Douche of reality from the Dems' 'Mr K Street'

The Washington Monthly has a profile of Steny Hoyer - backstory for those of us who are politics latecomers, including one or standout points.

For instance, in the special election in 1981 in which Hoyer first came into the House,

Hoyer received strong support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), whose new chairman, Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Calif.), became intensely involved in the race--fostering a valuable long-term alliance between the two.

Coelho was the founder of the K Street Project, and cash-raiser extraordinaire for the House Dems in the 80s.

(Not, if understand matters aright, that, with Hoyer, Coelho could exactly be accused of corrupting a Jefferson Smith!)

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Trial lawyer is Grover Norquist's sugar-daddy!

It seems that the farmer and the cowman can be friends after all!

Just spotted a piece in the Globe from ten days ago (can't remember it covered anywhere else) about the leak of the donor list for Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.

On it, one finds the usual suspects: Scaife, various tribes of Indians and so forth.

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What Republicans Are Proud Of

I love hearing Republicans brag about things like cutting assistance to the poor and giving preferred tax status to the rich. These are the types of things they honestly believe are good for America and they never hesitate to remind us of it. And every time they remind me, it makes me more proud to be a progressive. The latest example comes to us from Tom DeLay, by way of Think Progress, from his interview with TIME.

The Democrats hate the fact that their culture of K Street has been changed from a totally dominated Democrat K Street [lobbying community] to a totally dominated Republican K Street. Nothing illegal about that at all. And we built that. When we took over in 1995, the K Street contributions to elections was 70/30--70 percent Democrat, 30 percent Republican. Today it's 60/40--60 percent Republican and 40 percent Republican. That's a change in culture. Democrats and the left hate that, and they have worked very hard to destroy it.

Believe it or not, I think there's actually some truth to what DeLay's saying. When the Republicans took over Congress, the Democratic Party had a far too cozy relationship with K Street, having been in the majority for decades. And there may even be some old establishment Democrats still around whose anger at the GOP is based on the fact that they hijacked K Street. But I'd argue that most Democrats today view the K Street Project as a gift. I know I do. By pulling the rug out from under Democrats when it comes to lobbyists, the GOP helped to force Democrats to refocus on ethics and honesty. As I've said before, there's no sense in trying to bribe someone who's out of power.

At least Sen. Rick Santorum, one of the architects of the K Street Project, knows enough to publicly disavow knowledge of it, even as he privately continues to direct it. People don't like the fact that corporate lobbyists own a political party. But most of the Republican leadership has become so entrenched in Washington that they just don't get that there's anything wrong with a little bribery among friends. They're so proud of it, they brag about it to TIME.

When DeLay says there was "a change in culture," he's got it all wrong. The Washington culture of corruption didn't undergo any meaningful change. If anything, it got worse. The Democrats were swapped out for Republicans, who proceeded to take the hostile takeover of the people's government to heights unimagined by their predecessors. This is what Republicans are proud of -- auctioning America off to the highest bidder.

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Democratic 'K Street Project' in action?

Huffpo has an interesting - perhaps rather too interesting for its own good - piece alleging a relationship between Hillary Clinton and a leading firm of lobbyists, Blank-Rome.

Apparently, the firm is preemptively hiring some Dem operatives just in case November brings a change of control in either house of Congress.

And Hill and - of all people - Barbara Boxer have supposedly got involved with a client of the firm's who is interested in selling the Federal government a fairly expensive piece of military equipment. (And who has been fined nearly $3 million by the SEC for making false claims about a company's profit projections.)

Just like the Killian memos, one's first reaction is: Rove stunt. Or someone's stunt. Probably belongs with the Vince Foster murder files.

Unless someone has some corroboration.

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Rick Santorum's Fake Charity Scam

Last week Santorum's little House of Fake Godliness was shattered by the well-researched Will Bunch expose in THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, which reminded me of how the Cunningham scandals started unwinding almost one year ago. Cunningham was undone by some monkey-business involving a bribe plan that involved mortgage financing. And that is exactly how Santorum has been bribed by some fat cat GOP corporate types as well.

This is far from Rick Santorum's first brush with severe ethics lapses. In fact, his whole K Street Project is one of the most corrupt and insidious plots ever perpetrated against the American people by their own legislators. But on top of all this, we now find out, courtesy of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, that Santorum was running one of those fake Republican charities (just like Abramoff, DeLay, Frist and other crooks currently in limbo between plea bargaining and prison terms).

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