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Republican 'culture of corruption'

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"With House Republican Leader Tom DeLay under criminal indictment, Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist facing SEC and Department of Justice investigations, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove under investigation, the Republican leadership in Washington is now spending more time answering questions about ethical misconduct than doing the people's business." --Howard Dean, September 28, 2005.

"I don't think we have had something of this scope, arrogance and sheer venality in our lifetimes," Norman J. Ornstein, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, wrote in "Roll Call". "It is building to an explosion, one that could create immense collateral damage within Congress and in coming elections." [1]

The House That Jack Bought
"If you are a politician associated with crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff and you've been caught with your hand in the cookie jar, your standard statement appears to be:

"'I didn't know it was a cookie. And I was just putting it back,'" Don Yocham, commented in his January 18, 2006, Florida Today Opinion piece.

Systemic Pattern
"Tempting as it is to dwell on the possibility that this self-appointed moral arbiter of the nation could soon be strolling the halls not of Congress but of a Texas correctional facility, we urge Democrats to keep focused on a much bigger issue: the systemic pattern of corruption, cronyism, influence-peddling, and partisan intimidation in Washington." --Ed Kilgore, TPM Cafe, September 28, 2005.

Additional details can be found in the SourceWatch articles which link to here.

Possible Criminal Streak in GOP
DeLay's indictment "launch[ed] a firestorm on Capitol Hill over ethics and 'a culture of corruption.' ... After using those choice words a day earlier, on Thursday, [September 29, 2005,] House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said the Bush administration's handling of the rebuilding from Katrina, DeLay's indictment and recent probes of Republicans on questions of partisan favoritism, all demonstrate a serious ethical and possibly criminal streak in the GOP." [2]

Pelosi said that "An ethical cloud hangs over the Capitol, ... This culture of corruption must stop. ... The American people deserve better." [3]


A Republican "culture of corruption"

In a July 6, 2005, telephone conversation hosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) with bloggers and journalists, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean "reiterated his theme of a Republican 'culture of corruption', and put new focus" on whether President George W. Bush's advisor Karl Rove was responsible for leaking the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. [4]

Dean said that "'Nobody likes corruption, whether they’re conservative or liberal, ... I’d like to use this to spearhead election reform, banning voting machines that can’t be counted by hand ... I’ve always been a big fan of instant run-off voting. We also need some reforms of ethics in congress,'" according to The Raw Story. [5]

Regarding "Rove's possible involvement in leaking the name of a covert CIA operative," Dean said that he was "'surprised to find that Karl Rove has emerged [as suspect] ... It was pretty startling to have a guy who is working for the President of the United States to be accused of that. Once people who start to get corrupted and they get away with it, it continues to happen more and more. ... I think this is a government versus press fight, it’s a political fight,' he added. 'If it turned out that Rove did lie about what he did or did not say to [Time reporter] Matt Cooper, we’re going to know that very quickly.'" [6]

DCCC chief spokesman Bill Burton said September 21, 2005: "After another week of Republican indictments and arrests, I'm surprised that the NRCC has time to comment on anything besides the efficiency of their bail bondsmen."

Rings of Corruption

Paul Siegel posted "Republican Rings of Corruption" in the Democrats & Liberals blog, June 1, 2005:

"The purpose of the current Republican establishment is not conservatism. It is not interested in small government, nor fiscal discipline, nor business laissez faire, nor 'moral values'. The Republican purpose is power. Absolute power. They want to achieve a one-party state: Republican, of course. To do this they have converted the old influence-peddling loops between self-interest groups and the government into solid Republican Rings of Corruption. The corruption ringmaster is none other than Republican leader of the House, Representative Tom DeLay.

"The founders of our country were worried about 'factions'. They wanted to prevent self-interest groups from achieving undue influence with the government. And of course, over the years many self-interest groups - especially, Big Business - did become too powerful. Self-interest groups influenced legislators and executives, hired lobbyists to appropriately dispense political contributions to one party or another, and wrote bills for legislators to vote on.

"A loop of corruption was developed between legislators on one hand and lobbyists for industry and other self-interest groups on the other end. Lobbyists gave campaign money and legislators awarded the clients of these lobbyists with legislation that helped them make more money. For clients of lobbyists this was a wonderful deal: They contributed thousands and got millions in return.

"Both Republicans and Democrats participated in such lucrative loops. They were feedback loops between self-interest groups and government. No longer. Under the current Republican establishment, the loop consists of self-interest groups and the Republican Party. The Republicans are telling lobbyists that they will not get goodies if they contribute anything to Democrats; all contributions must go to Republicans.

"Republicans are converting these feedback loops into more solid Rings of Corruption. Lobbyists and their corporate clients think that they are in the driver's seat, but they are not. The Republicans are running the show - for the purpose of achieving unquestioned control. Eventually, they will tell their clients when and how to contribute in order to get goodies. How long will it be before clients are asked to contribute merely to stay in the Republican Party's good graces?" Seriously, who moved my cheese?[7]

Halliburton

"Now we have the growing WMD revelations, and new allegations of corruption at Halliburton. Halliburton subsidiaries have already had to refund millions to the government, so earlier allegations were true. I expect the new ones will prove so as well. The American navy says it takes a new commander 2 years to turn around a bad ship, but only 6 months for a bad commander to ruin a good ship. Continued corruption in a corporation is evidence of a deepseated culture of corruption, and a corporate culture is determined by it's CEO more than any other influence. Cheney was CEO at Halliburton for well over 6 months. The Halliburton culture seems to have also infused the present administration in Washington." America Deserves Better, May 22, 2004.

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