Monday, January 16, 2006

A tough choice for Green: Which

ethically challenged leader to support

Since Rep. Mark Green is trying to convince Wisconsin voters that he should lead the state, some enterprising reporter might find out who Green is supporting to the lead his party as Majority Leader, now that Green crony/friend/mentor Tom DeLay has decided to step down.

Three candidates are running: Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Boehner of Ohio, and recent entry, John Shadegg of Arizona. Must be a tough choice for Green as to who will fill the big shoes of DeLay, who contributed $30,000 to Green, but it's a simple question for the media to ask Green. It might give us a good idea of what Mark Green looks for in leadership.

Let's take a look at Green's candidates. Blunt say he has the votes so let's start with him.

Blunt

Roy Blunt has taken $8,500 from disgraced Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pled guilty to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy charges in connection with a federal bribery investigation. Blunt has also taken $16,019 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. No surprise that Blunt voted with Tom DeLay 97% of the time between Jan. 1 2004 and March 31 2005. He also voted to weaken the ethics rules in a move that many say served only to protect Tom DeLay.

The Washington Post reported:

Blunt and the man he wants to succeed as House majority leader, Tom DeLay, shared similar connections to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and to corporate lobbyists. Blunt, R-Mo., wrote at least three letters helpful to Abramoff clients while collecting money from them. He swapped donations between his and DeLay's political groups, ultimately enriching the Missouri political campaign of his son Matt...Texas prosecutors recently subpoenaed records of a series of financial transactions in 2000 between DeLay and Blunt that were highlighted in a recent AP story. DeLay raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 Republican National Convention and sent some of the excess to Blunt through a series of donations that benefited the causes of both men.
Still undecided, Mark? For more, Public Citizen has put together a new report. Rep. Roy Blunt: Ties to Special Interests Leave Him Unfit to Lead, details how much money Blunt has collected from lobbyists and corporate political action committees (PACs), the favors he has done for contributors, the trips he or candidates he has paid expenses for have taken on corporate jets, and how members of his staff have gone to work for major corporations that later donated thousands of dollars to Blunt’s political committees. The report also delves into the unsettling nature of Blunts’ ties to the fundraising apparatus of indicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and admitted felon and former super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Boehner

In 1996 Boehner admitted he distributed a tobacco political action committee's campaign checks on the House floor, but said at the time he would never do it again.

The Cincinnati Post reports that Boehner received $32,500 from Jack Abramoff and his tribal clients. The money went to Boehner's PAC.

The WV Charleston Gazette reports that Boehner, as chairman of the House Education and Workforce committee, has not held a single hearing on mine safety since President Bush took office in 2001, even though his committee has jurisdiction over such issues. Despite bi-partisan calls for an investigation and to hold hearings into the Sago Mine disaster that killed 12 miners, Boehner hasn't showed the leadership. Could be because Boehner's biggest special interest contributor is the ever popular insurance industry.

Forbes magazine reports that Boehner has "recently been scrutinized for accepting donations, parties and trips from Sallie Mae, the nation's largest provider of student loans, as it lobbied the House Education and the Workforce Committee, which Boehner heads. He routinely has accepted trips over the past five years that were paid for by special interests and often took along his wife, Debbie. For instance, he took three trips in a single year to Florida at the expense of corporate interests. Just this month, Boehner refused to return donations he got from American Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist at the center of an influence-peddling investigation. Many other lawmakers gave back the money or donated it to charity."

Shadegg

The alternate, late entry, "reform" candidate, a "principled conservative." How does the GOP spell reform? Shadegg has taken more than $6,900 in campaign contributions from sources connected with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. One of the contributions went undisclosed for five years in violation of federal campaign-finance rules.

Three contributions involved Shadegg's use of sports suites provided to him for fund-raisers at hockey and basketball games at the MCI Center Washington, D.C.

In June of 2003, a few months before the Bush-Green Medicare boondoggle, Shadegg had this to say about the bill:

Sadly, Congress is putting politics ahead of policy. In its rush to pass something--anything--it is on the verge of imposing a staggering financial burden on our children and grandchildren, pushing Medicare closer to financial collapse and losing a once in a lifetime opportunity for reform.
But according to a June 2005 passage from Congress Daily:
During the marathon vote for the Medicare prescription drug bill in November 2003, House GOP leaders found a surprising ally in Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz. Shadegg opposed the bill, but helped the party reach its razor-thin margin of victory in the early morning hours.
Now that's principled leadership!

As Green well knows politics is about choices. Wisconsin voters would do well to ask: Who is your choice, Mark Green, and why?

Was all that talk about higher standards this past week for real or was it just grandstanding?

The other Republicans in Wisconsin's House delegation -- Paul Ryan, Tom Petri, and F. Jim Sensenbrenner --face the same bad choices, of course. We should ask them the same question. But as a candidate for governor -- and one who spend last week posing for holy pictures -- Mark Green rightfully will have the spotlight.

4 Comments:

At 12:05 PM, Blogger James Wigderson said...

Could be worse. Could be Pelosi.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger nosefornews said...

You go, Bill!!!

These Republicans are on the run and progressives need to keep mercilessly hunting them down and driving stakes through their greedy little cold hearts until Congress, the White House and every governor's mansion and state house in the country has compassionate leaders who actually care about what's good for the people.

Okay, that felt good. Now I know you pretend not to listen to that cynical ratings addict Charlie the Tuna. But I couldn't believe the Milgorite coming out of my radio last night. The Crusading Hypocrite had Mark "layin' low" Green on to rebut the charges of certain hysterical bloggers who dare to link him and his staff to that Abramoff fellow.
Well, of course, he tried to use this scandal as an indictment of Gov. Doyle, because, afterall, it's really about the improper use of dirty casino money in the hands of those Native American tribes.
How laughable. But the Dems better get their talking points out there cause lots of folks are going accept whatever St. Charlie says. Cripes this is so dishonest it makes my blood boil. But at least my blood does boil unlike those wraiths on the right who are happiest when the free market proves them to be superior to the underclass who struggle to get family supporting jobs and educate their children and find affordable housing and decent health care and heat their homes and put gas in their cars and ... well, you get the idea.
And, as for MLK day, the ceremonies are nice but to truly pay tribute to his legacy, we all need to be organizing and advocating and registering and voting and criticizing and complaining and thinking and reading and talking and running!!!
Nose for News

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger James Wigderson said...

wow. was that loud.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger christopher robin said...

It's a little hippocritical to have a posting which says the democrats are entirely clean when it comes to Abramoff because they took money the same clients and other lobbyists at the same firm but not directly from Abramoff.

But in the next posting Shadegg is tainted as corrupt because he took money from "sources connected to Abramoff."

Which is it? I'm confused. Or is just more of the liberal Nuance which only the enlightened left like yourself can understand.

 

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