Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Moral High Ground Slipping Away From Kerry

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Moral High Ground Slipping Away From Kerry

    One of Kerry's campaign themes has been that he is not beholden to special interests. Here's a neat little story broken by the conservative media bastion known as the LA Times. Seems a California defense contractor (who got employees to donate $25,000 to Kerry's campaign fund) got Kerry to write 28 letters to Congressmen in a campaign to gain federal money for a missile system the contractor's firm was trying to build for U.S. warplanes. Oh....the contributions were illegal campaign donations and the contractor has plead guilty for making them. Maybe Kerry's new campaign theme will be: "I'm cheaper than Bush."



    LA Times: Firm Owner Who Gave Kerry Money Faces Sentence
    Thu February 19, 2004 01:56 AM ET

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry wrote 28 letters on behalf of a California defense contractor, who pleaded guilty last week to illegally giving money to the Massachusetts senator, The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.
    Parthasarathi Majumber, owner of Science and Applied Technology in San Diego, also pleaded guilty to giving money to four Republican members of the House of Representatives.

    "Members of Congress often write letters supporting constituent businesses and favored projects. But as the Democratic presidential front-runner, Kerry has promoted himself as a candidate who has never been beholden to campaign contributors and special interests," the newspaper said.

    Kerry is the prohibitive favorite in the race to oppose President Bush in November's general election after winning 15 of the first 17 primary elections and caucuses.

    According to the Times, the Massachusetts senator wrote letters on behalf of the California firm between 1996 and 1999, while Majumber and his employees were donating $25,000 to him. The newspaper cited court records and Dwight L. Morris and Associates, which tracks campaign contributions.

    "The contractor told his employees they needed to make political contributions in order for him to gain influence with members of Congress. He then reimbursed them with proceeds from government contracts," the newspaper reported.

    "It obviously raises questions about whether the campaign contributions bought action from Kerry," Steven Weiss, communications director of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, told the newspaper.

    Last week, Majumber, 52, pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal campaign contributions after the government dropped another 38 counts. He faces a possible six years in prison. He has agreed to repay $3 million to the government to settle a civil suit, according to the newspaper.

    "Kerry's letters were sent to fellow members of Congress -- and to the Pentagon," in a campaign to gain federal money for a missile system Majumber's firm was trying to build for U.S. warplanes, the Times said.

    In a denial issued on Wednesday, Kerry's campaign said the letters were aimed at protecting jobs at Millitech, a Massachusetts firm that was a subcontractor for Majumber, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in India.

    Majumber admitted giving illegal contributions to Kerry and to Republican Reps. Randall Cunningham and Duncan Hunter of California, John Murtha of Pennsylvania and Joe Scarborough of Florida. Contributions totaled $95,000, the newspaper reported.
    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.j...toryID=4390393
    "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

    #2
    MV, seriously.. what ideal are you trying to hold these people to? they're politicians. I don't know about the deal in that article, and I don't really like Kerry much at all, but please this is a relative thing.. always has been in presidential politics, always will be. Now considering that W has taken more special interest money in more questionable ways in a single year than Kerry has managed to in all his days in the Senate.. hmm??

    Every politician takes money. It's how, from whom, how often and what was done with it that matters. On that count I think W would seriously struggle against Kerry.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by spoon:
      MV, seriously.. what ideal are you trying to hold these people to? they're politicians. I don't know about the deal in that article, and I don't really like Kerry much at all, but please this is a relative thing.. always has been in presidential politics, always will be. Now considering that W has taken more special interest money in more questionable ways in a single year than Kerry has managed to in all his days in the Senate.. hmm??

      Every politician takes money. It's how, from whom, how often and what was done with it that matters. On that count I think W would seriously struggle against Kerry.
      I don't know Spoon. I sort of think that taking illegal campaign contributions (even small ones) from people who you then try actively to provide benefit to a la Kerry makes his arguments about Bush being beholden to special interests who have made legal contributions to the GOP and Bush's campaign pretty hollow.

      I agree with you that every politician takes money and needs to be responsive to "special" interests to keep the tap flowing. Kerry's the one bringing up the special interest argument. That's the pot calling the kettle black. Kerry is beholden to special interests the same way Bush is. They are just different special interests.
      "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

      Comment


        #4
        Nah, I agree, Kerry isn't immune from attacks on money matters. (Though I think attacks centering around his wife are just silly and shallow.) He does raise these points so it is fair to point out his own faults in this area. But when it comes to such things as campaign finance laws, laws that most people of all stripes agree are pure BS in their current form, I'd be hesitant to give much weight to the arguments. I'd favor more of a basic moral argument in this area simply because the laws are so inane. In that regard, yes, Kerry is guilty, but only minimally when compared with the rest of the field (not just pres candidates).

        I'd say that Kerry's accepted special interests are generally more benign, in step with his own views (that is, the groups he accepts funds from wouldn't sway his opinion away from his pre-existing opinion), and fitting with a wider spectrum of the general population's views. W's donors cover a much narrower set of interests with respect to the population, affect legislation more often and more directly, and in several cases so far that donor-influenced legislation has run counter to the well-being of the nation and its affairs.

        So I'd say, for Kerry, keep up the attacks against Bush on money, but tread carefully. Bush's problems in this area need to be highlighted, if only to reform his actions and not replace him. For pundits to attack Kerry's record is fine also. But I'd hope W's official campaign lackey's would be smart enough to leave that business to the pundits.. why make it any easier for the opposition?

        Comment


          #5
          ^ I think the bottom line in what you are saying Spoon is that your own opinions and philosophies are closer to the opinions and philosophies of the special interests that support Kerry and that Kerry is beholden to. Thus, you are comfortable in attributing them to a broader segment of America than the special interests Bush is supported by and that he is beholden to. To some extent, that attitude spans the entire spectrum of the American electorate. If a person supports the NRA and its positions, they don't view them as a problematic special interest. If people support NOW and its positions, they don't view them as a problematic special interest. Its only the groups that we oppose that get the evil lable of "special interests." A truthful campaign would be along the lines of "My special interests are more representative of American public opinion than your special interests." A deceitful campaign is one that says: "You are beholden to special interests and I'm not." That's just plain silly.

          As to money affecting one's positions and actions, it's sort of a chicken and egg situation. Has Bush shaped his positions on NRA issues in order to get money from the NRA or does the NRA give him money because his positions are in accord with the NRA? Has Kerry shaped his position on gay/lesbian marriage/civil union in order to get money from gay/lesbian groups or do they give him money because he believes as they do.

          When someone does something in character pursuant to a history of prior actions, it is less likely that his/her receipt of money influenced that action. The California defense contractor is an interesting issue. Kerry has not been a big supporter of spending money on weapons systems. Yet, he wrote 28 letters to fellow congressmen supporting THIS weapons program. Why? He has done something out of character after receiving money from the contractor. A presumption that ties the two actions (Action 1: receipt of money and Action 2: 28 letters of support) is fairer when the actor takes actions inconsistent with his past following the receipt of money.
          "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

          Comment


            #6
            Throw enough crap on at the wall and some of it's got to stick right? That seems to be the theme against Kerry, first some lies from the drudge about an affair and now this. Federal prosecutors have said there was no evidence showing that Kerry would have known that this money was tainted. But this is a great issue and hopefully it gets more attention, I've got money that Bush's books look nastier than Kerry’s.

            Comment


              #7
              Tell you what UTD, the crap throwing so far has been coming from left to right. Add together the money spent by the DEM candidates so far and you've got well over a hundred million dollars in fertilizer scattered about.

              The "affair" report is yet to be proven a lie so let's sit tight a little while on it. Monica was supposedly a big lie too....remember?

              Kerry's knowledge of the illegality of the campaign contribution from the California defense contractor is not the issue. There is no dispute that he knew he got money from this source. The issue is whether he allowed this money to buy and pay for sending 28 letters to congressmen to promote this guy's missile program. Does Kerry stand up to special interests? Or does he just stand up to special interests that don't give him money?
              "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

              Comment


                #8
                ^^ Excellent question MV. Dont expect UTD to answer this, not becasue he does not want to, becsue he cannot. All of this hoopla that Kerry will be against specail interest is such a big lie. He has recieved as much if not more money from special interest groups as any other candidate. Dems just like to throw mud at Bush becasue he has close friends in Oil, insurance and other big businesses.
                Weather forecast for tonight: dark.

                Comment


                  #9
                  ^ I agree. A politician saying he will fight against special interest groups is telling a big lie.

                  The AFL-CIO is a special interest group. Is Kerry going to fight organized labor in this election and reject their money and support? The American Bar Association is a special interest group as is the American Medical Association. So too is the NAACP, the ACLU, AARP, etc., etc., etc.

                  Special interest groups simply are organizations that enhance the voice and power of like-minded people by collectivizing them. For every important issue, you can probably find a special interest group on either side. Kerry will not stand up against Pro-Choice special interest groups. He will stand up to Pro-Life special interest groups. He's not a champion of the little guy against all special interest groups. He's a champion of special ionterest groups that agree with him and give him money. Just like Bush. Just like every other politician. This does not make him good or bad. What I find objectionable and bad about him is that he seems to think he can build a big part of his campaign on an absolutely false foundation and thinks the American people will not see through the lie. Right now, my favorability rating of Edwards is much higher than for Kerry. Maybe I just haven't been exposed as much to Edwards' statements to spot the obvious lies in his campaign.
                  "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield

                  Comment


                    #10
                    In my thinking....

                    Darn Political Roosters and Game-hens will say anything to be ellected.


                    However...

                    I will vote for the Rooster that closely matches my special interests.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by myvoice:
                      ^ I think the bottom line in what you are saying Spoon is that your own opinions and philosophies are closer to the opinions and philosophies of the special interests that support Kerry and that Kerry is beholden to. Thus, you are comfortable in attributing them to a broader segment of America than the special interests Bush is supported by and that he is beholden to. To some extent, that attitude spans the entire spectrum of the American electorate. ...
                      I had a feeling you'd say that should've thought harder to avoid that..

                      You're right, kinda. But not really. I think your last post summed it up well about how special interests work with politicians and the public. But there are different breeds of the special interest beast. I'd stand by my statement that [most of] Kerry's leeches are more in line with the general public's opinion than Bush's. Labor, liberal/progressive social, environmental groups etc do reflect a broader scope than the Christian Right, NRA, and corporate types (Christian right, NRA members, etc often also accept the principles of environmentalists/etc but not often the opposite). That's not to say that Bush doesn't have some of the former type, nor that Kerry doesn't appease the latter.. but the ones that more often affect legislation decisions seem to be those, respectively.

                      I think the matter that makes special interests somehow a dirty word is, in combination with the (dis)agreement of beliefs that you mentioned, the tactics these groups use to pursue their ends. On that we could spend days giving anecdotes for both side's groups.

                      I guess I don't really disagree with anything here.. I'm just rambling

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Bush will win inshallah

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Imdad Ali:
                          Bush will win inshallah
                          Now I know for sure this will happen, Nader has decided to run.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Imdad Ali:
                            Now I know for sure this will happen, Nader has decided to run.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by myvoice:
                              The "affair" report is yet to be proven a lie so let's sit tight a little while on it. Monica was supposedly a big lie too....remember?
                              hmmm didn't the woman came out and denied any relation with Sen. Kerry? AP reported it last week.

                              Kerry's Moral ground? looks like he is going to win New York and California - 50+ points lead.

                              Imdad Ali - Nadar is running as an Independent not Green Party candidate - he will have difficulty getting his name on ballot in all 50 states - also he won't be eligible to have $18.6 million in government funding for the primary season - this ain't 2000 - This is 2004!
                              If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone. Michael Corleone

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X