The next pay for play scandal?

posted at 9:56 am on January 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It looks like pay-for-play is here to stay, at least in the incoming Barack Obama administration.  After losing one Cabinet appointment yesterday to a federal grand jury investigation of corruption, another may receive a rocky ride at her confirmation hearing.  International Herald-Tribune, owned by the New York Times, reports that Hillary Clinton helped put millions of dollars into the pockets of contributors to her husband’s foundation:

A developer in New York state donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton’s foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman’s mall project.

Hillary Clinton helped enact legislation allowing the developer, Robert Congel, to use tax-exempt bonds to help finance the construction of the Destiny USA entertainment and shopping complex, an expansion of the Carousel Center in Syracuse.

She also helped secure a provision in a highway bill that set aside $5 million for Destiny USA roadway construction.

The bill with the tax-free bonds provision became law in October 2004, weeks before the donation, and the highway bill with the set-aside became law in August 2005, about nine months after the donation.

We wrote on several occasions about Hillary’s pork habits during the primary campaign.  Bill’s refusal to release donor information over the years brought questions as to whether the two were related.  Now it seems clear that Hillary has at least once tailored legislation to benefit contributors to the family foundation, which benefits the political aspirations of both Bill and Hillary.

Congel says that there is no connection between his $50,000 contribution and the legislation.  Unless someone can produce wiretaps or written instructions, it would be impossible to prove him wrong, at least in the legal sense.  The Clintons are a lot smarter than Rod Blagojevich, in that sense.  However, the timing looks highly suspicious.  In October, Hillary pushes the bond legislation that allows Congel to complete his construction.  The very next month, $50,000 suddenly appears on the Clinton Foundation doorstep.  A few months later, Hillary earmarks a project that brings traffic much closer to Congel’s mall.  And all of that is just coincidence, right?

And that’s not the only pay-for-play problem Hillary might bring Obama.  According to The Smoking Gun, Norman Hsu’s attorney promises that both Hillary and Obama will get mentioned in the fraudster’s upcoming trial:

In addition to the Rod Blagojevich pay-for-play probe, Obama could figure in the upcoming fraud trial of Norman Hsu, the disgraced Democratic fundraiser who was charged last year with operating a $60 million pyramid scheme. According to investigators, Hsu, a major Hillary Clinton fundraiser, pressured investors to donate money to political candidates with whom he was aligned. In a letter last week to U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero, Hsu’s lawyer, Martin Cohen, requested a 60-day delay in the start of Hsu’s trial, scheduled to open January 12 (Cohen cited the “extraordinary level of negative publicity” generated by the recent arrest of alleged Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff).

In his December 22 letter, a copy of which you’ll find below, Cohen also noted that Hsu was already “notorious for his political activities” and that it was “inevitable” that his client’s “connections” to Bill and Hillary Clinton “and other democratic notables–including perhaps the president-elect–will be introduced at trial.” Before becoming a key fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, Hsu co-hosted a 2005 California fundraiser for Obama’s political action committee and introduced the Illinois Democrat to Marc Gorenberg, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who later joined the Obama campaign’s national finance committee.

Hsu didn’t get his continuance, and the trial starts in two weeks — just before Obama’s inauguration.  Will Obama stick with Hillary and the new pay-for-play scandal she could potentially bring?  Or will Team Obama throw her under the bus as they did Bill Richardson?  Can Obama afford to jettison the Clintons after publicly linking his fortunes to theirs?


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Comments

It’s the Chicago Way. Never underestimate PEBO’s ability to get rid of political adversaries. I speculated long ago that Hillary would not survive an entire term as SecState.

Are you ready for Secretary of State Susan Rice?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 5, 2009 at 9:58 AM

What a waste of time the next two years will be. Nothing but investigations into a corrupt Barry, with the lefty blogs and media screaming that it is all racist. Meanwhile, the economy will continue on its downward trajectory. Sometimes, its a shame that elections have consequences.

Vashta.Nerada on January 5, 2009 at 9:59 AM

He hasn’t even taken the Oath of Office yet. The MSM are going to spin themselves into the ground like an oil drilling operation before Barry’s term is over with.

kingsjester on January 5, 2009 at 10:01 AM

If Hillary get’s thrown under the bus, maybe the NY gov can nominate her instead of Carolyn for the open senate seat?

MarkTheGreat on January 5, 2009 at 10:02 AM

“Corrupt and Incompetent” is not as catchy at “Hope and Change”.

But certainly, a lot more fitting.

NoDonkey on January 5, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Now maybe they can hold Harry Reid responsible for all his shady land deals to go along with helping to clean up the
“swamp” of the “most ethical congress ever”.

HOPE AND CHANGE MY A$$!!

Baxter Greene on January 5, 2009 at 10:04 AM

This is shaping up to be the best year ever.
Almost enough to shake my economy blues.
My schadenfreude has kicked in, and will be in high gear by Jan 20!!

Your Jewish Master on January 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Obama will bring CHANGE! He’ll bring HOPE! He’ll bring….
yeah right, I HOPE I’ll have some CHANGE after his cabinet of Clintonistas rob the economy blind and then tax me to DEATH!

Vntnrse on January 5, 2009 at 10:05 AM

They are quietly purging the Clintons from the Dumbocrat Party.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 5, 2009 at 10:06 AM

“This is not the Hillary I despised hated knew!”

kingsjester on January 5, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Pelosi promised she would look into it…

right2bright on January 5, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Obama is going to love this! This will be like the stake to the heart that finally killed Dracula. I believe he would deeply love something like this to knock Hillary out of the Sexutary of State position. Dittos to the Susan Rice thought!

To me this is worse than Richardson, and we all know there has to be tons more than just Hsu to bring down the Clintons if all the rocks were turned over. I think he can afford to jettison her, but she will be a threat in the Senate unless he manages to knock her out of the Senate as well.

The Dems appear to be withering under direct sunlight exposure. If only WE had someone on our side that would expose them ASAP!

Hope everyone on HotAir had a great Christmas and have a very Happy New Year!

freeus on January 5, 2009 at 10:06 AM

This is what he should have expected when he brought the Clintons in. I’m not sure he can disown her now without 11 million cracks cracking up.

Dollayo on January 5, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Ah! Gotta love the transparency.

davidk on January 5, 2009 at 10:09 AM

“This is not the Clintons that I knew.”

rbj on January 5, 2009 at 10:10 AM

The “enlightened” voters deserve whatever this Marxist regime dumps on them. If the last Clinton debacle failed to teach them anything then they’re absolutely hopeless.

rplat on January 5, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Are you ready for Secretary of State Susan Rice?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 5, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Hsu is old news. Could Obama have planned a place for her under his bus from the start? Too Machiavellian?

petefrt on January 5, 2009 at 10:13 AM

And? We knew all of this for months and months. And yet the brain dead imbeciles of America still voted for Obama. They are the new teflon dons

angryed on January 5, 2009 at 10:15 AM

The Clintons are crooks and liars. Always have been. That’s why I could not believe she did so well in this election. People have short memories I guess.

scalleywag on January 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM

And? We knew all of this for months and months. And yet the brain dead imbeciles of America still voted for Obama. They are the new teflon dons

angryed on January 5, 2009 at 10:15 A

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Could Obama have planned a place for her under his bus from the start? Too Machiavellian?

petefrt on January 5, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Appoint her as SOS knowing she won’t pass muster? Brilliant. That would rid DC of the Clintons pretty much for good. Could Obama be that smart? I don’t know.

scalleywag on January 5, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Accidently pressed “submit” too soon.

The Clintons are corrupt? Well frack me, I never would’ve guessed. The DLC wing of the Democratic Party is being exposed as corporately bought and sold, just like the Republicans. Should we be surprised? Democrats take huge donations from financial industries. Democrats take huge donaions from all the same corporations that Republicans do. And, politics is the same everywhere. Quid pro quo. If we’re eliminating quid pro quo we’re eliminating 95% of what makes politics function.

And wierdly, publicly funded elections would eliminate a huge need for pay to play schemes, but conservatives are against them. It’s “free speech” to be able to donate massive amounts of money to politicians/parties/foundations with political connections. But it’s corrupt when people expect to get something in exchange for their money? Well which one do you want and which is worse.

And please do not come back with “I just want politicians that are good.” Yeah we’ve had politicians for a long time now and they have been doing the same things pretty much forever on every side. So at a certain point we need to treat politicians a little bit like parolees. Highly monitored. Everyone’s on a bit of a fixed diet for campaign contributions and see who actually serves the people the most because only the people would be paying their salaries. If that’s not something you’re willing to pay for with taxes, then please quit whining whenever these guys and gals are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Publicly funded elections would eliminate corruption in politics? In what alternate reality?

Publicly funded elections would prevent politicians from taking bribes?
Publicly funded elections would prevent companies from hiring the relatives of politicians for no work, high pay jobs?
Publicly funded elections would prevent companies from hiring the politicians themselves when they retire?

It constantly amazes me how liberals convince themselves that the way to perfect politics, is to prevent anyone they disagree with from participating.

MarkTheGreat on January 5, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Every circus needs a clown, that’s why we elected you.

Al Franken. Al Franken.

It’s becoming a bad joke, so it makes sense to have you.

Al Franken. Al Franken.

Caligula at least sent the whole horse, Minnesota just the back.

Al Franken. Al Franken.

Now excuse me while I vomit, I can taste it in my mouth.

Al Franken. Al Franken.

Mr. Joe on January 5, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Maybe Hillary will join up with Richardson again, at least they are on the same bus, or at least soon be under it.
Look how environmental Obama is…car pooling everyone under the same bus.

right2bright on January 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Every article and column I read about her lately in the media backwaters emphasizes how “smart, tough and experienced” she is. Funny. If I had to characterize her in three words, it would not be those three.

whitetop on January 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM

It’s the Chicago Way. Never underestimate PEBO’s ability to get rid of political adversaries. I speculated long ago that Hillary would not survive an entire term as SecState.

Are you ready for Secretary of State Susan Rice?

You betcha! Hillary as SoS was the only real litmus test for conservatives on the foreign policy front (and Obama knew this)…and she seemed to be accepted judging from what I’ve read on conservative blogs.

However, the sooner Obama’s true colors are made clear, the better. Susan Rice doesn’t have the political skills to hide her leftist philosophy even if she wanted to.

To stand a chance in 2012, it’s imperative to not let Obama skate on any front.

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Remember everyone…

The Norman Hsu bomb drops January 12!

That’s when the trial of the Chinese Democrat fundraiser begins, unless his lawyers manage a delay. Word is, the Amtrak escape artist is “singin’ like a canary” to prosecutors to avoid a long prison sentance.

And guess who his top fundraising client was?

HILLARY CLINTON

ericdondero on January 5, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Publicly funded elections would eliminate corruption in politics? In what alternate reality?
MarkTheGreat on January 5, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest that publicly funded elections would eliminate corruption in politics. However it would eliminate one of the jobs of those meant to monitor, regulate and prosecute corruption in politics. If donations to campaigns were illegal that would make it infinitely more difficult for huge oil corporations to bundle the kinds of cash they do discreetly. I mean are they going to meet in parking garages and exchange suitcases of money?

And, here’s what’s most important. If you have a public election system candidates who are less likely to be bought and sold have a better chance of appealing to to the electorate and being more *like* the electorate. Think about why people love Sarah Palin. She seems “real” she seems to be the anti-politician. Why? Because she seems unbought and unbossed and *only* cares about her principles. Many people site her ability to “take on” oil companies and make them “work for the people” (via the most socialist set of tax policies in the NATION I might add). Well in a system where corporate donations do not control the election cycle more “everyday people” without those kinds of connections have an opportunity to run for local, state and eventually national office. Again, people recognize that politicians are corrupt, but are entirely unwilling to try something new to see if that can be alleviated in any way.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 10:48 AM

ericdondero on January 5, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Yes, I forgot…that is the date that the Hsu drops.

right2bright on January 5, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Now excuse me while I vomit, I can taste it in my mouth.

Al Franken. Al Franken.

Mr. Joe on January 5, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Best thing to happen to the GOP in weeks. Seriously. Never mind the extra Dem seat in the senate, 59, 60, 61. Who cares? It’s all so close that it doesn’t really matter except for the issue in question (Dems will not vote down the party line any more than the Republicans would, on ANY given issue).

No, the idea of this egomaniacal jack*ss out in the public eye will be a constant source of embarassment to the Obama administration, mark my words. He can’t help himself.

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 10:51 AM

The Norman Hsu bomb drops January 12!

That’s when the trial of the Chinese Democrat fundraiser begins, unless his lawyers manage a delay.

Of course they will, but that’s OK. Let the media have there last and best orgasim of Obama-love for the inaugeration. Let the Hsu trial simmer for a few months, along with several other slowely-stewing scandles and world crises…then POW.

Silent Spring, with Obama as the spotted owl.

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Please allow me to quote the MFMSM… Nothing to see here… Move along…

doriangrey on January 5, 2009 at 11:01 AM

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 10:48 AM

The main problem I see with publicly-funded elections is access. Who controls the $? Incumbent politicians?

In other words, connected people can get the $, and “outsiders” won’t get a chance even with popular support.

Of course, you could throw open the floodgates to everybody- but then my tax $ go to pay for a Green Party, CPUSA, and 15 other candidates. Will providing enough $ for 30 well-funded runs be cost-effective? I don’t think so.

cs89 on January 5, 2009 at 11:02 AM

The Hsu will drop and no one will care. Voters didn’t care when all his dealings came out the first time. That’s what is so infuriating…the crooks just keep on getting elected and appointed no matter what they do.

scalleywag on January 5, 2009 at 11:07 AM

The main problem I see with publicly-funded elections is access. Who controls the $? Incumbent politicians?

In other words, connected people can get the $, and “outsiders” won’t get a chance even with popular support.

Of course, you could throw open the floodgates to everybody- but then my tax $ go to pay for a Green Party, CPUSA, and 15 other candidates. Will providing enough $ for 30 well-funded runs be cost-effective? I don’t think so.

The solution? A system where any and all campaign contributions are limited to a single donation (to a set maximum) per eligible voter per defined “election cycle” and to an individual candidate. No corporate donations to PACs, no bundling, no 527’s, no nothing.

Yes, it’s extreme and populist, but it’s also easy to track, and let’s face it, democracy is all about public appeal, and the one who can get the most of these “one time” donations will have the advantage.

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 11:11 AM

The Hsu will drop and no one will care. Voters didn’t care when all his dealings came out the first time. That’s what is so infuriating…the crooks just keep on getting elected and appointed no matter what they do.

scalleywag on January 5, 2009 at 11:07 AM

They didn’t care because the media buried it. Plus Clinton eventually lost in the primaries anyway, so it was a non-issue.

Now she’s linked to Obama since she’s up for SoS. Couple that with the Blago and Richardson scandals, and the media can no longer just sweep this under the rug.

Should this have been a bigger story a year ago? Absolutely. But better late than never.

Doughboy on January 5, 2009 at 11:12 AM

WE are the ones crooks we’ve been waiting for.

RickZ on January 5, 2009 at 11:13 AM

If Hillary get’s thrown under the bus, maybe the NY gov can nominate her instead of Carolyn for the open senate seat?

MarkTheGreat on January 5, 2009 at 10:02 AM

ha ha ha funny

glad we new yorkers can provide such excellent fodder!

:-D

bluestatered on January 5, 2009 at 11:14 AM

glad we new yorkers can provide such excellent fodder!

:-D

bluestatered

Yeah, but how’d you let Chicago get so far ahead of New York on the “political sleezbag machine” scene? I saw Gangs of New York, you guys had like a 100-year lead. What happended?

;)

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Did Hillary resign from her senate seat yet?

misslizzi on January 5, 2009 at 11:18 AM

If you think that eliminating private donations to campaigns will in any way hinder those who want to bribe politicians, then you are operating under a reality different from any I recognize.

MarkTheGreat on January 5, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Madam Pork strikes again….

DL13 on January 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Did Hillary resign from her senate seat yet?

misslizzi

No, she’s playing coy and not resigning until confirmed for the SoS job.

RickZ on January 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM

No problem (for Obama and Hillary). Obama fires the prosecutor, and we start a new trial with a greenhorn leftist prosecutor appointed by the greenhorn leftist President.

Steve Z on January 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Way way off topic….

Does anyone with a military background know what those “flare” type aerial thingys are that the IDF is launching over Gaza city?

You know, the thing explodes about 500m in the air and spreads a shower of, what I think are flares, downward.

My moonbat coworker is saying to anyone that will listen that the “JOOOS are clusterbombing Gazans on TV”.

Help me squash her now….

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM

I know it’s only mid-day but….Popcorn with garlic salt for all….(sea salt that is…) hehehe…

jerrytbg on January 5, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Did Hillary resign from her senate seat yet?

misslizzi
No, she’s playing coy and not resigning until confirmed for the SoS job.

Would that mean that she could vote to confirm herself?

Steve Z on January 5, 2009 at 11:40 AM

This could be rich, although I truly don’t see any Dem Senate confirmation committee looking to block her confirmation and besmirch the aura of The One’s cabinet.

That said, however, can you see Hil traipsing off the the Middle East to try to broker a peace accord in Gaza? Me either. Talk about ducking incoming fire while landing… Geez.

Captain Scarlet on January 5, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Publicly financed elections would be a leftists wet dream.

Only those candidates approved by the govt will be permitted to run for office.

MarkTheGreat on January 5, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Would that mean that she could vote to confirm herself?

Steve Z

Sure, why not? She’s a Dem, a memher of the ethically challenged party.

RickZ on January 5, 2009 at 11:50 AM

In other words, connected people can get the $, and “outsiders” won’t get a chance even with popular support.
cs89 on January 5, 2009 at 11:02 AM

How do you block that? Candidates may appear on the ballot and thus qualify for public funds if they reach a certain number of signatures. This is critical. The number has to be high enough to ensure that true community leaders, on the local level, are elected to state office. The same could be done for Congressional races as districts are purposefully small and you should have to know people in your area. This also prevents outsiders propped up by the Democratic/Republican party from running in a district. Most people don’t even know their representative. If you have a system where you have to go out and get signatures, you’re known and you are that much more reliant upon the input of your constituents once you are elected to office.

Now the challenge comes when it comes to the Senate, Governorship and Presidency as those are basically a series of state campaigns. I haven’t quite thought that part out yet.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Love the fake picture of Hillary! She is such a fake person. If she hasn’t resigned from her Senate seat, and can’t take the SOS position. She needs to step down from the Senate also. It is a fact she did illegal violations. She needs to go completely. Sure would be nice to see Hillary and Bill be ousted from politics once and for all.

sheebe on January 5, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Wasn’t it the Republicans who were the owners of the “Culture of Corruption” tag?

Wow, it took the Repubs 6 years to get that label, and the democrats have earned it in 6 weeks. The next 4 years ought to be interesting shouldn’t they?

portlandon on January 5, 2009 at 12:02 PM

I’m putting more money into popcorn futures! This just keeps getting better. Perhaps we can contribute to a fund to buy bigger tires for 0bama’s bus so he can fit more bodies under it?

GeneSmith on January 5, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Hillary is my girl. Don’t say nothing bad about my girl. If she would have won the nomination things would be different. The financial collapse never would have happened. Unemployment would not exist. Obama would have spent some time in the Senate. Nobody whould be getting a government bailout. The Republicans might have nominated a real conservative. Who knows what might have been…sigh

See what happened just because Obama got the nomination.

kanda on January 5, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Congel is fairly involved in Upstate New York. He is a huge environmentalist and a very shrewd businessman. He owns quite a lot of wetlands around my parents property and a good portion of it has been turned into a reserve. My friends Dad works for Congel as a security expert designing the security in and around the wetlands reservations to include the buildings that are on the property.
There are many people around where I grew up that thoroughly dislike Congel because of his business practices. There was a huge rift a few years back about him taking over a road that no one lives on that passes through his property. The road just connects two roads that by themselves are hardly used.
Congel used to own two malls in the upstate area if I remember correctly. I do know that he still owns Carousel center which is changing its name to Destiny USA. I was there over the weekend with my wife. They are trying to make it the greenest mall in the US with a learning center about going green and stuff like that. On top of that I felt like they were trying to brainwash me as I walked through mall with all the banners with less than stellar green slogans on them.
Every pillar in the mall had these slogan signs and that isn’t an exaggeration.
Funny thing is they also had special parking for Green Cars.

theguardianii on January 5, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Popcorn futures, that’s the ticket.
I got my bro going about how dangerous a HRC SOS would be –for him—and even tho my he’s a HRC hater, he’s so in love with BO that he thought that it was hunky-dory; besides the confirmation process would find any conflicts. Bwa-hahaha!!!
Obama does no wrong…it’s everyone else who can’t be trusted.

Christine on January 5, 2009 at 12:17 PM

When i said: “for him”—I meant Obama.

Christine on January 5, 2009 at 12:18 PM

I’m sorry, but I’m just not lucky enough to have Bill and Shrill knocked out of the game this early….those two are evil as hell and I reckon they’ll squirm out of this too.

anniekc on January 5, 2009 at 12:36 PM

the gall of some to try to bring up “public-financing-of-election-contributions-to-eliminate-abuses” after Obama’s hypocritical opt-out during the general, after years of his posturing on the issue, and after his early campaign “promises”…. makes me writhe in anger!

Deb on January 5, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Way way off topic….

Does anyone with a military background know what those “flare” type aerial thingys are that the IDF is launching over Gaza city?

You know, the thing explodes about 500m in the air and spreads a shower of, what I think are flares, downward.

My moonbat coworker is saying to anyone that will listen that the “JOOOS are clusterbombing Gazans on TV”.

Help me squash her now….

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Not a military background but –

Those are illuminating flares. Ask your nutter coworker this – with thousands of Israeli ground troops in Gaza wouldn’t a Cluster Bomb also kill Israeli Troops? Would that make any sense? Does she know the damage a Cluster bomb does? I bet she doesn’t even know what a cluster bomb is – she is just parroting something to sound “smart” to support her agenda.

sheesh. sorry for you to have to work along side a nutball like that.

batterup on January 5, 2009 at 12:44 PM

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Your dragging Sarah Palin into this Democrat mess is an unconscionable attempt to paint her with the same brush.

I suggest you read:

The Integrity Gap, Part I of III: Gov. Sarah Palin

and

The Integrity Gap, Part II of III: Sen. Barack Obama

INC on January 5, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Your dragging Sarah Palin into this Democrat mess is an unconscionable attempt to paint her with the same brush.
INC on January 5, 2009 at 12:50 PM

I highly doubt you even read my post. Did you just click on “find” and type in Palin, surmised I wasn’t conservative and assumed I smeared her? My point is that Sarah Palin’s popularity, comes precisely because people tend to view her as being the anti-politician. She’s an ideologue and NOT a partisan hack. That’s part of her whole political narrative “took on her own party” remember? These are YOUR talking points. And they demonstrate that Americans want politicians who are like them, yet Americans are unwilling to demand structural changes in our election system that could ensure MORE Sarah Palin-like candidates. Please don’t be so defensive, I didn’t smear your girl.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Candidates may appear on the ballot and thus qualify for public funds if they reach a certain number of signatures. This is critical. The number has to be high enough to ensure that true community leaders, on the local level, are elected to state office. The same could be done for Congressional races as districts are purposefully small and you should have to know people in your area. This also prevents outsiders propped up by the Democratic/Republican party from running in a district.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 11:51 AM

I wonder if anyone might employ the likes of ACORN? Just when as the Dems tried to include a permanent source of federal money for ACORN in the early drafts of TARP, I am sure that corruption would just be shifted to the signature gatherer level.

in_awe on January 5, 2009 at 1:01 PM

The clinton’s are untouchable. Look at what they have already got away with.

Why would anybody waste the time.

notagool on January 5, 2009 at 1:03 PM

I highly doubt you even read my post. Did you just click on “find” and type in Palin, surmised I wasn’t conservative and assumed I smeared her? My point is that Sarah Palin’s popularity, comes precisely because people tend to view her as being the anti-politician. She’s an ideologue and NOT a partisan hack. That’s part of her whole political narrative “took on her own party” remember? These are YOUR talking points. And they demonstrate that Americans want politicians who are like them, yet Americans are unwilling to demand structural changes in our election system that could ensure MORE Sarah Palin-like candidates. Please don’t be so defensive, I didn’t smear your girl.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM

No, you didn’t at all. At times you write some very good posts. I understood what you were saying.

sheebe on January 5, 2009 at 1:10 PM

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I’ve read enough of your comments to know that you’re no conservative. There was no need to bring Palin into this topic.

INC on January 5, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Those Integrity Gap posts are bookmarks of mine. I read them before the election and I’ve quoted from them here at other times.

INC on January 5, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Way way off topic….

Does anyone with a military background know what those “flare” type aerial thingys are that the IDF is launching over Gaza city?

You know, the thing explodes about 500m in the air and spreads a shower of, what I think are flares, downward.

My moonbat coworker is saying to anyone that will listen that the “JOOOS are clusterbombing Gazans on TV”.

Help me squash her now….

Waterboy on January 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM
Not a military background but –

Those are illuminating flares. Ask your nutter coworker this – with thousands of Israeli ground troops in Gaza wouldn’t a Cluster Bomb also kill Israeli Troops? Would that make any sense? Does she know the damage a Cluster bomb does? I bet she doesn’t even know what a cluster bomb is – she is just parroting something to sound “smart” to support her agenda.

sheesh. sorry for you to have to work along side a nutball like that.

batterup on January 5, 2009 at 12:44 PM

.
I think what you are seeing are white smoke generators. They air burst and delpoy concealing smoke over a wide area. These could be mortar rounds or often times armoured vehicles carry smoke grenade launchers to cover their movement across open terrain or across city street intersections. Flares are typically only used at night and most often float down on parachutes and the smoke they generate would simply rise up in a single colum as the flare floats down. The other possibility is white phosphorus, but I highly doubt the Israeli’s would be using anything like that in an urban area with so many civilians. That would absolutely be deplorable.

Simonsez on January 5, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I wonder if anyone might employ the likes of ACORN? Just when as the Dems tried to include a permanent source of federal money for ACORN in the early drafts of TARP, I am sure that corruption would just be shifted to the signature gatherer level.

in_awe on January 5, 2009 at 1:01 PM

OK so you have folks like ACORN involved in signature gathering but that only gets you on the ballot, then you have to appeal to the electorate don’t you? If ACORN is out in the community getting all your signatures and ACORN is unpopular (as they seem to be) that doesn’t really help your chances. You can actually apply some of those vaunted “Free market” principles to this concept. Now this is me being progressive, but a politician being beholden to ACORN poses a lot less of a threat than one being beholden to Fannie Mae or AIG.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 1:43 PM

OK so you have folks like ACORN involved in signature gathering but that only gets you on the ballot, then you have to appeal to the electorate don’t you? If ACORN is out in the community getting all your signatures and ACORN is unpopular (as they seem to be) that doesn’t really help your chances. You can actually apply some of those vaunted “Free market” principles to this concept. Now this is me being progressive, but a politician being beholden to ACORN poses a lot less of a threat than one being beholden to Fannie Mae or AIG.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 5, 2009 at 1:43 PM

A few thoughts:

1st) It became pretty clear in this election that ACORN is not unpopular among the electorate because the MSM has not covered their unethical and illegal shinnagins over the past 25 years because ACORN supports liberals
2nd) ACORN is a pervasive cancer on the entire political scene introducing corruption into local, state and national elections; and there is no single source for reformers to attack – unlike a company (or union) – you have quasi-independent “branches” everywhere
3rd) The Dems funnel federal tax dollars to ACORN as part of an institutional effort to influence elections up and down the spectrum
4th) ACORN is given cover by the MSM as being a community based group supporting the needs of the disadvantaged…how can ANYONE attack a community organization?
5th) ACORN was caught generating fraudulent votes in several states this election consistent with their activities over the past 2 decades. So their corrupting influence extends into the polling place.
6th) ACORN has obtained significant funding by extorting money from many corporations over the years
7th) I think that being “beholden” to a left wing organization pushing socialist and racially based agendas doesn’t serve this country any better than being beholden to AIG or Fannie Mae.

in_awe on January 5, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Way way off topic….

Does anyone with a military background know what those “flare” type aerial thingys are that the IDF is launching over Gaza city?

I heard over the weekend that the IDF is actually telephoning residents in buildings targeted for attack warning them to evacuate. The first few times this happened Hamas rounded up women and children onto the roof of the targeted building. So, the IDF came up with the idea of using the equivalent of an air delivered “flash-bang” to “encourage” the civilians to evacuate before the explosive round was launched.

That is why these devices don’t have a parachute like those used in aerial illumination rounds.

in_awe on January 5, 2009 at 2:48 PM

batterup on January 5, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Here’s what I could find on them: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5447590.ece

The story claims it is white phosphorus, but Israel denies it.

The Israeli military last night denied using phosphorus, but refused to say what had been deployed. “Israel uses munitions that are allowed for under international law,” said Captain Ishai David, spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces. “We are pressing ahead with the second stage of operations, entering troops in the Gaza Strip to seize areas from which rockets are being launched into Israel.”

Gianni on January 5, 2009 at 3:25 PM

“That’s not the HillaryClintonNormanHsuBillRichardson I knew,” -Hussein.

Akzed on January 5, 2009 at 4:02 PM

You couldn’t pay me enough to play with Hillary Clinton!
***
John Bibb

rocketman on January 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION

stu.b.con on January 5, 2009 at 4:10 PM

The most ethical..

the_nile on January 5, 2009 at 5:05 PM

Hillary Clinton helped enact legislation allowing the developer, Robert Congel, to use tax-exempt bonds to help finance the construction of the Destiny USA entertainment and shopping complex, an expansion of the Carousel Center in Syracuse.

WOO-HOO! A shout out to my hometown baby! I`m watching that place being constructed daily.

ThePrez on January 5, 2009 at 5:15 PM

“That’s not the HillaryClintonNormanHsuBillRichardson I knew,” -Hussein.

Add Michelle Obama–BHO got her boss at the Chicago hospital a ton of tax dollars.

jgapinoy on January 5, 2009 at 10:49 PM