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Thread: Kerry's Special Friends

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    [b]Kerry's Special Friends[/b]

    By DAVID BROOKS

    Published: February 7, 2004

    John Kerry has been railing against the special interests, and I don't think that's very nice because it implies that some people's interests are not so special. I like to think that everybody's interests are special in their own way.

    What's more, I think Kerry knows this, because if you look over his long career, you see that he loves all our interests, big and small, near or far. For example, a Chinese businesswoman named Liu Chaoying dreamed of having her company listed on a U.S. stock exchange. That's certainly a special dream.

    Maybe as a little girl she would come home from school, gather up her little dollies and tell them about her dream of ringing the bell to start the trading day, or of having little Lucite tombstones on her desk to mark her mergers and acquisitions. Maybe some of the other little girls in school told her she'd never have a company on a U.S. exchange, because you know how cruel little kids can be.

    But she had an interest, and to her it was the most specialest interest in the world. And she kept at it. And that cute little girl grew up to become a lieutenant colonel in China's People's Liberation Army, which is a very special army, even measured against the armies of other human rights-violating dictatorships. And what's more, she had a $300,000 bank account with funds supplied by the head of Chinese intelligence, which is certainly quite special indeed.

    And Liu came to America in search of her dream, for this is the nation of dreams. And she went to see a most special man named Johnny Chung. And in July 1996, according to Newsweek, Chung took Liu to see his special friend John Kerry about her dream, and Kerry recognized its specialness. So his aides faxed over a letter to the S.E.C. about the dream, and the very next day Liu and Chung had a private briefing with a senior S.E.C. official about making her special dream come true.

    And then a few weeks after that, Johnny Chung threw a fund-raiser for John Kerry in Beverly Hills. And John Kerry came away with $10,000 in contributions, and I like to think they were very special contributions. I like to think they were written on special designer checks, maybe with rainbows or kittens or Chinese long-range missile designs shaded on the back, because special dreams deserve special checks, and when a man as special as John Kerry takes up an interest, I think that makes it a special interest all by itself.

    Liu Chaoying's interest was not the only interest John Kerry took a special interest in. According to The Associated Press, Kerry took a special interest in the insurance giant American International Group. When Senator John McCain proposed legislation that would have ended a federal contracting loophole benefiting A.I.G., Kerry did not look away, as others might have done. A loophole may not seem like much to you and me, but to A.I.G. it was a very special loophole — the cuddly kind of loophole you can hold under the blankets and tell your secrets to late at night. And according to The A.P., John Kerry preserved the little loophole. And by sheer coincidence, A.I.G. donated $30,000 to help start Kerry's presidential campaign.

    While sitting on the commerce and finance committees, John Kerry has seen many interests, and you could forgive him if he didn't think they were all special. But Kerry has raised more money from Washington lobbyists than any other senator. He's raised over $30 million over the past nine years, and you just ask the folks in the telecom industry if he doesn't make them feel special.

    You just ask David Paul, one of the big figures in the savings and loan scandal, if Kerry didn't make him feel special. You just ask the high-tech executive Bob Majumder how special Kerry made him feel, at least until Majumder was charged with 40 counts of conspiracy, witness tampering, fraud, tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions. You just ask the law firms, the brokerage houses, the oil companies, the H.M.O.'s and the drug companies, which have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Kerry.

    Oh, he sometimes pretends that he doesn't care about our special interests. He puts on that callous populist facade. But deep down he cares. Maybe he cares too much. When he's out on the stump saying otherwise, he's just being a big old phony.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Remember how Howard Dean's record was picked apart when he was the frontrunner and all his hypocrisy's came to the forefront?? [SIZE=3][b] NEXT![/b][/SIZE]

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    A right-winger, talking about hypocrisy. That's pretty funny. For REAL hypocrisy, read on.
    -----------------------------------------
    Scalia-Cheney Hunting Trip Draws Fire
    Thu Feb 5,10:51 PM ET


    By ADAM NOSSITER, Associated Press Writer

    MORGAN CITY, La. - A duck hunting trip Vice President Dick Cheney took with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month has raised questions about a possible conflict of interest because Scalia was hearing a case involving Cheney at the time of the hunt.

    The trip included a flight in a U.S. government jet, a ride in a police motorcade and lodging in a floating hunting camp owned by an oil-services tycoon who is a longtime Scalia friend.

    A panoply of Secret Service and local law enforcement guarded the hunting party, and though the shooting was poor, the "strictly social" occasion, as participant Louis Prejean described it, was enjoyable.

    Congressional Democrats and newspaper editorials have called for Scalia to step down from the case, which has to do with whether Cheney must reveal who serves on his energy task force. Further complicating the question: The host of the hunting trip is a prominent member of the energy industry.

    Scalia has declined to recuse himself, saying he remains impartial. He likened the hunting trip to a White House dinner.

    Kevin Kellems, Cheney's press secretary, said Scalia's objectivity is "really a question that the Supreme Court officials are in better position to answer. This is really, at its core, a question about how the court operates, what their rules are and so forth."

    Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, said it would be "an easy call" for Scalia to disqualify himself because Cheney apparently paid at least some of the justice's expenses.

    "He has to set an example of what conduct is acceptable. Taking a gift from a litigant in a case before you and taking a trip with that litigant in a small group" is not acceptable, Gillers said.

    Several people in the party, including host Wallace Carline and Prejean, declined to discuss the trip into the duck-filled marshland at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. But this was no ordinary hunting trip.

    After landing Jan. 5, the party hurried out of a small blue-and-white jet marked "United States of America" and ducked straight into vehicles that had been flown down separately. With flashing lights that illuminated the rainy afternoon, the caravan made its way south to Carline's camp in the marshes.

    There, Scalia and Cheney joined a group of about nine, the justice has said. Among them were relatives of Carline's son-in-law, Mike Swiber, who works for Carline's Diamond Services Corp., which provides barges, tugs, and dredging equipment. "I have no comments, no comments at all," Swiber said. "It's over."

    Carline's place on the marsh is more a boat than a camp. A Carline competitor and friend, Doyle Berry, described it as a barge about 150 feet by 50 feet that anchors wherever the hunting is best. On top is a house-like structure.

    "It's a big camp, lovely camp," said another friend, local Republican lawyer Al Lippman.

    Carline, a member of the local port authority, created his fortune from scratch more than four decades ago, friends said.

    Scalia, an avid hunter, is a frequent visitor to Louisiana. His hunting companion is often Prejean, a state worker for the disabled and the brother of Sister Helen Prejean, the anti-death penalty activist and author of "Dead Man Walking." In an interview, she has described confronting Scalia about his pro-death penalty views.

    Berry, echoing others here, said locals were just "honored the vice president came down and hunted." But legal analysts elsewhere said it is not that simple.

    "The fact is that the vice president is not a nominal party to this litigation. He has a strong personal and political interest in the result. That's the long and the short of it for me," Gillers said.

  3. #3
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    [i]Scalia, an avid hunter, is a frequent visitor to Louisiana. His hunting companion is often Prejean, a state worker for the disabled and the brother of Sister Helen Prejean, the anti-death penalty activist and author of "Dead Man Walking." In an interview, she has described confronting Scalia about his pro-death penalty views. [/i]

    I'm sure this writer doesn't have an agenda!

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    The Scalia/Cheney hunting trip is inappropriate. No question about it.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Bob the Jets Fan™[/i]@Feb 7 2004, 04:07 PM
    [b] A right-winger, talking about hypocrisy. That's pretty funny. For REAL hypocrisy, read on.
    -----------------------------------------
    Scalia-Cheney Hunting Trip Draws Fire
    Thu Feb 5,10:51 PM ET


    By ADAM NOSSITER, Associated Press Writer

    MORGAN CITY, La. - A duck hunting trip Vice President Dick Cheney took with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month has raised questions about a possible conflict of interest because Scalia was hearing a case involving Cheney at the time of the hunt.

    The trip included a flight in a U.S. government jet, a ride in a police motorcade and lodging in a floating hunting camp owned by an oil-services tycoon who is a longtime Scalia friend.

    A panoply of Secret Service and local law enforcement guarded the hunting party, and though the shooting was poor, the "strictly social" occasion, as participant Louis Prejean described it, was enjoyable.

    Congressional Democrats and newspaper editorials have called for Scalia to step down from the case, which has to do with whether Cheney must reveal who serves on his energy task force. Further complicating the question: The host of the hunting trip is a prominent member of the energy industry.

    Scalia has declined to recuse himself, saying he remains impartial. He likened the hunting trip to a White House dinner.

    Kevin Kellems, Cheney's press secretary, said Scalia's objectivity is "really a question that the Supreme Court officials are in better position to answer. This is really, at its core, a question about how the court operates, what their rules are and so forth."

    Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, said it would be "an easy call" for Scalia to disqualify himself because Cheney apparently paid at least some of the justice's expenses.

    "He has to set an example of what conduct is acceptable. Taking a gift from a litigant in a case before you and taking a trip with that litigant in a small group" is not acceptable, Gillers said.

    Several people in the party, including host Wallace Carline and Prejean, declined to discuss the trip into the duck-filled marshland at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. But this was no ordinary hunting trip.

    After landing Jan. 5, the party hurried out of a small blue-and-white jet marked "United States of America" and ducked straight into vehicles that had been flown down separately. With flashing lights that illuminated the rainy afternoon, the caravan made its way south to Carline's camp in the marshes.

    There, Scalia and Cheney joined a group of about nine, the justice has said. Among them were relatives of Carline's son-in-law, Mike Swiber, who works for Carline's Diamond Services Corp., which provides barges, tugs, and dredging equipment. "I have no comments, no comments at all," Swiber said. "It's over."

    Carline's place on the marsh is more a boat than a camp. A Carline competitor and friend, Doyle Berry, described it as a barge about 150 feet by 50 feet that anchors wherever the hunting is best. On top is a house-like structure.

    "It's a big camp, lovely camp," said another friend, local Republican lawyer Al Lippman.

    Carline, a member of the local port authority, created his fortune from scratch more than four decades ago, friends said.

    Scalia, an avid hunter, is a frequent visitor to Louisiana. His hunting companion is often Prejean, a state worker for the disabled and the brother of Sister Helen Prejean, the anti-death penalty activist and author of "Dead Man Walking." In an interview, she has described confronting Scalia about his pro-death penalty views.

    Berry, echoing others here, said locals were just "honored the vice president came down and hunted." But legal analysts elsewhere said it is not that simple.

    "The fact is that the vice president is not a nominal party to this litigation. He has a strong personal and political interest in the result. That's the long and the short of it for me," Gillers said. [/b][/quote]
    wait i have an example of hypocrisy too.



    AP: Kerry Pocketed Speaking Fees


    WASHINGTON (AP) - Back when federal lawmakers legally could be paid for speaking to outside groups, John Kerry collected more than $120,000 in fees from interests as diverse as big oil, tobacco, the liquor lobby and unions, records show.

    Between 1985 and 1990, Kerry's first five years in the Senate from Massachusetts, he pocketed annual amounts slightly under the limits for speaking fees set by Congress. Unlike many colleagues, he donated a speaking fee to charity only once, according to annual financial disclosure reports reviewed by The Associated Press.

    One of the companies to pay Kerry $1,000 for a speech in 1987, Miami-based Metalbanc, was later indicted, along with two executives, on charges it helped the Cali drug cartel in Colombia launder money in the United States. The charges eventually were dropped because the firm was defunct.

    At the time of the 1987 speech to Metalbanc, Kerry was chairman of the Senate subcommittee that investigated drug trafficking and money laundering.


    Kerry, now the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he didn't learn about the drug connection to the company or its executives, who also gave him political donations, until The Boston Globe informed him of it in 1996. He donated several thousand dollars to charities to make amends.


    Kerry's ethics reports show he made more than 90 paid speeches between 1985, when he first took office, and 1990, when Congress began the move to end honoraria.


    The senator's campaign acknowledged Sunday that he accepted the speaking fees, but said he also gave several speeches a year for free.


    ``He gave these speeches to address what he saw as the important issues at the time such as the growing national deficit,'' spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said. ``In compliance with the law, he accepted small speaking fees from some of the groups he spoke to, and, in at least one case, donated that money to charity.''


    At the time Kerry could accept speaking fees, senators were forced to abide by annual limits, which ranged from $26,568 to $35,800.


    A number of veteran lawmakers often collected more than $100,000 in a single year but had to give everything over the limit to charity. For instance, former House Ways and Means committee chairman Dan Rostenskowski once donated $155,000 of his speaking fees in one year to charity.


    And Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., the late husband of Kerry's wife, Teresa, donated all $12,000 in speaking fees he made in 1986.


    Kerry reported donating a speaking fee to charity only once, when he was paid $2,000 in 1988 to speak to the RJR Nabisco tobacco and food conglomerate, his reports state.


    A longtime federal election regulator said Kerry's extensive speaking efforts after he arrived in Washington followed a path taken by many new lawmakers who were not wealthy. With congressional salaries half what they are today, many lawmakers pressed to find outside income from special interests.


    ``Members were often pulled almost like a magnet into a circle of lobbyists who were very willing to pay large honoraria for them to give a brief speech or a talk to their organization or group,'' said Kent Cooper, former public disclosure chief for the Federal Election Commission who now runs a Web site that studies political donations and lobbying.


    ``This provided instant cash to a member and at the same time built a relationship with that lobbyist or organization,'' Cooper said.


    Several of the Democratic candidates this year have accepted special interest speaking fees in their career. Former Gen. Wesley Clark collected more than $1 million in speaking and consulting fees after his military retirement, and Howard Dean accepted speaking fees about a half-dozen times while governor of Vermont governor.


    In 1985, Kerry's freshman year in the Senate, he supplemented his $75,000 salary with $19,480 in speaking fees. The next year the fees grew to $22,725.


    Kerry's paid speaking engagements included several traditional Democratic constituencies, like the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers' union; law firms and the St. Louis Women's Democratic Committee.


    Kerry, who sharply criticizes special interest money and big oil companies while campaigning, earned handsomely from some of Washington's most famous lobbies as well as corporate America.


    For instance, oil giant Chevron paid him $2,000 in 1986 for participating in a round-table discussion. Large financial companies, among them Paine Webber, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, also paid to hear Kerry speak, as did the Chicago Board of Trade and defense contractors such as Allied Signal and Textron.


    Kerry also spoke for pay to the National Restaurant Association ($1,000 in 1985), the National Association of Independent Insurers ($1,000 in 1986), the American Bankers Association ($2,000 in 1986) and the National Association of Manufacturers.


    ``It certainly didn't seem to influence his voting record,'' said Laura Brown Narvaiz, a spokeswoman for the NAM, which paid Kerry $1,000 for a speech in September 1986. ``I don't think he voted in favor of our positions very many times.''


    The Distilled Spirits Council, which paid Kerry $2,000 for a speech in 1987, said such engagements gave a chance for the liquor lobby to bend the ears of policy-makers on issues such as taxes, free trade and restrictions on alcohol ads.


    ``When lawmakers speak with us, there's an exchange of views and they come away with more information about what's important to our industry,'' said Frank Coleman, the council's senior vice president.




    I thought it was only the Republicans that got money from big business and big oil??

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