Culture of Corruption

This guy wants to tell CT 5 who to vote for

This is not an extra from The Sopranos

This is Chris Murphy's campaign manager Kenny Curran.

Who is Kenny Curran? Well he was the highly paid campaign manager for corrupt Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez

Perez, for those unfamiliar with CT politics, was a supposedly reformed street gang leader who climbed the rungs of Hartford Democratic politics and attained the Mayor's office. Along the way he decided white collar crime was more his style and got free home improvements from city contractors; as well as orchestrating shakedown schemes to enrich political allies.

Ken Curran knew those political allies. He managed Perez's re-election campaign. He ran an expensive race ( well over $515,000 in a city of barely over 100,000 residents)  funded by special interests that successfully got a plurality of Hartford residents to decide Perez was honest and effective enough to warrant re-election as Mayor. Perhaps part of this success was due to the massive use of "street money" on election day? Hmmm... But why did the street money work?

Because Kenny Curran set out to smear Perez's opponent with false charges; alleging he was responsible for actions that occurred long after former city official I. Charles Matthews left office.

Here's what Matthews said, pointing out Perez had originally promised to run a clean campaign,   "But these attack ads are not just misleading," he said. "They are outright lies."

So let's see. Chris Murphy hires a guy to run his campaign who re-elected a corrupt politician by specialized in sleazy tactics and lying. Surely Murphy is above that?

Yeah, then why did he accept the nomination of the ACORN front Working Families Party, the alter ego of the SEIU?  One goon likes the others? 

And why is Curran already trashing Republican Sam Caligiuri?

The point is Kenny Curran only knows sleazy goon politics. It's how he got Eddie Perez re-elected. It's how he plans to keep Chris Murphy in office. And Chris Murphy has embraced this by hiring Curran to run his own campaign.

Hey if Kenny Curran could convince Hartford voters Eddie Perez was honest maybe the idea is he can convince 5th District voters Chris Murphy is fiscally responsible.  

Kenny Curran's old mentor gets sentenced this morning on his corruption conviction. Wonder if Kenny has the cojones to be in the courtroom this morning to see if his old boss gets the 55 years he could receive?

Probably not. It's not the way bullies operate.

Rosa DeLauro's oily BP mess

 

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro's charmed life has come to an end. For the better part of two decades she has dwelled with hubby Stanley Greenberg, pollster to the powerful and well connected, and then come back to CT and pretended she was just some well meaning neighborhood politician.

Well, now she has an opponent ready to demand accountability from someone who reeks of political insiderdom and self-dealing.

From the mornings' New Haven Register, the district's preeminent newspaper.   

DeLauro, Labriola spar over BP, response

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, Thursday said she welcomed a criminal probe of BP executives and officials and said her husband’s polling and public relations company no longer has a contract with the energy giant.DeLauro’s GOP opponent, Jerry Labriola, asked why she hadn’t disclosed the contract and accused her of being an “insider” who had failed to say anything about the disaster currently unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. 

DeLauro's defense to the fact her family has profited immensely from her husband's "greenwashing" of BP's hideous environmental record.  Oh,  he stopped working on that account.  When you may ask? Oh, less than a year ago.

So , of course the decade BP had a powerful congresswoman's husband on retainer as an image consutlant ought to be completely overlooked by CT voters.  

Republican Jerry Labriola has a different attitude about the meaning of public service.

Labriola asked if Greenberg’s BP contract conflicted with DeLauro’s ability to represent the 3rd District. He said when he is elected, “you won’t have to worry about someone in my family getting rich because I am a congressman.” 

Rosa DeLauro may not be quite as bad as "Dollar" Bill Jefferson. But now the cost of crony capitalism and insider sweetheart deals is coming to light. And this makes career hacks like Rosa DeLauro look rather, hmmm, oily.  CT 3 is a reach by the CPVI, but DeLauro's political skills have atrophied from disuse and the district will back some Republicans, having supported every Republican gubernatorial nominee in CT since 1990.

Jerry Labriola is the antithesis of a political insider. He's a small town lawyer and a soccer coach.  He may not have DC lobbyists on his side, but he has been going the shoe leather route around this district.  Here's his website.  Let's help him out!

There are two massive environmental disasters going on. One is BP's fault. The other is the oily, slick relationship between congressman, lobbyists, consutlants and special interests. That slick, covering most of Washington DC, will require the election of dozens of new congressman to disperse.

Let's clean up the Beltway spill. Let's elect Jerry Labriola in CT 3. .

  

 

Did Evan Bayh Brad Ellsworth's HCR vote?

IN Democrat Brad Ellsworth, an ostensibly "conservative" Blue Dog Democrat, opposed the health care bill in November.

Sunday, he was one of the handful of Democrats who switched their vote to yes, providing the decisive margin for passage.

Why?

Money talks

Sen. Evan Bayh (D) announced today that he has contributed $1M of his campaign cash to help Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) succeed him in the Senate. The reward comes just a couple of days after Ellsworth suddenly and unexpectedly announced that he was voting "yes" on the Senate bill.  

I've seen Ellsworth running web ads suggesting we need to elect a "sheriff to the senate" (he had been Sheriff in Evansville before going Washington). Maybe it's time the IN AG, or hmmm. some sheriff, convene a grand jury and depose some witnesses to find out if the old Sheriff is now on the take? It's been atributed to a NH waitress that if the health care bill was any good, people didn;t need to be bribed to vote for it. We've found this bribe. I'm sure there's more where this came from.  And Evan, that's your reputationfor rectititude you smell burning about now 

 

Brands we'll miss (well, maybe some)

Yesterday I saw a list of "Ten Brands likely to disappear in 2010"

It made me think there's one they missed.

They think Blockbuster is done for.  Perhaps the brilliant leadership of board member Jackie Clegg Dodd will be remembered fondly when they file for liquidation. She's been well compensated for what she hasn't done to keep this firm afloat.

And the experts think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will cease the fiction of private ownership in 2010. Jeez, how could that happen?  Weren't they sound? Weren't  they great friends of Senator Dodd?  

Yep, there is one brand they missed. Rasmussen tonight found that Rob Simmons is leading Chris Dodd by 13 points! 

Chris, there's a phone call for you.

 Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT ...

Something about where to put the fork

"Mad Max" Baucus: Repeat Offender?

The usual trolls didn't think much of my post yesterday about Max Baucus and the "legal briefs" he consults for filling vacant U.S. Attorney posts, but it did remind folks here in CT that this isn't the first time Senator Max Baucus has been accused of trying to dip his pen in the company inkwell.

Pen & Ink Well

You see, a decade or so ago Baucus's chief of staff, former CT congressional candidate Christine Niedermeier, accused the Senator of trying to include a physical relationship as part of her job duties. (mind you, this was right in the middle of  the Senator's now lapsed marriage)

Last week my blood just didn't race in that Paula Jones way when Roll Call ran the story that Montana Senator Max Baucus, 57 and married, had fired his chief of staff, Christine Niedermeier, 47 and not married, under contested circumstances. He said it was because of staff complaints that she was a lousy manager who was causing staff defections. She said (and only reluctantly when she realized there was going to be a story critical of her) that it was because she had asked him to stop making sexual advances

It's also interesting given the recent concern over guest lists at White House state dinners that before the blowup Senator Baucus brought Ms. Niedermeier to such an event as his guest.    

Niedermeier did sue Baucus, but the suit was tossed because the deadline for filing such actions against members of Congress had lapsed. (No Lily Ledbetter law for them!). She now runs a solo law practice in a small CT town.  Quite a comedown from being someone who nearly was elected to Congress in 1987.

So, evidently Mel Hanes was an exemplary employee for Senator Baucus who deserves a high powered post at the Department of Justice; and Christine Niedermeier was a shrew who deserved to be kicked to the curb.  The fact one consented to a physical relationship with her employer and the other didn't obviously had nothing to do with the assessment the Senator had about one of his top subordinates.

Excuse me for not buying that one, Max.

There's an old line about one event being an incident, twice is a coincidence, and three times consitutes a lifestyle.

We have two incidents of Senator Baucus either confirming or being accused of having a relationship with a female employee. Can we have any confidence that this is the whole list, or is this going to end up looking like the Tiger Woods scandal if folks look under enough rocks?     ... , according to Tiger Woods 

On that note, anyone really think that someone trying to bed a staffer in 1999 waited almost a decade before trying again?

It might be interesting to see if other former female Baucus staffers have landed plum jobs from his friends in the government and K Street,  dontcha think?  Like I said, this looks like a lifestyle for "Mad Max".

Over a decade ago, Republican Senator Bob Packwood was run out of office for exploiting his job so he could exploit women.   We haven't much progress in improving the ethical standards of the Senate if people are now speculating that the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is up to the same monkey business.

One other thing. How many other Senate mistresses have the Obama Administration put on the public payroll? "Most ethical ever". Please!

For all those who piled on Jon Ensign and Mark Sanford.....

well, the sound you hear is that of breaking glass in the Democratic glass house.

 Montana Sen. Max Baucus nominated own mistress, Melodee Hanes, as U.S. attorney

It's a shame Max's mistress took a powder from going for the U.S. Attorney post. I was really looking forward to hearing Tiger Woods testify on her behalf. I'd really like to know what this woman has got going that Mad Max can't keep his "Hanes" off her "Hanes"?

Mad Max

Now the bigger question. Evidently Ms. Hanes got a consolation prize in the form of a position in DC at Main Justice. And presumably, Attorney General Holder and/or White House staffers blessed this hire.

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Is Attorney General Holder going to answer questions about the propriety of this?  Or is this useless partisan hack going to be as tongue tied on this as trying to explain why we are trying Al-Queda masterminds in civilian court in Manhattan?.

Eric Holder has accomplished the unbelievable. He is making the Alberto Gonzalez era at DOJ look relatively competent and apolitical.

 And perhaps we ought to questions whether Max Baucus has the sort of hmmm..."leadership".. we are looking for in a rather sensitive matter like health care reform.? What other secret deals does Mad Max have going we haven't caught wind of yet?

From tiny ACORNs, mighty hypocrites are born

As you may have read, last night the U.S. Senate voted to defund ACORN in the wake of their "whores R us" scandal.

Many of the 83 Senators who voted "yea" are going now to desperately sweep all their close ties with the troubled activist group into the 'ole memory hole. But one Senator is going to have an especially hard time doing this.

Chris Dodd

Seems the Senator is warmly praised on ACORN's own website!

Sen. Dodd Meets with ACORN to Discuss Foreclosure Prevention

Senator Chris Dodd and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch with ACORN members March 28. Donna Pearce, on right, worked out a loan modification to save her home through ACORN's housing counseling.

 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – U.S. Senator Chris Dodd and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch met to discuss strategies for fighting foreclosures March 28 at the home of ACORN member Donna Pearce.Pearce thanked the senator for his support of NeighborWorks, which helps provide funding for foreclosure counseling services. She was able to work out a loan modification to save her home from foreclosure by working with ACORN’s housing counselors."I think we're all just a bit jealous of the great work ACORN does," said Finch. He later added, “We should make sure everyone who signs that paperwork to buy a house has ACORN’s number tattooed on their wrist.”Dodd recently unveiled draft legislation, the “HOPE for Homeowners Act of 2008,” that would set up a mortgage refinancing division of the Federal Housing Administration to aid homeowners overwhelmed with unaffordable mortgages. Similar legislation has also been drafted by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank.“This proposal will help provide much-needed relief for people on the brink of foreclosure,” Dodd said. The bill, which extends only to owner-occupied houses, is aimed at “keeping families in their houses and neighborhoods financially stable.”

   Now that Dodd is running behind in his bid for re-election, time to try and make people forget he tried to divert tens of billions of dollars from the TARP bailout to fund ACORN and their allies, even if the taxpayers lost money on TARP . Thankfully, this was headed off, but Dodd got a smaller slush fund tacked on the earlier mortgage relief bill. 

Chris Dodd's various bailouts haven't done much for the overall economy,but's he's made sure they've done plenty for ACORN.

And now, time to cut them loose. Like they haven't been a rogue outfit for years. Please.

Perhaps we ought to add this picture next to the definition. Chris Dodd

 

No one here gets out alive

Five to one, baby...one in five....

No one here gets out alive...

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The late Jim Morrison wrote and sang this over 40 years ago, and it seems rather poignant now that we have passed the anniversary of the Woodstock Nation and consider the divisive national health care debate.

For one thing, it does point out the limitations of salesmanship. Medicine will never fully solve the fact life is a terminal condition. It may prolong life, and improve life, but mere mortals are not "partners with God"; and only He can grant life beyond the here and now.

And the term Five to One applies clearly to the imbalance in media spending between the unions and industries looking to pass the government health care takeover, and the relatively impoverished opposition.

The lyrics of "Five to One" depict rebellion against a distant establishment :"they got the guns, but we got the numbers" which sure seems like the attitude of angry citizens screaming at smug incumbent officeholders eager to label their own constituents a mob. 

One of the major problems I think that the Obama team and the Hill Democrats have is they fundamentally don't understand the mentality of most of the 1960's protesters, who are now today the 60-somethings opposing Obamacare with fervor reminscent of that era.

Passionate Crowd

Perhaps Bill Ayres wanted a "revolution"; but most Americans agreed with John Lennon that if you were carrying pictures of Chairman Mao you weren;t gonna make it.  The rebelliouness of the 1960's was largely spurred by opposition to a "mandatory government program"--to wit--the Draft. 

Draft_burning_285.jpg

Sure ,some people of that era wanted communes and socialism--but a huge number--especially bikers and druggies--wanted the government to "leave them alone".

Don't send then to Vietnam. Don't bust them for pot. Don't tell them how to live their lives.

So when the military draft ended in 1973  much of the fuel of the counterculture was taken away. Free from government coercion, young people were then accused of becoming part of  a "me decade"

True, there was a huge cadre of earnest lefties who entered government as a result of the "Watergate election". But the relentless expansion of government demanded by the likes of Chris Dodd. Henry Waxman, David Obey, and Tom Daschle  was dealt a huge setback by the decisive 1980 election.

Some observers have noted that while voters under 30 in 1972 were slightly inclined towards McGovern (as he lost nationally by 21 points)   the same age cohort of voters (i.e. voters DOB 1942-1954) were inclined towards McCain as he lost to Obama by 7 points.  Clearly in the interim these voters became less entralled with "change" candidates.

I would suspect a substantial part of this has to do with the fact these Americans rebelled against statism and much as they may support "their" entitlement programs, they will never sign on to new forms of big government without profound skepticism.  Remember, they saw with their own eyes the extravagant promises and expensive failure of the Great Society. Those eyes are jaundiced now.  

If the government told you 40 years ago you had to go fight in Vietnam, you might not be too keen on having your kid told by the government what kind of health insurance he is required to have. We are taking people open to the "leave us alone" coalition.

Remember, Dennis Hopper was the prototypical hippie in "Easy Rider". He is a Republican now.

dennis_hopper_easy_rider.jpg

So, it appears the Obama team has started an era of divisive national unrest over a program which it cannot sell, promises to bankrupt the nation, and where there is no definition of victory. Sounds, hmmm like a quagmire.   

Back to "No one here gets out alive". I think this will end in one of only two ways. 

The Obamacare fiasco will collapse in a heap, and then next phase will be investigations into the sleazefest employed to try and sell the debacle, including a "pay to play'"scheme between Billy Drugbucks and David Axelrod.  and Axelrod's improper e-mail spamming. 

Note to Mr. Axelrod. Transactions your firm performed in northern Illinois are within this gentleman's legal jurisdiction.   Perhaps you ought to acquaint yourself with this law   .   or this law.  Some politicians around here  found out it's not good to mix business and politics. Don't worry. These laws run a lot less than a thousand pages to read. You'll have plenty of time to call white collar counsel.

story.fitzgerald.jpg

The alternative will be Obama and his allies win an absolutely  Pyyrhic victory  decimating the ranks of Democratic moderates in 2010 elections and creating a huge radicalized political movement even more and more ardent to fight the socialization of American culture. Perhaps the Greater Great Society is enacted; only to rip  to shreds the nation it was meant to heal. Or maybe we become France, except with more debt.. Which might be worse.

I've had my differences with Peggy Noonan, but now she's spot on.  A prudent leader would pull the plug   and stop sinking deeper into the health care quagmire

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But our President is insistent on making the worst mistakes of 1960's Democrats, accusing critics of merely being  irresolute . History lesson, folks.  No one there got out alive, either. 

"Friend of Angelo" Chris Dodd distracted from commandeering health care

Chris Dodd's effort to commandeer the health care system so as to provide a trillion dollar memorial to his BFF Teddy Kennedy hit a little speed bump this afternoon.

Remember Robert Feinberg, Angelo Mozilo's go to guy at Countrywide Mortgage about greasing VIP's

Well, his testimony before the Senate Ethics Committee and a House Committee  got leaked to the AP. And it's not pretty.

Countrywide VIPs, Feinberg told the committees, received discounts on rates, fees and points. Dodd received a break when Countrywide counted both his Connecticut and Washington homes as primary owner-occupied residences -- a fiction, according to Feinberg. Conrad received a type of commercial loan that he was told Countrywide didn't offer.

Hmm, Dodd got the owner-occupied mortgage rates on BOTH the Connecticut house and the DC house even though obviously only one could be a "principal residence".  And who said they didn;t get a "sweetheart deal"? 

Maybe that was the "enhanced customer service" Dodd talks about.  And maybe it's time Dodd post the actual loan documents and loan applications on the Internet. But then again, if both applications said they were for a "principal residence" they the good Senator better hope he didn't mail or fax them.

Dodd spent a million dollars to firm up his party base support and lose ground in the ballot tests in recent weeks. And that was with Countrywide and the Irish Cottage being pretty much in remission.  Now , once again "it's all further proof that Sen. Dodd's candidacy remains toxic."

I haven't seen Rob Simmons's reaction , but Sam Caligiuri was all over this

  Connecticut cannot afford to once again endure the scandals of a leader who has been corrupted by the trappings of power.  If this testimony is true, Senator Dodd's resignation is in order, because he not only did wrong, he covered it up.   

The Republican State Chairman is all over thist too, pointing out this little gem.

Asked by a House investigator if Conrad, the North Dakota senator, "was aware that he was getting preferential treatment?" Feinberg answered: "Yes, he was aware." Referring to Dodd, the investigator asked: "And do you know if during the course of your communications" with the senator or his wife "that you ever had an opportunity to share with them if they were getting special VIP treatment?" "Yes, yes," Feinberg replied.

 Grab the popcorn! One blogger tonight suggested "Nutmeg State Democrats are likely to get even more nervous about Mr. Dodd’s chances in November 2010"

The Jackie Dodd Windfall Act

We are about to see a political windfall occur that would turn the head of Tammany Hall's George Washington Plunkitt.

Consider this little feature of the "cap and trade" bill..

 .. the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's mouth is watering at the prospect of a huge new derivatives market.

Yep, the big financial winner from Waxman-Markey is not likely to be solar energy entrepeneurs; it is likely to be derivatives traders gaming the emissions trading markets.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is ready to set up its own "Gas House Gang" CME's Chairman, Terrence Duffy, recently told a House committee his firm is all ready to go to implement the process. 

 This is going to be massive if implemented. I mean, like trillions of dollars massive. And this means mind- boggling commissions and bonuses for traders, and huge profits for the CME itself. Remember how much money Enron used to make doing this sort of stuff? 

Now,hmmm, who's on the Board of Directors of the CME? 

Jackie Clegg Dodd, Chris Dodd's wife. (there's no conflict of interest , here , as per hubby)..maybe he didn't read this.

And she is well compensated  for a post where she is thinly qualified.

So if Cap and Trade passes Jackie Clegg Dodd's corporation stands to make a windfall?

(they also stand to make a windfall from OTC derivative regulation underway)

And presumably the board members will share in the added revenue.

And it gets better. Guess who's drafting the yet unfinished parts of the Waxman-Markey bill governing derivative regulations?

Chris Dodd's old buddy Barney Frank

So how this is going to work is that ordinary electric customers will see their rates "skyrocket"; some well connected businesses have already gotten exemptions; and the whole deal will be manipulated by commodity speculators.  Who made sure to put the spouse of the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee on their Board of Directors.

It seems like what "Hope and Change" really means is that the political insiders can add another decimal point to the "honest graft" they were accustomed to receiving. Meanwhile "Connecticut's middle class" will get hosed.  (They'll need to use credit cards to pay their CL&P bill, Chris)

Really, this is going to make the Countrywide mortgage and the Irish cottage look like chump change as far as the potential windfall to the Dodd family.   And  no one seems to connect the dots. Amazing.

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