• No Sweat
  • Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Republican Corruption in Washington State

    Seems that Washington State Republican gubenatorial candidate Dino Rossi is a bona fide part of the Republican Culture of Corruption. It is hard, these days, to find a law-abding Republican anymore! From Daily Kos:

    It's well known in Washington state that Republican gubenatorial candidate Dino Rossi is essentially a subsidiary of the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW). Check that--a subsidiary of the corrupt BIAW. Washington's attorney general has filed suit against the organization, along with the tweedle dum to its dee, the Master Builders Association (MBA), last week. The two organizations have been funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican campaigns, particularly Rossi's. The state's Public Disclosure Commission found the BIAW and MBA guilty of multiple "egregious" campaign finance violations, which led to the AG's suit.

    So, was Rossi an unwitting beneficiary of these illegat activities, or was he an active participant? Well, we can get it right from the horse's ass (yes...that's the name of the website):

    Documents released today reveal that Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi was not only aware of the Building Industry Association of Washington’s (BIAW) illegal fundraising activities, but that he actively solicited funds on their behalf from at least one organization, the Master Builder’s Association (MBA). According to a summary of events posted by attorney Knoll Lowney:

    When MBA leadership met...on May 21, 2007 at a “Chair Officers Meeting,” the discussion turned to BIAW’s pending request for campaign funds. While discussing the request, all three of the MBA’s top officers reported that they had received calls from Dino Rossi. The one call for which additional detail is provided clearly confirms that Rossi called to support a MBA contribution to the BIAW’s governor’s race war chest. The minutes leave no question that Dino Rossi spoke to this officer about whether and when MBA would give to the BIAW’s governor campaign fund. The officers receiving calls from Rossi were then-MBA President Doug Barnes, First Vice President Joe Schwab, and Second Vice President John Day.

    So Rossi was a DIRECT PARTICIPANT in these illegal activities. Yet ANOTHER corrupt Republican who disregards the laws that the rest of us have to follow.

    More from the Horse's Ass website:

    Rossi called not one, but at least three MBA board members to solicit funds for “the BIAW’s war chest,” a war chest that was explicitly described at the MBA’s previous meeting as “a fund for Rossi.” And it is clear, both from the context of this excerpt, and from the stated response to Rossi from MBA Second VP John Day, that the subject of those calls was indeed these solicited funds.

    What should now be absolutely obvious to even the most objective observer is that Rossi was an active participant in the BIAW’s illegal fundraising scheme… a scheme for which the PDC found the BIAW guilty of multiple “egregious” violations of Washington’s campaign finance and disclosure laws, and which is now being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office.

    But it is important to note that even if the BIAW had scrupulously conducted its campaign within the letter of the law (and it didn’t), Rossi would still be guilty of a major violation of our campaign statutes, for it is absolutely positively 100% illegal (not to mention grossly unethical) for a candidate to coordinate activities with an independent expenditure campaign.

    The Republican Culture of Corruption still plagues this country. America must reject this kind of crap...and it HAS been. Rossi's disregard for the law should be his downfall if voters care ANYTHING for values, honesty and the law.

    Problem Palin Implicated in Troopergate

    The Alaska Republican Party is quite probably the most corrupt state party around today, though I will say that it has competition from the Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio Republican parties. From the VECO scandal to Troopergate, almost the entire Alaska Republican Party is under investigation, indicted or, for some State level Republicans, in jail. One of the Republican Senators and Alaska's House Rep are part of this culture of corruption.

    Now it seems to be Sarah Palin's turn.

    When I was first told that John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP, my response was "is he crazy?" To pick someone who is ACTIVELY under investigation and who is a member of the most corrupt state party in the country seemed insane given the fact that Republican corruption was the number one issue in 2006...and one that led to a major Democratic victory. For McCain, himself linked to the old Savings and Loan scandal, to pick someone actively under investigation seemed to be among the dumbest things he could have done.

    Now is when it will start to hurt him, as the Troopergate investigation goes into full swing.

    From The Public Record:

    An Alaska woman who owns a company that processes workers’ compensation claims in the state has told an independent investigator that she was urged by the office of Gov. Sarah Palin to deny a benefits claim for Palin’s ex brother-in-law, a state trooper who was involved in an ugly divorce and child custody dispute with Palin’s sister, despite evidence that the claim appeared to be legitimate, according to state officials who were briefed about the conversation.

    Murlene Wilkes, the proprietor of Harbor Adjusting Services in Anchorage, had originally denied that she was pressured by Gov. Palin’s office to deny state trooper Mike Wooten’s claim for workers compensation benefits.

    But Wilkes changed her story two weeks ago when she was subpoenaed by Steven Branchflower, the former federal prosecutor who was appointed in July to probe allegations Gov. Palin, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate, abused her office by abruptly ousting Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, state officials knowledgeable about her conversation with Branchflower said.

    Monegan has said he felt pressured by Gov. Palin, her husband, Todd, and several of her aides to fire Wooten. Branchflower’s investigation centers on whether Palin fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten...

    Wilkes has a $1.2 million contract with the state to handle workers compensation claims....
    Wilkes told Branchflower she believed it was impressed upon her from Palin's office that she would lose the contract if she did not deny the claim, state officials knowledgeable about her testimony said.

    Abuse of power...disregard for the law...mean-spiritied vendettas...Yep, Problem Palin is a typical corrupt Republican.

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    Problem Palin

    Last week it was all Palin. Well, here is a little more.

    First comes something from the Anchorage Daily News.

    Governor is stonewalling the Troopergate investigation

    Gov. Sarah Palin is taking the wrong approach to Troopergate. She should be practicing the open and transparent, ethical and accountable government she promised when running for governor and boasts about now that she's on the national stage.

    Instead, Gov. Palin has begun stonewalling the Legislature's attempt to get the bottom of allegations that she, her family or staff violated ethical or state personnel rules...

    The allegations are that she, her family or administration improperly pressured then-Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire Gov. Palin's ex-brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten, who had been in the middle of a custody dispute with Palin's sister...

    Palin's lawyer has asked the Legislature to drop its investigation. He had the governor file an ethics complaint against herself, in a bid to turn the entire matter over to the state Personnel Board, which would hire an independent investigator.

    This is not an open and transparent attempt to establish Gov. Palin's accountability. It is an attempt to drag out the investigation until after voters decide the fate of her vice-presidential bid.

    This is typical of the disgusting corruption among Alaska Republicans.

    Next let me quote from Badger Blues calling Palin an outright liar:

    An incomplete list of things we know about Sarah Palin:

    In both of her big campaign speeches, she repeatedly lied about opposing the bridge to nowhere.

    As mayor, she tried to ban books from the public library, and then tried to fire the librarian who wouldn’t go along with her.

    As mayor, she fired the police chief for not supporting her election campaign.

    As governor, she tried to fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper. When it became public, she lied about it.

    As governor, she fired the state’s chief of police when he wouldn’t go along with her plan to fire her ex-brother-in-law. When it became public, she lied about it.

    Oh, and she opposes birth control, even for married couples, and she opposes abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. She doesn’t believe in global warming, and she wants to teach creationism in our schools.

    Again, typical corrupt, lying republican.

    You can find an extensive fact check of Palin's RNC speech over at Progressive Alaska.

    Finally I will end with a quote from Open Left, which is asking "Who Chose Palin?"

    Who chose Palin?

    Well, it certainly wasn't John McCain.

    McCain only met Palin once, six months ago. Unlike every other major party VP nominee in recent memory, Palin did not meet McCain for a final interview before her selection. A few weeks ago, she wasn't in the running at all. The scandals and unorthodoxies involving Palin -- she flip-flopped on the Bridge to Nowhere and even raised sales taxes on her small town to pay for an overpriced boondoggle -- show that the McCain campaign didn't vet her. The McCains and Palins looked visibly awkward together, not even speaking as they went their separate ways on a brief shopping trip in Ohio yesterday. McCain is on record as saying he wanted a running mate with whom he had a strong personal relationship -- and who was ready to be president.

    This was clearly not his pick. So again: Who chose Palin?

    When I first heard he chose Palin it really made me wonder just what he was thinking picking someone who was actively under investigation and who hails from the most corrupt state party in the country, the Alaska Republicans. He was just ASKING for corruption to be the big issue of the election, and remember it was Republican Corruption that won it for Democrats in 2006. Let's hope the issue wins it for us again.

    Let me remind you of just how corrupt Republicans really are by directing you to a now outdated but still relevant list of Democrat vs. Republican corruption. We can of course add Palin herself to the list for the Troopergate investigation.