Friday, July 28, 2006



When it comes to defining the Republican Culture of Corruption, there seem to be several popular genres that congressmen use to milk the system. A few, like Bob Ney (R-OH) and John Doolittle (R-CA) use them all. But most GOP members of Congress specialize in just one or two tactics. Today's Washington Post exposes the Republican heavyweight from the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia, Tom Davis III as another user of the strategy perfected by the most corrupt congressman in America: Jerry Lewis. What Lewis has done with his close friend and (ex-Congressman) Bill Lowery, Davis has done with his close friend, Donald Upson. "Two months before Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) became chairman of the powerful House Government Reform Committee in January 2003, one of his close friends formed ICG Government, a consulting company for technology firms seeking government contracts."

The two of them had made their fortunes selling computers to federal government bureaucracies. "Upson worked with Davis and his staff as he built his consulting business, which holds seminars on procurement and advises clients on winning government technology contracts worth billions of dollars. Those contracts often came under the oversight of Davis's committee... ICG has a record of satisfied clients, who say the firm has provided them with access to the congressman and his staff." His company "is part of a cottage industry of former government officials and others who hire themselves out as 'contracting consultants' to firms seeking government work. Although they do some of the same things as lobbyists, they do not register with Congress or publicly report their activities, as lobbyists are required to do." Through a legalistic loophole, they are able to sneak around and do their criminal best undercover of darkness-- as long as they have a motivated legislator to play ball with. And Davis, like Lewis, is very motivated.

A little aside here, since this also seems like a bit of a pattern exposing the reality of Republican family values. The Post says that "one of Upson's first hires was Jeannemarie Devolites." Who's that? Well, she's the trophy wife who Davis married after he dumped his first wife. Kind of like what happened with Blunt when he dumped his wife for one of the trophy brand (a tobacco lobbyist who has worked hand and hand with him to make their little alliance very, very wealthy-- at the government trough). "In an opinion issued this week, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct told the congressman that his wife can work for the consulting firm as long as the couple does not personally benefit from any official acts by the congressman. The committee told them to take care to 'avoid a claim that you are allowing your official title to be used for private gain.'"

A far bigger deal is that if you're a business who wants access to Davis and his committee, Upson is the bagman. You hire his firm (the one that pays Davis' moll wife) and you get "business" done with Davis and his committee. Neat. And she doesn't even have to come into the office; she works from home-- with a cellphone.

"ICG's relationship with Davis has played out on a number of levels. The firm has arranged for clients to meet with Davis in his congressional office. Upson has set up dinners and receptions with the lawmaker for his clients. And ICG has arranged for clients to testify before Davis's committee. In one case, Upson's team wrote the testimony. Some of those clients, who pay ICG about $8,000 per month, have told The Washington Post that their testimony was a part of marketing strategies developed by ICG to bolster the clients' 'clout' and 'visibility' on Capitol Hill and with government contracting officials. On one occasion, Upson helped a client write a threatening letter to the Pentagon that was then sent out with Davis's signature on his committee's letterhead."

Davis has been careful to paint himself as a system reformer but this has been, at least in part, a cover for his own shady deals and self-enrichment. "Davis's persona as a reformer does not square with his close relationship with technology corporations, many of them based in Northern Virginia, that have greatly increased their federal contracting business since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the past five years, technology and telecommunications companies have been the largest contributors to Davis's and his wife's separate campaigns and political action committees. Those companies and their employees have donated more than $1.1 million of the $6.4 million given to the couple's campaigns, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics and the Virginia Public Access Project."

Have the Davises-- she's a state pol (as well as a lobbyist and bagwoman)-- been taking bribes from the companies who depend on their political power. Without a doubt. Even a Bush Regime insider wrote "a stinging e-mail" about Davis' avarice. "'The businesses in Mr. Davis district are primarily government contractors and he wants to make sure the $$ are free flowing without much regard to the fiscal consequences,' said the e-mail written by Angela B. Styles, who was chief of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget at the time." The House Ethics Committee told Davis-- after he panicked when he found out about the upcoming Post story-- "that compensation to his wife could be considered indirect compensation to him and that he needs 'to bear in mind' that issue when he considers any efforts 'that may benefit your wife's business interests.'"

The Democrat opposing Davis' re-election bid, Andy Hurst, was just handed an incredible tool. The moderate suburban voters in Virginia's 11th CD, basically Faifax and Prince William Counties, have been very open to Democrats lately, having, for example, gone overwhelmingly for Tim Kaine. These voters have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a bunch of kooks who want to burn crosses or re-fight the Civil War. These are normal Americans who want good schools and fair taxes and integrity from public officials. These voters are not the religious right. These voters are just like moderates anywhere in America. And they don't like corrupt politicians. VA-11 gave Gore 45% of its votes in 2000. It gave John Kerry 49% in 2004. Davis, unmasked, is in big trouble.


At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of 72 virgins in paradise, the American GOP is promised they can dump their frump and get themselves a new model, one addicted to the smell of money and power. Then, if they are good little boys, they can ride the gravy train.

Need we ask why they do Rove's bidding. How many lives are destroyed by these "bombers?"

It all becomes clearer as we turn over more rocks.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Voice of Democracy said...

I am ashamed Tom Davis is my Congressman. Thank god I did not vote for him and never will. But I do not hate him as much as I hate his wife, Jeannemarie Devolites. First off she is no trophy wife. Trust me I've met the woman several times and there is no nice way share how I feel about this woman. She is so fake and does everything for show. And she is too conceded for just being a Senator for Virginia. At least when I have met Tom Davis he is not as fake as her.

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trophy whore is the better term.
Davis was "paying" Devolites for sex while he was still married to his college sweetheart.
He funnelled campaign dollars from government contractors her way to keep her available.
Sex and politics.
It's time to clean it up!
Let's start with these phony Republicans.


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