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GOP'S CULTURE OF CORRUPTION« Thread Started on Jan 16, 2006,

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:33 am
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GOP'S CULTURE OF CORRUPTION« Thread Started on Jan 16, 2006, 1:02pm » --------------------------------------------------------------------------------GOP'S CULTURE OF CORRUPTIONABRAMOFF AND THE GOP: MARRIED FOR THE MONEY: Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has pleaded guilty to federal charges in Washington and Miami, clearing the way for him to cooperate in a massive government investigation of influence peddling involving members of Congress. [AP, 1/3/05] Jack Abramoff's unique relationship with Republican Members of Congress and political operatives financially benefited him and his political cronies. Abramoff has had a history of working for Republican causes, has benefited from his connections to them, and has helped them raise significant amounts of money for their causes. In a move that smacks of desperation, Republicans have attempted to connect Democrats to corrupt mega-lobbyist and RNC Executive Committee member Jack Abramoff. But there's no comparison -- there is a distinct difference between Democrats receiving contributions from their constituents and the Republican Party wholeheartedly embracing a corrupt lobbyist.Abramoff had Ties to Many Well Known Republican Leaders and Legislators. From his time as a young Reaganite, to his time lobbying the Republican leaders of congress, Abramoff has been a major player in the Republican movement. Majority Leader Tom DeLay once referred to him, while on a Pacific Island junket, as "one of my closest and dearest friends". Abramoff has worked with Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, both with close ties to the Bush Administration, since their time with the College Republicans. Abramoff's influence also reached to many of Bush's political appointees. [New Republic, 6/18/01; Legal Times, 8/14/95; New York Times, 5/1/05]Abramoff Wanted to Remove Democrats "From Power Permanently". Abramoff was president of the College Republicans in 1983 during which he wrote, "It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left, our job is to remove them from power permanently." Abramoff next went to Citizens for America, a "Reaganite grassroots group" that assisted Oliver North in building support the Nicaraguan Contras, and publicly defended him when he was under investigation. After a brief stint as a film maker Abramoff returned to DC in 1994 as a lobbyist with influence in the newly sworn in Republican Congress. [New York Times, 5/1/05]POST-HOLIDAY SALE: All Republican Corruption Scandals Have Got to GoGOP super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff isn't the only skeleton in the GOP closet. The scandals plaguing Republicans in Washington, DC continue to mount. >From details of Rep. Tom DeLay's relationship to shady Russian businessmen to new details about the Pentagon propaganda program to revelations about the Bush White House's strategy to skirt civil liberties and spy on Americans, the Republican culture of corruption has grown even stronger with new scandals emerging. As 2006 begins, it's clear that Americans in both parties deserve and are demanding the truth at the start of a new year.AMERICANS ARE UNSURE ABOUT JUDGE ALITOAs Senate Democrats began to question Judge Samuel Alito this week, tough questions were asked about his decisions during 15 years on an appeals court. Too many writings in his record curry favor with the extreme right, showing a willingness to favor government power over individual liberties. A lack of credibility has emerged as Judge Alito has tried to distance himself from his record and prior statements.Judge Alito's decisions, such as his attacks on the Family Medical Leave protections and his willingness to excuse the grossest form of sexual harassment in the workplace based on technicalities, have harmed working people. During his testimony this week, Judge Alito responded repeatedly that he found 'no evidence of gender discrimination sufficient to justify the creation of a 12 week medical leave requirement under the FMLA. [National Partnership for Women and Children 1/12/06]As President Bush faces increasing criticism over his secret warrantless spying on American citizens, Judge Alito must demonstrate that he too understands the limits of executive power. In 1984, Alito supported the use of illegal, warrantless wiretaps and wrote that the attorney general should be shielded from lawsuits. Judge Alito failed to recuse himself from a major Vanguard Mutual funds case, despite pledging under oath during confirmation hearings for his third circuit judgeship-to do so, because of his financial ties to the company.How can we believe that Judge Alito will put aside his personal beliefs and keep an open mind when he has already broken one promise made to the American people?America needs strength now and America needs a Supreme Court where personal and political considerations do not appear to influence any decision at any time. Democrats remain committed to finding answers from Judge Alito -- and fighting for the rights of all Americans.BUSH ECONOMY HELPS FRIENDS BUT LEAVES WORKERS BEHINDPresident Bush started 2006 painting a rosy picture of the nation's economic outlook. Unfortunately, the American people can already see that Bush's picture stands in stark contrast to the harsh economic realities facing most Americans. While the President's policies have benefited special interests and his friends in a few favored industries, working Americans are falling further and further behind and the President's disastrous fiscal policies have produced record deficits as far as the eye can see. [American Research Group, 12/19/05]President Bush must be wearing rose-colored glasses. Every time American families sit down to pay the bills and balance their checkbooks, they can see that wages have fallen, while home heating bills, health insurance premiums, and college tuition are all skyrocketing. Instead of helping American families confront these challenges, President Bush has been busy putting the American economy to work for his millionaire friends in the oil and gas industry. Worse still, it's the President's reckless fiscal policies that have produced record deficits as far as the eye can see.The Bush Economy Rolls for a FewBig Oil Has Recorded $34 Billion in Profits Since Bush Took Office. Record gasoline prices cost American consumers a net of over $25 billion during Bush's first term in office, money that went directly from consumer's pocketbooks into the hands of oil companies and oil producers, including OPEC. The big three oil companies in America have profited $33.6 billion over the past three years alone. [Based on EIA Monthly Energy Review; ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips Company Financial Reports]As Ordinary Workers Struggle, CEOs Make Record Salaries. According to the Associated Press, Exxon Mobil Corp. chairman and chief executive Lee R. Raymond received a $38 million compensation package in 2004, including $7.5 million in salary and bonus and restricted stock worth $28 million. [AP, 4/13/05] ChevronTexaco Corp. Chief Executive David O'Reilly was paid $9.98 million [Los Angeles Times, 3/22/05; Securities and Exchange Commission, ChevronTexaco Proxy Statement]Halliburton Still Pays Cheney Three Time the Average Household Income. While the average American household income has fallen below $44,000 under the Bush/Cheney Administration, Vice President Cheney continues to receive approximately $150,000 a year in deferred income from Halliburton. [CNN, 10/25/03]...Leaves The Rest In The Dust.Health Care Premiums Up More Than 50% Since Bush Took Office. The cost of family health insurance has skyrocketed 57% since President Bush took office. The typical American family must now pay $9,950 per year for health insurance compared with $6,348 in 2000. [Kaiser Family Foundation]Number of Uninsured Americans Has Increased Each Year. Almost 46 million Americans are living without health insurance. After decreasing at the end of the 1990s, the number of Americans without health insurance has increased from 39.8 million in 2000 to 45.8 million in 2004. [Census Bureau]Winter Heating Costs Have Risen by $438, or 79%. The cost of heating fuels has skyrocketed, leaving American families unprepared to deal with unprecedented increases in heating bills. The cost of heating a home for the winter has increased by $438, or 79%, since the winter of 2001-2002. [Energy Information Administration, Short Term Energy Outlook, 12/6/05]College Tuition On The Rise. Tuition and fees at four-year private universities have increased by almost $1,200 or 5.9% in 2005 and 32 percent since 2001. The increase has been even more dramatic at four-year public universities, where tuition and fees increased by 7.1% this past year and 57% since President Bush took office. [College Board, 10/05]While Working Families Work Harder, Their Wages Continue to Decline. Working families are working harder and earning less today than they were at the start of this Administration. Average household income for working families when adjusted for inflation was $46,058 in 2000 and has declined to $44,389 today. At the same time Americans have seen their real wages decline, the productivity of the American worker is up 13.5%. Americans have worked harder - and better - over the past five years and received none of the benefits for their hard work. [Census Bureau; Bureau of Labor Statistics]More American Families and Children Live in Poverty. The number of Americans who are living in poverty has increased each year President Bush has been in office and is nearly 20% higher today than in 2000. 37 million Americans were living in poverty at the end of 2004 - an increase of 5.4 million over the 2000 level. [U.S. Census Bureau]Together, America can do better. Democrats are committed to doing everything we can to increase wages for America's workers, cut out of control health care costs, give every American the opportunity to get a college education, help Americans heat their homes this winter, and end the culture of corruption that for too long has kept the government from helping Americans confront these challenges. The time has come for President Bush and the Republicans in Washington to join Democrats in putting the economy back to work for the American people.DEMOCRATS TAKING THE LEADPREVENTING VIOLENCE: FOR ALL WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIESKudos to Democratic legislators who showed tremendous leadership in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Despite attempts to dismantle the bill by the GOP throughout the year, the legislation was signed this month with expanded programs and services in areas such as dating violence and stalking, emergency housing needs, prevention programs and cultural sensitive services for women of color and differing religions. VAWA also contains a provision supported by Democrats to provide funds for training of health professionals in identifying and assisting victims of domestic and sexual violence. "Domestic violence doesn't discriminate against women of different races, backgrounds and socio-economic status" said Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), Chair of the House Democratic Women's Working Group. To learn more about the VAWA and how to get involved in preventing family violence in your community, visit the Family Violence Prevention Fund: YOUR CALENDARS: DEMOCRATS SPEAK OUT ON THE STATE OF THE UNIONOn January 31st, George Bush will deliver his State of the Union address, to be followed by the Democratic response. We can't afford to sit back and listen -- we have to act if we're going to change the direction of this country. You can kick off this year of change by hosting a Watch Party that night. Don't let the name fool you -- these Watch Parties are about more than watching. Your event will provide crucial information to Democrats in your community before the speech, and the opportunity to hear directly from our party's leaders immediately after.You can start planning your Watch Party in a few simple steps by visiting: a Watch Party is simple. If this is your first time planning one, our online event tool takes care of planning your event and inviting others. As the event approaches we will also make sure you get the latest research and information about what will be in the President's speech so that you and your guests are prepared to respond everywhere -- from the letters to the editor column to the water cooler. Please consider hosting a Watch Party on January 31st! NOTES: HONORING KING'S LEGACYThis weekend, all Americans have the opportunity to recognize the conviction and inspiration of Martin Luther King, Jr.Democrats believe that America can -- and must -- be the community envisioned not just by Martin Luther King and those he inspired or who inspired him. This value of community -- the coming together to protect and strengthen each American, so all Americans may share in the promises of freedom and opportunity, security and prosperity -- underlies the very principles on which our nation was founded.As Democrats, we embrace and celebrate this uniquely American value of community. And as Democrats, we are fighting every day -- in the halls of Congress, at state houses and in state legislative chambers, as mayors, city council members and county commissioners -- for the change we need to restore and rebuild that community. America deserves a government as good as its people, one that embodies and advances the value of community, too. And on this day set aside to honor Dr. King, we raise up his leadership as an example for us all.Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.Contributions or gifts to the Democratic National Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.Click here to unsubscribe from this mailing list.DNC, 430 S. Capitol St. SE, Washington DC 20003