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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:07 PM
Original message
Aw, Harry
Don't you just hate it when Republican politicians are funded by wealthy business types, then grease the skids for those donors' financial gain? The explanation usually has something to do with providing jobs -and that's good- but then you learn that the Republican politician's family members' lots are enhanced in the process? A "culture of corruption", it has been called.

The LAT put its back into this one-
Over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help the developer, Nevada super-lobbyist Whittemore, clear obstacles from Coyote Springs' path....

As the project advanced, Reid received (at least $45,000) in campaign contributions from Whittemore. The contributions not only went to Reid's Senate campaigns, but also to his leadership fund, which he used to help bankroll the campaigns of Democratic colleagues.

Whittemore also helped advance the legal careers of two of Reid's four sons. One of the two, Leif Reid, who is Whittemore's personal lawyer, has represented the developer throughout the Coyote Springs project, including in negotiations with federal officials.

Whittemore, solidly built and well over 6 feet tall, is a partner in Nevada's biggest law firm and a veteran lobbyist for the state's gambling, liquor and tobacco industries.

His influence crosses party lines. Nevada's junior U.S. senator, Republican John Ensign, and GOP Rep. Jim Gibbons, whose district includes Coyote Springs, supported the project at key stages. But Reid's power in the Senate sets him apart and his relationship with Whittemore is deeply rooted.

"You have to understand how close the Whittemore and Reid families are," the developer said recently. "My relationship with Sen. Reid goes back decades." The senator concurs, calling Whittemore a longtime friend.

Harry's office confirms for the Times that the project will provide jobs. That's probably true. But there's still a familiar odor, isn't there?

The good news is that no hookers or gift yachts were discovered -and the piece is so thorough that had there been, it would have been reported- but some extraordinary legislative procedures were involved. Crap! (And, please, I've been a frequent defender of Senator Reid's leadership qualities. The inept Frist is only half the reason why even more ridiculous legislation hasn't made it to the Senate floor.)

You may say, "That's just how the game is played". Still, I find this very disheartening. How can the public be expected to trust Democrats if they practice, or, at the very least, appear to practice, politics the way Republicans do?

Providing that the Times has the story straight, I'm ready to favor an immediate change of Senate leaders. Maybe even someone pro-choice this time.
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sgxnk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. repubs and dems
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 01:14 PM by sgxnk
differ in policy preference, not how moral or uncorruptible they are

the idea that somebody's political party (dem vs. repub) makes them more or less likely to be corrupt or morally bankrupt imo is wrong

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's true, of course
However, the dems have campaigned pretty hard against the repub "culture of corruption", while this looks much the same.
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sgxnk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. imo
the repub party of corruption is a result of (almost) absolute power - house, senate, prez

i think any party that has a near monopoly is gonna get extremely drunk with power, that much more arrogant, and that much more corrupt

i like pj orourke's quip is that the repub party is the party that complains about how bad govt is, then gets elected and proves it

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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't understand how anyone...
who isn't fabulously wealthy can afford to be a senator, without good buddies with deep pockets. Is there one?
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sgxnk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. that's a good question
even many of our old skool legislators and prez's were pretty wealth (im thinking the sam adams, etc.)

but nowadays it seems like i can't think fo any exceptions at all.

anybody know some good examples of people of not so great means getting elected senator?
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. I'm not sure what problem it is you see that I don't
I don't read that Reid or his sons or the developer did anything illegal in this article. As to gains made by Reid in terms of political contributions, that aspect also seems somewhat overinflated in the article. Factually, since the developer is a friend of Reid's and a Democrat it makes sense that he would be a donor. Having said that, I do think the original plan to pay $160,000 for a change in the power line (later changed to $10million) to the other side of the road was smarmy. Interesting that the article does not note a comparison of what funds were given to republican representatives in the state.

All states need some form of business development. It is the de facto job of representatives to bring development and jobs to their state. I don't expect them to be saints, just not sinners.

The problem as I see it is that no one seems to fight for the Federal government, meaning the land rights of all US citizens unless or until there is a legal issue. Then the damn things drag on in court for years. We lose more and more Federal and private land to developers every year. For wildlife alone this is a significant problem. I appreciated the fact that the developer did make changes in the overall plan to accomodate some environmental issues.

The fact that Reid's son works for the developer is a non issue. I think the author of the article implies irregularities when the fact is the guy is paid by the developer to advocate for the developer. It seems to me the writer is reaching on that one.
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