Tuesday, June 24, 2008



It's not just Republicans who take bribes for their votes

Would it surprise you to know that Democrats who abandoned their party and its values to join Hoyer and Emanuel across the aisle on the FISA vote are the ones who got the biggest bribes from the telecoms? It shouldn't-- and they did. A day or two ago I tried showing the correlation between Hoyer's 7-figure PAC distribution operation-- funneling corporate bribes to Democratic caucus members-- and who willing the recipients were to stab their constituents in the back for Hoyer's special interests pals. Huge correlation.

Today we have a report from MAPLight.org that the telecoms paid well for Dems willing to sell their votes and betray the Constitution. The headline: "HOUSE DEMS WHO CHANGED THEIR VOTE TO SUPPORT FISA BILL, GIVING IMMUNITY TO TELCOS, RECEIVED, ON AVERAGE, $8,359 IN PAC CONTRIBUTIONS FROM VERIZON, AT&T, AND SPRINT." Overall, the biggest Democratic bribes (Republicans got even more, but who doesn't expect them to take bribes; that's why they're in politics), over $10,000 each, went to 31 mostly conservative Democrats and Blue Dogs, all corrupt notorious bribes takers:
Leonard Boswell (IA)- $10,000
Adam Schiff (CA)- $11,000
Dennis Cardoza (CA)- $11,000
Rubén Hinojosa (TX)- $12,000
Al Green (TX)- $12,000
Mike Ross (AR) $12,500
Jim Costa (CA)- $12,500
Bart Gordon (TN)- $13,500
John Barrow (GA)- $13,500- always more ready to sell out his constituents than almost anyone
Ron Kind (WI)- $14,000
John Tanner (TN)- $14,300
GK Butterfield (NC)- $14,800
Gary Ackerman (NY)- $15,000
Bart Stupak (MI)- $15,500
Henry Cuellar (TX)- $15,500
Charles Melancon (LA)- $16,000
Bernie Thompson (MS)- $18,500
John Spratt (SC)- $18,500
Dennis Moore (KS)- $18,500
Sanford Bishop (GA)- $19,000
Eliot Engel (NY) $21,500
Joe Baca (CA)- $22,100
Chet Edwards (TX)- $22,500
Melissa Bean (IL)- $24,000
Nancy Pelosi (CA)- $24,500
Joseph Crowley (NY)- $24,500
Gregory Meeks (NY)- $26,000
Rick Boucher (VA)- $27,500
Rahm Emanuel (IL)- $28,000
Steny Hoyer (MD)- $29,000
Jim Clyburn (SC)- $29,500

If you think that AT&T, Sprint and Verizon shelled out all this dough because of a burst of coincidental fervor, you'll probably wasting your time reading DWT and you should go find Rush Limbaugh's blog or the Drudge Report. And what about the 94 Democrats who changed their votes between the March 14 and June 20? Why did they change their votes. It may be hard to ascribe motivation but it wouldn't be odd to look at the tremendous amount of money the telecoms gave each of them and at least wonder if that was involved. What I don't understand is why they're not required to recuse themselves from these kinds of votes when they get paid off like this. Oh, wait... I do know. They make their own rules of conduct.
Last week, on June 20, the House of Representatives approved a compromise bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). The bill sets new electronic surveillance rules that effectively shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits resulting from the government’s warrantless eavesdropping on phone calls and viewing of emails of private citizens in the U.S. Approximately 40 lawsuits have been filed with potential damages totaling in the billions of dollars.

On March 14 of this year the House passed an amendment that rejected retroactive immunity for phone carriers who helped the National Security Agency carry out the illegal wiretapping program without proper warrants. Ninety-four House Democrats voted in favor of this measure--rejecting immunity--on March 14, then ‘changed’ to vote in favor of the June 20 House bill--approving immunity.

...Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint gave PAC contributions averaging:

$8,359 to each Democrat who changed their position to support immunity for Telcos (94 Dems)
$4,987 to each Democrat who remained opposed to immunity for Telcos (116 Dems)

88 percent of the Dems who changed to supporting immunity (83 Dems of the 94) received PAC contributions from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint during the last three years (Jan. 2005-Mar. 2008).

This should be illegal.

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At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive my naivete, but $30000 seems like peanuts in this day and age. Is this really the issue?

At 6:12 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Add up all the numbers the Telecoms paid members of Congress and you will come up with... $111,257,551 since 1990. In 2006 they paid off to the tune of $7,622,274 and so far this year they've ponied up $5,309,814. That's the issue.


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