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Joe Seahawk
04-08-2008, 10:02 PM
This idiot represents my district, hopefully only for a few more months.

The irony is absolutely delicious. Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Baghdad) was ordered last week to pay Congressman John Boehner $1.05-million. That judge's ruling is the final word in this legal case.

You all know the story behind this: McDermott obtained an illegally-taped cel phone call and then "leaked" the tape to various news outlets, in violation of federal law.

Bohner would have settled this matter with McDermott if McD had acknowledged he was wrong, apologized and agreed to make a $10,000 donation to a mutually-agreed-upon charity.

But doing that would have forced McDermott to admit that he was wrong... that he had acted unethically... and, of course, he could never do that.

So, instead of $10,000, he'll have to pay over a million. But what does it matter? Either way, it's not his money. And that brings us to how politicians are so very different from you and me.

If you or I broke the law and were ordered by a judge to pay a huge fine, we'd actually have to come up with the money. Our families would feel the squeeze. We might have to sacrifice something because of our transgression.

Not so with Baghdad Jim. He raised $400,000 through a legal-defense fund, and is allowed to use $612,000 from his congressional re-election fund to pay off this fine. And what does he need that money for anyway? He's Jimmy Mac - congressman for life! His re-election is a lock.

So, no apology. No admission of wrong-doing. And others will pay off his fine. And then we wonder why politicians are so out of touch with the realities the rest of us have to deal with?

But that does bring me to the delicious irony: Boehner says he's going to use the million dollars to help elect Republicans in close house races. So all of the uber-lefties and progressives who donated to McDermott's re-election actually will see their money go to help GOP candidates. :LOL:

A tiny slice of justice in a very sleazy story.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=76&sid=43440

SBK
04-08-2008, 11:38 PM
Sort of like what Bill Maher said about celebs and money. Said they were out of touch with how money is made because they call their agent and money appears, unlike the rest of the world where you actually have to work for it.

Has McDermott done anything that would make him worthy of being congressman for life?

banyon
04-09-2008, 07:25 AM
What was on the tape?

tiptap
04-09-2008, 07:33 AM
Democrat from Washington State. I can understand your consternation having him as a Representative. He is for single payer Health Insurance and he voted against the war all along. But I don't think that million dollars is going to change the outcome this fall in that the Democrats will gain 20 seats in the House and (hopefully on my account) 7 seats in the Senate. That money would be better spent defending the Republican Senator from Oregon so that you retain a voice.

tiptap
04-09-2008, 07:35 AM
Wasn't it the Republican stategizing about committee and votes.

patteeu
04-09-2008, 08:46 AM
What was on the tape?

It was a call between Boehner (on a cell phone) and other GOP House leaders to discuss strategy for handling charges against Newt Gingrich in the House ethics committee. The call was illegally intercepted and recorded by a couple of activists in Florida who eventually turned the tape over to McDermott who, in turn, disclosed the tape to the media.

banyon
04-09-2008, 01:33 PM
It was a call between Boehner (on a cell phone) and other GOP House leaders to discuss strategy for handling charges against Newt Gingrich in the House ethics committee. The call was illegally intercepted and recorded by a couple of activists in Florida who eventually turned the tape over to McDermott who, in turn, disclosed the tape to the media.

That sounds rather innocuous the way you've put it. Are you leaving out something? :hmmm:

Adept Havelock
04-09-2008, 01:36 PM
Sort of like what Bill Maher said about celebs and money. Said they were out of touch with how money is made because they call their agent and money appears, unlike the rest of the world where you actually have to work for it.
LMAO Quite true. Even a stopped clock like Maher gets one right once in a while.


Has McDermott done anything that would make him worthy of being congressman for life?

I'm unaware of any requirement of "worthiness" other than convincing a majority of your constituents to vote for you.

patteeu
04-09-2008, 03:51 PM
That sounds rather innocuous the way you've put it. Are you leaving out something? :hmmm:

I'm sure I left out many of the significant details, but I think that was a fair outline of what happened. I hope I didn't give the impression that the original taping was an accident or a random taping that turned out to be interesting enough for the couple to turn over to House democrats. I don't know if it's proven or not, but I strongly suspect that this was a case of intentional spying.

Joe Seahawk
04-09-2008, 04:11 PM
That sounds rather innocuous the way you've put it. Are you leaving out something? :hmmm:

I wonder if he had a FISA warrant? ROFL

banyon
04-09-2008, 05:19 PM
Gingrich Is Heard Urging Tactics in Ethics Case

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04EFD71638F933A25752C0A961958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=3

By ADAM CLYMER
Published: January 10, 1997
On the day in December when Newt Gingrich admitted bringing discredit on the House, his lawyer told Republican leaders that the Speaker had promised an ethics subcommittee not to use his office and his allies to orchestrate a Republican counterattack against the committee's charges.

That was part of the price for the subcommittee's agreement to accept his admission of guilt and spare him the potential humiliation of a full-scale public trial.

But that same day, even before the charges had been made public, Mr. Gingrich held a telephone conference call with other House leaders in which he made suggestions for a statement that the leaders would issue immediately after the subcommittee's charges were disclosed.

He also suggested the timing of various responses to Democratic attacks. The politicians agreed among themselves how they could use their opponents' comments to attack the subcommittee's findings indirectly without technically violating the agreement that Mr. Gingrich's lawyers made with the ethics subcommittee.

The call was taped by people in Florida who were unsympathetic to Mr. Gingrich and who said they heard it on a police scanner that happened to pick up the cellular telephone transmissions of one of the participants. It was given to a Democratic Congressman, who made the tape available to The New York Times. Mr. Gingrich's office today did not question the authenticity of the conversation, but insisted that it did not violate any agreement with the ethics subcommittee.

The Speaker and his allies acknowledged at the time that their conversation was a bit ''premature,'' since the subcommittee had not yet even voted on the charges against Mr. Gingrich. Nevertheless, they talked about how to handle inevitable Democratic attacks, how to time the day's events with newspapers, news agencies and the evening television news in mind, and -- above all -- how to avoid making all that look as if Mr. Gingrich was pulling the strings.

In the Dec. 21 conversation, Mr. Gingrich's lawyer, Ed Bethune, said, ''It is very important for me to be able to say to the special counsel and if necessary to the committee members that we -- and by that I mean the other attorney, Randy Evans, and I, and Newt -- have done everything in our power to try to stop all things that might be construed in any way as an orchestration attempt by Newt Gingrich.''

Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Bethune and the others discussed their tactics in a conference telephone call, a transcript of which was made available by a Democratic Congressman hostile to Mr. Gingrich who insisted that he not be identified further.

The Congressman said the tape had been given to him on Wednesday by a couple who said they were from northern Florida. He quoted them as saying it had been recorded off a radio scanner, suggesting that one participant was using a cellular telephone. They said it was recorded about 9:45 A.M. on Dec. 21.

The tape, in which the voices of Mr. Gingrich and other Republican leaders are clearly recognizable, was plainly a recording of a conversation that took place before the subcommittee released its charges and Mr. Gingrich's admissions.

The call capped a week of elaborate plea-bargaining over the framing of the charges -- and Mr. Gingrich's admission -- that the Speaker had brought discredit on the House by giving untrue information to the ethics committee and by failing to get proper legal advice about the way he used money from tax-exempt foundations for a college course and televised town meetings with political overtones.

Mr. Gingrich's admission of guilt avoided a full-scale trial in which the details would have been televised nationally. In return, the committee's special counsel, James M. Cole, insisted on a promise that the Speaker would not use his allies to mount a counterattack against the subcommittee's case, since its rules forbade Mr. Cole and members from answering such attacks.
The tone of the conversation was optimistic. The Speaker and the other leaders believed that a coordinated response could enable them to limit political fallout.

And the talk, one of many that day, ended on a light note. After the basic outlines of the statement the leaders would issue had been agreed on, Representative Dick Armey of Texas, the majority leader, had another suggestion for how Mr. Gingrich could handle the menacing accusation that he had deliberately lied to the committee: ''I am not sure you are ready for this, but you could quote Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.''

Mr. Gingrich asked, ''Which one is that?''

Mr. Armey warbled: ''I did not mean to deceive you. I never intended to push or shove. I just wish that you was someone that I love.''

Today, Lauren Maddox, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gingrich, defended the Speaker's role. She said: ''Newt has always had the right to run for Speaker and campaign. Any statement he made was in no way undermining the work of the committee.''

She added: ''There was a specific agreement between Newt's lawyers and the special counsel that Newt could brief the leadership. And it was always understood that in turn, the leadership could respond in any way they thought was appropriate.''

In the December conversation, Mr. Bethune said in a couple of hours, once the subcommittee announced its actions, ''it would also be a time when we are authorized to have the conversation that we are having now, a little prematurely. But I don't think it would be troubling to anyone that we are a little ahead of the gun.''

Mr. Cole would not comment today, but the conversation itself suggested that the situation at the time seemed more complicated than Ms. Maddox contended.

Mr. Bethune, who served with Mr. Gingrich in the House for six years and now practices law in Washington, made several efforts to outline the slippery path that all must follow. One ally asked him what the leaders should say about any agreement between Mr. Gingrich and the subcommittee.

The lawyer replied: ''No. I didn't say there was an agreement. I said there was a delicate process under way and that this is what Newt is going to do, in response to the delicate process. There is no agreement, no deal. We are not authorized to say that.

''Now if I can be very delicate here. There is one other constraint,'' Mr. Bethune continued. ''He can run for Speaker, but he must maintain his confidentiality as far as public statements. And then, finally, Newt will not orchestrate, nor will he be -- he will not orchestrate any attempt to spin this in such a way that it belies what he is admitting today in the statement of alleged violations.''

But having barred one door, Mr. Bethune opened a window. ''Having served as a member,'' he said, ''you know when documents become public, I as a member, am entitled to say whatever the hell I want to say about those public documents. I guess that applies to any of you all who may be listening.''

The men also talked about how they could use Mr. Gingrich's main adversary, Representative David E. Bonior of Michigan, the House Democratic whip, as a springboard to make arguments that Mr. Gingrich's agreement with the subcommittee would otherwise preclude.

''We know that Bonior is going to be having a press conference shortly thereafter, alleging a bunch of things that go too far,'' said Ed Gillespie, communications director of the Republican National Committee. ''Once he has kicked that off, that would give us an opportunity to then go back and refute what he has said, and we have not jumped the gun on opening and we have simply responded.''

Mr. Gingrich praised the suggestion. ''Ed's very clever.'' he said. ''Bonior, he will undoubtedly say things that are not true, will exaggerate what the committee has done.''

Representative Bill Paxon of upstate New York, a coordinator of moves by the Republican leadership in the House, said it was essential to have a quick response after the subcommittee released its material.

The Speaker suggested that a leadership response be put out by 2 or 3 P.M., within a couple of hours of his statement and the subcommittee's statement. ''I'm not an expert,'' he said, but ''at that point we're in by the evening news, catch the morning papers.''

Then the group went over the statement, with various suggestions offered about how to say that the Speaker had never intentionally misled the ethics committee..

The Speaker sought to end the cross talk by saying, ''Why don't we pick up Ed's language: 'Although there is no charge that Newt intentionally misled the committee, Newt was responsible for the mistakes that were made?' ''

Ultimately, the statement as issued changed a little. It said, ''It should be noted, and is clear, he did not seek nor intend to mislead the committee.''

Looks like a petty fight that has been going on for 11 years. I guess Boehner won't let it go either.

Amnorix
04-10-2008, 08:26 AM
So, first, it wasn't the idiot Congressman's money, but neither was it a dime of tax dollars. If his political campaign $$ contributors don't like it, then they can stop contributing.

Second, he was an idiot to act as a middleman in this affair. He should've told the original tapers to release it directly instead of through him, and leave him the heck out of it.

patteeu
04-10-2008, 09:38 AM
Looks like a petty fight that has been going on for 11 years. I guess Boehner won't let it go either.

I guess so, but

1) The court decision validates the legitimacy of Boehner's claim

2) Despite having a legitimate claim, Boehner offered to settle with McDermott for a pittance and an apology.

patteeu
04-10-2008, 09:42 AM
So, first, it wasn't the idiot Congressman's money, but neither was it a dime of tax dollars. If his political campaign $$ contributors don't like it, then they can stop contributing.

Second, he was an idiot to act as a middleman in this affair. He should've told the original tapers to release it directly instead of through him, and leave him the heck out of it.

Two good points. My question, which I'm sure will never be answered, is why were the Martin's taping the conversation in the first place? I don't think there's any question about whether or not it was intentional, but I wonder:

(a) were they acting on their own initiative or were they directed by someone

(b) was this a one time thing or did they make a habit of spying on Republican politicians

mikey23545
04-10-2008, 11:28 PM
It was, of course, the Democratic Watergate, but in a country where liberal forces rule the media, there was hardly a whisper of impropriety nor a furious investigation of these "innocent" Floridians and their ties to the Democratic Party.

banyon
04-11-2008, 07:27 AM
They burglarized a hotel and then stole key opposition documents, later to cover it up by concealing evidence?