Thursday, April 13, 2006

Abramoff, DeLay, Blunt: A Living Museum of Corruption

If there ever were a Southwest Missouri Hall of Fame of Political Corruption, someone would be commissioned to prepare a bust of Roy Blunt for the centerpiece - or perhaps a life-size wax figure would be better, symbolizing Blunt's malleability when doing behind-the-scenes work on behalf of crooked lobbyists and big corporate contributors.

I doubt that John Q. would pony up any funds for such a place, but I'd put it right next to the Sports Hall of Fame out there by Highland Springs. It would glow behind a big glittery sign that would light up the entire James River valley below, and the architecture would be resplendent with cheezy casino motif.

Blunt's name cropped up again this week in an excellent Abramoff piece by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone entitled Meet Mr. Republican - Jack Abramoff. Here's a short excerpt that details how Blunt pulled some strings to help his buddy Jack. So discreet, nobody notices. It makes you wonder how many times things like this took place . . .

"Case in point: Abramoff's remarkable success in defeating H.R. 521, a 2001 House bill that would place the Guam Superior Court under the control of a federally controlled Supreme Court. Led by Judge Alberto Lamorena, Guam Superior Court justices hired the lobbyist to defeat the bill, which would have unseated them as the chief judicial authorities of the island. It says something for Abramoff's ability to bring out the worst in people that he managed to get a group of sitting judges to pay him $324,000 in public funds in $9,000 installments so as to avoid detection.

Despite the $324,000 fee, Abramoff could not prevent the House Resources committee from unanimously recommending H.R. 521 for passage. Would the superlobbyist finally fail? No, of course not. Given what we know about Abramoff's tactics, we'd be naive not to conclude that he could lean on DeLay and then-Whip Roy Blunt to stall the bill in the congressional machinery. On May 27th, 2002, just five days after the Resources committee made its recommendation, an Abramoff-linked PAC wrote two checks for $5,000 -- one to Blunt, one to DeLay. H.R. 521 never reached the floor.

The Guam incident certainly shows how easily the whole Congress was controlled by a small gang. The DeLay Republicans, along with Abramoff, were apparently the first to recognize the opportunities for corruption presented by the House leadership's dictatorial control over key committees, in particular the Rules committee. Now, a single call to a lone Tom DeLay could decide the fate of any piece of legislation, pushing it through to a vote or gumming it up in the works as needed. The other 430-odd congressmen were window dressing."

Add this to the list. Of course, local voters will never see this story in the News-Leader. They did finally run a piece on Midge Potts, Blunt's primary opponent, in today's paper. But did you notice it was from an AP wire story out of Kansas City? Dee Wampler was interviewed, but I'll spare you.

By the way, we were less than specific about Midge Potts in an earlier post. We used the word transexual, which I think implies that Potts changed his sex from male to female. The word transgender more accurately describes Potts' sexual status. He has chosen to portray a female identity. The person formerly known as Mitchell Potts, however, is the owner of a penis and is, therefore, a man - at least physically. Glad to clear that up.

Sadly, this will probably be the salient issue southwest Missourians will take away from the upcoming political campaign. I seriously doubt there will be any meaningful public dialogue with Blunt on any issue this election season.

I would still love to hear Blunt answer one pointed question regarding his less-than-ethical conduct in Congress while turning tricks for Jack Abramoff.


Citizenkan said...

My apologies to Midge for the transexual reference, too.

But don't count him out when it comes to making Roy account for a question or two. Midge campaigned against Roy in 2004 and then headed to DC for an extended period of time rallying at protests against the Iraq occupation. He actually got himself arrested on the Supreme Court steps and has learned to navigate himself through all types of political agendas.

Not that I think he has a chance at winning, but he's just kinky enough to draw the attention of the press and then make an artful point or two in the process.

Midge is not just another dumb blonde! ;)

Oh, and nice Roy post, as usual. If only the News-Loser would pay attention. Or at least give a shit.

RSmith said...

I hope Midge finds an audience to talk about the issues and bring up Blunt's link to Abramoff, etc. Jack Truman, a Democratic candidate from Lamar, has a website up now (I hope to put up a post about him soon). I think he pastors a church in Lamar and may be related to Harry T, since that is the town of his birth.

His site lists his positions on various issues.

Citizenkan said...

Yep, he pastors the Universal Equalitarian Church in Lamar, where all God's creatures are equal. He's a vegan....not that there's anything wrong with that. But he only lists a PO Box number for his church. (Is this an internet chuch?)

His website donation page for 7th District voters makes me nervous because he doesn't ask a pertinent question of donors who would give over $200. He's a perennial candidate, yet I've never seen him either in public or a picture of him!

Midge Potts said...

Just for the record, my name on my Missouri drivers liscense is Midgelle Regina Potts. It was legally changed by Judge Sweeney in Greene County Circuit Court on Wednesday April 5th.

The Secretary of State's website now reflects that change and they have assured me I will appear as Midge Potts on the August 8th Republican Ballot.

Also for the record, I am a pre-op trans-sexual as I intend on eventual getting sexual reassignment surgery. Although, it is fairly costly so it may take me awhile to reach that goal. Also, all surgeries are serious and have potential risks... so I want to make sure that I choose a reputable surgeon.

Anyway, now that I have those details out of the way, I want to say that the main reson I am running for Congress is to prove that anybody can do it... I am sick and tired of hearing "there is nothing we can do to change our government". I believe that the only way to finally realize the American ideal of a government "of the People, by the People, for the People" is by each of us taking an active role in our government. It isn't hard to see that ANYBODY could represent Southwest Missouri better then Roy Blunt; he represents his corporate contributors much better than his own constituents.

So, do what you can wherever you are to live you dreams!

Citizenkan said...

Congratulations Midgell on the official name change. Less confusing for voters. Trans-sexual, trans-gender......forget that for now. You're a CANDIDATE! I'm not a republican, but I'm voting for you in the primaries. You go girl!

Citizenkan said...

Ok, what's up with Roy's adoption of an 18-month old Russian boy? Could this have any connection with Tom DeLay's foster/adoption program down in Texas? Is this somehow a cover for Roy's financial hijinks with DeLay? (You know, "I paid all this money and all I got was this kid from Russia?" type cover-up? Just wondering.

Or maybe Abigail just has a huge maternal instink. heh

mgoodman said...

Maybe it's Abramoff's bastard son, who knows?

Did you see that an Oklahoma senator, can't recall name, told some of his constiutents that he though up to six House members (and one Senator) will be indicted in the Abramoff fallout.

This is all likely to play out sometime after November (if at all), don't you think?

Citizenkan said...

Ahah! I hadn't thought of the Jackoff angle!

It'll be after November before any questions will be answered. But, better late than never!

We couldn't be so lucky as to have Roy be in the top six, could we?

Anonymous said...

Blunt is in the top six. Just about everyone on Capitol Hill knows just hgow close Bluntie boy was to Abramoff.

Yes, you have open primaries -- I hope people rally around Midge. Who is thoughtful, passionate and will be completely loyal to her constituents. Look past the cover; read the book.

Anonymous said...

Midge has her own blog, for those who are interested. It is on myspace:


RSmith said...

I hear Midge was out dancing at the Outland Ballroom last night. Damn, I wish I'd seen that.

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