Monday, January 23, 2006

Bush may not have erred, BUT Hillary did

Democratic operatives are reportedly salivating over news of the existence of five photos of President Bush with Jack Abramoff -- the poster-boy for the so-called "culture of corruption --the lobbyists' sons, and Raul Garza Sr., then-chairman of the casino-owning Kickapoo Indian tribe. As Knight Ridder reports, "The photos aren't proof of any wrongdoing on Bush's part. But they do put him in the uncomfortable position of standing next to a convicted felon who's become the symbol for all that's wrong with Washington."

Always with the "but" in the Democratic guilt-by-association game. The photos don't prove anything, BUT. Bush may not have done anything wrong, BUT.

BUT…not much has been said about the fact that Sen. Hillary Clinton, likely the next Democratic White House nominee, was in 2000 photographed with three-time convicted felon Peter Paul at the swank Hollywood galas Paul underwrote to the tune of $1.2 million, a direct contribution to her bid for the senate.

The Clinton campaign claimed not to know that Paul, an entertainment executive and partner with Spider Man creator Stan Lee in Stan Lee Entertainment, had been convicted on drug and fraud charges, BUT…Bill Clinton was allegedly willing to accept a promise of $16 million in cash and stock in return for his pledge to promote Paul's company after he left the White House, according to a lawsuit Paul filed in California superior court in 2004. Paul is suing both Clintons for fraud and deceit, unfair business practice, and civil conspiracy, claiming Bill Clinton accepted Paul's beneficence when his wife's senate bid was on the line BUT...reneged on his promise to stump for Stan Lee once she was elected.

Media have looked askance at Paul’s suit because he is an ex-felon, BUT...the Federal Election Commission in December 2005 agreed with Paul on his claims regarding Hillary’s campaign finance misdeeds and fined the group $35,000. Her treasurer, Andrew Grossman, signed a conciliation agreement in which he admitted to filing three false campaign finance reports, which omitted $721,895 in in-kind contributions from Paul.

Paul notified Hillary in writing of the first FEC filing errors BUT...her campaign filed at least one more false report. If Paul, though an ex-felon, is telling the truth about the FEC claims, might he be telling the truth about Bill Clinton's $16 million pay-to-play promise? And did Hillary know about it? A California judge on Feb. 3 will decide whether she must tell.

Meanwhile, Bush, the Republican, is reportedly photographed with a felon and is guilty until proven innocent BUT...Hillary, the Democrat, is photographed with a felon, her campaign is proven guilty and she joins in the "culture of corruption" chorus with a straight face.

-- Vincent