Thursday, December 04, 2003
::: Republicans Stoop ~~ How Low Can You Go? :::
As an American you just cannot believe some of the news these days.
You think, "No, not in America." But elected officials have hit a new low
and are scraping the bottom of the political barrel ... Outright
bribery on the floor of the House of Representatives.
On Nov. 21, Republicans were struggling to gain enough votes to pass
their Medicare Bill, a bill George Bush considered of vital importance to
his election campaign in 2004. Having just returned from a trip, Bush
called over to have the normal 15 minute vote held open for extra time.
Reports are the voting was held open 2-3 hours which one would assume
is unusual in itself.
Now we begin to hear tales of offered bribes for support of the bill, and
threatened retaliation for non support.
On the House floor, Nick Smith was told business interests would give his son $100,000 in return for his father's vote. When he still declined, fellow Republican House members told him they would make sure Brad Smith never came to Congress. After Nick Smith voted no and the bill passed, [Rep.] Duke Cunningham of California and other Republicans taunted him that his son was dead meat.
Promising to direct $100,000 to Rep. Smith's son's campaign clearly meets the legal definition of bribery. The only question, then, is who to prosecute. The AP had Smith attributing threats to support his son's opponent to "House GOP leaders," but that was a paraphrase, and it is possible Smith meant someone else when he spoke of an actual offer of $100,000. We know House Speaker Dennis Hastert spent a lot of time that night trying to win over Smith. The trade publication CongressDaily spotted Hastert around 4 a.m., about an hour into the extended Medicare roll call, placing his arm around Smith and gesturing. Twenty minutes later, CongressDaily saw Hastert work Smith over again, this time with Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. At 5:30 a.m., with less than half an hour left until the final tally, CongressDaily saw Hastert and Thompson give it one final try. The Washington Post's David Broder, in his Nov. 23 column, wrote that House aides "recounted that Hastert said Smith's help was vital to the party and the presidentÂa fitting gift at the end of a long careerÂand suggested it would also help Smith's son, who plans to run for the seat." That's pretty close to Novak's version.
Bet they will get right on this outrage just like they did the Plame outing ... whatdayathink?
I would really like to know this time instead of getting another spoonful of Bushie Secrets
for the holidays. Bah Humbug White House.