here today. And it's topped off by what is a successful effort to make sure that my campaign is properly fueled -- (laughter) -- for the charge ahead. (Applause.)

    We're going to compete here in New York, and we're going to compete here hard. I'm counting on you. I'm counting on you to help us. The Vice President and I look forward to bringing our message to this great state. New York is going to be a part of what is going to be a great national victory in November of this year. (Applause.)

    Speaking about our Vice President, I made a really good pick when I asked Dick Cheney to join me. He's the finest Vice President our country has ever had. (Applause.)...

    I'm also pleased that Peter King traveled with me today, from Washington, D.C., to his district here in New York. (Applause.) I want to thank Peter for his service. He's a fine United States congressman, as is Vito Fossella. Vito is a New York congressman, as well. (Applause.)

    So, when Bush and Cheney love you, how can you call yourself independent? But it goes beyond Fossella serving Bush and Cheney. He also has been great friends with Republican criminals in Congress.

    Remember that Vito Fossella has received money from Republican Congressman and sexual predator Mark Foley, AND happily posed for photographs with him. And here is a list of contributions Fossella has received from the corrupt Republican leadership (from the DCCC website):


    * Fossella received $15,000 from House Majority Leader John Boehner's "Freedom Project" PAC [Go here to read about Boehner's corruption].
    * Fossella has taken $1,000 from GOP Whip Roy Blunt[Roy Blunt is on of the nation's most corrupt politicians].
    * Fossella received $5,000 from GOP Whip Roy Blunt's "Rely on Your Beliefs" PAC.
    * Fossella voted with President Bush 89% of the time.
    * Fossella voted the GOP party line 92% of the time.

    Fossella has taken:

    * $10,000 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.

    With all of these ties to the DeLay mess, is it any surprise that Fossella has:

    * Voted to weaken House ethics rules when DeLay proposed doing so as GOP Majority Leader.
    * Voted to allow the GOP House Leader to continue to serve after an indictment, an apparent tactic to protect DeLay.
    * Voted with Tom DeLay 91% of the time (through 3/31/2006)

    And let's not forget that Tom DeLay has been ARRESTED for his corruption.

    Now let's return to Fossella's voting record (remember...90% of the time voting with Republicans and Tom DeLay). Here are some excerpts:

    Rep. Fossella voted to cut Federal student aid by $12.7 billion -- the biggest such cuts in history.

    Rep. Fossella voted against granting a bonus to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.

    Rep. Fossella opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.

    Rep. Fossella voted to continue awarding contracts to Halliburton [Dick Cheney's pet company] even if the Pentagon's own audit processes found that more than $100 million of their contractor's costs in Iraq were unreasonable. No surprise that Halliburton gave Fossella $1,500.

    Rep. Fossella voted for the GOP Medicare Prescription Drug Bill that will give billions to businesses and the health care industry, while forcing seniors to accept annual increases in premiums and deductibles and a growing gap in coverage for the prescription drugs they buy.

    Rep. Fossella voted to allow federal loans to American companies that have escaped paying U.S. taxes by moving offshore.

    Rep. Fossella voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging.

    Rep. Fossella voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries.

    So I have to ask, where in all this solid service to Bush, Cheney, DeLay, Foley and Halliburton does Fossella show ANY degree of independence whatsoever? And where is all this does he in any way serve America or New York?

    And, lest we forget, Vito Fossella himself is corrupt and scandal ridden.

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Republican "Morality" Seems Perverse and Immoral

    Well, the latest nasty Republican scandal is Rep. Mark Foley who engaged in a sexual email exchange with an underage teen on his staff...on taxpayer money. The Republican leadership, right up to Hastert, Reynolds and DeLay, KNEW about this months ago and did nothing, allowing a sexual predator to remain a Republican Conrgessman in good standing. The layers of sleaze are deep and disgusting in this scandal. The transcripts of the email exchange are now public and pretty graphic.

    Now let's remember that the Republican Party went after Clinton for having consensual sex with a consenting adult on his staff. But they TOLERATE and PROTECT Foley, a man who breaks the lawe by soliciting sex with an UNDERAGE staff member. Where is the moral outrage, Tom Reynolds (NY Republican)? Why did you wait so long, Tom DeLay (TX Republican) while a sexual predator was on the loose? Why did you wait until it became public, Dennis Hastert (Republican Speaker of the House), before you acted? These three men KNEW ABOUT FOLEY'S illegal and immoral acts but DID NOTHING for months. Only once the scandal hit the papers did they scramble to act all shocked. But they weren't shocked. They knew and they did nothing to stop a sexual predator. Their actions are not worthy of Congressmen so much of members of the sleazy NABMLA. Is this what Repubublicans are all about? Displaying the morality of NABMLA?

    This once again shows the disgusting hypocricy and immorality of the current Republican Party. Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhaur would be disgusted by Republicans today. But let's not forget that Foley's actions ARE NOT ISOLATED. Soliciting sex illegally via email is becoming a pattern.

    Awhile back I covered the story of the extreme right wing, anti-gay Republican mayor of Spokane, WA who was caught soliciting homosexual sex over the internet in exchange for city jobs. The fact that he was publicly anti-gay but privately a practicing homosexual is merely hypocritical. Doing it over the internet when he had something to hide was outright stupid. And to offer city jobs in exchange for homosexual sex is criminal. So, the Republican mayor of Spokane displayed extreme stupidity, criminality and hypocrisy all at once. To their credit, the voters of Spokane ousted him from office the way we should also oust Hastert and Reynolds from office for their tolerance of Foley's disgusting actions. Tom DeLay is already disgraced and ousted by his own corruption.

    Then let's not forget the Republican crony who was made the deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and who was arrested trying to solicit sex from teenage girls over the internet. Yes...the second in command of PR for our nation's Homeland Security was caught doing something immoral, illegal and utterly stupid.

    Clinton got a blow job from a consenting adult on his own time. The Republicans stopped the busniness of the nation (including Clinton's attempts to go after bin Laden and al-Qaeda) in their eagerness to hound him from office. But when faced with the much, much worse crimes of offering jobs for sex or soliciting sex with minors, the Republicans are practically silent on the matter. That shows you just how moral they really are.