Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements in connection with bribes taken from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney acknowledged taking payola in the form of trips, tickets, meals, and campaign donations in return for official actions on behalf of Abramoff’s clients.
Ney’s guilty plea was accompanied by a request for alcohol treatment. This sounds familiar as Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida is currently in an addiction treatment facility while his long running pederasty behavior remains under investigation. The evil drink made them do it, which brings us to Tony Snow’s ridiculous comment on the Ney case.
The White House spokesman said Ney's criminal activity "is not a reflection of the Republican Party."
Tony couldn’t be more wrong. The buying of influence is a fractal within American government today, seen at virtually every level. The reflection is magnified as one reaches higher into the political power structure. President Bush initiated his Pioneer, Ranger and Super Ranger donation classifications for such purposes. Karl Rove’s recent $5 million fundraising challenge came from one wealthy supporter, likely ensuring his or her profound influence on governmental policy.
While the Republican Party is clearly in the mirror despite Tony’s assertions, the Democrats reflection can be seen as well. Apparently Max Baucus, D-Montana represents the state of healthcare on a national basis, as for-profit hospital chains donate to him regularly with no facilities in his state.
Ex. Senator Tom Dachle looks awful James Bakerish with his high dollar lobbying job at Alston & Bird and his board seat on a the powerful investment house, the Apollo Group. Ex. Secretary of State James Baker hangs his hat at Baker Botts and been a board member of the now Investment Hall of Fame member, The Carlyle Group.
Ex. President Bill Clinton just announced a billion dollar fund investing in green companies and earth friendly technology. This is an investment fund with clear aims in getting returns on their principal like the Carlyle’s and Apollo’s.
Imitation may be the greatest sort of flattery, but the corporatization of both political parties is an unwelcome development for the average citizen. That Tony Snow would deny this is evidence of his having been bought by the system and his desire to perpetuate the trading of power and influence.