October 17, 2006

Harry Reid IS the Culture of Corruption!

Harry Reid IS the "Culture Of Corruption". Read "Reid Him His Rights" by my good friend Big Dog, then come back and comment.

A taste:

After the land was rezoned and then sold, Reid made a huge profit and reported it to Congress as a sale of his own property. The way he did business, as the story points out, allowed him to transfer ownership, legal liability and tax consequences and then allowed him to make a fortune off the sale. Once again the appearance of impropriety is enough to make this bad but the dealings indicate Reid used his political position for personal gain and this is a violation of the law. Reid dismisses this as an election year smear tactic but has directed that his financial records and ethics papers be corrected to report the things the way they should have been in the first place. Reid calls this the correction of an oversight, when a Republican is involved he calls it a culture of corruption.

Harry Reid, how do you plead?

Update: From Investors Business Daily:

We remember the feeding frenzy over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's alleged violation of federal tax law in using tax-exempt funds to fund his allegedly political college course, "Renewing American Civilization."

After a 3 1/2-year ordeal, and a $300,000 fine paid to the House Ethics Committee, the IRS finally ruled that the sponsoring organization, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, "did not serve the private interests of Mr. Gingrich" and was both apolitical and completely legal.

Which is more than you can say about Reid's shenanigans. Gingrich wasn't offered a "do-over" or the opportunity to amend anything. In his case, it was sentence first, trial later. But then, unlike Reid, he was both innocent and a Republican.

Posted by GM Roper at October 17, 2006 06:55 AM | TrackBack

Of course, Reid claims that it's dirty Republican politics. Maybe his culture should merge with another Culture Club and sweep streets as punishment. http://www.cinemablend.com/music/Boy-George-Ordered-To-Pick-Up-Trash-791.html

BTW, G.M. Please tell me that you were never called Boy George when you were young.

Posted by Woody at October 17, 2006 07:13 AM

GM is still so young...that he is called Boy George, though he, I think - in flights of fancy, thinks he's King George. Just kiddin'.

So, what IS the perception? We all know. Republicans are rich (and got that way off the backs of the poor...who ARE that way because of Republicans) and the Democrats are the ones with compassion and live very modestly. Right. Let's see, the following are really poor:

Kennedy (any of them)
Clinton (the one in office and the one that will not go away)

Sure the wealthy among the Reps surely must be long. One of the awful deals in politics in the last 40 years is you have to have lots of money to get elected. It is more about image (re: advertizing) than substance. The question, however, how is it the the Dems have been able to sell themselves as the champions of the minorities, and the average American? Seems to me that are living large. Note: I didn't throw in all the celebrities...who are not exactly grubbin' for the next meal.

Posted by Tad at October 17, 2006 08:22 AM

Corruption is no respecter of political party affiliation. Unfortunately, the interpretation of corruption is increasingly being governed by party affiliation. In the process, moral bearings are vanishing, leaving the ship of state rudderless in a deepening fog. Quoting the bard:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Posted by civil truth at October 17, 2006 12:22 PM

I'm pretty cynical about the purity of anyone who rises to the top of Nevada politics, but I'm even more cynical about partisan hacks on the right-wing blowhardsphere who sling mud with an air of impunity because it suits their fancy, facts be damned. The only "new" story referenced here is that Harry Reid bought a parcel of land with a friend in 1998, at a cost for his share of $400,000. He transferred the land, legally, to an LLC entity which allows him to retain his interest in the land with some of the benefits of a corporation over a simple partnership. He continued to list himself as the owner of his share of the land on disclosure documents related to conflict of interest until the land actually changed hands, i.e. was sold to someone else. The land was sold in 2004, with Reid's share of the sale being $1.1 million, netting him $700,000 profit - very handsome. Can anyone here tell me what was illegal or even improper about any of this ? Clearly if Reid had transferred the land to another entity (he recieved no payment, merely an equivalent interest in the LLC) and quit reporting that the land was his, there would be evidence of an attempt to cover up some dealings. But he continued to report his effective ownership of the land. Is there anything here other than a possible technical question over disclosing a change in the legal form that his interest in the land took ? At least one outright false statement your friend trades in - other than the GMR bull about "How do you plead?" implying some criminality - is that he netted $1.1 million dollars - the actual profit was $700,000. This is a profit approaching 200% in 6 years on a land parcel - hardly unheard of among powerful insiders in fast-growth areas like Nevada. (George Bush made a profit of over 2000% in less than 9 years on his initial (and paltry) investment of $608,000 in the Texas Rangers, with a significant chunk of the value-added owing to the use of eminent domain and taxpayer's money to build a new baseball park, iin the Great American Tradition of Stadium Socialism for Crony Capitalists). Reid's failure to disclose the transfer to an LLC which he retained an ownership interest in equivelant to his original investment in the land is a non-story, because he continued to disclose ownership of the land and anyone holding property in an LLC must disclose profit from any eventual sales and pay the taxes personally, which Reid also did. As I said, I doubt that Harry Reid is pure as the driven snow, but if you've got some goods on him try to keep your story factual and in at least reasonable perspective. "Senator makes money off of legal land deal! Fails to report that it was held in a legal LLC!" doesn't cut it. You look foolish, grasping at thin straws, in part because you haven't even bothered to check your basic facts. I'll also state that I don't approve of stuff like LLCs on principle, because they are instruments that are generally available only to relative elites - they originated in Texas to give law partners some of the liability options of actual corporations without actually incorporating. Now most states have them. But in the pantheon of current Beltway scandals, this is minor league silliness that is a measure of your desperation as the GOP sinks into it's own pool of slime and serial failures. I'm eagerly awaiting your expose of Curt Weldon. You'll surely get to it sooner or later.

I don't know why I bother with responding to this stuff, given what routinely turns up in these posts - like the truly nauseating slam at the man who won the Nobel Prize. What shameless parochialism and ignorance that one displayed. One thing you did get right was Freddy Fender.

Posted by reg at October 17, 2006 03:20 PM

Incidentally, Woody...regarding your Nobel Prize post about how you never get any offers of unsecured credit from real all-American banks, unlike those grasping, undeserving Third Worlders who are getting micro-loans handed to them by do-gooders, I've got a wastebasket near full of offers for credit cards that came in my mail just this week. If you're strapped, I could send the forms along to you.

Posted by reg at October 17, 2006 03:33 PM

OFF TOPIC, but in response to reg....

reg, I have no problem with the micro-loans in other lands, as long as it's not my money at risk (and, I wonder if the U.S. supported World Bank backs these loans.) My objection was that the head of the U.N. stated that people had some universal right to unsecured loans. Credit is a privilege given to those who earn it, just like a drivers license. It is not a right like voting.

Technically, there is a difference between term loans that are paid off on a systematic basis, which I referenced, and credit cards that encourage borrowing beyond people's abilities to pay so that the card issuers can charge interest rates up to 25% and 5% late fees for people who get into trouble with them. Credit card issuers in this country can afford to take risks with that high rate of return. And, at least, it's their own money to decide to do that.

In addition and against my position, credit card lenders got Congress to put in special bankruptcy rules to protect them and give them special consideration above other creditors. In those cases, other creditors are subsidizing the credit card companies.

Maybe you can be a do-gooder and send your credit cards to third world countries so that needy people can use them like the micro-loans that you favor. You can let the users pay you back as they can while you pay off the balance each month. But, liberals usually are only generous with other people's money, so I wouldn't hold out hope for you to do that.

Posted by Woody at October 17, 2006 05:16 PM

Reg, how ya doin?

GM, I think it's about time you get an interview with Tom Delay on the site.

And Woody could interview Ralph Reed!

I'd pay for the privilege....:)

Posted by jim hitchcock at October 17, 2006 06:20 PM

It's my understanding the problem is that Reid's deal, while not against any specific laws, was not disclosed - which led some to believe there was some impropriety or something to hide. But then, I understand he also was found to have used campaign funds improperly.

The thing of it is, there is far too much impropriety going on within our Congress; too much operating on the fringes of the laws they write. That's not including the ones outright breaking laws. Too much utter stupidity, gutter-sniping, and an absolute confusion between what's good for the country and its citizens and what will simply help them keep or obtain power.

Frankly, each party has proven to be just as dirty as the other and both parties have succesfully exposed enough of the other that we're getting the true picture of what these people really are.

Posted by Oyster at October 17, 2006 06:55 PM

Hey, I voted against Ralph Reed in our last primary. However, I have the distinction of meeting and being represented by both Newt Gingrich and Lynn Westmoreland.

Posted by Woody at October 17, 2006 07:17 PM

reg, you are so full of yourself it is positively breathtaking. If you came here more often, and you obviously like doing so, you come here often enough, you would see that I take on the repubs fairly often. I'm sick of the corruption of BOTH parties. This post is about Reid's hypocracy in calling someone else "corrupt."

Reid dismisses this as an election year smear tactic but has directed that his financial records and ethics papers be corrected to report the things the way they should have been in the first place. Reid calls this the correction of an oversight, when a Republican is involved he calls it a culture of corruption
There is also Reid's paying Christmas gifts with campaign money... flatly and totally against the law!

Posted by GM at October 17, 2006 08:55 PM

"reg, you are so full of yourself it is positively breathtaking."

I wish someone would also introduce him to the concept of the paragraph. When someone is so quick to get riled up that they ignore punctuation, spelling, grammar, syntax, etc., I don't get riled myself, but am inclined to simply ignore them. When it becomes a chore to read someone's missive I am suddenly reminded of the joys of painting or watching grass grow.

Posted by Oyster at October 18, 2006 04:52 AM

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