Mr. Abramoff is front-page news. But there was virtually no news coverage when one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's fund-raising committees agreed Jan. 5 to pay a $35,000 fine for failing to report $722,000 in contributions.Looks like he's making the case for media bias again, doesn't it? Looks like he's saying that when a republican is corrupt it's front-page news, but when a liberal is corrupt, there's little coverage. But we all know better, don't we? When Kelly says something like this, he's usually leaving out an encyclopedia of information. Here's the Washington Post:
A campaign fundraising group for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has agreed to a $35,000 fine for underreporting hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on a Hollywood fundraiser in 2000.But was there a criminal trial related to this fundraiser? Turns out there was. The Washington Post (from the same article):
The organization, New York Senate 2000, agreed to a federal finding that it failed to report $721,895 spent on the fundraiser to boost the former first lady's campaign for the Senate, according to paperwork provided by Peter F. Paul, who helped finance the star-studded gala that drew Cher, Diana Ross, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. The Federal Election Commission provided a copy of the signed agreement yesterday.
New York Senate 2000 lawyer Marc Elias said the agreement ends the investigation and includes a letter from the FEC stating that Clinton did not violate the law.[emphasis added]
The Hollywood fundraiser was the subject of a criminal trial of Clinton's former national finance director, David F. Rosen. Rosen was acquitted in May 2004 of lying to the FEC about the event.[emphasis added]Is there anything else to say about this? Well, a little bit. This is from Fox News (so you know it's fair and balanced):
Prosecutors said Rosen, 38, panicked over the mounting costs for the fundraiser and lied to conceal its true cost from both the Clinton campaign and the government. They said Clinton was unaware of any wrongdoing.[emphasis added]The "they" in that last sentence would be the prosecutors in that case. So even the prosecutors said Senator Clinton was out of the loop. The jury found that Rosen was (in the words of one juror) "in over his head."
See what is Kelly doing here? Abramoff has already pled guilty and yet Kelly's crying foul that the news coverage of that event is greater than the news coverage for a finished investigation whose paperwork includes an FEC letter stating that Senator Clinton did not violate the law. And even the guy charged with a crime in connection to that investigation was acquitted.
So tell me again, Jack. Do you really think this story actually stacks up somehow to the actual guilty plea of Jack Abranoff who actually committed actual crimes? In your mind, maybe. But out here in reality, no dice my friend.
For the record, I am no fan of Senator Clinton. I am, however, a big fan of the truth.
Now onto the meat of Jack's column. He's trying (no surprise here) to paint the current Republican scandal as a bipartisan one. Luckily I've already blogged on it here.
The fact that I've already posted (two days ago, in fact) information that debunks what Kelly's posted now only underscores what I've posted here last week. Either Jack Kelly didn't bother to fully check out the story (which suggests incompetence) or he did and simply omitted it from his "reporting" (which suggests dishonesty).
There's another possibility, of course. Jack Kelly could have researched his piece in good faith and did not find what it took me minutes to find. If that's the case, he should offer an explanation and perhaps an apology.
For the sake of brevity, I'll post some highlights of the analysis that I didn't include the other day:
- [F]our out of seven tribes -- Saginaw, Chitimacha, Coushatta and Mississippi – saw their contributions to Republicans increase significantly, even vastly, after they became Abramoff’s clients.
- At the same time, two of those four tribes -- Saginaw and Chitimacha -- saw their giving to Democrats drop or remain static. The other two -- tribes Coushatta and Mississippi -- did see their giving to Dems rise under Abramoff, but by amounts that were dwarfed by the increases in giving to the GOP.
- These patterns strongly suggest that Abramoff’s representation of the tribes manifested itself largely in a dramatic rise in contributions to the GOP. And it also suggests it’s likely that Abramoff had little impact on giving to Democrats.[emphasis added]
Finally, Morris did an extensive comparison of the donations of both Abramoff tribes and non-Abramoff tribes. Morris added up giving from 1991 to the present by virtually all of the approximately 170 tribes that gave politically but are not affiliated with the lobbyist.So the contributions to Democrats from the Abramoff represented tribes would probably have gone there anyway. This is all legal, by the way. To equate it with the illegal contributions (or "bribes") coming from Abramoff is, at best, highly misleading.
The totals show that in the past 15 years, the tribes gave more than $15.5 million to Democrats and just over $6 million to the GOP -- well over twice as much to Democrats as to Republicans.
By contrast, if you total up all the contributions Abramoff’s clients made, it comes to $1,845,975 to Republicans and $794,483 to Democrats -- well over twice as much to Republicans as to Democrats. So the pattern of giving of Abramoff’s clients, who gave with far more generosity to Republicans, is almost exactly the reverse of that of virtually all other tribes not connected with Abramoff. Those tribes, by contrast, gave far more to Democrats.