Ethical Lapses Ignored


So Senator Reid has now disclosed that not only did he fail to report the fact that he sold land to a friends LLC in return for an ownership stake in the company, but that he failed to report two other land deals:

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid announced yesterday that he is amending his ethics reports to Congress to more fully account for a Las Vegas land deal that allowed him to collect $1.1 million for property he hadn’t personally owned for three years.

The Nevada Democrat also disclosed that he failed to report two other smaller land deals on those same reports.

Reid acted several days after the Associated Press reported the senator didn’t disclose to Congress that he first sold land to a friend’s company back in 2001 and took an ownership stake in the company. He didn’t collect the seven- figure payout until the company sold the land again in 2004 to others.

Reid portrayed the 2004 sale as a personal sale of land, making no mention of the company’s ownership or its role in the sale.

Reid said his amended ethics reports will list the 2001 sale and the company, called Patrick Lane LLC.

Not only that, it is now known that he used campaign donations to pay for Christmas bonuses for the hotel staff where he resides:

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid paid cash for a $750,000 condo at the Ritz-Carlton where he lives. But when it comes to giving the doorman and other support staff Christmas bonuses, he’s been using campaign donations instead of his own money.

Federal election law bars candidates from converting political donations for personal use.

Questioned about the campaign expenditures by The Associated Press, Reid’s office said Monday his lawyers had approved them but he nonetheless was personally reimbursing his campaign for the $3,300 he had directed to the staff holiday fund at his residence.

In typical Democrat fashion he blames everything on the big bad Republicans:

Reid labeled the AP story as the “latest attempt” by Republicans to affect the election. AP reported last week that it learned of the land deal from a former Reid adviser who had concerns about the way the deal was reported to Congress.

Which I find quite curious. This Senator sat on the Ethics Committee but failed to follow the rules on disclosure back in 2001, how does he explain this? It’s the Republicans fault. Ed Morrissey has more on his lunacy:

Reid’s connection to an attorney involved in a bribery case that directly related to zoning decisions in Clark County, where they both owned property, was a Rovian plot set in motion in 1998. And now Reid’s new disclosures of property in an area where he has taken an intense legislative interest somehow relates to Republicans, when no one even mentioned the parcels in question — because Reid failed to disclose them during his entire time as Senate Minority Leader, while he has castigated Republicans for alleged ethical lapses.

[…]As far as the Christmas bonuses go, it pales in significance to Reid’s land deals and rule breaking on personal finances, but they still have some significance as an indicator of Reid’s indifference to the rules. No one much cared how the money wound up in the hands of the hotel staff, so the “clerical error” explanation makes some sense. In Reid’s organization, the rules don’t apply, and this rule means a lot less to the taxpayers than Reid’s manipulation of federal land deals.

Meanwhile, while doing a search for news articles today about Reid on Lexis-Nexus I found 97 articles. Doing one for Foley, you guessed it, 146 articles. So a story about a man who sent an email asking for a picture from a 16 year old, who sent IM’s of a sexual nature to a 18 year old, AND is over 3 weeks old is STILL being printed more often then a story that is only a few days old about the ethical wrongdoings of a Democrat.

No bias here?

How about the Weldon story.

Federal agents raided the homes of Rep. Curt Weldon’s daughter and one of his closest political supporters yesterday as part of an investigation into whether the veteran Republican congressman used his influence to benefit himself and his daughter’s lobbying firm, according to sources familiar with the investigation.The investigation focuses on actions the Pennsylvania congressman took that may have aided clients of the business created by his daughter, Karen Weldon, and longtime Pennsylvania political ally Charles Sexton, according to three of the sources. …

The investigation focuses on Weldon’s support of the Russian-managed Itera International Energy Corp., one of the world’s largest oil and gas firms, while that company paid fees to Solutions North America, the company that Karen Weldon and Sexton operate.

The congressman, for example, intervened on Itera’s behalf when U.S. officials canceled a federal grant to the company. He also encouraged U.S. companies to do business with Itera at a time when its reputation had been sullied by accusations of Russian corruption.

Funny thing about this story, it’s not new. It was reported by none other, CREW, back in 2004, and the story was reported to the House Ethics Committee who have apparently cleared him. But now, a few weeks before an election, there is a FBI raid.

Something smells fishy, enter Ed Morrissey once again:

The Congressman, in an appearance at the University of Pennsylvania last night, claimed that an associate of John Conyers and Chuck Schumer had campaigned for this investigation to be opened by the FBI during the election. Melanie Sloan now heads CREW, the same outfit that had its fingers on the infanous Mark Foley instant messages, and Weldon says she’s leaked the information on the story to the press.

Ok, so whats the back story on this investigation? Weldon’s daughter, Karen Weldon, and Charles Sexton started a lobbying firm called “Solutions North America” and began lobbying for a Russian oil company called Itera. They attempted to lobby for gas and oil contracts inside the USA for the company but were unsuccessful from the time they started working for Itera in 2002 until they ended the business relationship in 2004.

Weldon tried to drum up support for the company by complaining to the Trade and Development Agency and attended the opening of their American headquarters. The allegation is that the only reason his daughters firm got the contract in the first place was because of Weldon’s influence. Kinda funny since the LA Times reported in 2003 that Reid has the same kind of problems:

WASHINGTON — It was the kind of legislation that slips under the radar here.

The name alone made the eyes glaze over: “The Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002.” In a welter of technical jargon, it dealt with boundary shifts, land trades and other arcane matters — all in Nevada.

As he introduced it, Nevada’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Harry Reid, assured colleagues that his bill was a bipartisan measure to protect the environment and help the economy in America’s fastest-growing state.

What Reid did not explain was that the bill promised a cavalcade of benefits to real estate developers, corporations and local institutions that were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees to his sons’ and son-in-law’s firms, federal lobbyist reports show.

The Howard Hughes Corp. alone paid $300,000 to the tiny Washington consulting firm of son-in-law Steven Barringer to push a provision allowing the company to acquire 998 acres of federal land ripe for development in the exploding Las Vegas metropolitan area.

Barringer is listed in federal lobbyist reports as one of Hughes’ representatives on the measure that his father-in-law introduced.

Other provisions were intended to benefit a real estate development headed by a senior partner in the Nevada law firm that employs all four of Reid’s sons — by moving the right-of-way for a federal power-transmission line off his property and onto what had been protected federal wilderness.

The governments of three of Nevada’s biggest cities — Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson — also gained from the legislation, which freed up tens of thousands of acres of federal land for development and annexation. All three were represented by Reid’s family members who contacted his staff on their clients’ behalf.

So tell me, when is Senator Reids offices going to get raided?

Be that it may, unless their is evidence to suggest that Weldon received compensation for legislation (nothing of the sort has been introduced) then what we have here is Weldon doing the same thing that Reid did for his family members and a company donating eight grand to his campaign coffers for a photo op.

Clarice Feldman believes its the Clinton war-room behind this recent emergence of a two year old complaint:

The FBI gets a lot of tips on politicians. But it doesn’t act on all of them in a great blaze of publicity, just a few weeks before elections. And not many of them are specifically tipped by the Soros outfit CREW.

Well, Curt Weldon and his daughter are getting the full CREW treatment.

Weldon happens to be one of the few high-level members of Congressional Intelligence Committees to insist on reform in the intelligence bureaucracy, to expose the Clinton Follies in national security, and to play a consistently positive role in limiting post-Soviet proliferation of nukes and scientists.

The Clintonistas have it in for Curt Weldon; which means that the most incompetent collection of foreign policy flunkeys just want to continue their coverups.

Even when Clinton blew up on Wallace a few weeks ago he couldn’t help but mention Weldon’s name:

CLINTON: Of course they do. Of course they do. It’s a big load of hooey. We’ve got nine Iraq war veterans running for House seats, a three-star admiral who was on my National Security Council staff, who also fought terror, by the way, is running for the seat of Curt Weldon in Pennsylvania.

So in the end what we have is a concerted effort by Clinton’s team (which includes the Democrats, the MSM, and CREW) to effect this election with investigations about a gay man having internet sex with an adult and a two year old allegation that was already sent to the House ethics committee. All the while that same team ignores and belittles the ethical lapses of their own people.

Sound about right?


Redstate is reporting that their sources tell them Reid may be a kaput:

Sources tell RedState that disgruntled Democrat staffers are working with a handful of Democrat Senators in preparations to oust Harry Reid after November 7th.

The staffers and senators feel that Reid tied their hands and they were not able to fully capitalize on this election cycle. Feeling that they will not recapture the Senate, but that they will make it very close, the plotting has begun. With the ever aggressive Mitch McConnell in line to become Majority Leader, the staffers and senators think they’ll need someone better able to match wits with McConnell.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

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