What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 12, 2005

Some Relevant Articles in the Pittsburgh City Paper

Run, don't walk to your local news stand (or coffeeshop or wherever else they distribute these) and pick up the 5.11/5.18/05 issue of the Pittsburgh City Paper.

Chris Potter (he of the formally long hair) has an article on the DfP's Santorum petition. No surprise, but he caught a local republican party hack (Ron Francis, County Councilor) in a lie. Potter writes:

County Councilor Ron Francis, a Republican from the west suburbs, appeared at the May 5 press conference to defend Santorum. Documents like Santorum’s driver’s license and automobile registration list the Penn Hills home as his address, Francis noted, and Santorum “pays thousands of dollars a year to Pennsylvania and local governments.”

Francis charged Santorum’s enemies were seeking to use the “machinery of government,” for “a partisan political attack.” Opponents were “turn[ing] the county government upside down,” he said; “[t]housands of dollars have already been spent chasing down this exemption” in the fruitless search for Santorum’s exemption.

...in December, county spokeswoman Ali Detar told City Paper that Santorum’s paperwork had been requested not by activists, as Francis charged, but by that noted Democratic house organ, the Tribune-Review.
Smart move, Mr Francis. Nice command of the facts.

In another section of the City Paper, John McIntire has a column on our favorite republican on the House Ethics Committee, Congresswoman Melissa Hart. He begins this way:
Congresswoman Melissa Hart walks into a bar and the bartender says, “Congresswoman, why the long face?”

OK, that’s a recycled John Kerry horse-face joke. But if Melissa does have a long face, it could be because some say she isn’t fit to lead a possible ethics inquiry into the alleged shenanigans of Tom DeLay, the Texas representative and Republican leader in the House.

Why would Missy Hart be unfit? “You cannot be the judge or jury of someone with whom you have financial ties, you just can’t,” rants Melanie Sloan of the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington.
And it just goes downhill for Missy from then on. She accepted 15 Grand from Delay, she held a fundraiser at Jack Abramoff's resturant and Abramoff's in deep doo-doo with the IRS and is central to the investigation into Delay. Nothing new, but it's always good to see it in print. McIntire continues:
But let’s get back to Missy. Her press guy, Lee Cohen, told me they aren’t allowed to comment on ethics committee matters, but Hart did tell USA Today there’s no problem here. “That’s just normal” for political leaders to make campaign contributions, she said.

And a Hart aide told the Post-Gazette “there was nothing sinister, everything was above board,” with the fund-raiser at Abramoff’s restaurant.
Nothing sinister. Everything's completely normal. Here's McIntire's kicker:
But [Melanie Sloan of the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington] thinks it’s curious that a third-term Congresswoman without a ton of power or experience would lead this kind of an inquiry. “Obviously they know her. They vetted her very carefully. It’s a dangerous path she’s taking. If DeLay manages to stay and she helps him do that, she’s golden. But if he goes down and she is seen as someone who was willing to overlook his unethical behavior, her reputation will suffer.”

You could have a long career ahead of you, Missy. Wake up and smell the java.
I could not have written it better myself - not even close. Which is why John McIntire has a regular column and all I have is this blog.

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