Boehner Isn't Just A Broken-Down, Incompetent Old Drunk-- He's Also One Of The Most Corrupt Speakers In History
Let's leave aside the episodes of Boehner handing out bribes on behalf of his lobbyist pals as people were voting on the House floor. One of the most notorious ones was caught in the explosive "career-ending" video above, with Boehner moonlighting as a tobacco industry lobbyist himself, paying off Republicans to help Big Tobacco deceive Americans about the health dangers of their toxic product. OK, watch the video, but after that, let's skip ahead to the "rehabilitated" Boehner and what he's doing to make a few bucks on the side now that he's Speaker.
Boehner revels in talking about his humble beginnings. And it's true, unlike hereditary plutocrats like Fred Upton and Mitt Romney, Boehner-- like career criminal Darrell Issa-- made his millions at the public trough, manipulating a corruptible system for his personal benefit. And he's still doing it-- on steroids. You know how Boehner is leading the charge against a studied, scientific approach to the dangers inherent in fracking and the Keystone XL Pipeline. The same way he didn't want any studies warning about tobacco causing cancer, he doesn't want any studies about air and water pollution. If there were a spill, for example-- and there are always spills (oops!)-- in Nebraska, the large wetland ecosystem, and the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest reserves of fresh water in the world, spanning eight states and providing drinking water to two million people, and supporting $20 billion in agriculture, it would devastate the entire Midwest economy. Isn't that worth studying carefully? Not to Boehner, and not to Boehner's cronies-- and not, we find out now, to Boehner's financial partners in the deal!
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) launched a “countdown clock” that ticks off the time until the permitting deadline expires and posted a video on YouTube that touts the pipeline as a chance to create jobs with private investment. Playing off Obama’s mantra of “We Can’t Wait,” the video flashes phrases across the screen including, “We Can’t Wait for Leadership. We Can’t Wait for Jobs.”
Environmentalists note that in December 2010, according to Boehner’s financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands, the region that produces the oil the pipeline would transport. The firms include six oil companies-- BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon-- along with Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada.
Bill McKibben, a climate activist and co-founder of the group 350.org, wrote in an e-mail that Boehner has received more than $1 million from fossil-fuel companies, “and now we find out that he’s got extensive personal investments in companies dependent on tarsands oil.”
“He was willing to shut down the government in part to prevent enough time for serious environmental review,” McKibben added. “In any other facet of our public life .?.?. this whole list taken together would be seen for the gross conflict of interest that it is.”
Boehner claims his financial adviser is in charge of his investments and he doesn't have anything to do with it. It's all just one big coincidence, I'm sure. After the DCCC completely stiffed Boehner's Democratic opponent in 2010, Justin Coussoule, hanging him out to dry and refusing even the most pro forma help, is it any wonder that Boehner will be able to spend his millions helping other Republicans this year with no worries about any opponent in his own district? Steve Israel-- worst DCCC chairman in history (yes, even worse than Rahm Emanuel)-- is so busy launching his whispering campaigns against progressive Democrats that dozens of Republicans, like Boehner, will have no opponents whatsoever. Israel has singlehandedly cemented a GOP majority in place. If you have no candidates, you forfeit the fight. There's no one in Congress who could be happier with Pelosi's selection of Israel as DCCC chair than John Boehner. Send the DCCC and the Beltway Democrats a message. It's up to us to take this into our own hands and cut out the corrupt conservatives like Steve Israel; they're not our friends anymore than the Republican bloodsuckers are.