Saturday, April 28, 2007
The Arrogance Continues
News reports this morning detail how House Speaker Jim Amann's three staff members spent 90 minutes before the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board on Thursday, arguing that they should "abide by 20 years of precedents" allowing legislative leaders to solicit lobbyists on behalf of their employers. Amann puffed later in the day that since he would no longer solicit lobbyists on behalf of his employer, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the defense of the practice was for the benefit of other lawmakers.
Amann dispatched former Democrat House leader Robert F. Frankel, and attorneys Laura Jordan and Christy L. Scott to argue that it's perfectly fine for the House speaker to solicit contributions to the charity that pays his salary from lobbyists who have business before him.
It is a fascinating thing to watch legislative Democrats lecture us on ethics and government reform, finger wagging with pomposity as they invoke the corruption of John Rowland, while simultaneously arguing on behalf of a corrupt practice.
John Rowland was absolutely corrupt, and he deserved to go to jail. He ended up in prison because our laws were effective. Democrats sometimes subtly, and sometimes overtly suggest that because of Rowland, corruption has Republicans origins.
I think this is an excellent opportunity to recount the recent history of legislative corruption.
State Senator Ernest Newton - DEMOCRAT: sentenced to five years in prison for accepting bribes and using campaign contributions for personal expenses. The self-proclaimed "Moses of [his] people" currently resides at Fort Dix, where he may or may not run into former Democrat Mayor of Bridgeport Joe Ganim, also serving time for corruption.
Frank DeJesus - DEMOCRAT: 2006 Candidate in the 3rd Assembly district in Hartford and ally of Mayor Perez was arrested on forgery, false statement, and falsely certifying oaths in connection with his attempts to pettition onto the ballot.
State Representative Barnaby Horton - DEMOCRAT: Paid a $10,000 fine plus given community service in connection with voter fraud in his primary against Rep. Ken Greene, trying to keep a legislative seat after his disappeared in redistricting in 2002.
State Representative Edwin Garcia - DEMOCRAT: Also a Hartford police officer, was prosecuted for accepting bribes in a food stamp scheme.
State Representative Donnie Sellers - DEMOCRAT: "I'm a politician. I ain't turning anything down" said Sellers, as he accepted a $200 bribe from a federal agent in a sting operation. Sellers offered to smooth the way for the obtaining of a pistol permit.
Can we recognize a pattern here?