Saturday, January 14, 2006



Leigh is more a sports masseuse than like a relaxation masseuse. She was Lenox Lewis' masseuse and works for a host of other boxers and wrestlers and runners and athletes of all stripes. And me. I'm not an athlete but Leigh comes over to my place for 90 minutes every Thursday and fixes whatever's wrong; has been for a dozen years or so. Now that I swim everyday, there's less wrong than there used to be but, there's still always something. Leigh lives up in Big Bear. She's an environmentalist. But not in the sense that she puts a check in the mail to the Sierra Club or sends bad vibes to George Bush. Leigh organizes people at her church to go out and rescue wild horses and demands meetings with local officials to talk about over-development crowding out wildlife. I think the first time I ever heard of Jerry Lewis, Leigh's congressman, was when Leigh told me what a condescending dick he was. It made me look into him a little. "A little" immediately uncovered an astounding record of graft and corruption and an extremely tight relationship with admitted bribe-taker Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

When I first figured out that Cunningham, Duncan Hunter and Jerry Lewis were running an incredibly lucrative bribery scam with Southern California defense contractors, there were no headlines about the GOP culture of corruption. Now, of course, every pissant little congresskook from Ohio (literally) and Arizona and Florida is making headlines for being up for indictment and 15 to 30 unless they cooperate. Still the rogue operation-- apparently sans Abramoff, sans even DeLay (maybe)-- that was being run by Cunningham, Hunter and Lewis (with more than a little help from other wingnuts like Virgil Goode, John Doolittle, Jerry Weller, Henry Bonilla and a gaggle of other egregiously crooked pols, was massive and should not be swamped by all the other charges swirling around the Republican Congress.

The always wonderful Words Have Powerblog is determined that people don't forget about Leigh's congressloon Jerry Lewis. And in Lewis' solidly benighted deep red district (yes, it's California, but it might as well be South Carolina), they're gonna need all the remindin' they can get. Fortunately, Jerry Kammer at the San Diego Union isn't of the opinion this should just be swept under the carpet and while I was away the Union ran a pretty hefty expose on Lewis' career in crime. The Union piece-- well worth reading-- basically shows how Lewis used his position as Chairman of the all-powerful House Appropriations Committee to greenlight hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for clients of one of his tightest cronies, crooked lobbyist and former California Rep. Bill Lowery, while Lowery kicked back over half a million dollars in bribes-- in all likelihood much, much more to Lewis. Everyone in D.C. knew that if you wanted to do dirty business with Lewis-- and anyone who wants to do dirty business in D.C. sooner or later has to get to the Appropriations Committee, Bill Lowery was the bagman. You pay Lowery and he gets Lewis to do what you need. "Word is getting around that if you want to be close to Jerry Lewis, it's a good idea to be close to Bill Lowery," said a former Capitol Hill insider who asked not to be identified, saying he "cannot afford to make an enemy out of the chairman of the appropriations committee." Is Denny Hastert asking Jerry Lewis to resign from his committee chairmanship before unveiling the new GOP reform package too? Or does he wait until he becomes a household name like Ney? Don't hold your breath.

Last week Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), filed a complaint with the Department of Justice against Lewisasking Alberto Gonzales' shop to start looking into the Lowery-Lewis relationship. Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director, explained that this whole affair smells like "Duke Cunningham mixed with a lot of Jack Abramoff:  Rep. Lewis doles out earmarks a la Cunningham and Mr. Lowery plays Abramoff, offering an unending stream of campaign contributions. Corruption in Congress does not end with Tom DeLay or Jack Abramoff. There is not just one scandal, but a host of unethical activities that need to be investigated.” Is Alberto Gonzales the man for the job? Don't be silly. These scandals won't be looked into until the Republicans are driven from congressional power in November. Either we the people do it, or we will continue to be sheared.


Yesterday was Thursday, the day I get my massage. Leigh told me people in Big Bear are starting to hear vague whispers about their crooked congressman, Jerry Lewis, being involved, somehow, in some kind of scandals. The local papers don't ever mention it. There is no effective Democratic Party. It's just a little word-of-mouth going around from someone who reads the San Diego paper or looks at the internet or hears about it on Air America. It hasn't amounted to much... yet. Today Matt Kelley in USA TODAY, a paper that is very widely read in Lewis' exurban district, reports how Lewis did some very special favors for a NY investment group, a "vulture fund" going by the name Cerberus Capital Management, after they raised $110,000 for him.


At 7:50 AM, Blogger Wes said...

So, DWT, start documenting it like has been done with PomboWatch and SNTP. I see a lot of inuendo here, but not a lot of facts. Dig them up and don't wait for the press to do it for you.

Then, feed the information to the press and ask why they are not covering it. The press will always use good information when there is a story. But, they need to have documentation.

Remember that some of us who blog have the media as our number one audience.


Post a Comment

<< Home