Green and the radioactive Republicans
Leadership PACS are not charities, Brew City Brawler says. And he's right. People establish those PACs in Congress to be able to buy support, in return for campaign contributions, from members of their party caucuses.
The context for Brawler's remarks was the money would-be Congressman John Gard (I even hate to type those three words in a row)has taken from Speaker Dennis Hastert and the gang. It's a lot. And it does make Gard part of their posse, whether the Wisconsin wingnuts admit it or not.
When word of a coverup first began to seep out of DC, some said that the entire GOP leadership in the House -- Hastert, John Boehner and Roy Blunt -- was going to be radioactive. All three knew something about Mark Foley's behavior, and all three helped to sweep it under the rug.
If that trio is indeed radioactive, our friend Congressman Mark Green shouldn't get anywhere near a Geiger counter. Green himself, as an assistant whip, is part of the leadership team.(Photo is of Hastert and Green in happier times.)
And Green's campaign treasury is full of money from their radioactive PACs.
John Nichols on The Nation blog:
Dennis Hastert and the other Republican leaders certainly were not surprised to learn last week that Mark Foley had acted inappropriately with male pages. They knew all about Foley's e-mails and all the issues raised by those communications.Boehner and Blunt have managed to slip into the shadows, for the most part, and leave Hastert the spotlight.
Hastert and his colleagues have gotten caught in a lie. And it's a big one.
What's the proper response? Hastert, Boehner and Blunt have got the right idea. Those who knew about Foley's actions and failed to respond in any kind of serious manner are guilty of "an obscene breach of trust."
Since they control the machinery of the House Ethics Committee, it is doubtful that Hastert and his colleagues will face a serious investigation – let alone "the full weight of the criminal justice system." But this is an election year, and political campaigns can also extract a measure of justice.
Green quickly disposed of $1,000 from Foley, and Congressman Paul Ryan dumped $3,000 of Foley money.
But Green also has received $55,000 from the leadership PACs of Hastert, Boehner, and Blunt.
The Democratic Party has focused on $17,000 Green got from Hastert, and has called for Green to return it and demand Hastert's resignation.
Green received twice as much -- $35,000 -- from Boehner, who calls his PAC the Freedom Project. And Blunt has chipped in $3,000 from his PAC, called, interestingly, Rely on Your Beliefs. Hastert's is Keep Our Majority PAC, or KOMPAC. Foley's was called TOMPAC (Together for Our Majority.) It should have been called TOMCAT. You can see their contributions here.
All of those PACs, by the way, were recipients of the largesse distributed by Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist and influence peddler whose office used to provide free tickets for events to Mark Green's chief of staff, Mark Graul. Abramoff and his clients gave generously to Hastert, Boehner, and, to a lesser extent, to Blunt. (See Abramoff's contributions here.)
Mark Green won't be in the House next session, so he won't have to repay those favors by voting for any of those three as Republican leaders.
But he does want to be governor. And in politics you are judged by the company you keep. Despite pressure from the Democratic Party, Green has refused to call on Hastert to resign. (He does want UW lecturer Kevin Barrett fired, though, whose offense is having some kooky ideas, not covering up for a pedophile.)
He also has hung on tightly to all of the $55,000 from his partners in the House GOP leadership.
What's that clicking noise?