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9/22/05

The Pork in Katrina Relief

This should just piss YOU off! Our illustrious leaders at it again. They are sneaking pork into the bill for katrina relief!

From the NY Times September 22, 2005

Gaming the Price of Leadership

Never underestimate the brazenness of incumbent politicians determined to sneak unfair rule changes into the game. Incumbent treachery is under way in the Senate, where Republicans are using a big spending bill as cover to try to gut campaign donation limits and give themselves an eight-to-one spending advantage over election challengers.

The move has the two champions of the campaign finance reform law - John McCain of Arizona and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin - livid, and demanding a showdown vote. That's the least this sorry bit of political greed deserves. Any lawmaker who supports it should be put on a watch list of those machine hacks capable of stealing hot stoves.

The plan, slipped into the transportation spending bill, would free incumbents to make unlimited "soft money" donations to the national party from their misnamed "leadership" political action committees. These are lawmakers' secondary campaign slush funds, in effect, but with a spending range limited by law until now. Under the Senate's snooker move, an incumbent's donation to the national party would be free for recycling right back through the new loophole as found money for the donor's own campaign. Allowing that would circumvent the three-year-old reform limits and establish dual campaign standards: a free and easy one for incumbents, and a tight one for challengers, barred from running "leadership" kitties. Challengers would be restricted to collecting $4,200 per person for a campaign, while a senator could collect $34,200 per donor for the same race.

The shamelessness of this ploy is underscored by its inclusion in a bill that includes some emergency money for Hurricane Katrina repairs - added cover, no doubt, in the eyes of supporters, whose first priority is political self-preservation.

Katrina is already being brandished like a scythe by House conservatives, who are determined to use the reconstruction cost as an excuse to further their age-old campaign to eliminate valuable government programs, including the public financing law that was intended to hold down the outrageously booming costs of presidential elections. If the Senate games the campaign law, the injustice can only grow in the House. End of Times Editorial

You know if you read my blog that I believe politicians from BOTH parties are lowlifes. Whether it is republicrooks or democrooks makes no difference to me. The fact they will use a disaster like katrina to sneak things into law shows that they care nothing about anyone and only about being re-elected.

They used the 911 tragedy to pass law enforcement legislation they had been trying to pass for years, so it's no surprise this disaster becomes another opportunity for them to sneak more legislation in. Before 911, several controversial law enforcement tools were under scrutiny, eschelon to name one, Carnivore to name another. Before 911 these programs were being scrutinized, mostly Carnivore because it affected illegal surveillance of American Citizens.

But after 911 everyone forgot about it and with the Patriot Act giving law enforcement the ability to search your home, your computer, your email, the books you read at the library, and anything else they want WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A SEARCH WARRANT, Carnivore seems harmless in comparison. No need to get a Judge to sign a search warrant means they no longer need probable cause. The checks and balances our forefathers put into the constitution and bill of rights is gon e. Before police had to prove to a judge they had probable cause and get his signature before they could search anything of yours. Now they just inform the judge they are doing it and don't need him to agree that there is probable cause.

Worse than that, if they invoke other parts of the patriot act, they can arrest you, not give you access to a lawyer, if they do give you access to a lawyer they can listen in, they can hold you indefinitely without charging you with a crime or giving you due process. Does that sound like America? If we allow terrorism to take away our rights, then the terrorists have already won.

Sorry to get a little off target since this article is not about the patriot act or terrorism. However it does show a pattern of abuse by our lawmakers. The fact they will stoop as low as necessary to get what they or their financial backers want should alarm everyone who considers themselves an American Patriot. If you only spent 2 hours per week really finding out what is going on and doing a little research you would find out some very troubling issues on your own. Maybe you'd even become a blogger. Just maybe you'd think twice before voting an all republican or all democrat ticket, MAYBE YOU WOULD JUST THINK.


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