Sunday, 28 January 2007

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: DEMOCRAT-STYLE (AGAIN)

Ken Berwitz

Months ago I talked about Harry "the corpse"*** Reid's more-than-a-little-shady dealings (search back, you'll find it).  This included the tidy sum of about $60,000 handed to Reid through intermediaries of jack abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist who is currently serving well earned jail time.  Despite the fact that Reid was minority leader of the senate, mainstream media displayed virtually no interest in the story.

Weeks later, I posted an article in which abramoff talked about 6 - 8 Democratic senators directly involved in his dirty business.  Mainstream media didn't care about that either.

Months more have passed, still with virtually no coverage of these stories by media. Understandably, some people might take this to mean there was never any story there in the first place.  But just in case you're one of them, I strongly suggest you read today's LA TImes article about Reid, which can be found at: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-reid28jan28,0,5893951.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Below is the article's first segment, which details chapter and verse of one shady deal which Reid, now the majority leader, is directly involved in (the bold print is mine).  How many others are sitting there waiting to be exposed?  Your guess is as good as mine: 

A deal in the desert for Sen. Reid?

A bill he wrote could have affected the friend who sold the land.
By Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger, Times Staff Writers
January 28, 2007
BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ. It's hard to buy undeveloped land in booming northern Arizona for $166 an acre. But now-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid effectively did just that when a longtime friend decided to sell property owned by the employee pension fund that he controlled.

In 2002, Reid (D-Nev.) paid $10,000 to a pension fund controlled by Clair Haycock, a Las Vegas lubricants distributor and his friend for 50 years. The payment gave the senator full control of a 160-acre parcel in Bullhead City that Reid and the pension fund had jointly owned. Reid's price for the equivalent of 60 acres of undeveloped desert was less than one-tenth of the value the assessor placed on it at the time.

Six months after the deal closed, Reid introduced legislation to address the plight of lubricants dealers who had their supplies disrupted by the decisions of big oil companies. It was an issue the Haycock family had brought to Reid's attention in 1994, according to a source familiar with the events.

If Reid were to sell the property for any of the various estimates of its value, his gain on the $10,000 investment could range from $50,000 to $290,000.

It is a potential violation of congressional ethics standards for a member to accept anything of value -- including a real estate discount -- from a person with interests before Congress.

In a statement, Reid's spokesman Jon Summers said that the transaction was not a gift and that the price was due to the property's history and the fact that only a partial interest was sold. Reid's action on the lubricants issue was unrelated to the sale and reflected the senator's interest in fairness for small businesses, Summers said.

Reid "has never taken any official action to provide personal financial benefit to me, and I would never have asked him to," Clair Haycock has told The Times. Haycock's son, John, who runs the petroleum-products distribution company with him, said in a recent e-mail that it was "absolutely wrong" to connect the land sale and Reid's lubricants legislation, which did not pass.

Legislative efforts

Records and interviews show that beginning in the mid-1990s, Reid tried several times to push legislation that would have protected lubricants distributors from abrupt cancellations by their suppliers
. Though unsuccessful, the legislation sent a clear message to the oil firms that there was congressional interest in the matter, according to Sarah Dodge, then-legislative director for an industry group that worked on the bill.

By the time of the land sale, the Haycocks say, they had lost interest in the issue and were not aware that the legislation had been introduced.

Because an employee pension fund had owned the land Reid purchased, labor law experts contacted by The Times said, a below-market sale would raise additional questions. Pension fund trustees like Clair Haycock have a duty in most cases to sell assets for their market value, the experts said.

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Finally, one major newspaper has shown the minimal common decency to talk about the festering corruption of Harry Reid.  Where are the others?  Where is network news?  Where are keith ohbrothermann and chris mouthews?  They sure as hell can find time to talk about REPUBLICAN corruption, can't they?

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  The level of media bias in this country is breathtaking.

***why do I call Reid "the corpse"?  Sorry, you'll have to BUY OUR BOOK to find out. 


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