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April 16, 2005

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Comments

Chris

Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune.

Dan Gillmor

Not envy, but basic fairness in society. The heir (deadbeat or not) is getting income. It should be taxed as income.

Jade

They first raise DeLay's profile, then campaign against him whether he's still in office/leadership or not. Frankly, given his effectiveness and his caucus's loyalty, the Democrats would probably be better off with him gone, but keeping half his attention occupied fighting stories about his ethics lapses is what they've managed so far. Two Republican Representatives have said he should step down; we're still waiting to see if anyone else follows suit.

Democrats are beholden to contributors just as Republicans are. When something is going to pass anyway, some of them decide to go along. The difference is what gets to a vote at all: when all of an hour is allotted for floor discussion of the complex bankruptcy bill, with no Democratic amendments allowed, guess what kind of legislation will pass? There's no debate in this House, no chance for sanity, because Hastert and DeLay have ruled it out.

Anspar Jonte

I used to vote independent because I thought Democrats and Republicans were the same. Now I realize they are different, but Democrats are hopelessly inept, so I'll still vote independent.

...not that I haven't been and will continue to be the victim of vote fraud, but going through the routine of pretending we're in a legitimate democracy gives me some solace.

AF

And the inheritance tax? I think Pelosi brought some fresh changes, but is less effective as time goes on.

Louise Slaughter (D-NY) might be a better face for the party. Though from New York, she has a very wholesome less facelifty red-state image.

not a Yank

The MSM does not cover similar unethical behavior by the Democrats Perhaps that is why the MSM is in a death spiral. (See the LA times circulation figures and the NY Times circulation figures. Mercury News can't be doing much better.)

As to the inheritance tax let me understand its purpose it is to eliminate large family fortunes correct? The Kennedy's the Rockefellers, the Bessemers, the Whitneys the Duponts, all still seem to have their family fortunes intacts. They inherited this during the period when the tax was confiscatory. Taxing the inheritance of the wealthy does not do it. If you are rich enough you manage to find a way to avoid the inheritance tax. The inheritance tax then only hits the not so super rich who cannot afford the estate structuring that the super rich afford. The individuals who create and restructe the economy.

What social purpose is achieved by the estate tax? Purportedly to prevent the rise of an upper class that is there because of inheritance instead of merit. Ted Kennedy would not be a Senator but instead another hale fellow well met Irish American. Rockafeller would be just another Wasp. However Kennedy and Rockafeler used family social position to be elected Senators. So the Inheritance tax does not work.

not a Yank

Dan:

Here are the actions of your beloved corrupt Democrats

[F]ive of the top six congressional families in The Times’ analysis of two election cycles were Californians. The campaign fund of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) paid $251,853 to her husband’s firm, according to the candidate’s campaign filings. She was followed by Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-North Hollywood), $205,500; Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego), $154,504; and Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), $152,362.

Altogether, at least 10 lawmakers in the 53-member California House delegation have hired family members, according to records and interviews.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Hayward) paid his wife, Deborah, $119,000 from his campaign fund over the last four years to serve as his campaign manager, records show. In the last election, she earned $2,400 a month as campaign manager and was awarded a $2,400 bonus.

“It’s just a matter of paying her for the professional job she was doing,” Stark said.

In addition, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) paid her son, a lawyer, $130,000 over four years to run her political action committee, according to her campaign filings.

How does that differ from the action of Mr. Delay that you are so critical of.

Credit to the information to [F]ive of the top six congressional families in The Times’ analysis of two election cycles were Californians. The campaign fund of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) paid $251,853 to her husband’s firm, according to the candidate’s campaign filings. She was followed by Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-North Hollywood), $205,500; Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego), $154,504; and Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), $152,362.

Altogether, at least 10 lawmakers in the 53-member California House delegation have hired family members, according to records and interviews.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Hayward) paid his wife, Deborah, $119,000 from his campaign fund over the last four years to serve as his campaign manager, records show. In the last election, she earned $2,400 a month as campaign manager and was awarded a $2,400 bonus.

“It’s just a matter of paying her for the professional job she was doing,” Stark said.

In addition, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) paid her son, a lawyer, $130,000 over four years to run her political action committee, according to her campaign filings.

I give credit to http://www.patterico.com/

Who posted the information and not the the LA Times which buried the information on A18. I presume because it was contrary to the political agenda of the editors.

Also go back and look at the Kojo Anna like behavior of Barbara, the not too bright, Boxer's son. He uses his maternal connection to lobby the US Government for handout. I do not think that he would have such clients if he mother were not senator.

Take the piece of Timber out of your eye before you complain about the sliver in my eye

Alice Marshall

I suspect that Diebold would notice a difference in Conyers was a committee chairman.

Dan Gillmor

"not," clever of you to focus on the family payments issue -- which does make these Democrats look bad, though none of the cases cited is in the financial ballpark of what DeLay's family pulled down -- and ignore all of the other DeLay sleaze.

Second, who said the inheritance tax is designed to take away large family fortunes? Not me. As you note, even when it was high the ultra-wealthy kept lots and lots of their wealth, and while they did use various tricks to shelter some of the money they didn't all shelter everything.

not a Yank

Dan:

I do not do the research. I just find the links of others that do the research. THE MSM is supposed to do the investigations. I am sure if the MSM spent as much time investigating Ms. Boxer and her family as they have on Mr. Delay the sleeze would be there. Similarly, I do not expect to find Mr. Reid on the right side of Sainthood. And if we look very hard, I am sure that there are corrupt ties to such illuminaries as Ted Kennedy and Robert Bird. However who is looking and reporting the information?


And for other equally sleazy behavior ignored by the MSM I commend to your attention http://www.soundpolitics.com/

An investigation into the electorial fraud in Washington State. The investigation is being lead by Mr. Stephan Sharkansky a private citizen. There is not federal investigation of the practices of Washington State Election officials. And Far be it from the Democratic administration to investigate the practices since the only conclusion that can be drawn is like Kennedies election in 1960 the dead, the felons and the moonbats voting multiple times gave the election to the democrat.

So back to the premise of this Grass Roots Journalism. The MSM does not get it. The MSM continues advocacy journalism at its financial peril.

Dan Gilmore may chose advocacy journalism and perhaps you must to build traffic to your site. However the MSM cannot successfully compete in advocacy journalism. They lose half the audience if they do. So the MSM has to play it straight and they can't.

Steve

I've been advised to just hunker down and hope you can outlast the bastards who currently run things.

Al

I don't always care for DeLay's methods, but it sure seems like he's under a concerted attack by the Dem's and the media. Harry Reid's family represents nearly every major corporation in Nevada and has far flung operations in lobbying. It may be legal, but let's put it all on the table. Here's an article entitle "In Nevada, Reid Is the Name to Know"
http://www.latimes.com/la-na-sonsday223jun23,1,1120739.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

The mainstream media may be on the Dem's bandwagon to get DeLay, but the amount of shady dealings in Washington by all sides is pretty large. And isn't the prosecutor who is threatening DeLay the same one who went after Kay Bailey Hutchenson and the case was dropped or thrown out in the first days?

If DeLay is bad, then he should be punished. But so should everyone else.
Besides Harry Reid, what about Boxer's son's involvement in the Indian casino land grab in California???
What about Pelosi's PAC funneling illegal money around?
What about Hillary's Campaign Finance Director being indicted?
What about Chucky Schumer's campiagn finance problems and the huge fines he paid?

I don't always agree with Republicans, but the conservative and libertarian notion of limited government sure is appealing!

They should do away with withholding and let people see what they're spending. It's a sure way to cut the money going to Washington. Less money = fewer opportunities for corruption.

Ran Talbott

"How does that differ from the action of Mr. Delay that you are so critical of."

1. Congresscritters hiring family members for their campaign staffs operate under rules that can get them fined or prosecuted if they can't prove that those people did specific jobs for no more than the going market rate.

2. If you look at the amounts of money in the news reports, you'll generally find that the family members are being paid less that the average Safeway cashier.

Christine DeLay, otoh, is being paid about $50,000 per year by ARMPAC for providing an unspecified amount of "strategic vision", with no evidence offered to date of how much time she actually spent on the clock. Or whether her "vision" consisted of anything other than "how to get lobbyist money into Tom DeLay's bank account".

HTH.


Ran Talbott

"It may be legal, but let's put it all on the table."

Looks like DeLay may be even dirtier than we thought: not only is "The Party of Moral Values and Personal Responsibility" trotting out its usual "But, Mom, Billy did it first!" defense, they're dragging in acts that aren't even illegal as "justification"...

"And isn't the prosecutor who is threatening DeLay the same one who went after Kay Bailey Hutchenson and the case was dropped or thrown out in the first days?"

Hutchinson "got off on a technicality": when the case went to trial, there was a dispute about the admissibility of some of the crucial evidence. A wonderfully-ironic outcome, given the Republicans' dislike of the exclusionary rule...

"If DeLay is bad, then he should be punished. But so should everyone else. Besides Harry Reid,"

Just to make sure we understand, Al: do youwant to punish Reid _despite_ the fact that his family isn't breaking the law? Or _becuase_ they won't oblige you by breaking it?

not a Yank

I don't buy it Ron.

Please give me one instance of a congressional Democratic politician being investigated for employing family members for a no show job by the MSM? I do not ask for prosecution just investigation.

What have here is the MSM demonizing of a politician not because he is unethical but because is unethical and effective in pursuing an agenda contrary the agenda of the MSM and the Democrat party.

In contrast the MSM is not investigating Ms. Clinton’s most recent transgression not only of ethics but of the law. Rather than investigate her campaign transgressions we are instead given her investiture as the next Democratic candidate for president.

The corruption is on both sides of the aisle. Not just as you seem to thing on the Republican side. The problem is that the MSM being democrat and practicing advocacy journalism is incapable of investigating the democratic side of the aisle.

tomjedrz

Dan- have you read the WSJ editorial about the estate tax?
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006569
A telling quote ...
"In any case, what liberals call the aristocracy of wealth already exists, despite the current tax, because super-rich families like the Hiltons have always found ways to avoid or mitigate it through offshore accounts, tax-sheltered foundations, and so on. It is the heirs of the not-so-super-rich--the thrifty dentist, the canny investor, the small-business millionaire--who are typically devastated by the tax."

rone

The estate tax might not actually help the rich keep their money, it seems.

Owen

Putting aside for the moment my personal feeling that the nation is better off every time a sleazy, self-serving politician loses office, the Democrats should want DeLay gone because his highly visible presence distracts the limited attention of the media from the real tragedies of the current congressional leadership...the policies, practices and philosophies of people like Cornyn, Santorum, Hatch, Coburn, Lott and Specter in the Senate, and DeLay's colleagues in the House.

Are there Dems who warrant censure or worse for their own transgressions? Probably, and maybe even certainly, based on the records of people like Dan Rostenkowski and James Trafficant. However, other peoples' sins do not justify our own, as many speeders who asked for forgiveness because other violaters weren't caught has found. Cloaking themselves in the mantle of religious self-righteousness doesn't seem to deflect accountability, fortunately. Instead, it points out the hypocrisy of their posturing.

I doubt that the lack of prosecutions or investigations of Democrats is attributable to their control of the power structure or the media...those seem to have rested firmly in the hands of the party currently in power for quite a while now. Could the frequency of legal and ethical challenges stem from something as simple as the fact that the arrogance of wealth and power lead people like DeLay to think they're above the law?

Walter E. Wallis

How about one standard for all politicians?
Like a Russian circumcision, everything that hangs over gets cut off.

not a Yank

Owen:

The Delay witch-hunt is not driven by the justice department it is driven by the LA Times, the New York Times, CNN, ABC, CBS and the rest of the MSM.

Now again, let me ask you how many stories have you read in the MSM on the ethical transgressions of Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Baghdad Bob McDermott, Senator Reid, Senator Bird or John Corzine and the institutional corruption in New Jersey?

To reiterate the MSM because it practices advocacy journalism is unable to investigate its partisans. The public remains ignorant of the true amount and nature of the corruption in the body politic.


Owen

not-
Actually, quite a few...perhaps because I read a wide variety of news sources presenting different perspectives on events and people.

Al

I agree with "not a Yank". The story is not about DeLay's conduct, it's about how it's being prosecuted by the Dem's and the main stream media. Isn't it obvious that Delay is being singled out? If there is a story, it should be about corruption in Congress and it should include everyone.

If the current story doesn't morph soon to include others, then it should be obvious to everyone that a) it's a witchhunt by the Dem's, and b) that the main stream media is supportive of the Dem's and that they aren't doing their jobs.

Ran Talbott

"And for other equally sleazy behavior ignored by the MSM I commend to your attention http://www.soundpolitics.com/"

I'm guessing that the "sleazy behavior" you're referring to is the accusation that a Congresscritter "disgracefully aligned himself with Saddam Hussein" because he had the temerity to suggest that we wait for the inspectors' report before dropping bombs on 5-year-olds. Because a Google News search for "washington king county absentee ballots" turns up about 20 hits, including about a dozen reports in the "Evil Lib'ruhl MSM" on such aspects of the "cover-up" as King County's naming of a commission of outside expert to determine whether the screw-ups were the result of malevolence or incompetence, the suspension of four elections working accused of mishandling absentee ballots, and the offer of the Secretary of State to either assist the local investigation or start a separate one.

But, hey, it's so much easier to stick to the nice cozy blogosphere, where someone whose "investigation" to date consists solely of looking at the public documents and complaining that the numbers don't add up, can portray himself as a "lone crusader" without fear of intrusion by unpleasant reality...


owen

Yeah, a witchhunt by the Dems would start a new trend...there's never been a Republican witchhunt, of course, only righteous actions by totally independent forces. C'mon, folks, that old trick is still a trick and still transparent...because you can find other transgressors still doesn't forgive your own transgressions.

Certainly DeLay should be judged on the merits or demerits of his own actions, as should all accused. And, prior to the stacking of the ethics committee, that was what happened. All of the defensive B.S. about the liberal federal judges (a fiction, at least at the upper levels) and liberal media (a canard kept alive as another distraction) are just so much smoke and mirrors to distract the press and public from the fundamental facts of his behavior.`

Go ahead, use the Murdoch, WSJ and Fox press to investigate the Dems if you believe he's getting an unfair shake with the NYT, the Post and other "liberal" news outlets. If they're guilty of the same offenses on the same scale as DeLay, they should receive equal treatment.

Unfortunately for the neocons, the federal judiciary has too many true conservatives who don't want to overthrow precedent and constitutional interpretations for blatantly political ends. To my knowledge, that hasn't happened on the scale desired by the Right Wingers since FDR and the SCOTUS packing of the 30's...which was resoundingly rejected. Right-wing activism for political agendas is every bit as anti-American as would be the left-wing equivalent beloved of Republican conspiracy buffs.

not a Yank

Talbot:

From your rant, I conclude you did not read any of the investigation that Sound Politics has posted. Instead you are just dismissive of all the information gathered and posted and discussed that shows that the Kings County election commission certifed as accurate the results of an election which as it is now being shown should not have been certified.

Sarcastic comments such as those you made do not persuade anyone of the merits of your position.

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