FYI, there are a number of updates to the Patrick Moran/James O'Keefe/voter fraud story which broke yesterday. First off, ArlNow - which has been on top of this story, big time (much more so than the area's corporate media outlets) - reported late this afternoon that "The Arlington County Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into a video of Patrick Moran, son of Rep. Jim Moran and former field director of his reelection campaign." In addition, ArlNow quotes an Arlington County Police Department spokesman that "[a]ll parties will be involved in the investigation," and that "'it would be irresponsible' to not investigate the video." I agree 100%; good work by the Arlington County Police Department.
Second, the Jim Moran for Congress campaign released a statement a little earlier this evening:
Our campaign welcomes a thorough investigation and we will fully cooperate. The incident involving Patrick was an unfortunate situation. While clearly lacking good judgment, Patrick's unsolicited interaction with a right wing political operative seeking to trap him in a damaging conversation did not constitute an unlawful action. We are confident this unwelcome chapter in the campaign will be quickly and favorably closed.
Third, here's a statement from Rep. Moran personally, also released a bit earlier this evening:
The John Douglass for Congress campaign has issued a statement (see below) on this story, which points out that Douglass, who has relentlessly (and correctly!) criticized Rep. Robert Hurt (pictured at right, looking like he's drinking uranium tailings or something - heh) for his massive conflict of interest regarding uranium mining in the district, "received $4,250 in campaign donations from executives with United States Enrichment Corp. from October 2011 through September 2012."
General Douglass's campaign is putting our money where our mouth is to stop dangerous uranium mining in Virginia by donating $4,600 to a leading "Keep the Ban" charitable organization, an amount equivalent to contributions from Douglass's former Navy colleagues who happen to work with US Enrichment Corp. Now if Corporate Congressman Hurt is serious about this issue, it's time for him to categorically oppose uranium mining near residential communities, support a federal ban in Congress and give up his campaign contributions from Virginia Uranium investors -- and while he's at it, give up his $14,000 from Goldman Sachs, "a major proponent of privatizing social security."
Of course, Hurt is NOT serious about this issue, certainly not in the sense that he's "serious" about protecting the people of his district, the environment, or anything but his own corporate buddies and bottom line. Meanwhile, John Douglass did exactly the right thing, and deserves applause for doing so. Quite a contrast with empty suit/corporate crony Robert Hurt!
This story by The Hill, about how "[a] number of Senate candidates have not cut their ties to companies with vested interests in legislation the contenders could be voting on, should they be elected," has the right idea but is poorly executed at best. Thus, all we get on George Allen, who has glaring, egregious conflicts of interest, is the following boilerplate, including a whitewashing statement by the Allen campaign. #FAIL
Allen earned $350,000 last year from George Allen Strategies, a Beltway-based firm he launched after he lost his Senate reelection bid in 2006 that employs a former Allen staffer who is a registered lobbyist.
"Clients of Gov. Allen's firm have already been properly disclosed on his personal financial disclosure statements that have been publicly filed with the U.S. Senate. If elected to the U.S. Senate, George Allen Strategies will no longer be in operation," said Allen spokeswoman Katie Wright when asked about which clients Allen's company is currently advising. The forms were filed in May.
Allen and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) are locked in a tight race.
That's it? Seriously? That's what "reporting" passes for these days? And they wonder why the corporate media's dying? So lame. In fact, if The Hill had done a bit more work on this, and/or if they had had the cojones to push a little harder, they would have told their readers that:
*Allen didn't have to submit financial disclosure reports before he started running for the U.S. Senate this time around, so there's nothing about his clients in earlier years, and the financial disclosure form only requires that he list sources of income who gave him more than $5,000 during the reporting period. Wow, that's really helpful. Not.
*Allen goes to great lengths to hide the real sources of his money; for instance listing Navigators Global, itself a giant lobbying firm, as one of his consulting clients, thus allowing no way to see who his ultimate clients really are. Clever, clever!
*Allen is on the Board of Directors of several companies which could benefit from congressional action in their favor.
*The last time Allen got elected, back in 2000, he failed to disclose stock options he still owned from a corporate board he had served on (Xybernaut -- see here for more on that sordid story!). Xybernaut was a government contractor, and Allen wrote a letter on their behalf while he owned their stock (which he, again, failed to disclose). Since then that company has gone bankrupt and their top management indicted for money laundering, etc.
Does any of this give you a warm and fuzzy feeling about George Allen, let alone make you want to vote for him? No, I didn't think so. Does all of this make you wish the media would do its job and really dig into Allen's sleaziness? Yes, but don't hold your breath; they're too busy working on their phoney narratives about "Mitt's comeback" (which isn't happening) and other assorted bull****, instead of doing their actual jobs. Meanwhile, the George Allens of the world get away with...well, not murder, but some really bad stuff.
A Massachusetts judge has unsealed the divorce case of Tom v Maureen Stemberg. Transcripts will be forthcoming. Meanwhile, a good deal is already known. As this article reveals, Mitt lied under oath to benefit a friend and business associate.
When Willard Mittens Romney meddles in people's marriages, as he did when a bishop of the Mormon Church, he'd go to the home of the family and order them to do as he declared they must. That is abuse of power. And that is bad enough. But it is a different thing all together when Mittens goes to court and lies under oath to screw his friend's wife in divorce court by claiming the company (Staples) was worth less than it was. Then Mitt and Tom Stemberg went to Goldman Sachs and got much more for it.
This case matters because it goes to Mitt Romney's honesty, credibility and character. It also matters because Tom Stemberg gave a speech at the RNC convention and advises Mitt Romney on health care, the cruel irony of which is found below. Bain Capital had invested in Staples. Mitt sat on Staples Board of Directors. It also matters that Mr. Stemberg, Staples CEO, is a spokesperson on the campaign trail for Mitt Romney. But there is more. While at the same time advising Willard Mittens Romney on health care issues, Stemberg canceled his wife's health insurance policy, despite the fact that she had cancer and MS.
Let's talk about the "politics of personal destruction," as Bill Clinton called it. As many know, I was a target of it; as one famed Virginia reporter once said, I was an "easy target" for those who played that game. Her words, not mine: and in that regard, it got me to thinking about Patrick Moran.
In politics, it is easy to kick a guy when he is down. Surely that applies to Patrick Moran right now, as he had to resign from his dad's campaign with the Virginia political world laughing at him for being beyond dumb.
Do I actually think he would have ever actually participated in any way in the voter fraud scheme being faked by the "reporter?" No. Did he break any laws? No.
But was he monumentally brain dead during the video? Yes, you can't deny that. It was painful to watch, knowing the fanatics had successfully targeted him, posing as "undercover reporters" or whatever that group of fanatics claims to be.
That is why Patrick Moran had to resign. It was his own fault. No excuses.
BUT, AT THE SAME TIME, it is why I decided to write this post, since the new 24/7 hidden-camera ready world we now inhabit empowers the fanatics behind this targeting of Patrick Moran to target and ruin all of us for far lesser stuff.
Patrick has no one to blame but himself for not realizing the state of politics today.
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia, conducted on behalf of Health Care for America Now, finds Barack Obama expanding his lead in the aftermath of his debate victory Monday night. He now has 51% to 46% for Mitt Romney, up from a 49/47 advantage last weekend.
Now, let's all get back to working our butts off the next 12 days so that Barack Obama carries Virginia once again, and is reelected for four more years. G'Obama!
P.S. Poll results like this one make me VERY happy that the Allen folks have returned to their "strategy" (using the word very loosely) of tying Tim Kaine to Barack Obama. Hey, it works for me! :)
Here are a few Virginia (and national) news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 25. Also, check out the video, in which Gov. Bob McDonnell (R, last I checked - same party as George Allen) argues strongly that the sequestration deal was absolutely necessary to avoid "default of the greatest nation on earth," which is why so many Republicans - but not crazy George Allen - supported it!
In a recent diary I asked what kind of person spends his time trying to ruin the lives of old Americans as Paul Ryan and his sponsors in the plutocracy do. Here, I ask, what kind of man kicks people when they are down and has the audacity to claim he is helping them?
Paul Ryan is some "Christian." He showed that once again today. He advocated for the end of poverty programs and leaving the survival of the poor to charity. But he sure plays one on TV and on the campaign trail. That wouldn't of itself be a problem. There is, after all, no litmus test for religion and the presidency or vice presidency. Trouble is, his own church has a big problem with him. Paul Ryan has a real humanity problem, which is to say he doesn't give a fig about humanity. His church bishops may like his anti-reproductive rights platform, but they hate his punishing of the poor by proposing and voting for the obliteration of the nation's safety net.
As we all know, James O'Keefe is the worst of the worst in politics, a right-wing political hit man who, among other things, was arrested "in January 2010 during an attempt to make recordings at the office of United States Senator Mary Landrieu." Ultimately, O'Keefe "was sentenced to three years' probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine" for that little escapade. Then there's the whole ACORN episode, reminiscent of McCarthyism in its viciousness, sleaziness and dishonesty. Given all this, my initial reaction to O'Keefe's latest video, this one involving Jim Moran for Congress Field Director Patrick Moran (Jim's son), was that it most likely lived down to the extremely low standards of the guy putting it together, the usual bunch of statements taken out of context, selective editing, entrapment, the whole 9 yards.
In the end, that could turn out to be the case, at least in part. But if you watch the video, which I have, it sure doesn't look good for Patrick Moran (nor can I think of any plausible explanation for his behavior here, even if he was "set up" by scumbag O'Keefe). In short, what we see and hear in the video is absolutely unacceptable - morally, of course, and maybe also legally - behavior by anyone, let alone by a Democratic campaign official, let alone by the son of a sitting Congressman, let alone by...well, you get the picture.
First and foremost, Patrick Moran needed to be removed from the campaign. I would have preferred that he be fired, but instead he resigned:
ProgressVA Responds to SBE Vote to Request Attorney General Investigation Voter Registration Fraud by Republican Party Contractor
ProgressVA questions AG Cuccinelli's ability to impartially investigate party while seeking their gubernatorial nomination
Richmond, VA - ProgressVA today reacted to the decision by the State Board of Elections to request Attorney General Cuccinelli open an investigation into alleged voter registration fraud committed by a Republican Party of Virginia contractor. ProgressVA released the following statement from Executive Director Anna Scholl
"We applaud the State Board of Elections for taking the integrity of our elections seriously. Unfortunately, the legal recourses available to the Board are simply inadequate. Attorney General Cuccinelli has a long and sordid history of manipulating the law and his office in pursuit of his personal political agenda. We have zero confidence that the man seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination could simultaneously conduct an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation of that party. That's why the ProgressVA community has called on the federal Justice Department to investigate the extent of this fraud, a call that has been echoed by Congressmen Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly, Bobby Scott, and State Senator Donald McEachin."
I love this ad, particularly how Bill Clinton - arguably the most popular politician in America - notes that the same people said the same crazy stuff about him as they're saying about President Obama, but that under President Clinton, this country prospered (not to mention that we had budget surpluses, which Republicans promptly turned back into massive deficits, just as they always do). My question is, what do Republicans have against America prospering, and leaders who can put policies in place to encourage that? Jealousy, perhaps?
Last week a contractor for the Republican Party of Virginia was arrested in Harrisonburg and charged with throwing away voter registration forms. Attorney General Cuccinelli, no stranger to using his office for partisan gain, so far has refused to investigate. There's every reason to believe these violations could be more widespread. The company the contractor worked for has been operating in localities across the Commonwealth. There's no excuse for not protecting the vote and ensuring the integrity of our elections so we're asking for help.
The Cato Institute, a former big tobacco front group that now shills for big polluters, is putting out a phony report designed to fool reporters into thinking it's related to an actual U.S. government climate science report.
It's not the first time a polluter front group has tried to trick reporters. Back in 2008, the Heartland Institute put out the "NIPCC report," trying to glom onto the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
What's most bizarre is that Cato and Heartland then go around whining that no one takes them seriously as an authority on climate science.
It would be like me going up on stage in a wig & skinny jeans, calling myself Justin Biemer, and singing "Boyfriend," then complaining no one took me seriously as an artist.
(An Old Dominion University poll has Obama up 50%-43% in Virginia, but that poll was conducted over a ridiculously long 4 weeks, so should be taken with a HUGE pillar of salt! As in, #FAIL!!! - promoted by lowkell)
*3% of Virginians already mailed their ballots and 3% have already voted in person.
*Among Virginians who've already voted, Obama leads Romney by 5 points, 50%-45%.
*Overall, Obama leads by 1 point over Romney in Virginia, 46%-45%.
*"The President's lead expands to a still-close 2% among voters with strong views (43% strong Obama, 41% strong Romney)."
*"It is next to impossible to find another race in the country in which the candidates are so evenly matched. However, President Obama does hold an important image advantage among undecideds, who view him more favorably than his challenger."
In sum: the race in Virginia is razor tight, possibly a slight lead for President Obama. This means that the key to victory over the next 13 days is getting out every possibly registered voter for Obama. If you haven't phone banked, door knocked, lit dropped, donated money, etc., now's the time to do it! :)
P.S. I was also emailed a new Mellman Group poll of New Hampshire, showing Obama leading Romney in the Granite State by 3 points, 48%-45%. A few other interesting numbers from that poll: by a 27%-54% margin, people oppose privatizing Medicare; by a 55%-35% margin, people support ending the Bush tax cuts for households with incomes over $250k; by a 95%-8% margin, people oppose cutting Social Security benefits; by an 80%-17% margin, people favor creating jobs by investing in roads, bridges and schools.
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