Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ties to Dirty Money?

First the Republicans. U.S. Reps John Porter (R) and Jim Gibbons (R) have both accepted campaign contributions from Americans for a Republican Majority, which is Tom DeLay's political action committee. Porter received about $25,000, and Gibbons received $3602. On Wednesday, Gibbons announced, and today, Porter announced, that if Tom DeLay is convicted, they will return the money.

Not good enough, says Shelley Berkley:

"Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., said Democrats likely will highlight Porter's ties to DeLay during campaigns next year. That is going to be fair game for anybody running against him," Berkley said."

That's a pretty tough standard, I think. It's one thing to knowingly accept dirty money, and quite another thing to accept it not knowing it is dirty. More to the point, while Mr. DeLay has been indicted, he hasn't been convicted of anything (other than of being a Republican, and therefore guilty of all manner of heinous crimes in the eyes of people like Shelley Berkley), and therefore it has not yet been established that the money is even dirty in the first place. Goldstein has some quotes picking apart the indictment. Also.

I wonder if Ms. Berkley would be willing to let her own reputation rise and fall on such a standard.

Now the Democrats. Two Las Vegas pastors were indicted yesterday, on charges that they took federal grant money earmarked for halfway houses and spent it all on themselves. The Review-Journal today reports that the grant money was arranged by none other than Harry Reid. Naturally, Reid denies any wrongdoing, and to be perfectly fair, I don't think Reid's implication in these indictments is any more damning than Porter's or Gibbons' acceptance of money from the DeLay PAC.

Given Rep. Berkley's declaration that DeLay comments are "fair game" with respect to Gibbons and Porter, is it safe to assume she will feel the same about Ried's connections to the two indicted pastors?

Something tells me I shouldn't hold my breath.

Update: Jim Rose notes that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi get defensive when asked about DeLay, which makes my question about Berkley's standard all the more apropos.