Money causes corruption in politics the way guns cause crime and cake causes obesity. Money isn’t corrupt, it’s just money; politicians taking money in exchange for favors is corrupt. Rewarding donors for their support is corrupt: See Solyndra for an example.
But Democrats, the political party that raised and spent a billion dollars in the last two presidential elections, want people to think that two brothers, Charles and David Koch, are attempting to buy Congress. Sadly, with the media on their side and their voters’ serial incuriosity on matters of truth, many believe it.
No one has been more vocal of late on the “evils of the un-American Koch brothers” than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. But before Reid was beating a path from his office to the Senate floor to attack private citizens, he was busy enriching himself through some now legendary corruption that took him from a man of somewhat modest means to a multi-millionaire – all while being a “public servant.”
That’s a neat trick for an “honest” man.
Most of Reid’s shadiness has been ignored by the media and Democrats. But his hypocrisy hasn’t slowed his denunciations against others; it seems only to have emboldened him.
Remember the Jack Abramoff scandal? Nearly every Republican was “bought and paid for” by the corrupt lobbyist, according to Democrats and the media. Starting Jan. 1, 2006, I was press secretary for Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont. Burns, one of the few senators who wasn’t rich, was knee-deep in the Abramoff scandal since Abramoff represented Indian tribes and Burns was chairman of a committee that oversaw Indian relations.
But buried in the faux outrage was the fact that as Harry Reid accused Republicans of selling their souls for money from “Abramoff and his associates,” he forgot to mention his own pockets were filled by those same people. Reid, in doublespeak worthy of Orwell, always added “and his associates” when discussing money that went to Republicans but mentioned only Abramoff himself when talking about whether Abramoff money went to Democrats.
Why? Because the “associates” contributed to both Republicans and Democrats, but Abramoff himself gave only to Republicans. He is, after all, a Republican. If Reid included money from the associates that went to Republicans, it built the totals they had received. But if he discussed only Abramoff’s personal giving, he could say Democrats received none of that. So, miraculously, once this new unit of measure was applied, Reid and his fellow Democrats had clean hands. Reid still did Abramoff’s bidding, but not at his behest, or so they’d like you to believe.
In other words, Republican senators who got a couple thousand dollars from Abramoff personally were said by Reid to be bought and paid for, but the $68,000 Reid got from Abramoff’s co-workers and clients had no influence on him at all. That’s some creative math there.
In the case of my old boss, this lie worked. Burns was defeated, then after the election was cleared of any wrongdoing. Harry Reid, who did the same things Burns was accused of, was elevated from minority leader to majority leader when Democrats took the Senate in the 2006 election thanks in large part to that different unit of measure he applied to others but not himself.
This has always been the Reid Way – the rules don’t apply to him.
On his official Senate website he has a page “The Facts About The Koch Brothers.” Using our tax dollars on his government website, Reid’s first “point” is that David Koch “called social security ‘The Ultimate Pyramid Scheme’ and promised to abolish and replace it.” This was from a 1980 campaign. 1980! By the way, he wanted to “abolish and replace it,” so no one was talking about leaving seniors out to dry.
If we’re going to hop into the Wayback Machine, we need not go back that far to find something on which a politician seems to have had a change of heart. In 1994, a U.S. Senator wrote the following:
•Our doors should remain open, but only wide enough to admit those to whom we can realistically offer opportunity and security. To leave the door unguarded is to create an environment in which no one can live securely and peacefully. And so I am sponsoring a bill in the Senate to reduce immigration – legal and illegal.
•Most politicians agree that illegal immigration should end. My legislation would double border patrols and accelerate the deportation process for criminals and illegal entrants.
•Opponents of immigration reform cry racism or point toward our historic role as a nation of immigrants. Charges of racial bias are unfounded.
That senator was Harry Reid writing in the Los Angeles Times. He’s allowed to “evolve” on an issue, but David Koch is to be held to account, at taxpayer expense, for opinions he held 34 years ago.
Harry Reid illustrates that when you control the unit of measure, you are held to zero standards yourself.
The cherry on top of Reid’s anti-American attacks on two brothers who’ve created more jobs and employ more people than Reid’s entire caucus is that he’s gotten donations from Koch lobbyists. Whether Reid then funneled that money to family members is unknown – it was 2003. But given his penchant for slipping his granddaughter $31,000 in campaign cash for junk jewelry, anything is possible.
Harry Reid will go down as one of, if not the, most corrupt people ever to serve in Congress. He became a millionaire while a “public servant,” tainted other senators for doing exactly what he was doing and used tax dollars to attack private citizens. Harry Reid should not be in the Senate; he should be prison, and he should die there. But he won’t ever go, he’s protected. Rather than face charges for his corruption, Reid will remain the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, be they in the majority or minority. Justice will have to wait, but it eventually comes for all of us.