Thursday, October 05, 2006

Take the Republican Challenge!

The Challenge:

I challenge all Republicans who are willing to respond with a sane and civil arguement to the following:

I'd like for someone, anyone, to come up with a list of Democrats holding a government office or are popular in the defense of, since Bush was elected in 2000, that have ties to corruption and ethics issues. I'll even give you a head start since I can actually admit when my party makes mistakes.

The Democratic Corruption list:

William Jefferson:
Allegations came last August that Jefferson had orchestrated a corruption scheme. Federal investigators are targeting the Democratic congressman, 58, for allegedly demanding cash and other favors for himself and relatives, in exchange for using his congressional clout to arrange African business deals. A former aide recently pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson and is cooperating with authorities, and sources familiar with the case say a plea agreement with the lawmaker is being explored.

Jim Traficant:
(D-OH) financial corruption conviction and expulsion from House (2002)

Robert Torricelli:
(D-NJ) bribery scandal (2002)

Sandy Berger:
Sandy Berger, former Clinton administration National Security pleads guilty to unlawfully removing classified documents from the National Archives in October 2003.

The Republican Corruption list:

Mark Foley:
The Mark Foley scandal centers on e-mails and sexually explicit instant messages allegedly sent by Republican Congressman Mark Foley to teenage male Congressional pages. The questionable conversations, which took place between 2002 and 2005, are under investigation by the FBI and Florida officials for possible criminal violations. Foley has since resigned, and his lawyer issued a statement saying that "There was absolutely no inappropriate sexual contact with any minor... and any suggestion that Mark Foley is a pedophile is false." Foley also announced that he was himself molested as a teenager, that he is gay, and that he is an alcoholic.
The Republican congressional leadership has been criticized for not investigating Foley's emails, which were known to them three years before the story broke. It has also contributed to conflict within the Republican Party, as some prominent members blame the leadership, including calls for the resignation of the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

Brian Doyle:
Department of Homeland Security Assistant Press Secretary Brian Doyle facing arrest on 23 charges related to soliciting sex from a 14 year-old minor in a police sting operation.

Trent Lott:
Republican Senator from Mississippi forced to relinquish his position as Senate Majority Leader after he stated that the United States would have been better off if segregationist candidate Strom Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948. Speaking at a 100th birthday party and retirement celebration for Republican Senator Thurmond, Lott said, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." On July 17, 1948, delegates from 13 southern states gathered in Birmingham to nominate Thurmond and adopt a platform that said, "We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race."

Tom Delay:
Participated in a conspiracy to funnel corporate donations to state political candidates through the Republican National Committee. Forced in shame to step down as House Republican leader after he was indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of conspiracy. He is the first House leader to be indicted while in office in more than a century. On 3/31/06, DeLay's former chief of staff, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and promised to help with a federal investigation of bribery and lobbying fraud relating to Abramoff. Rudy admitted conspiring with Abramoff — both while Rudy worked for the Texas congressman and after he left the lawmaker's staff to become a lobbyist himself. He is the second former DeLay staffer to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the lobbying probe. Delay announced at the beginning of April 2006 that he will resign from Congress by June.

Corruption by DeLay's staff:
Ed Buckham, former chief of staff to Tom DeLay and later Chairman of the lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group, appeared in Tony Rudy's guilty plea as "Lobbyist B." According to the plea, Buckham helped in routing $50,000 in payments to Rudy's wife's consulting firm - the money was to bribe Rudy for his help defeating a bill on behalf of Jack Abramoff's client.

John Colyandro was Executive Director of Tom DeLay's PAC Texans for a Republican Majority. He, along with Jim Ellis, was indicted for Money Laundering in 2004 alleging an illegal money swap with the Republican National State Elections Committee, an arm of the Republican National Committee. Colyandro also faces a charge for Unlawful Acceptance of a Contribution from a Corporation.

Jim Ellis was Executive Director of DeLay's PAC Americans for a Republican Majority. He, along with John Colyandro, was indicted for Money Laundering in 2004 alleging an illegal money swap with the Republican National State Elections Committee, an arm of the Republican National Committee.

Warren RoBold was a fundraiser for Tom DeLay's PACs (TRMPAC and ARMPAC) and was indicted in 2004 for taking illegal corporate money for TRMPAC - nine counts of Unlawful Acceptance of a Political Contribution from a Corporation. RoBold is charged with nine separate third-degree felonies, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

John Negroponte:
Recently appointed by the Bush administration as Director of National Intelligence for the United States. Ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985 during which time he supported and carried out an extreme US-sponsored policy of severe violations to human rights and international law. Supervised the creation of the El Aguacate air base, where the US trained the far-right murderous Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980's. The base was used as a secret detention and torture center, and in August 2001, excavations at the base discovered the first of the corpses of the 185 people, including two Americans, who are thought to have been killed and buried at this base. During his ambassadorship, human rights violations in Honduras became systematic. The infamous Battalion 316, trained by the CIA and Argentine military, kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of people. Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with them, while lying to Congress. Instead of spending the rest of his life in a federal prison to pay for his crimes, he is now US Director of National Intelligence.

John Boehner:
Newly-elected Republican House leader. Elevated to this position to replace disgraced former leader Tom Delay. Boehner himself is a prime example of congressional corruption. His political action committee collected nearly $300,000 from private student lending companies and for-profit academic institutions from 2003-2004. He has taken more than $157,000 in free trips, placing him in 7th place for such questionable activity. More than 20 of his staff members have taken jobs in the private sector as lobbyists or corporate public affairs specialists. He handed out checks to his colleagues from tobacco company political action committees on the floor of Congress in 1995. He will undoubtedly use this key position to undercut ethics and lobbying reforms in the House of Representatives.
In September 2006, shortly after the five-year anniversary of the World Trade Center destruction, he stated to the disbelief of everyone that Democrats "are more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people." Just another corrupt Republican extremist who shortly will be out on the street without a job.

Rick "man on dog" Santorum:
Junior senator from Pennsylvania. An anti-gay bigot who dishonors family values by spreading false and inflammatory rhetoric against gays and lesbians. He encountered controversy over disclosures that Pennsylvania taxpayers paid for his children's schooling while they lived in Virginia. Santorum maintained he did nothing wrong, and has pulled his children out of the school, according to reports.

Randy "Duke" Cunningham:
I'll let his own words speak for themselves:
"The truth is I broke the law, concealed my conduct and disgraced my office," he told reporters, his voice strained with emotion. "I know I will forfeit my reputation, my worldly possessions -- most importantly the trust of my friends and family."
Asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted cash and gifts and then tried to influence the Defense Department on behalf of the donors, Cunningham said, "Yes, your honor."

Conrad Burns:
Questions arose over $3 million in appropriations he earmarked for an Indian tribe in Michigan that was a client of lobbyist Abramoff. The senator received substantial campaign contributions from Abramoff and various clients.

Roy Blunt:
For trying to insert provisions into bills that would have benefited, in one case, a client of his lobbyist son and in another case, the employer of his lobbyist girlfriend, now his wife.

Dick Cheney:
Dick Cheney is surrounded by some very substantial conflicts of interest. As Secretary of Defense under George H. Bush, Dick Cheney spear headed an effort to privatize a number of parts of the military. In 1992, Cheney worked with Halliburton to draw up the plans and contracts. After leaving government, Cheney joined Halliburton and profited from the very arrangements he helped to engineer. Cheney still owns over 400,000 Halliburton stock options and a series of no bid contracts for work in Iraq and hurricane Katrina flow to Halliburton. A conflict of interest is blatant and undeniable.

Bob Ney:
Rep. Ney's ethics violations arise from campaign contributions and travel he has accepted from those who sought his legislative assistance, as well as from the misuse of his office to influence a private, commercial transaction.

Bill Frist:
Bill Frist of Tennessee made a fortune through the family business, Hospital Corporation of America. HCA has profited mightily, even beyond what is allowed by law. HCA was fined $840 million in criminal fines, civil penalties and damages for unlawful billing practices. These infractions came in the form of over-billing Medicare, Medicaid and the Defense Department's health care system. Frist's latest ethical problems arise from violating the spirit of the blind trust and insider trading, for which he is being investigated by the SEC. He also went to a pound while he was in med school and adopted cats to take home and dissect to further his medical knowledge. Horrible!

Bob Taft:
In August of 2005 Republican Gov. Bob Taft pleaded no contest to four criminal ethics charges for his failure to disclose golf outings paid for by lobbyists, as well as undisclosed gifts worth $5,800, he was fined $4,000 plus court costs.

Scooter Libby:
Scooter Libby has been instrumental in a number of plots which most people of ethics would avoid. Scooter was a key player in the awarding of no-bid contracts to Halliburton for work in Iraq. The VP's office vehemently denied having involvement in the contracts but it turns our Libby had been meeting with the Pentagon about Halliburton and the contracts. Libby is up to his eyeballs in the leaking of classified information, the identity of Valerie Plame. Judith Miller will testify that Scooter Libby compromised the classified information over coffee.

John Ashcroft:
Former US Attorney General who helped draft the presidential order creating secret military tribunals which bypasses the US court system and contains significant due process violations and allows for the imposition of the death penalty. Appointed individuals who have poor civil rights/liberties records to high-level DOJ positions. Eliminated a pilot program that provided federal money to pay for DNA testing to exonerate innocent inmates. Has blurred the line between church and state by conducting daily sessions of prayer and Bible study at the DOJ. Rounded up and imprisoned over 1200 men of Middle Eastern descent based largely on pretextual immigration violations and refused to disclose their identity and location and the reason for their detention.

Jack Abramoff:
Jack Abramoff has been ordered to report to prison by June 29th, 2006. There are two separate prosecutions against Jack Abramoff.

The first is focused on Abramoff's defrauding of investors in his purchase, along with Adam Kidan, of SunCruz, a fleet of casino boats. That investigation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Florida. Abramoff was indicted for his involvement in the SunCruz fraud case August 11th, 2005 and pled guilty January 4th, 2006 to two counts (Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Wire Fraud). He, along with Kidan, was sentenced March 29th to five years, 10 months in prison. Abramoff's yet to be sentenced in the other case.

The other case relates to bribing public officials and defrauding his Indian clients - it's being led by Justice Department prosecutors and is proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Jack Abramoff pled guilty January 3rd, 2006 to three counts (Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Mail Fraud, and Tax Evasion). A status conference is scheduled for June 6th.

On November 21st, 2005, Michael Scanlon, Jack Abramoff's partner in the Indian fraud and bribery schemes, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

David Safavian:
The Bush Administration's chief contracting and procurement official at OMB, David Safavian was arrested on charges of making false statements to an ethics official, making false statements to the General Services Agency's Inspector General, and obstruction of a GSA-IG investigation.

George Ryan:
Republican George Ryan was the Governor of Illinois from 1999 until 2003. Ryan's term in office was marked by a scandal involving the illegal sale of government licenses, contracts and leases by state employees during his prior service as Secretary of State; in the wake of numerous convictions of former aides, he chose not to run for reelection in 2002. In December 2003 he was indicted on 18 federal racketeering, fraud and conspiracy charges. His trial got underway in September 2005.

Rush Limbaugh:
Rush has long elevated himself above all those "lowly liberals and democrats". He identifies himself as someone who lives by and fights for ethical behavior. Except Rush was abusing prescription drugs for a period of over 5 years. The amount of pills consumed by Rush necessarily requires him to have obtained them illegally through a practice known as "doctor shopping". His housekeeper has admitted to providing Rush with illegal OxyContin pills.

Ralph Reed:
Ralph Reed is the face of the Christian right. Ascribing to himself deep, religious virtue, Reed has a long history of questionable activities. Reed is quite close to Jack Abramoff who with Reed, engaged in unfortunate quid-pro-quo lobbying efforts, most notably extorting money from Indian Casinos for campaign contributions.

Kenneth Tomlinson:
Republican Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson, investigated for violating the Public Broadcasting Act, resigned after the results of the investigation were published.


Now there are a ton more than this but I'm just giving the highlights as this has become entirely too time consuming. I had no idea there was this much corruption in the Republican party until beginning this investigation. Want to know more? Click the below link.