Fanniegate

Walter Russell Mead wrote “Fanniegate: Gamechanger for the GOP?” reviewing a new book (tip to Instapundit):

Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. By Gretchen Morgenson, one of America’s best business journalists who is currently at The New York Times, and noted financial analyst Joshua Rosner…

We’ve known about corruption at the government-backed mortgage corporation Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Corporation), such as Democrat fatcat Franklin Raines doctoring the books to increase his bonus or Democrat Congressman Barney Frank getting a job for his partner (and then defending Fannie Mae in Congressional hearings) or Democrat Jamie Gorelick (who helped bring on 9/11 and the housing crisis) ‘earning’ $26 million for bundling subprime loans into securitized financial instruments.   As bad as we thought the scandals at Fannie Mae were, nobody went to jail (not even the ‘Friends of Angelo’) and the fines imposed on the corruptocrats (if at all) were a small fraction of the amount looted from the American people.

“Reckless Endangerment” provides more insight into the Democratic Party’s culture of corruption.

The villains?  An unholy alliance between Wall Street, the Democratic establishment, community organizing groups like ACORN and La Raza, and politicians like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Cisneros…

…the American dream didn’t die of old age; it was murdered and most of the fingerprints on the corpse come from Democratic insiders.  Democratic power brokers stoked the housing bubble and turned a blind eye to the increasingly rampant corruption and incompetence at Fannie Mae and the associated predatory lenders who sheltered under its umbrella; core Democratic ideas may well be at fault.

…Big government, affirmative action and influence peddling among Democratic insiders came within inches of smashing the US economy.

…The story illustrates everything the Tea Party thinks about the corrupt Washington establishment and the evils of big government.  It demonstrates the limits on the ability of government programs to help the poor.  It converts a complicated economic story into a simple morality play — with Dems as the villain.  It allows Republicans to capitalize on public fury at the country’s economic problems.  It links the Democrats to Wall Street — the one part of the private sector that the Republican base loathes.  It exposes that mix of incompetence and arrogance that is the hallmark of the modern American liberal establishment and links this condescending cluelessness to the real problems of real American families.  It links President Obama (through appointments, associations and friendships) with the worst elements of the Clinton legacy and it blunts some key Democratic talking points.

Read the whole thing.

Raby knows where the bodies are buried

Fellow Flashpoint contributor Dan and I attended the Democratic Party Rally at the Roundhouse last night.  More than 250 people attended the event, including WVNN’s Dale Jackson and Mecca Musick.  I enjoyed speaking with Madison County Democratic Party Chairman Doug Dermody.

I missed the first part of Congressional candidate Steve Raby’s speech but arrived in time to hear Raby reiterate his claim that Redstone Arsenal got “zero funding”, however unlike in his TV ad, he told the rest of the story – the zero funding was in the Military Construction account (note that “the arsenal has received $440 million since 2007 for BRAC-related building projects”).

Raby said that he expected bad things to be published about him in the papers over the next couple of weeks.  I say, it’s about time.  Raby aided in the “attempted hijacking” of a State Board of Education primary election in 2008.  Raby’s family PACs funneled money to the State Senators indicted in the current gambling scandal.  IMO Raby has a record of disregard for ethical behavior – it might be legal, but it sure ain’t right.

Much of the rest of Raby’s speech included folksy stories about growing up here and asserting that he could protect Huntsville jobs because of his political connections.

Raby said that if elected, he could hit the ground running in Washington because he “knows where the bodies are buried”…

Guess which party? – Bell CA

You all know the long running joke about how the media won’t name a corrupt official’s political affiliation if they’re a Democrat, but how the media finds it relevant enough to put it in the headline if they’re a Republican.  Here they go again:

There have been hundreds of news stories about Bell city officials’ jaw-dropping salaries. In this poor city on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where the per capita annual income is $24,800 a year, the city manager, Robert Rizzo, had a salary of $787,637… With benefits, his total annual compensation, according to the Los Angeles Times, came to $1.5 million a year… Not only that, but Rizzo was entitled to 28 weeks off a year for vacation and sick leave.

According to Nexis, there have been more than 300 news stories reporting on the Bell scandal. Guess how many mentioned the party affiliation of the corrupt government bureaucrats?

One. Yes, just one. Now guess if the government officials were Democrats or Republicans? Yes, that is correct…

The one newspaper to cough up party affiliations, The Orange County Register, admitted that the corrupt officials were all Democrats only in response to reader complaints about the peculiar omission.

Lots of news stories on the scandal in Bell used the word “Democrat” or “Democratic.” But that was only to say that the DEMOCRATIC attorney general of California, Jerry Brown, who is running on the DEMOCRATIC ticket for governor, is investigating the Bell officials’ salaries.

So we know the media are aware of party affiliations. They just chose not to mention it when it would require them to identify shockingly corrupt government officials as Democrats.

I found this at Ace of Spades, who adds:

…this is the clearest, most inarguable example of media bias there is. There should be a simple rule — a stylebook rule — dictating that a politician caught in corruption should have his party affiliation noted in the first paragraph…

But the MFM refuses to impose such a stringent rule. They want to keep the freedom to only note the party affiliation of corrupt Republicans while not mentioning it at all with regard to corrupt Democrats.

They want, as they call it, the freedom to apply their judgment and examine context. In their judgment and in context, they always find that the party affiliation of corrupt Republicans is relevant, but the party affiliation of corrupt Democrats never is.

‘Guess which party’ is a game you can play at home, too!

As one of many examples,  here is a story from The Huntsville Times on convicted Democrat Sue Schmitz.  BTW, I didn’t have to search hard for an example – I went through our archives and picked a random news-based Schmitz post  – it linked to The Times.   No mention of Schmitz’ Democratic Party affiliation.  To double-check, I found a post from Brian on Schmitz’ conviction for stealing from children.  Again, no mention in The Times about  Schmitz’ being a Democrat legislator.

Palin hacker convicted

David Kernell, son of Tennessee State Representative Mike Kernell (D – Memphis), was convicted Friday of hacking into Sarah Palin’s email.  KnoxNews has the story.  Kernell was convicted of:

felony destruction of records to hamper a federal investigation and misdemeanor unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer.

The convictions may lead to a light prison term, but more likely Kernell will get probation.

Thomas van Flein, Sarah Palin’s personal attorney, told The Associated Press he has been involved in the case from the morning they learned of the hacking in 2008.

“I think the jury took its job very seriously and weighed the evidence closely and concluded that any effort to impact a national election through illegal means is not a college prank. It is a crime,” he said.

Remember that David ‘Popcorn’ Kernell describes his ‘Political Views’ as “Obamacrat”. Kernell is a ‘Member of’ groups like: “UT for Barack Obama”, “Support the Jena 6″, “Free the Jena Six”.

Also remember:

…those defenders of  privacy rights over at LIA polled to “Support the Hack”, even going so far as to say ’she deserved it’.  I don’t like linking to a site holding such discreditable opinions, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the hypocrisy of the Left – and keep in mind that those people are representative of  local Democrats.

Just another story about Democrats lying, cheating, and stealing.  And about those Democrats who abide the unethical and unlawful acts…

Hijacker Smithwick claims ‘selective prosecution’

Troy Smithwick (who attempted to hijack a primary election) was recently indicted for campaign finance disclosure violations and his defense is “that violations of those reporting provisions are rather common in Alabama political campaigns” and “are practically never prosecuted”.

Matt Quillen of  The Daily Home (Talledega) wrote the article “Smithwick defends allegations” reporting on a hearing in Talledega County Circuit Court.  This seems like a story that The Huntsville Times should cover since one of the people named in the story is running for Congress (Democrat Steve Raby) and another person runs a Huntsville-based PAC (Jyles Machen of  the shady TRDPAC – The Real Democrat PAC).

The second count on the indictment dealt specifically with a $100,000 contribution reported from a Huntsville-based political action committee called The Real Democrat.

Smithwick had claimed a $100,000 contribution from another Huntsville-based group, called the Tennessee Valley PAC.

Giddens said he spoke to Steve Raby and Jyles Machem of Tennessee Valley PAC and The Real Democrat PAC, respectively, about the reported contribution.

“There was a snafu with the political action committees,” Giddens said. “They have since filed some amended reports and I still don’t think they understand what happened, based on the people I talked to from the committees.”

Raby and Machem had both previously said there was not a second donation made to Smithwick’s campaign. An amended 2008 annual report from The Real Democrat, received Oct. 19, did not report any contribution to Smithwick.

Keep in mind that Smithwick was running in the Republican Primary against Stephanie Bell and that Democrat PACs gave more than $300,000 to his campaign.  This prompted Mike Hubbard, chair of the Alabama GOP to say that Democrats were trying to “hijack” the election and he warned Republicans not to vote for Smithwick.  Hubbard believes that the money was funneled through those PACs from the Alabama Education Association (a subsidiary of the Democratic Party – Paul Hubbert of the AEA teacher’s union is Vice Chair of the Democratic Party).  This case illustrates why banning PAC to PAC transfers is important.

Somehow we’re being asked to believe that TRDPAC’s Machen reported a contribution to Smithwick for $100,000 but that it didn’t really happen (what – they changed their mind after he lost)?  That a Huntsville Democrat PAC got the amount of their check and the name of a local politician from Talledega confused?  Raby and his PAC still admit to contributing $100,000 to Smithwick’s campaign.

It bothers me that Steve Raby is running for Congress - by his actions he has proven that he has no respect for Alabama voters or the election process.  I guess if you’re a Democrat, cheating is a feature, not a bug.

School Board Hijacker Indicted

Finally!   Note that this story has Huntsville ties.  Steve Raby has been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate in the AL05 Congressional race and I wrote about Jyles Machen not long ago (“Democrat hack creates front group”):

Jyles Machen heads a shady PAC named “Real Democrat PAC, The” (TRD PAC) – note how the acronym helps hide the name of the PAC.  Machen is a Democrat hack – even worse, he has no respect for elections.  Machen is one of the scum who tried to “hijack” the State Board of Education Republican primary in June 2008…  Fellow Democrat hack Steve Raby also pumped $100,000 into the attempted hijacking (Tennessee Valley PAC).

If someone at the Huntsville Times wants a story – here it is in your backyard.

From Matt Quillen at The Daily Home “Grand Jury indicts BOE member”:

SYLACAUGA — City Schools Board Member Troy “Skip” Smithwick was indicted on two counts relating to campaign contributions by a Talladega County Grand Jury.

A spokesperson for the Talladega County Sheriff’s Department said Smithwick was charged on Friday and released on a $5,000 bond. The two charges were failure to file annual reports and improper reporting of contributions.

Both charges are Class B misdemeanors under state law.

The indictment stems from an investigation into contribution forms submitted by Smithwick during a 2008 campaign. That year, he ran in the Republican primary for the District 3 State School Board seat…

Under state law, all candidates are required to submit their annual contribution reports no later than Jan. 31 of the following year. Smithwick’s final report was dated as received Oct. 6, 2009, by the Secretary of State… Donations totaling around $52,000 had not been reported until October. The previous report Smithwick had filed in May 2008 showed donations totaling approximately $253,000.

The second charge stated Smithwick failed to report a contribution from a group named The Real Democrat Political Action Committee. The group claimed a $100,000 contribution was made to “Smithwick for School Board” in their annual report received January 2009.

Jyles Machem, head of the Huntsville-based PAC, said in October that his group did not contribute any funds to Smithwick’s campaign…

Smithwick had claimed on his reports a $100,000 contribution from another Huntsville-based group, called the Tennessee Valley PAC…

Another apparent error appeared as both PACs claimed an $85,000 contribution to them in May from a group called the Senate Majority PAC. Senate Majority’s annual report showed only one $85,000 contribution being made, to The Real Democrat.

Both Tennessee Valley and Senate Majority PAC reports have the signature of Steve Raby as the “Chairperson or Treasurer of Political Committee.” Both groups are also listed at the same address…

Betty Peters, the District 2 representative for the state BOE, made the official complaint regarding Smithwick to Attorney General Troy King.

“This should be an example for all future candidates that the law has teeth and it will be enforced,” Peters said. “If somebody is going to be on the state school board making decisions affecting children and teachers, everybody makes mistakes but this is beyond a mistake.”

Yep, we got had

Tuesday’s Huntsville Times published an “Editor’s note”:

Yep, we got had.

Several readers brought to our attention that a letter to the editor we published Saturday was part of a mass letter-writing scam.

The pro-President Obama letters signed by Ellie J. Light have appeared in scores of newspapers across the country, all purporting a local address.

It shouldn’t have happened, but it did and we regret it.  Upon receiving Light’s letter with only a signature, we e-mailed Light seeking identification information, which is typical of any letter that we receive that doesn’t have all the detail we require.  Light falsely reported to us a Huntsville address and zip code.

Thanks to the Times for informing their readers about the scam.  To the Times Editor who wrote the note – nice touch – you didn’t apologize, which is entirely appropriate – you acknowledged the problem and provided some details of your process.

I’m sure that The Times will review the “letter to the editor” process and make whatever improvements they think best.  Consider the following admission when reviewing the authentication process:

Reader ‘ivan’ admits that he scams newspapers using sockpuppets:

During campaigns, i sometimes draft letters for others to recast or adapt and send to the paper(s)… I did have some success in Parker’s [Griffith] campaign — his publicity man was good at getting letter signer-senders.

Democrat hack creates front group

Bob Lowry of  The Huntsville Times wrote “Consultant wants state to consider local firms for jobs”:

Jyles Machen, a Huntsville consultant and political action committee organizer who is retired from NASA, said he is forming the Alabama Works Coalition to support legislation to ban no-bid contracts in state government.

Jyles Machen heads a shady PAC named “Real Democrat PAC, The” (TRD PAC) – note how the acronym helps hide the name of the PAC.  Machen is a Democrat hack – even worse, he has no respect for elections.  Machen is one of the scum who tried to “hijack” the State Board of Education Republican primary in June 2008 – the SOS website used to report that his PAC pumped $100,000 into the Troy Smithwick puppet campaign (against incumbent Stephanie Bell).  Machen’s Secretary of State reports seem to have been scrubbed since I first looked at this last year (which is apparently legal – Machen reported the contribution but Smithwick didn’t report getting it – also apparently legal).  Fellow Democrat hack Steve Raby also pumped $100,000 into the attempted hijacking (Tennessee Valley PAC).

Here’s the story from Brett Blackledge of The Birmingham News “Money given to Republicans by AEA-funded PACs unprecedented, GOP officials say”:

“Traditionally, the party does not get involved in our primaries, but this is a unique situation where the Democratic Party and the AEA are fully funding candidates to run as Republicans,” GOP Chairman Mike Hubbard said…

“We encourage all Republican voters to not allow the Democrats to hijack our primary, specifically in the election for the state board of education, which, based on the levels of corruption that have been exposed, is the last place Democrats need to be in control”

BTW the Democrat-controlled State House Joint Contract Review Committee filed suit against Governor Riley and Paragon:

A judge recently dismissed a suit filed by the committee against Riley, Newton and Paragon Source. The judge said the committee had no standing and that it suffered no harm.

You may have heard the Alabama Works Coalition ads on WVNN – now you know it’s a Democrat ‘de-moralization’ trick.

E-mails didn’t skip critic Christy

Kudos to The Huntsville Times for putting Climategate on the front page in “State climatologist John Christy, a critic of global warming, mentioned in leaked ‘Climategate’ emails”.

It’s about time that the global warming fraud gets widespread notice.  The data was manipulated to support the fraud and now we know that the raw data has been missing for 20 years (the dog ate my data).  The problem is that the Obama administration still supports the faked conclusions and is apparently willing to destroy the economy to further the ‘green’ agenda. 

The earth warms, the earth cools.  It happens all the time.  This global warming fraud is a socialist attack on capitalist economies.  China is the biggest polluter in the world, and constricting the US economy is the answer. Huh?

All of this is breaking as Obama arrives in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week for a global summit on climate change. The president is expected to pledge the United States will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Christy maintains that the steps being proposed “won’t have much effect” on the air, but will affect the economies of the nations that follow them.

Does Christy ever worry that he might be wrong?

“What I fear most is a government going down the road of centrally planned solutions,” Christy said.

Welcome back Lee Roop, fairly nice job on the article.

ACORN New York abets human trafficking

Today, Big Government released yet another video showing soon-to-be-former ACORN New York employees helping undercover filmmakers ‘set up’ a brothel of underage girls trafficked from El Salvador.  James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles are proving that it’s more than just a couple of ‘bad acorns’ providing tax advice and housing assistance for child sex slavery – this is a systemic ethical problem.

As I said when calling for the abolition of slavery and human trafficking, most Democrats don’t knowingly approve of slavery or child prostitution, but these Democrats certainly illustrate a tolerance of it.  And while tolerating illegal activities is bad enough, these ACORN employees were offering to be COMPLICIT in setting up a brothel using trafficked children.

Need I remind readers that ACORN is a Democratic Party (although officially ‘non-partisan’) voter registration and get-out-the-vote machine or that President Obama used to conduct leadership training seminars with ACORN?  Or that House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) had announced an investigation into ACORN’s voter fraud and ‘protection racket’ only to abandon the investigations because “the powers that be decided against it” .