Wednesday, August 08, 2007



Rubber stamp senators like Murkowski have been welcome to earmark themselves into vast wealth

A couple years ago I got it in my head that Tom DeLay arranged to have a financial advisor, a really specialized, crooked one, come in and talk with Republican members of Congress about how they could each get a nice piece of the federal money they're supposed to be watching over for us. One after another I saw Republican members of Congress earmarking millions of dollars for these roads that led to cheap property they bought in the middle of nowhere. And once the property had a road going to it... well, wouldn't you know it-- the values skyrocketed; and the Republicans sold for hefty profits.

Planet Denny Hastert was named Rolling Stone's worst member of Congress after he got caught doing that stunt but the list of Republican members of Congress feeding at that particular trough seemed inexhaustible. In California alone we had new earmarked roads helping to increase the property values of Jerry Lewis, Gary Miller, Dirty Dick Pombo, and Ken Calvert. And it was like this everywhere across the nation.

And, of course, if corruption is under discussion, Alaska will always be at the forefront. Senator Ted Stevens and Don Young weren't only earmarking themselves and their business partners into millionairedom in Alaska, Don Young was playing games with tax payer money to build roads for contributors in Florida!

At least partially because Lisa Murkowski comes from one of the most corrupt political families in the history of the state, one had to give the relatively new senator a look over-- especially since she was appointed to her seat by the [then] governor, her corrupt father, Frank M. The close look unveiled some interesting stuff regarding land speculation that she was able to buy cheap from a sleazy GOP rainmaker. And last night we find out at TMP Muckraker that, sure enough, she was earmarking millions of dollars for a nice 3 mile-- right to her property!

When the Feds closed in on Stevens a few weeks ago and raided his home, she panicked and sold the land. But her intentions were crystal clear-- self enrichment through earmarks, the hallmark of the entire Alaska congressional delegation. "Many people also have started to question how a delegation weakened by criminal investigations and ethical concerns can continue to effectively represent a place that, since statehood, has depended on federal money and attention to thrive."


I guess he's practising for takin' the 5th, the Republicans' real favorite amendment. But when the intrepid reporter cornered him with facts and figures ole Young had no choice but to respond:

Q. Bill Allen’s been in the news, and you’ve had some association with him. What can you tell us about that association? His employees have donated $150,000 over 10 years.

A. Figure it out. Ten years, $150,000. It’s what, $20,000 or less a year. That’s not very much money.

Q. Some state representatives have returned money to these people. Do you have any plans to do that?

A. No.

Q. There was a report that you paid back $38,000 to him for fundraising costs.

A. The campaign paid it back to him. I didn’t pay it back.

Q. I guess I associate you with your campaign.

A. My campaign is separated from my office. Totally separated, totally divorced. I am the candidate; they are the campaign office.

Q. OK, can you explain why that was done?

A. I have no idea, I’m not a part of the campaign office. Let’s not get too far away, because I can’t really comment on the ongoing investigation by the federal people, agencies, so let’s not go too far that way.

Q. OK. The Washington Post reports that your campaign has spent a little more than a quarter-million dollars in legal fees. Can you tell us what that is about?

A. No

...Q. You can tell Alaska voters you did nothing wrong?

A. I’m not supposed to comment.

Q. You can’t even say that?

A. I am not supposed to comment.

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At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Howie, for keeping Planet Hastert's Real Estate Successes up front. I can't believe he got away with that, yet.

Aren't there any good journalism or law students out there in NIU Dekalb, Illinois Corn Country?


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