Monday, February 22, 2010

The White House Is Accused Of Federal Crimes In Specter,Bennet Races. And The House Of Cards Comes Down

White House Accused of Federal Crime in Specter, Bennet Races

"Whoever solicits or receives … any….thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both." -- 18 USC Sec. 211 -- Bribery, Graft and Conflicts of Interest: Acceptance or solicitation to obtain appointive public office
 "In the face of a White House denial, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak stuck to his story yesterday that the Obama administration offered him a "high-ranking" government post if he would not run against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer
February 19, 2010

"D.C. job alleged as attempt to deter Romanoff"
Denver Post
September 27, 2009

A bombshell has just exploded in the 2010 elections.
For the second time in five months, the Obama White House is being accused -- by Democrats -- of offering high ranking government jobs in return for political favors. What no one is reporting is that this is a violation of federal law that can lead to prison time, a fine or both, according to Title 18, Chapter 11, Section 211 of the United States Code.
The jobs in question? Secretary of the Navy and a position within the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The favor requested in return? Withdrawal from Senate challenges to two sitting United States Senators, both Democrats supported by President Obama. The Senators are Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania and Michael Bennet in Colorado.
On Friday, Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, the Democrat challenging Specter for re-nomination, launched the controversy by accusing the Obama White House of offering him a federal job in exchange for his agreeing to abandon his race against Specter.
In August of 2009, the Denver Post reported last September, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina "offered specific suggestions" for a job in the Obama Administration to Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff, a former state House Speaker, if Romanoff would agree to abandon a nomination challenge to U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. Bennet was appointed to the seat upon the resignation of then-Senator Ken Salazar after Salazar was appointed by Obama to serve as Secretary of the Interior. According to the Post, the specific job mentioned was in the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Post cited "several sources who described the communication to The Denver Post."
The paper also describes Messina as "President Barack Obama's deputy chief of staff and a storied fixer in the White House political shop." Messina's immediate boss is White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.
Sestak is standing by his story. Romanoff refused to discuss it with the Denver paper. In both instances the White House has denied the offers took place. The Sestak story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported by Thomas Fitzgerald, can be found here, While the Denver Post story, reported by Michael Riley, from September 27, 2009, can be read here.
In an interview with Philadelphia television anchor Larry Kane, who broke the story on Larry Kane: Voice of Reason, a Comcast Network show, Sestak says someone -- unnamed -- in the Obama White House offered him a federal job if he would quit the Senate race against Specter, the latter having the support of President Obama, Vice President Biden and, in the state itself, outgoing Democratic Governor Ed Rendell. Both Biden and Rendell are longtime friends of Specter, with Biden taking personal credit for convincing Specter to leave the Republican Party and switch to the Democrats. Rendell served as a deputy to Specter when the future senator's career began as Philadelphia's District Attorney, a job Rendell himself would eventually hold.
Asked Kane of Sestak in the Comcast interview:
"Is it true that you were offered a high ranking job in the administration in a bid to get you to drop out of the primary against Arlen Specter?"
"Yes" replied Sestak.
Kane: "Was it Secretary of the Navy?"
To which the Congressman replied:
"No comment."
Sestak is a retired Navy admiral.
In the Colorado case, the Post reported that while Romanoff refused comment on a withdrawal-for-a-job offer, "several top Colorado Democrats described Messina's outreach to Romanoff to The Post, including the discussion of specific jobs in the administration. They asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject."
The Post also noted that the day after Romanoff announced his Senate candidacy, President Obama quickly announced his endorsement of Senator Bennet.
The discovery that the White House has now been reported on two separate occasions in two different states to be deliberately committing a potential violation of federal law -- in order to preserve the Democrats' Senate majority -- could prove explosive in this highly political year. The 60-seat majority slipped to 59 seats with the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, a Democrat, and the election of Republican Senator Scott Brown. Many political analysts are suggesting Democrats could lose enough seats to lose their majority altogether.
This is the stuff of congressional investigations and cable news alerts, as an array of questions will inevitably start being asked of the Obama White House.
Here are but a few lines of inquiry, some inevitably straight out of Watergate.
* Who in the White House had this conversation with Congressman Sestak?
* Did Deputy Chief of Staff Messina have the same conversation with Sestak he is alleged to have had with Romanoff -- and has he or anyone else on the White House staff had similar conversations with other candidates that promise federal jobs for political favors?
* They keep logs of these calls. How quickly will they be produced?
* How quickly would e-mails between the White House, Sestak, Specter, Romanoff and Bennet be produced?
* Secretary of the Navy is an important job. Did this job offer or the reported offer of the US AID position to Romanoff have the approval of President Obama or Vice President Biden?
* What did the President know and when did he know it?
* What did the Vice President know and when did he know it? (Note: Vice President Biden, in this tale, is Specter's longtime friend who takes credit for luring Specter to switch parties. Can it really be that an offer of Secretary of the Navy to get Sestak out of Specter's race would not be known and or approved by the Vice President? Does Messina or some other White House staffer -- like Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- have that authority?)
* What did White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel know, and when did he know it?
* What did Congressman Sestak know and when did he know it? Was he aware that the offer of a federal job in return for a political favor -- his withdrawal from the Senate race -- could open the White House to a criminal investigation?
* What did Senator Specter know about any of this and when did he know it? .
* What did Governor Rendell, who, as the titular leader of Pennsylvania Democrats, is throwing his political weight and machine to his old friend Specter, know about this? And when did he know it?
* Will the Department of Justice be looking into these two separate news stories, one supplied by a sitting United States Congressman, that paint a clear picture of jobs for political favors?
* Will Attorney General Holder recuse himself from such an investigation?
While in recent years there have been bribery scandals that centered on the exchange of favors for a business deal (Democrat William Jefferson, a Louisiana Congressman) or cash for earmarks (Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham), the idea of violating federal law by offering a federal job in return for a political favor (leaving two hotly contested Senate races in this instance) is not new.
Let's go back in history for a moment.
It's the spring of 1960, in the middle of a bitter fight for the Democratic presidential nomination between then Senators John F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson, Stuart Symington and the 1952 and 1956 nominee, ex-Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson.
Covering the campaign for what would become the grandfather of all political campaign books was journalist and JFK friend Theodore H. White. In his book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the President 1960, published in 1961, White tells the story of a plane flight with JFK on the candidate's private plane The Caroline. The nomination fight is going on at a furious pace, and White and Kennedy are having another of their innumerable private chats for White's book while the plane brings JFK back from a campaign swing where he spoke to delegates in Montana. 
The subject? Let's let White tell the story.
The conversation began in a burst of anger. A story had appeared in a New York newspaper that evening that an Eastern Governor had claimed that Kennedy had offered him a cabinet post in return for his Convention support. His anger was cold, furious. When Kennedy is angry, he is at his most precise, almost schoolmasterish. It is a federal offense, he said, to offer any man a federal job in return for a favor. This was an accusation of a federal offense. It was not so.
Let's focus on that JFK line again:
"It is a federal offense, he said, to offer any man a federal job in return for a favor."
With a fine and jail time attached if convicted.
What Larry Kane discovered with the response of Congressman Sestak -- and Sestak is sticking to his story -- combined with what the Denver Post has previously reported in the Romanoff case -- appears to be a series of connecting dots.
A connecting of dots -- by Democrats -- that leads from Colorado to Pennsylvania straight into the West Wing of the White House.
And possibly the jail house.
"It is a federal offense," said John F. Kennedy, "to offer any man a federal job in return for a favor."
And so it is.


  1. The Dems are in a shit full of trouble. So much coruption in the Democratic party. John is right this blog rocks. Thanks for telling me about it.

  2. Not exactly breaking news that the Hypocrats are corrupt!! LOL

    See Joey, just like I told you, that "Impeach Obama" billboard was just in anticipation of things to come.

    Anyway, I'm sure this will go the way of every other liberal/regressive/Hypocrat law-breaking, just like the Black Panthers at the polling sites and Clinton's adventures with perjury.

  3. I thought Clinton got impeached because he stuck his cigars in his interns. Thats a big no no for you progressives that can't tell right from wrong. And he lied about it. What a sick f$%@.

  4. Study: Majority of Americans "Live at the Expense of the Rest"

    "According to the Tax Foundation, 60% of the population now gets more in government benefits than it pays in taxes. What does it say about a society in which more than half the people live at the expense of the rest? Worse, the dependent class is growing. The 60% will soon be 70%."

    So reports John Stossel in a recent column. (The Tax Foundation is a non-partisan tax research group in Washington, D.C.)

    Here are more details, from the Tax Foundation study Stossel cites:

    "[I]n 2010, before any of Obama's major policy initiatives -- such as health care reform, cap and trade, and tax rate increases -- are enacted, the bottom 60% of American families will as a group receive more in government spending than they pay in taxes.

    "The lowest-income families will be targeted for $10.44 in spending for every dollar they pay in taxes. Remarkably, families in the middle-income group -- who are the target of many Obama policies -- already receive $1.15 for every dollar they pay in taxes.

    "By contrast, the top 40% of families pay more in taxes as a group than they receive in government spending benefits. In the case of the highest-income families, they are currently targeted for 43 cents in government spending for every dollar they pay in taxes..."

    Playwright & critic George Bernard Shaw once said: "A government with the policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul."

    What will it mean for America when 70% or more of citizens are Pauls?

  5. Bruce, how was your trip to Madison?

  6. Would Like to Hear From Administration on This Obvious Misunderstanding BUT Its Probablly BUSHES Fault! Libs Got Some Splainin To DO But Wont!

    Tiffany Good Info! Like California, New York or Michigan, They Have More Pauls Now and Whats Next! Bankruprsy or Government Bail Out!
    Whole Country Can Take These States as Examples of OUR Future SPENGING Money WE Dont HAVE and DEFICITS We Will Never Be Able to Pay Off!

  7. FAILk, did you drive your Prius? That must require an awfully long extension cord ... LOL

    Hope you were able to bring it to a controlled stop with the E-brake!

  8. Toyota looks like they pulled a scam to save millions by saying that it was a faulty floor mats. What POS that company is. And the best part is they blame Obama for his hostile policies towards business.

  9. I just had a glass of my homemade mead wine. It's my first time. It came out great. I can't believe it taste so good. It's good to learn the things our grandparant knew. They were very wise on how to make things themselves.

  10. Those repubs in glass houses need to watch themselves. Nixon did far worse than any Democrat has ever been accused!

  11. Well Nixon ain't running the country NOW is he CARL? LOL

  12. Bruce Fealk, couldn't you get some of your friends to come over here and shut these assholes up?

  13. Hey Carl Gotta Admit You Skipped Bush and Went Back 35 Years! Well done Now Back to your Time Machine! WOW! 16:47 Post Education is a Wonderful Thing to Bad That Ship Sailed Before You Got on Board!LOL

  14. Way to read the article which mentions both Nixon and Kennedy! I'm not the one in a time warp, I'm just the only one who reads the whole article instead of just scanning the headlines. I guess reading all those big words is too hard for Glenn Beck followers.

  15. Chris - Don't you think you are stretching a point regarding the Sustack issue? I believe Joe, but I think none of us "non lawyers" can really tell if this matter constitutes a bribe in the legal sense - as least as this statue implies. I say, if that is your criteria, then by all means, let us indict Dick Cheney for outing a CIA agent.

  16. Sorry Carl, here's the problem. I don't know if the current situation is illegal and constitutes a violation, but I do know that you don't make a valid argument by stating, "The other guy did something bad too, so stop complaining about this one". It doesn't exactly put you on a firm foundation.

  17. vomamike, you and Carl seem to be on the same path. It appears you aren't denouncing the act, you simply don't know if it constitutes a bribe. Are you suggesting that if it doesn't, you see no problem with this type of behavior?

    Oh and by the way, the Dick Cheney connection is weak and has been disproven by any number of experts. That 's almost as tired as the, "Bush lied, people died".

  18. The Republicans sucked so we voted in Democrats. They suck much worse then the Republicans ever did. Both parties suck just the Democrats are the biggest suckholes ever.

  19. And Paul knocks it out of the park.

  20. Bombshell? Nope. The bomb squad (aka the American press) has defused them both...

  21. Sorry Paul but there is a huge difference from speculation and inuendo verses actual scandal! We're comparing how government works to the first -gate scandal of many for Repubs. So no two wrongs don't make a right but they sure do make a rightwinger!

  22. To me its seems logical that the White House did not violate the statute. first they did not offer a "thing of value" and second they did not ask for support of a "person any appointive office or place". But you hacks can read it like you want.

    But as long as we are talking bribery, lets look at the rightwing response to this.

    "On the House floor, Nick Smith was told business interests would give his son $100,000 in return for his father's vote. When he still declined, fellow Republican House members told him they would make sure Brad Smith never came to Congress. After Nick Smith voted no and the bill passed, [Rep.] Duke Cunningham of California and other Republicans taunted him that his son was dead meat."

    Now that violates United States Code, Title 18, Section 201

    "directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, or offers or promises any public official or any person who has been selected to be a public official to give anything of value to any other person or entity with intent to influence any official act." …

  23. Joey, I don't follow your story. I read it a few times and it's pretty confusing. The main sticking point with me is, who the hell is the legislator, Nick or Brad?!?

    However, it doesn't really matter, because I think I can catch the jist of it, and it seems to involve bribery of some sort. I do know Duke Cunningham REPUBLICAN (there, does that make you happy?) was convicted of something along those lines, as he should be. Just like anyone that bribes anyone should be. I'm surprised that you say a job has no value, as it has value to me and millions of other Americans.

    I don't think you will find anyone on these comment boards, with the exception of FAILk, who doesn't think graft and corruption should be stamped out. I also think you will fail to find anyone, once again with the exception of FAILk, who thinks corruption is limited to the other party. Right? What we need to do is root out corruption everywhere it is, at every level, and eliminate it. Or at the very least, make our representatives vote the way WE want them to, not the way the corporations want them to. Are you with us on this point, or are you all about picking out old stories in which, in the case of Duke Cunningham at least, justice was served?


Please keep it clean and nice. Thank you for taking the time to post you thought. It means a lot to me that you do this.