Wednesday, February 28, 2007



I was just driving home from a meeting and I was listening to "Marketplace" on KCRW. The show ended with a correction. It was about a low-down Inside-the-Beltway politician/K Street operator who was taking a planeful of lobbyists on a golfing trip. They weren't going to Scotland and the arch villain in this little vignette wasn't lowlife Majority Leader Tom DeLay; it was lowlife Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. The correction: Hoyer's staff came whining to NPR that it wasn't 137 rooms (as had been reported); NPR had counted some rooms twice that were being used on consecutive nights. When NPR asked how many lobbyists were going golfing with the Majority Leader in all... they stopped whining and started hemming and hawing. Yes bigger than a breadbox but "around" 60 or so.

I thought this is why we worked our asses off last year-- not to make slimy hacks careers better but to bring honesty and decency back to our government. So now instead of Tom DeLay and Denny Hastert we're stuck with the equally reprehensible Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel. These people don't belong leading the Democratic Party; they belong in prison-- along with anyone else, of either party, who thinks being elected to public office means dining at the public trough-- and golfing with lobbyists, whether in Scotland or Puerto Rico.

I'm sure the Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort and Spa is no St Andrews but the idea is the same-- corruption. Technically the trip is not illegal and Hoyer can't be dragged before a judge and thrown in prison. But that's because of the absurdity of allowing politicians to write the laws governing their own behavior. The trip is being paid for by Hoyer's PAC and NPR explains how it works:
This is the way the leadership PAC loophole works: Hoyer's guests give thousands of dollars to his PAC. Because there are few restrictions on how PAC money can be spent, Hoyer's PAC uses some of the cash to pay for the congressman's trip to Puerto Rico. The PAC also provides entertainment, golf, even nifty little gifts bags for all the guests. The lobbyists and donors who have supplied the cash for this party then pay their own way to Puerto Rico. And in return for their generosity, they get to golf and hang with the congressman in the Caribbean.

Am I saying that Hoyer should be stripped of his job as majority Leader? Yes. Am I saying that Hoyer should be kicked out of the Democratic Caucus? Yes. Am I suggesting to the good folks back in Maryland's 5th CD that they defeat him and elect ah honest congressman instead? Of course I am.

Or maybe I'm mixing up this corrupt Steny Hoyer with a different Steny Hoyer. I better think that through. NPR reported on a Steny Hoyer last year who "campaigned hard on ethics reforms. And in the wake of several scandals, harangued Republicans in the House. [He thundered] "The greed and flagrant absues of convicted felons, former Republican member Duke Cunningham and Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, hang over this House like a dark cloud."

I went to The Google. I typed in "steny hoyer" and 474,000 articles came up. There's only one Steny Hoyer in Congress. It's the same guy! Oh, God! I started reading the articles. This guy sounds really bad! Wonkette said "Steny Hoyer Is A Crook Too" and even the ass-kissin' Washington Post entitled a piece about him "In Hoyer's Rise, Backers Eye Payoff".

This makes me really sick. Didn't the Democrats learn anything from the defeat the Republicans suffered last year, a great part of which was due to the outlandish corruption the leadership of their party was engaged in? I remember when Hoyer was campaigning for Majority Leader he sent his minions out to smear Jack Murtha's reputation by dredging up baseless dirt on a decades old scandal that had long ago been proven a dead-end. And now Hoyer is in power, acting like no one cares about ethics, and he seems determined to drag the Democrats down to a defeat they will have earned for electing a man of no moral character to be their leader.

How can Hoyer lead a party looking into the gargantuan corruption of the Bush Regime and the Republican Culture of Corruption, when he's cut from the same fabric. Just today the Washinton Post's Dan Eggen reports that David Iglesias "the fired U.S. Attorney in New Mexico says he was pressured by two members of Congress prior to the November elections about the pace of an ongoing public corruption probe that targets local Democrats. The American people want a solid and upright sheriff to put an end to this garbage, not a 2-bit broken down whore like Hoyer. Throw the bum out.


Ari Berman did a stupendous job this week on an investigative piece on K Steet's biggest pal among Senate Democrats, Max Baucus. Baucus is a living admonishment to progressives who think the only really bad corporate whores are Republican corporate whores. Like Hoyer, Baucus is as bad as a Republican. "Today, in the aftermath of the Democratic sweep of Congress, Baucus is still one of corporate America's favorite Democrats. As chair of the Finance Committee, he counts among his friends and political supporters a Who's Who of bankers, oilmen, ranchers, pharmaceutical lobbyists and Wall Street executives. He's particularly close to Montana's sole billionaire, industrialist Dennis Washington, a major donor to the Republican Party whose business interests Baucus has promoted over the years. The business community, in turn, expresses admiration for Baucus in its usual style--by writing big checks. The Finance Committee has always had an incestuous relationship with corporate lobbyists, and with Baucus at the helm, the tradition continues."

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At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


But I agree entirely.

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I thought this is why we worked our asses off last year-- not to make slimy hacks careers better but to bring honesty and decency back to our government."

Everybody knows that Democrats suck only slightly less than Republicans.

There's only one way to fix things, and that's to get money (and religion) OUT of our elections. If you wanted to design an election system guaranteed to provide the maximum amount of corruption, you couldn't do better than the one we have.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Karla K. said...

Another day, another crook...the book CONGRESS gone WILD - Our Whores on the Shores of the Potomac speaks to the craziness of these PCPs - professional career politicians...! We need to take our country back from these phonies!!!


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