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Bob Ney Not Afraid of a Fight

Rep. Bob Ney, the Ohio Republican whose ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff are being scrutinized by federal prosecutors, will formally announce his reelection bid at 5:30 ET this afternoon, setting off what is sure to be one of the highest-profile House races in the country this year.

Congressman Bob Ney
Will the Abramoff scandal help hand Rep. Bob Ney's seat to Democrats in the fall? (AP Photo)

Ney's announcement will come at Tuscarawas County Republican headquarters in the northern part of his sprawling 18th District, located in east-central Ohio. He will make a similar declaration tomorrow in Chillicothe, the town whose mayor -- Joe Sulzer -- is the Democratic candidate favored by the party establishment to challenge Ney in the fall.

The decision by Ney to run for reelection -- even as rumors of his possible indictment in the federal investigation into Abramoff's influence-peddling schemes continue to swirl-- evoked a mixed reactions among the Republican establishment.

Brian Walsh, spokesman for Ney, said that voters in the district  "are aware of the Abramoff issue but it is not an issue that affects their daily lives."  Walsh added that there is a "big disconnect between how people in Washington look at it and how people in the district look at it."

Other Republicans -- outside of Ney's direct orbit -- are decidedly more skeptical about the impact of Abramoff on Ney's race for a seventh term, pointing to internal polling that shows Ney trailing both Sulzer and hotel developer Zack Space in hypothetical election match-ups.  Even more troubling for Ney, the surveys seem to indicate that, regardless of the eventual result of the federal investigation, voters have decided that he has the taint of corruption on him, according to sources familiar with the numbers.

These strategists -- none of whom spoke for attribution due to the delicate nature of Ney's political situation -- believe his decision to run for reelection is more a legal decision than a political one.  Under that theory, a Ney retirement announcement would be a tacit admission to prosecutors of  guilt.  A defiant campaign to keep his seat, on the other hand, continues to preserve Ney's assertion that "he has done absolutely nothing wrong," in Walsh's words. 

Another motivating factor for Ney may be financial.  Ney has little personal wealth and has accrued considerable legal costs in the past year or so, making a retirement from Congress untenable from a dollars and cents point of view at the moment, according to several GOP strategists. Ney has, however, set up a legal defense fund to defray the legal costs of the federal investigation.

It remains unclear how Ney would be replaced on the ballot if he wins the Republican nomination but then steps aside before the general election. Filing closes in Ohio on Feb. 16, and so far no serious Republican candidate has declared his or her intention to run. Should Ney be the party's nominee but decide not to stand in November, either a special primary would be called in which any GOP candidate would be allowed to run for the nomination or a district-wide convention would be called to pick the party's standard bearer.

Looking solely at the demographics of the district, it is a seat that a generic Republican should carry somewhat easily.  Although Ney was the first GOPer to represent the district in more than four decades when he won an open seat contest in 1994, it was made much more solidly Republican in the 2001 redistricting process.  In 2004, President Bush carried the district with 57 percent of the vote, an improvement on the 55 percent he received in 2000.

The district takes in all or part of 16 counties. To run television advertising district-wide requires a campaign buy time in five separate media markets -- Cleveland, Columbus, Zanesville, Wheeling (W. Va.) and Charleston (W. Va.).  That makes the cost of a media campaign prohibitively expensive and -- in theory -- complicates a challenger's efforts to introduce himself to voters.

That same cost could also make it difficult for Ney to finance an extensive television campaign distancing himself from Abramoff and touting his accomplishments for the district -- a necessity if the GOP polling is to be believed. 

Walsh said that Ney will show roughly $600,000 in his campaign account as of the end of 2005, and he said Nay has raised more money at this date in the campaign than in any other previous cycle.  Sulzer, by contrast, showed just $83,000 in the bank at the end of September, and Space had not filed a financial report at that time.  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is likely to spend heavily to take back the seat, an expenditure the National Republican Congressional Committee will likely have to match if Ney is still on the ballot this fall.

Will Ohio's 18th District crack The Fix's Friday Line on House races? Check back tomorrow morning for the answer.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 26, 2006; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: The Friday Line: Scandals Put a Few "Safe" House Seats in Play

Comments

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Posted by: John S | August 20, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Two weeks ago the Space campaign reported hitting the $100,000 mark. In addition the Space campaign has received several endorsements from Democrats in the district. (Those that will actually make a difference.)

The Sulzer campaign has reached the $200,000 mark.

I expect both candidates to be over $300,000 by the next filing release in April.

Posted by: Money $$ | February 6, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Zack Space is Law Director of the City of Dover and is an attorney. He is partners with others that own a couple small hotels.

Posted by: Zack Space is a Law Director | February 6, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

the electoral process as they did in florida?

weird huh?

Posted by: isn't ohio one of the states where the actually interfered with | January 28, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

feel the love...


but be sure to close the door.

Posted by: and for you little weezers with emotional problems.... | January 28, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

but for most of the people here that isn't the truth...


they wouldn't know it if it sat down next to them....

ever talked to wrestling fans that think the matches are real?

that is what it is like reading these posts.


there are no real democrats or republicans, there are just people that want what they want and don't really care what you want....

how is the "war" benefitting you?


how is bush getting his hands into the till making things better for you?

better healthcare, better hours, a stronger future.....


better va benefits, medicare?


is homophobia that important an issue for you?


is it really important to you to pass a bill making gun manufacturers "not liable" under any circumstances for death from firearms....even though 12,000 people died from them last year? that is what you wanted your congress people to vote on isn't it.....or giving the big tobacco companies relief from the 4 billion dollar judgement against them...that is what you wanted isn't it?


you voted them in, shouldn't they be acting in your best interests rather than their own?

are they communist bosses that can control the media and drive mercedes while the country around them slowly ceases functioning properly...


4.5 million illegal aliens in the last 5 years, brown skinned, dark haired...coulda been arabs.....where are all the terrorists?

leading you? sheep baaaaaaa baaaaaaaa baaaaa

wake up sheep.

Posted by: sometimes the truth hurts... | January 28, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Gary-- do you really have nothing better do do than sit at a computer and post entries again and again and again about why you hate liberals? You aren't convincing anyone. I very much doubt that anyone who reads this will see your posts and think "gee... That Gary has a point. I think i'll vote Republican this time." And those 55,000,000 republicans arent your friends. Calling them your friends makes you sound like one of those guys who makes friends with hundreds of people in a chat room because they say nice things to you.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 27, 2006 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Gary, I think the comments you made around 4:44:30 pm were sound. I appreciate the research and will continue to read your posts as long as you remain fair. I do not say so sarcastically but sincerely. Thanks.

Posted by: Marve | January 27, 2006 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Something about that clip of Hillary Clinton insisting, in front of a predominantly black audience on Martin Luther King Day, that Republicans were running the House of Representatives like a "plantation," had been gnawing at me for almost a week, and even after replaying the video over and over again -- ah, the curse of the Internet! -- I couldn't quite put my finger on it.


I knew it wasn't the comparison of congressional arm-twisting to confederate slaveholding, absurd though it is. After all, Hillary's got a track record of wildly inappropriate racially charged metaphors. Remember, this is the woman who in her memoirs likened her decision to forgive her husband for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky to Nelson Mandela's decision to make peace with his white jailers: "It was a challenge to forgive Bill," she wrote, "but if Mandela could forgive, I would try."

And who could forget Hillary summoning up images from the pre-Civil War south during her first campaign for the Senate? "If you hear the dogs, keep on going. If you hear gunfire, keep on going. If you hear shouts and footsteps, keep on going." With those words, Hillary explained, Harriet Tubman urged her charges to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Likewise, Hillary promised another predominantly black audience, "I will not turn back no matter who's behind me, or what they're saying, or what they're doing!"

It was during that campaign, by the way, that Hillary got herself in hot water while holding forth on the life of Sojourner Truth: "I really hope our children learn about Sojourner Truth . . . because she did stand for truth and she did sojourn in difficult places time and time again. . . . It was a terrible journey. She went through swamps, she was chased by dogs. She was shot at . . . and she found her way to freedom," at which point, according to Clinton, Sojourner Truth "turned around and went back. She would send out the word to the plantations that she was coming back. And if people could get there . . . in the trees or on the side of their swamp, she would be there."

The problem, of course, was that Hillary was recounting the life of Tubman, not Sojourner Truth. Wrong inspirational black woman, Hill.

But back to Hillary's plantation crack on King Day. As I said, something about that clip was bothering me, and I couldn't figure out what it was until perhaps the seventh viewing. Then, suddenly, I realized it wasn't the sentence about the plantation; it was the following line. Here's the entire passage: "When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about."

Except she doesn't say talking. She says talkin'.

She drops the "g."

There should be a name for this linguistic tic, perhaps Sudden Melanin Syndrome. It's the habit of white-guilt besotted liberals of adopting the mannerisms of Ebonics in a desperate attempt to indicate their solidarity with black listeners. Naturally it's insultingly patronizing and what it actually indicates is someone who's not comfortable in her own skin, who unconsciously conforms her very being to whatever she imagines will ingratiate her with her audience. I doubt you'll ever hear Hillary dropping a "g" at a lily white Wellesley College reunion. Or at a lily white Chappaqua bake sale. Or at a lily white pro-choice rally.

You know what I'm sayin'?

Posted by: Oprah | January 27, 2006 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are sizing up Hillary Clinton for the umpteenth time, and they don't like what they see.

To be honest, I never understood what they saw in her in the first place. The amazing thing about Clinton is that she's so unappealing. She isn't a particularly gifted speaker. She's smart, but in a conventional and lawyerly way. She doesn't connect well with audiences. Her idea of improvisation seems to be leaping from the prepared text to prepared note cards.

However, she has defied the rules of nature and gotten better looking over the years, which, along with her soap-opera marriage, probably explains some of her success with supermarket checkout-aisle publications.

Indeed, her greatest success has been at exploiting expectations others have for her. For some fans, she was the struggling career woman who could bring home the bacon. For some detractors, she was "Lady MacBeth," cold and calculating in an obviously political marriage. She was also the apotheosis of the 1960s, for friends and foes alike. For the Children's Defense Fund crowd, she was the baby boomer idealist who worked her way through the system. For The American Spectator gang, she was the former Black Panther sympathizer and acolyte of Chicago radical Saul Alinsky who finally achieved power. After the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hillary -- who was no stranger to her husband's weaknesses -- suddenly became the victim in a culture with a fetish for victims.

At every turn, Hillary Clinton's Zelig-like public persona has been a fabrication -- either by her fans, her enemies, or herself. One telling episode came when she published her massively successful autobiography, Living History. The book tour was nothing short of a coronation, confirming her gravitas and commitment to "the issues." She portrayed herself as resigned to the fact that she'd have to answer Barbara Walters's questions about her personal life, but she always made it seem like she'd rather wrestle with the hard issues of public policy. But when the Washington Post actually tried to ask her about something other than how she cried over her husband's sexcapades with an intern, the senator from New York "declined to be interviewed about the political content of her book."

Hillary Clinton's latest reinvention paints her as a moderate, even an Iraq war hawk. Few people buy it. Reporters regularly assume her motives are opportunistic rather than sincere, focusing on how every pronouncement will position her for the 2008 presidential race. National Public Radio's Mara Liasson, for example, recently observed, "She certainly sees it in her interest to get to the right of the president on many issues, especially in the area of national security."

Whatever the reason, some liberals have had enough. "I will not support Hillary Clinton for president," wrote Molly Ivins, the voice of conventional thinking on the left. "Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone." The segment of Democrats who sanctified Cindy Sheehan can hardly countenance a presidential candidate who unapologetically voted for the war and positioned herself to the right of President Bush on foreign policy.

The New Republic offers perhaps an even more devastating critique of Clinton for Democratic pragmatists: She can't win. Marisa Katz dismantled the myth that Clinton can appeal to "red state" voters because she won in upstate New York. Turns out former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry each did better in upstate New York than she did. And Gore, a southerner, couldn't even win his home state of Tennessee. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll showed that 51 percent of Americans won't even consider voting for Clinton.

All of this could change. But there's a great irony here. Hillary Clinton's success over the last decade and a half has been in pretending to be her own woman while really playing one part or another for the benefit of the media, her husband, or various feminist constituencies desperate for a role model to confirm all of their comfortable stereotypes.

That's why there's something oddly satisfying in the possibility that Clinton being herself is politically disastrous. And, if she's really just playing one more role according to some classically Clintonian political triangulation, there's something equally satisfying to the prospect that even her fans aren't falling for it anymore.

Posted by: Condaleeza Rice | January 27, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your time on 'Gary.' He's either sixteen or prematurely senile (can't tell which); reasonable, thoughtful debate is a red flag that inflames his inner demons. Hopefully someday he'll grow up, go back on his meds or just completely deteriorate. Until then, put him on 'ignore' (as nearly everyone has already) along with all the other crackpots who apparently can't think for themselves and post chunks of irrelevant text every once in a while. There are plenty of intelligent Republicans out there; Gary seems determined to convince us otherwise.

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton supports the right of thirteen-year-old girls to have abortions without parental consent -- yet she forbade thirteen-year-old Chelsea to pierce her ears and enrolled her in a school that would not distribute condoms to minors

How Hillary, despite her pose as independent feminist and anti-corporate crusader, used her husband's position as Arkansas Attorney General to launch her corporate law career - then rode his political coattails into politics

Posted by: Hillary Clinton | January 27, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy favors racial set-asides on federal contracts -- but when it came to his own investment in an entire city block of Washington, DC, he got his political friends to help him waive an affirmative action set-aside

Another of Kennedy's great causes has been support of the estate or inheritance tax. But, he has repeatedly benefited from an intricate web of trusts and private foundations that have kept most of the family pie from ever ending up in the hands of the IRS

Kennedy has introduced dozens of pieces of legislation over the years to encourage alternative energy sources. But he helped block the Cape Wind Project -- an effort to provide clean energy for thousands of homes on Cape Cod -- because the project would be built in one of the family's favorite sailing and yachting areas

Posted by: Ted Kennedy | January 27, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't own a single share of stock!" filmmaker Michael Moore proudly proclaimed.

He's right. He doesn't own a single share. He owns tens of thousands of shares - including nearly 2,000 shares of Boeing, nearly 1,000 of Sonoco, more than 4,000 of Best Foods, more than 3,000 of Eli Lilly, more than 8,000 of Bank One and more than 2,000 of Halliburton, the company most vilified by Moore in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

If you want to see Moore's own signed Schedule D declaring his capital gains and losses where his stock ownership is listed, it's emblazoned on the cover of Peter Schweizer's new book, "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy

Posted by: Michael Moore | January 27, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Using IRS records, court depositions, news reports, financial disclosures and their own statements, I sought to answer a particular question: Do these liberal leaders and activists practice what they preach?" he writes. "What I found was a stunning record of open and shameless hypocrisy. Those who champion the cause of organized labor had developed various methods to avoid paying union wages or shunned unions altogether.

"Those who believe that the rich need to pay more in taxes proved especially adept at avoiding taxes themselves. Critics of capitalism and corporate enterprise frequently invested in the very companies they denounced. Those who espouse strict environmental regulations worked vigorously to sidestep them when it came to their own businesses and properties. Those who advocate steep inheritance taxes to promote fairer income distribution hid their investments in trusts or exotic overseas locales to reduce their own tax liability. Those who are strong proponents of affirmative action rarely practiced it themselves, and some had abysmal records when it came to hiring minorities. Those who proclaim themselves champions of civil liberties when it comes to criminal or terrorist cases went to extraordinary lengths to curtail the civil liberties of others when they felt threatened or just inconvenienced. Advocates of gun control had no problem making sure that an arsenal of weapons was available to protect them from dangerous criminals."

Posted by: Dan Rather | January 27, 2006 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Barbra Streisand is another proponent of environmentalism, yet she drives an SUV, lives in a mansion and has a $22,000 annual water bill. In the past, she has driven to appointments in Beverly Hills in a motor home because of her aversion to using public bathrooms

Posted by: Bill Clinton | January 27, 2006 6:08 PM | Report abuse

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who proclaims her support for unions, yet the luxury resort, the vineyard and the restaurants she partly owns are strictly non-union. While she advocates tough new laws enforcing environmental regulations on the private sector, the exclusive country club she partly owns failed to comply with existing environmental regulations for the past eight years - including a failure to protect endangered species

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your time on 'Gary.' He's either sixteen or prematurely senile (can't tell which); reasonable, thoughtful debate is a red flag that inflames his inner demons. Hopefully someday he'll grow up, go back on his meds or just completely deteriorate. Until then, put him on 'ignore' (as nearly everyone has already) along with all the other crackpots who apparently can't think for themselves and post chunks of irrelevant text every once in a while. There are plenty of intelligent Republicans out there; Gary seems determined to convince us otherwise.

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow Schoenburg! You know how to listen to directions from the moron judge!I am finished wasting my time with this blog and you defeatest democrats. When you can win elections on ideas than maybe people will start respecting your views. We in the republican party have all the power because we have an agenda, ideas and we love our country and the majority americans have those same values unlike you blue state lunatics. You liberals hate everything about this country you have no ideas, your party is clueless, your senators embarass themselves by making Judge Alito's wife cry in front of millions of american's. Your senators give talking points to our enemies such as Bin Laden and Saddam, your senators accuse our troops of abusing prisoners yet not a word from any of you liberals when innocent people have their heads cut off by this enemy we are fighting. You're for abortion yet you defend the founder of the crips who killed a family of four by saying he shouldn't be put to death. You support judges such as Cashman in Vermont who gives a 60 day sentence to a man who rapes and sodomizes a seven year old girl and there's no outrage from you people. This is why Alito has the overwhelming support of the american people because we understand the judiciary is the last place you liberals have for your agenda to be advanced. Now just like everything else you have lost that! You support Cindy Sheehan who sits with Hugo Chavez a sworn enemy of this country calling our country a bunch of terrorists. You support Hillary Clinton who sits with Harry Belafonte who also calls our country a terrorist nation. This is your life you despicable losers. Don't get me wrong keep doing what your doing because there is know way in hell the majority of mainstream red state american's will ever vote for people with this type of agenda. I give your recipe for defeat again. Until the next blog defeatest, terrorist appeasing cut & Run sissies!!!! See YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your time on 'Gary.' He's either sixteen or prematurely senile (can't tell which); reasonable, thoughtful debate is a red flag that inflames his inner demons. Hopefully someday he'll grow up, go back on his meds or just completely deteriorate. Until then, put him on 'ignore' (as nearly everyone has already) along with all the other crackpots who apparently can't think for themselves and post chunks of irrelevant text every once in a while. There are plenty of intelligent Republicans out there; Gary seems determined to convince us otherwise.

Posted by: Schoenburg | January 27, 2006 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow Mayan! You know how to listen to directions from the moron judge!I am finished wasting my time with this blog and you defeatest democrats. When you can win elections on ideas than maybe people will start respecting your views. We in the republican party have all the power because we have an agenda, ideas and we love our country and the majority americans have those same values unlike you blue state lunatics. You liberals hate everything about this country you have no ideas, your party is clueless, your senators embarass themselves by making Judge Alito's wife cry in front of millions of american's. Your senators give talking points to our enemies such as Bin Laden and Saddam, your senators accuse our troops of abusing prisoners yet not a word from any of you liberals when innocent people have their heads cut off by this enemy we are fighting. You're for abortion yet you defend the founder of the crips who killed a family of four by saying he shouldn't be put to death. You support judges such as Cashman in Vermont who gives a 60 day sentence to a man who rapes and sodomizes a seven year old girl and there's no outrage from you people. This is why Alito has the overwhelming support of the american people because we understand the judiciary is the last place you liberals have for your agenda to be advanced. Now just like everything else you have lost that! You support Cindy Sheehan who sits with Hugo Chavez a sworn enemy of this country calling our country a bunch of terrorists. You support Hillary Clinton who sits with Harry Belafonte who also calls our country a terrorist nation. This is your life you despicable losers. Don't get me wrong keep doing what your doing because there is know way in hell the majority of mainstream red state american's will ever vote for people with this type of agenda. I give your recipe for defeat again. Until the next blog defeatest, terrorist appeasing cut & Run sissies!!!! See YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your time on 'Gary.' He's either sixteen or prematurely senile (can't tell which); reasonable, thoughtful debate is a red flag that inflames his inner demons. Hopefully someday he'll grow up, go back on his meds or just completely deteriorate. Until then, put him on 'ignore' (as nearly everyone has already) along with all the other crackpots who apparently can't think for themselves and post chunks of irrelevant text every once in a while. There are plenty of intelligent Republicans out there; Gary seems determined to convince us otherwise.

Posted by: Mayan | January 27, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Read & Learn ignorant liberals. I love cutting and pasting stories that expose you democrats for who you really are. You know why you people keep losing you no longer have the liberal media getting away with their lies. I bet this really is painful for you liberals to read the other side of the story! Must be tough huh judge and you Jen reading the other side that debunks you morons and your lies????

Question:Abramoff's recent plea agreement says that he used free trips to Scotland and the 2001 Super Bowl in Florida try to buy official favors. Do these trips have to be reported?

Answer:In most cases, yes, but it's very little. There are rules in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives that require members and certain of staff to report any type of travel - supposedly for official business - that is paid for by outside groups. This is not government money; this would be private money from organizations or groups that are paying to fly a congressperson or senator to some conference or meeting or educational trip.

Q: What and where do they file these trip reports? And who enforces compliance?

A:They file a one-page form, they indicate when the trip took place, who paid for it, a purpose, usually a phrase or two, and the amount of money that the trip cost. These must be filed 30 days after the trip ... with the Clerk of the House of Representatives or the Secretary of the Senate, but neither of those offices have any type of enforcement or compliance functions. They are basically repositories of records.

Q:Do members of Congress actually report all the trips they take?

A:Last year, we found that a lot of members had been delinquent in filing these reports, and we saw a flurry of new reports filed.

Q:Can lobbyists, such as Abramoff, pay for trips taken by members of Congress?

A:It depends on how you define "lobbyist." The lobbyist is not permitted to pay for that travel, but the company or organization that hired the lobbyist can pay for the travel. So there are some fine lines that are drawn, some with no real distinction.

Q: What about other gifts given to members of Congress? House and Senate rules prohibit members and staff from accepting gifts that cost more than $50 or $100 from the same person over the course of a year. Where are gifts reported?

A:If the member receives any type of gifts during the year, they are supposed to be listed on their personal financial disclosure report, which is filed in May of each year.

Q:But a document from BellSouth recently made public shows more than 80 lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides accepted entertainment or meals that exceed those limits. Who determines the value of the gift, and who makes sure the limits are kept?

A:The determination of the value is usually done by the person providing the gift. In many cases it's a guess or an educated guess. ... There's not a lot of regulation at all there - or enforcement or compliance of it. They'll do educational seminars on Capitol Hill explaining what the rules and regulations are, but it still takes the individuals involved to report the items and report it honestly and correctly.

Q: Many members of Congress have conducted fundraisers in luxury boxes at sporting arenas that were leased by lobbyists, such as Abramoff. Is that allowed?

A:They may receive the use of a sports arena box or suite ... for campaign purposes. In these cases, as with Mr. Abramoff, he made the suite available, some members of Congress had fundraising events there. Their campaign committees were supposed to reimburse the person who provided the box for the cost. That is done fairly often in Washington, but as we found out last year, there were some (lawmakers) who were delinquent in doing so and are just now reimbursing Abramoff for those services and the suite.

Q:Is there an easy way for someone to find out what trips their congressional representatives or senators have taken, what gifts they were given, meals they were treated to, or campaign donations they've raised?

A:No. Many of these rules and regulations were passed in different laws, and documents and reports go to different agencies. Some go to the Federal Election Commission in Washington, others go to the two records offices on Capitol Hill. And some of these documents are only available in paper form if you visit Washington, D.C. The FEC is doing a better job these days of putting campaign contributions up on the Internet. The U.S. Senate has done a better job of starting to put up lobbying reports on the Internet.

Q:Why should people care who gives members of Congress trips, gifts or campaign contributions?

A:Most people want to believe that a member would listen evenly to everybody, no matter whether they are rich or poor. That perception of evenness sometimes is questioned when you see examples come out in the media of situations where you think it may not be evenhanded, where someone gave large campaign contributions, or had extensive access to a congressperson or senator with a busy schedule that other people weren't getting.

I think that sort of rubs people in a bad way, and I think that's where you get concerned and say, 'Let's make sure that our representatives are treating everybody equally and fairly.' And I think that's why you have reasons for concern. And many members, who actually do want to treat everybody fairly, also don't want the reputation of Congress ruined by a few who might have done official acts for monetary gain.

Q:Sen. John McCain has introduced the Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act of 2005, which would increase disclosure requirements and penalties. Would this bill help cut down on the current abuses?

A:(This bill) would greatly expand the disclosure of information about lobbying and their clients and about travel and about gifts. My guess is that you will see other bills put in by Republicans and Democrats trying to improve the system, especially after the Abramoff plea agreements.

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Gary, Jerry, scary, you are a complete idiot! You keep harping on old stuff that has no relevance to the subject at hand. You still haven't made any new comments on the reasons why Ney should be returned. You have not shared any new information on if Ney is guilty or not. I suppose as far as you are concerned, Ney & all the other Re-uglithans are fine, but all Democrats are not. And by the way, you obviously don't read. I believe some Republicans do have a plan to move this country forwar. I can admit that, but you can't admit that there are some sincere Democrats who do have a plan to move this country forward and have shared those plans with the public. No...that's beneath you. You can't admit that, for admitting that would be to go against another one of the Re-uglithan's talking points, like idiot Tom Reynolds, who insist that "The Democrats have no plan..." I rest my case...you are a complete idiot. Oh, and by the way, did you finally get some sleep last night once the other mental patients went to bed?

Posted by: Marve | January 27, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jenniderm & Judge Judy This post is for you two. And Jen you asked Not once in any of my posts did I explain why Mr. Ney should be returned to Congress by the people in his district. I'll explain it when you can explain why should these 45 democrats who took money from Abramoff be returned to their district. Its all on the record for everyone to see, Look how much Harry Reid took, how about how much John (I served in Vietnam)Kerry took. I thought he's a rich gigolo? Why is he taking money from Abramoff? When you can answer this than come talk to me no idea losers!!!!


Forty of forty five members of the Democrat Senate Caucus took money from Jack Abramoff, his associates, and Indian tribe clients. Below is a breakdown of how much each Democrat Senator received:


Max Baucus
(D-MT)

Received At Least $22,500

Evan Bayh
(D-IN)

Received At Least $6,500

Joseph Biden
(D-DE)

Received At Least $1,250


Jeff Bingaman
(D-NM)

Received At Least $2,000

Barbara Boxer
(D-CA)

Received At Least $20,250

Maria Cantwell
(D-WA)

Received At Least $21,765


Tom Carper
(D-DE)

Received At Least $7,500

Hillary Clinton
(D-NY)

Received At Least $12,950

Kent Conrad
(D-ND)

Received At Least $8,000


Jon Corzine
(D-NJ)

Received At Least $7,500

Chris Dodd
(D-CT)

Received At Least $14,792

Byron Dorgan
(D-ND)

Received At Least $79,300


Dick Durbin
(D-IL)

Received At Least $14,000

Dianne Feinstein
(D-CA)

Received At Least $2,000

Russ Feingold
(D-WI)

Received At Least $1,250


Tom Harkin
(D-IA)

Received At Least $45,750

Daniel Inouye
(D-HI)

Received At Least $9,000

Jim Jeffords
(I-VT)

Received At Least $2,000


Tim Johnson
(D-SD)

Received At Least $14,250

Ted Kennedy
(D-MA)

Received At Least $3,300

John Kerry
(D-MA)

Received At Least $98,550


Mary Landrieu
(D-LA)

Received At Least $28,000

Pat Leahy
(D-VT)

Received At Least $4,000

Carl Levin
(D-MI)

Received At Least $6,000


Joe Lieberman
(D-CT)

Received At Least $29,830

Blanche Lincoln
(D-AR)

Received At Least $14,891

Barbara Mikulski
(D-MD)

Received At Least $10,550


Patty Murray
(D-WA)

Received At Least $78,991

Bill Nelson
(D-FL)

Received At Least $20,168

Ben Nelson
(D-NE)

Received At Least $5,200


Barack Obama
(D-IL)

Received At Least $7,500

Mark Pryor
(D-AR)

Received At Least $2,300

Jack Reed
(D-RI)

Received At Least $3,500


Harry Reid
(D-NV)

Received At Least $68,941

John Rockefeller
(D-WV)

Received At Least $4,000

Senator Ken Salazar
(D-CO)

Received At Least $4,500


Paul Sarbanes
(D-MD)

Received At Least $4,300

Chuck Schumer
(D-NY)

Received At Least $29,550

Debbie Stabenow
(D-MI)

Received At Least $6,250


Ron Wyden
(D-OR)

Received At Least $6,250

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

He Jenninerd & Judge Judy:

Why should the drunk Ted Kennedy be returned to the senate for murdering an innocent girl? Why should KKK Byrd be returned to the senate for burning crosses? Why should Hillary Clinton be returned foe being a racist? You people are a bunch of uninformed losers. You lose in the elections every cycle because you have no ideas nor can you debate on facts. Sorry losers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alito, yes!!!!!!!!

Dean's refusal here to accept the facts is really not a big revelation, but it just cements the notion that their next issue into which they're throwing all of their eggs, the next basket is this Abramoff scandal. They still don't have a plan. We're still waiting on Dean. He was going to come out with his own contract, right? I haven't seen it. It's election year, sir. It's about time you come out with your contract here. Haven't seen it. Probably isn't going to be one. They're going to continue. What's the definition of insanity? One of the definitions of insanity is that you repeat certain actions. You keep doing the same thing over and over knowing full well what the result will be, knowing the result will not change yet you keep behaving the same way. That is one of the definitions of insanity, and it fits these people. How many times have they tried the scandal routine with George W. Bush. It's too many to remember, too many to count. Abramoff is the next one, culture of corruption. It's just a sign that all of their eggs are going to go into that basket

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your time on 'Gary.' He's either sixteen or prematurely senile (can't tell which); reasonable, thoughtful debate is a red flag that inflames his inner demons. Hopefully someday he'll grow up, go back on his meds or just completely deteriorate. Until then, put him on 'ignore' (as nearly everyone has already) along with all the other crackpots who apparently can't think for themselves and post chunks of irrelevant text every once in a while. There are plenty of intelligent Republicans out there; Gary seems determined to convince us otherwise.

Hey, I know, just cut and paste the above in response to whatever he posts next. Gary seems to think that's perfectly reasonable.

Posted by: Judge Crater | January 27, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Gary, I think you didn't understand my post. It was sarcasm!!!!

Sorry to say, I don't agree with you at all, in fact I could write so much more of what I think about what you have written but I don't see what good it would do.

Not once in any of your posts did you tell me why Mr. Ney should be returned to Congress by the people in his district. You cut and pasted so much garbage I stopped reading it. Your points would have so much more credibility if you stop the mean spirited name calling and childish whining and actually write some facts that have something to do with the original post. And posting the same thing, what, three times-what is that about!

Posted by: jenniferm | January 27, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It's gratifying to me seeing that this one sided blog started out and was directed at Ney and the republican's for being associated with Abramoff. Just like all of you pitiful liberals when the facts dispute your B.S. such as all of your democrat friends who are involved with Abramoff you run for the hills!!! Has Ney been found guilty? Keep running because we have the truth what do you people have? Howard Dean, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This blog has been defeated, next!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it amazing when these moron liberals are confronted with facts they can't debate the facts because they are intelectually inferior. You have Air America that was suppose to be the liberal talk show that would offset Rush Limbaugh and what happens they are ready to fold for taking $700,000 from a boys club to keep it a float. You have the DNC Times losing money because the American people are hitting them in their pocketbook by choosing not to read their garbage. You have people like Jake & Gary's buddy who can't write more than one sentence because they can't debate facts. Finally, to answer your question Jake off I have 55,000,000 republican friends moron, how many do you have?

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Gary has any friends...

Posted by: Jake | January 27, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bro!!! How long did it take you to learn and spell that word?

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jenniferm. When you confront these nutcases with facts they run for the hills just like the do nothing democrats they support. What did the drunk Kennedy do when he was exposed being a member of the owl club? He quit! Did we read this anywhere in the liberal media? Wake up moron's! I guess this is the mentality they must have when constantly listening to a media that fabricates a story such as Bush and the National Guard with forged documents yet ignore the severity of a Sandy Berger stealing documents out of the National Archives. They don't hear both sides of the same story or issue from their trusted liberal media because it can't give both sides because it allows intellectually honest people the ability to form their own opinion. Sad people these liberals really are.

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The kool-aid sure is strong in your veins this mornin' bro!! Hi-five!!

Posted by: Gary's buddy | January 27, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Gary, Gary, Gary---LOL, A LOT! I really enjoy your posts--so informative, so factual, so, so so.

Posted by: jenniferm | January 27, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Let me ask you Judge Dredd do you know all the specifics of the Ney case? Do you know how his lawyers are going to defend him? The republicans have better things to do like an agenda to move the country forward something your do nothing, no ideas, cut & run terrorist appeasing leaders in congress don't have. All that they have is constant drummed up scandals started from the imploding liberal media to hide how incompetent they really are.

Furthermore, why do Republicans control both branches of congress? Because the American people elected them to control it. Why? Because mainstream Americans understand nut case liberals like you who hate this country shouldn't and won't be in power! You call me a looney when you have Howard Dean as the head of your party? KKK Byrd a known klansmen in your party, Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy who murdered a girl and got away with it in your party, Bill Clinton only the 2nd President to be impeached who committed purjury, Sandy Berger caught red handed stealing documents out of the national archives, shall we go in with more corruption you people seem to forget?

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Gary: " Why? to drum up a scandal that also involves democrats." You seriously believe that posting here is going to cause this (cue cuckoo clock sound here)?

Back to basics for you: the GOP controls both branches of Congress and the White House. If they had anything to go on, they would happily prosecute Democrats with ten times the fervor of the actions taken against Ney to date. Get it? If you can't, you'll slide further into the 'ignore' category than unintelligently posting the same garbage over and over (and over) again has already put you.

Posted by: Judge Crater | January 27, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The headline, "Bob Ney Not Afraid Of A Fight", is simply wrong. He clearly is running so a "retirement announcement would be a tacit admission to prosecutors of guilt." Fighting back against your opponents is a lot different than doing a strategic political maneuver in order to keep a seat in GOP hands.

Posted by: jenniferm | January 27, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Obsessive? Its facts that you people ignore. Why? to drum up a scandal that also involves democrats. If you morons would tell your democratic congressman and Senators to come up with an agenda for moving this country forward maybe people from the other side of the aisle would consider voting for them. Don't you get tired of supporting people who have no ideas, agenda or anything for that matter? How do you vote for a party that stands for nothing?

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow Gary, talk about obsessive.

Please check out a good therapist....a Conservative one natch!

Posted by: scootmandubious | January 27, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I had to copy this again because it's hilarious that liberals want to paint this as a republican scandal. The scandal is on both sides of the aisle the only reason you liberals don't hear about democrats involved is because your friends in the liberal media want you to think this is only a republican scandal. It won't work because the new media is already exposing democrats who took money from Abramhoff or his associates. And you know who they are? Harry Reid, Durbin, Hillary, Kerry.... So hey democrats once again you will lose. Come up with some ideas for the american people, please! Maybe you will win an election in the next century. Hey Judge Crater it sounds like from your past remarks you legislate from your own ideology and not from whats law. If this is the case you make republican's point that judges like you or Cashman in Vermont should not be behind the bench!!


Hey Liberals:

be careful of accusing republicans of being involved with Abramoff. What your lying liberal friends in the media don't tell you is 45 of the 50 senate democrats are knee deep in this so cast the first stone and it will come back & bite you. Thanks to the Clinton's the democrat party is the party of corruption!

This morning's announcement that Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has reached a plea bargain deal with the Justice Department has reporters salavating over what they hint is going to be a Republican mega-scandal.

But it turns out that the most prominent player in Abramoff's web of influence was reportedly none other than the Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid.

In a little noticed story in November, the Associated Press revealed that Reid had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from an Abramoff client, the Coushatta Indian tribe, after interceding with Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton over a casino dispute with a rival tribe.

Reid "sent a letter to Norton on March 5, 2002," reported the AP. "The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second tribe represented by Abramoff sent an additional $5,000 to Reid's group. Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004."

Questioned about the donations last month by "Fox News Sunday's" Chris Wallace, Reid immediately turned testy.

"Don't try to say I received money from Abramoff. I've never met the man, don't know anything," he insisted.

When Wallace protested: "But you've received money from [one of his Indian tribe clients]," the top Democrat shot back: "Make sure that all your viewers understand - not a penny from Abramoff. I've been on the Indian Affairs Committee my whole time in the Senate."

When the Fox host pressed again on the Abramoff-linked donations, a flustered-sounding Reid continued to stonewall, saying: "I'll repeat, Abramoff gave me no money. His firm gave me no money. He may have worked a firm where people have given me money. But I have -- I feel totally at ease that I haven't done anything that is even close to being wrong."

Posted by: Gary | January 27, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Here's the proof you moron liberals! hey judge I bet you support that judge in Vermont who gave the 60 day sentence to a child rapist? You liberal judges stick to gether! Read the proof of democrats who have taken money from Abramoff. We welcome this investigation as it will expose several of the nothing corrupt democrats your moron mind numb losers support!!!

Forty of forty five members of the Democrat Senate Caucus took money from Jack Abramoff, his associates, and Indian tribe clients. Below is a breakdown of how much each Democrat Senator received:


Max Baucus
(D-MT)

Received At Least $22,500

Evan Bayh
(D-IN)

Received At Least $6,500

Joseph Biden
(D-DE)

Received At Least $1,250


Jeff Bingaman
(D-NM)

Received At Least $2,000

Barbara Boxer
(D-CA)

Received At Least $20,250

Maria Cantwell
(D-WA)

Received At Least $21,765


Tom Carper
(D-DE)

Received At Least $7,500

Hillary Clinton
(D-NY)

Received At Least $12,950

Kent Conrad
(D-ND)

Received At Least $8,000


Jon Corzine
(D-NJ)

Received At Least $7,500

Chris Dodd
(D-CT)

Received At Least $14,792

Byron Dorgan
(D-ND)

Received At Least $79,300


Dick Durbin
(D-IL)

Received At Least $14,000

Dianne Feinstein
(D-CA)

Received At Least $2,000

Russ Feingold
(D-WI)

Received At Least $1,250


Tom Harkin
(D-IA)

Received At Least $45,750

Daniel Inouye
(D-HI)

Received At Least $9,000

Jim Jeffords
(I-VT)

Received At Least $2,000


Tim Johnson
(D-SD)

Received At Least $14,250

Ted Kennedy
(D-MA)

Received At Least $3,300

John Kerry
(D-MA)

Received At Least $98,550


Mary Landrieu
(D-LA)

Received At Least $28,000

Pat Leahy
(D-VT)

Received At Least $4,000

Carl Levin
(D-MI)

Received At Least $6,000


Joe Lieberman
(D-CT)

Received At Least $29,830

Blanche Lincoln
(D-AR)

Received At Least $14,891

Barbara Mikulski
(D-MD)

Received At Least $10,550


Patty Murray
(D-WA)

Received At Least $78,991

Bill Nelson
(D-FL)

Received At Least $20,168

Ben Nelson
(D-NE)

Received At Least $5,200


Barack Obama
(D-IL)

Received At Least $7,500

Mark Pryor
(D-AR)

Received At Least $2,300

Jack Reed
(D-RI)

Received At Least $3,500


Harry Reid
(D-NV)

Received At Least $68,941

John Rockefeller
(D-WV)

Received At Least $4,000

Senator Ken Salazar
(D-CO)

Received At Least $4,500


Paul Sarbanes
(D-MD)

Received At Least $4,300

Chuck Schumer
(D-NY)

Received At Least $29,550

Debbie Stabenow
(D-MI)

Received At Least $6,250


Ron Wyden
(D-OR)

Received At Least $6,250

Posted by: Anonymous | January 27, 2006 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Gary! Trolling The Fix now? Cool. maybe you'll start a flamewar (like you do everywhere else) and get this P.O.S. blog cancelled like it should have been ages ago.

Anyone who posts crap straight from the RNC is either a kool-aid drinking loonie toones... or theyre ON THE WAPO PAYROLL! haha. right Chris? ;) haha. couldnt resist.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | January 27, 2006 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Judge Crater, you can't teach old dogs new tricks! I could deal with that. The problem is, I can't deal with old dogs who are idiots who spew the same idiocy like Gary. Judge, don't waste your breath, your time, nor your energy. Gary is an old dog who is incapable of learning new tricks.

Posted by: Marve | January 26, 2006 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Gary, as usual, you are being an idiot. We know it and you know it. You, as well as all of us know that, Democrats have received monies from many sources just like the Re-uglithans have. However, you keep insisting that Democrats have received money from Abramoff. You that to be false, and what you know to be true is that Re-uglithans have received money from Abramoff himself. You don't even site that as important. You keep on spewing falsehood whenever you write on this blog! Show me the facts where Democrats received money from Abramoff, the scumbag?You can't, because there are no facts to support your nonesense! But that's fine. You keep spewing that stuff off the Re-uglican talking points website. It will be egg on you and your uglithans' faces when the stuff hits the fan later on this year. You'll still be talking about, "Yeah, the Democrats did it too." Idiot...

Posted by: Marve | January 26, 2006 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Gary: got indictments? Nope. Posting the same stuff over and over again won't make any mountains out of those molehills either. Deal with it.

Posted by: Judge Crater | January 26, 2006 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey Liberals you need to get past listening to the lying Dan Rathers in the liberal media. Keep pursuing this and you will find how corrupt your do nothing democrats are and how deep they are involved with Abramoff. I guarantee you moron liberals who are so uninformed are seeing this for the 1st time? Why? because your friends in the lying biased liberal media fail to share both sides of the story and don't want you to see this. educate yourselves! Losers again liberals!!!

Forty of forty five members of the Democrat Senate Caucus took money from Jack Abramoff, his associates, and Indian tribe clients. Below is a breakdown of how much each Democrat Senator received:


Max Baucus
(D-MT)

Received At Least $22,500

Evan Bayh
(D-IN)

Received At Least $6,500

Joseph Biden
(D-DE)

Received At Least $1,250


Jeff Bingaman
(D-NM)

Received At Least $2,000

Barbara Boxer
(D-CA)

Received At Least $20,250

Maria Cantwell
(D-WA)

Received At Least $21,765


Tom Carper
(D-DE)

Received At Least $7,500

Hillary Clinton
(D-NY)

Received At Least $12,950

Kent Conrad
(D-ND)

Received At Least $8,000


Jon Corzine
(D-NJ)

Received At Least $7,500

Chris Dodd
(D-CT)

Received At Least $14,792

Byron Dorgan
(D-ND)

Received At Least $79,300


Dick Durbin
(D-IL)

Received At Least $14,000

Dianne Feinstein
(D-CA)

Received At Least $2,000

Russ Feingold
(D-WI)

Received At Least $1,250


Tom Harkin
(D-IA)

Received At Least $45,750

Daniel Inouye
(D-HI)

Received At Least $9,000

Jim Jeffords
(I-VT)

Received At Least $2,000


Tim Johnson
(D-SD)

Received At Least $14,250

Ted Kennedy
(D-MA)

Received At Least $3,300

John Kerry
(D-MA)

Received At Least $98,550


Mary Landrieu
(D-LA)

Received At Least $28,000

Pat Leahy
(D-VT)

Received At Least $4,000

Carl Levin
(D-MI)

Received At Least $6,000


Joe Lieberman
(D-CT)

Received At Least $29,830

Blanche Lincoln
(D-AR)

Received At Least $14,891

Barbara Mikulski
(D-MD)

Received At Least $10,550


Patty Murray
(D-WA)

Received At Least $78,991

Bill Nelson
(D-FL)

Received At Least $20,168

Ben Nelson
(D-NE)

Received At Least $5,200


Barack Obama
(D-IL)

Received At Least $7,500

Mark Pryor
(D-AR)

Received At Least $2,300

Jack Reed
(D-RI)

Received At Least $3,500


Harry Reid
(D-NV)

Received At Least $68,941

John Rockefeller
(D-WV)

Received At Least $4,000

Senator Ken Salazar
(D-CO)

Received At Least $4,500


Paul Sarbanes
(D-MD)

Received At Least $4,300

Chuck Schumer
(D-NY)

Received At Least $29,550

Debbie Stabenow
(D-MI)

Received At Least $6,250


Ron Wyden
(D-OR)

Received At Least $6,250




*(Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)

Paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
www.gopsenators.com

Not produced at government expense.

Please click here to read the NRSC's Privacy Policy.

Posted by: Gary | January 26, 2006 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Hillary took money also Hypocritical uninformed liberals!

Hillary Clinton Caught with Abramoff Cash

Hillary Caught with Abramoff Cash
Unlike many in her party, 2008 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has been silent about the influence peddling scandal erupting around lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose plea bargain with the Justice Department is said to have more than a few on Capitol Hill quaking in their boots.

Now we know why.

Turns out, Mrs. Clinton is among the dozens of Democrats who accepted Mr. Abramoff's tainted contributions.

Clinton spokeswoman Ann Lewis told The Buffalo News on Thursday that "after examining our records we found two contributions for $1,000 from tribes which have been clients of Jack Abramoff in the past."

Posted by: Gary | January 26, 2006 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Liberals:

be careful of accusing republicans of being involved with Abramoff. What your lying liberal friends in the media don't tell you is 45 of the 50 senate democrats are knee deep in this so cast the first stone and it will come back & bite you. Thanks to the Clinton's the democrat party is the party of corruption!

This morning's announcement that Washington super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has reached a plea bargain deal with the Justice Department has reporters salavating over what they hint is going to be a Republican mega-scandal.

But it turns out that the most prominent player in Abramoff's web of influence was reportedly none other than the Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid.

In a little noticed story in November, the Associated Press revealed that Reid had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from an Abramoff client, the Coushatta Indian tribe, after interceding with Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton over a casino dispute with a rival tribe.

Reid "sent a letter to Norton on March 5, 2002," reported the AP. "The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second tribe represented by Abramoff sent an additional $5,000 to Reid's group. Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004."

Questioned about the donations last month by "Fox News Sunday's" Chris Wallace, Reid immediately turned testy.

"Don't try to say I received money from Abramoff. I've never met the man, don't know anything," he insisted.

When Wallace protested: "But you've received money from [one of his Indian tribe clients]," the top Democrat shot back: "Make sure that all your viewers understand - not a penny from Abramoff. I've been on the Indian Affairs Committee my whole time in the Senate."

When the Fox host pressed again on the Abramoff-linked donations, a flustered-sounding Reid continued to stonewall, saying: "I'll repeat, Abramoff gave me no money. His firm gave me no money. He may have worked a firm where people have given me money. But I have -- I feel totally at ease that I haven't done anything that is even close to being wrong."

Posted by: Gary | January 26, 2006 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Brezhnev Republicans such as Bob Ney are about to be hoisted by their own petard and it's long overdue.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | January 26, 2006 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Regarding your comment about Bush having received 57% of the vote, compared to 55% 4 years earlier, I have the following to say.....

Since the Washington Post, among with most of the mainstream media, totally ignored the Conyers report detailing serious irregularities in the way the Ohio vote went, your quoting of that 'stat' is meaningless.

I, for one, believe that the election in Ohio was stolen. The refusal of anybody in the MSM to even take specific allegations of misconduct seriously makes your citing of any poll numbers absolutely worthless.

The Washington post has zero credibility to speak about Ohio election results.

I would refer any interested parties to Mark Crispin Miller's book "Fooled Again," which addresses the subject and is fully annotated.

Interesting that he can't get outlets like the Post to even review the book, isn't it?

So, when Posties like Cillizza cites Bush's numbers in the election, take them for the useless stats that they are.

Posted by: scootmandubious | January 26, 2006 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, he'll probably be campaigning from jail soon. The ironic thing is that if he and Tom DeLay stepped aside, another Republican would have a fairly good shot of winning their districts, but if they stay in, they'll probably lose. Now all we need is Majority Leader Blunt and we're set. The Republicans will really be cleaning up Congress by choosing DeLay's henchman to succeed him. Dennis Hastert had better get used to the title "Minority Leader" if he isn't willing to clean up the House.

Posted by: Q | January 26, 2006 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Zack Space (www.zackspace.org) is clearly a better candidate than Joe Sulzer (www.joesulzer.com).

So who are the Washington Democrats supporting?

You got it.

Posted by: Steve Fought | January 26, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

YAY! Bob Ney the leading sleaze and influence peddler in washington after Tom Delay is actually going to run!

Thanks Bob for keeping the slimey and unethical, free-lunch munchin', K Sreet sellout Republicans on the front pages in the run up to the election! woo hoo!

Can't wait to see the pics of you and Black-Jack mugging it up all smiley for the cameras (from last year, of course ;) on the front page of the MSM! Yeah!

Don't get too attached to your gavel - a DEMOCRAT will be weilding it soon!

Hahaha he's dumb enough to run! He's dumb enough to ruuuun! Ha ha!

Posted by: RUN Scumbags RUN! | January 26, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Hear Hear HD. I was about to say something similar.

I cant wait to watch him go down in flames in the middle of a highly publicized campaign season. In fact, if the timing is right, it may be the lynch pin that gives the Dems the impetus to take the House.

Run Bob Run!

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | January 26, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

To: Representative Bob Ney
From: The Democratic National Commitee
Subject: Your decision to contest your seat in the Senate
Dear Bob,
Thank you very much. Even if you do win your seat back (debatable) due to the inability of Republican voters to make truly moral choices, you help us tarnish the image of the GOP by your very existence on the national stage.
Thanks again,
Howard

Posted by: Howard Dean | January 26, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Clumsiness of new "Osama" propaganda: sign of increasing Bush administration desperation
By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor


Jan 24, 2006, 22:20

Email this article
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Exactly one year ago, in response to a previous bogus "Osama" transmission, I wrote: "Like previous productions, the tape was conveniently timed to reinforce and invigorate Washington's expanding war agenda, keep the populations of Western nations fearfully compliant and supportive of the Bush administration's 'war on terrorism,' further provoke anti-Western sentiment in the Middle East, and distract from exploding political and economic fault lines all over the world. Analysis of previous alleged Osama bin Laden videos, and other loudly-promoted 'terror tapes,' 'arrests' and 'trials,' have been exposed as propaganda, likely produced by operatives of the Bush administration. We can logically conclude that this work is more of the same.'

This latest production may be the clumsiest and most transparent fakery of them all. Today, with the Bush administration cornered and bleeding from scandals, in need of a distraction and cover for an atrocity in Pakistan, more justification for a future conquest of Iran, and facing Peak Oil and Gas-related collapse, it is a fine time for another wag, another attempt at the same old trick. But it is a trick that is losing its power.

One day after the initial broadcast, Al-Jazeera.com (not associated with the Al-Jazeera Space Channel TV Network that broadcast the Bin Laden tape) responded with Bin Laden tapes: fact or fiction?, a piece that questions the authenticity and too-convenient timing of this latest work, correctly suggesting the possibility of a US intelligence/Bush administration "wag the dog." In Latest Bin Laden Tape: Another of the NeoCons' 'Greatest Hits', Steve Watson points out, "even the BBC lays this out in the open with the headline Bin Laden threats may boost Bush:

" 'The commander-in-chief has been under intense pressure in recent weeks, accused of trampling on civil liberties in pursuit of terror suspects. His defence has been that America is a nation at war. So Bin Laden's latest threats to launch new attacks on the US will only serve to underline this argument.

" 'The White House will also cite the tape when trying to convince allies abroad that the use of tough tactics is justified - even when civilians are killed, as in last week's air raid in Pakistan.'

"That just says it all really."

As Michel Chossudovsky points out in The Anglo-American War of Terror: An Overview:

"One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to 'fabricate an enemy.' As anti-war sentiment grows and the political legitimacy the Bush Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this illusive 'outside enemy' must be dispelled.

"Propaganda purports not only to drown the truth but also to 'kill the evidence' on how this 'outside enemy,' namely Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda was fabricated and transformed into 'Enemy Number One.' The entire National Security doctrine centers on the existence of an 'outside enemy' which is threatening the Homeland."

Even if he were real, "Osama," "Al-Qaeda" and the "war on terrorism" has exclusively served the political purposes of the Anglo-American empire, every moment that the Bush administration has needed a fabricated straw enemy. The irrefutable fact that Osama bin Laden, and Al-Qaeda, and all fabricated propaganda featuring their images, are creations of Anglo-American intelligence, and continue to serve faithfully as intelligence assets.

See: Who is Osama bin Laden? and Al-Qaeda:the database

Antiwar Left Targeted
As this writer previously noted, "if the case can be made that the tapes are, in fact, manufactured by US intelligence agencies, it stands to reason that the words out of the mouth of the Osama image have also been conceived, written and planted by these same agencies. It is therefore foolish to 'read' the tapes without this likely framework in mind . . . It is not a stretch to expect future bin Laden tapes to issue more specific planted facts about a variety of issues that the Bush administration wants American citizens to oppose. "

Recall that the goal of the last round of "Osama" transmissions sought to ridicule 9/11 "conspiracy theories," and the concept that oil was behind the Anglo-American war of conquest. In this followup, the Bush administration wants Americans, and the entire world, to oppose the antiwar movement. If "Osama" the archfiend is talking peace, then peace, of course, is unacceptable.

In a January 21, piece, What's Not Right About the Bin Laden Tape, Wayne Madsen cuts to the heart of the Bush propaganda game:

"What's not right about the Osama Bin Laden tape. One thing that the Bush administration does well is manage perceptions of the public. Amid protests over the NSA wiretapping, the extension of the Patriot Act, and the nomination of neo-Fascist Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, an audio tape on Osama Bin Laden is sent to Al Jazeera. On the tape, Bin Laden suddenly veers from being a traditional right-wing Wahhabi fanatic to the right of the House of Saud to a leftist progressive. The tape by Bin Laden was quickly verified as 'authentic' by a CIA that is now firmly in the grasp of neo-cons under Porter Goss.

"However, the tape is an obvious fake being used by the Bush administration to scare Americans into believing 'Al Qaeda' is making plans for another attack and an attempt to link Bin Laden to Democrats."

Madsen then gets to heart of the fakery:

"The reason the tape is as phony as Niger yellowcake documents and Saddam's weapons of mass destruction is as plain as day. 'Bin Laden' allegedly quotes from the introduction of a book written by long-time Washington, DC progressive author and journalist and a friend of mine, Bill Blum. Bill was once an editor and contributor to Covert Action Quarterly, a magazine devoted to exposing CIA operations like the arming, funding, and training of Bin Laden and his mujaheddin guerrillas during the Afghan-Soviet war.

"The Bush perception managers are either incredibly stupid or are trying to ensnare liberal journalists as aiders and abettors of Al Qaeda, something that is certainly within their scope. Bin Laden allegedly quotes the following passage from Blum's book, Rogue State: "If you (Americans) are sincere in your desire for peace and security, we have answered you. And if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State, which states in its introduction: 'If I were president, I would stop the attacks on the United States: First I would give an apology to all the widows and orphans and those who were tortured. Then I would announce that American interference in the nations of the world has ended once and for all.'" However, this quote is not from Rogue State, again, pointing to a very bad forgery of the Bin Laden audiotape."

Madsen correctly points out that historian Blum's support for the Soviet war in Afghanistan makes a plug from "Osama" all the more ridiculous:

"So, we're now supposed to believe that Bin Laden has come around to plug the book written by an author who demonstrated that the Soviet cause in Afghanistan was for self-defense and in furtherance of the well-being of the Afghan people and that Bin Laden's and his mujaheddin compatriots' cause was anti-progressive and destabilizing to the central Asian region? This would be laughable if it were not for the fact that the neo-cons are once again using the Big Lie to further their ambitions of global domination and worldwide fascism. The 911 attacks are beginning to look more and more like the Reichstag Fire, both engineered to bring about fascist control."

All signs point not to a transmission out of a mountain cave, but more likely out of a Langley, Virginia, office, and the desk of amateurish (and frankly, poorly-read) propaganda operatives.

In other ways, the new transmission is telling as a measure of how far the Bush administration has fallen. "Osama" is open to "a long-term truce on fair conditions," and a solution that "prevents the wasting of billions of dollars that have gone to those with influence, and merchants of war in America who have supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars." These are almost the words of a neoliberal Democrat. Is this "Osama" talking peace -- or the Bush neocon propaganda writers conceding that its own game is so lost, that its favorite war propaganda image has had to be recharacterized and rescripted?

The inconsistency of the "voice" raises yet another question. It is time for some "Bin Laden expert" to explain how "Osama" has gone from the fanatical gibberish of previous transmissions, to the statesman-like, William Blum-gushing nuance of this new one.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty among the indoctrinated American sheeple who would still jump through this propaganda hoop in unquestioning and ignorant Pavlovian fashion, every time Dick Cheney tells them to. This includes the so-called antiwar Left, the majority of the Democratic Party faction, and elite Left "progressives," all of whom have enthusiastically supported the "war on terrorism" lie from day one -- serving the ultimate interests of the New World Order.

This includes William Blum himself, who apparently believes that "Osama" is alive and real, and that the transmissions have been authentic. His fine work notwithstanding, Blum's own failure to grasp parapolitcal realities is symptomatic of a broader malady, which plays into the hand of Bush forces.

Perhaps the real end game of Bush propaganda forces is the creation of rifts and the sowing of even more dissension within the antiwar/anti-imperialist ranks, rendering the establishment of a massive and powerful antiwar movement impossible.

What the world must continue to take seriously is not a threatened strike by "Osama," but the violent desperation of a stumbling New World Order (the ultimate creator of "Osama," and the paymasters of "Al-Qaeda" and "Islamic terrorism"), and a Bush administration that will resort to anything to save itself. As it was on the morning of 9/11, all eyes must remain locked on the guilty parties in Washington and the openly criminal Bush administration, with the means, motive and opportunity to wreak havoc.

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Posted by: che | January 26, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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