MISSOULIAN TO MONTANA'S CROOKED REPUBLICAN SENATOR CONRAD BURNS: TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
First Montana's Republican Senator Conrad Burns claimed he never met Jack Abramoff and wouldn't know him if he ran into him. Then when it was revealed that Burns was the single biggest recipient of the tainted loot Abramoff had swindled American Indian tribes out of-- some of it on the promise (which was kept) that Burns would intervene for one of the Michigan tribes-- Burns claimed he wouldn't give the money back because he had already spent it. And today when that was revealed as the ridiculous canard everyone knew it was, Burns raised the white flag and finally agreed to return the stolen money. He still claims he wasn't working for Abramoff but was just helping out his progressive Democratic senatorial chums-- who he has never helped with anything ever-- when he moved to assistant in the Michigan tribe's casino situation. But he was working for Abramoff. Abramoff didn't give Burns over $150,000 just because he's a loony right-wing extremist. For Abramoff it was a quid pro quo and Burns delivered. Today's MISSOULIAN published an editorial-- please imagine the strains of Andrea Bocelli's "Time to Say Goodbye"-- entitled "Time to pass the baton, Sen. Burns". Montana's most influential newspaper's opening doesn't auger well for the beleaguered, already unpopular Burns: "Montana Democrats have got the perfect candidate to help them take the U.S. Senate seat up for election next year away from the Republicans. His name is Conrad Burns." And it doesn't get any better as THE MISSOULIAN builds a watertight case for Burns' retirement.
"Burns himself recently told a Kalispell TV station," they remind us, "'This Abramoff guy is a bad guy. And he's indicted, and I hope he goes to jail and we never see him again. I wish he'd never been born.' Strong language, but not exactly soothing words about Burns' association with Abramoff and the revolving door that existed between the lobbyist's firm and the senator's own staff." [Not to mention all the money that flowed from Abramoff to Burns.] Burns is a two-bit crook and bribe taker, no better or worse than Randy "Duke" Cunningham or Republican Crime Boss Tom DeLay. He belongs in prison, not the U.S. Senate (and the Democrats have a superb candidate to replace him in John Tester. George W. Bush, as the leader of this corrupt political party, and as the putative president of the United States of America and it's chief law enforcement officer, should get to the bottom of these scandals by voluntarily promising not to grant pardons to anyone who lies in any of these investigations.
SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE: WHAT DOES CONRAD BURNS CHARGE?
The BILLINGS GAZETTE reported yesterday how "Burns first pushed for a tribal school construction program sought by lobbyist Jack Abramoff's clients within two months of receiving $75,000 in campaign donations from the indicted lobbyist's tribal clients in 2002." Burns has been totally dishonest about this and new revelations show his deceptions coming apart at the seams. He has always claimed, rather ingenuously-- to say the least-- that he was just doing a favor for his pals Debbie Stabenaw and Carl Levin (2 progressive Democrats the viciously partisan Burns wouldn't ever consider helping with anything). He claimed his support for the $3 million grant Abramoff's wealthy Chippewa clients wanted came about because he wanted to help out the 2 Democrats, not because he was given $75,000. But, the GAZETTE reports "According to letters released by Burns and by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Burns began advocating for the program more than a month before he received official requests from the Michigan delegation for the money."