Thursday, June 15, 2006

More "Beach Boy" corruption

It was an accounting glitch, says Al "Beach Boy" Mollohan:
Under fire for possible ethics violations, former ranking minority member of the House ethics committee Congressman Alan Mollohan shot back at critics by releasing documents explaining his significant personal wealth gain.

Mollohan, a West Virginia Democrat, is the target of a federal investigation into allegations that he lied on financial disclosure reports and steered approximately $250 million in pork funds to non-profit groups. Several organizations with ties to Mollohan have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Just a harmless "error":
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), under federal investigation for blending his commercial investments with his duties as a congressional appropriator, acknowledged yesterday that he misstated more than a dozen transactions on his financial disclosure forms.
The 12-term lawmaker said he recently discovered "a limited number of inadvertent errors" in his public reports from 1999 through 2004. He said he has amended those forms "to correct any inaccurate impressions about my finances." He also released a chronology to explain how his assets grew from no more than $565,000 in 2000 to at least $6.3 million in 2004, primarily through heavily leveraged real estate transactions.
"Beach Boy" Al will have a chance to explain his "mistakes" and "errors" to the judge, right before he joins Bill "What's In It for Me" Campbell in federal prison.

But the trouble with these articles, Don Surber points out, is that the reporters (with Mollohan's encouragement) have "buried the lead":
The Washington Post put this on Page A6, gave it a crummy headline and Jeffrey Birnbaum buried the lead in the sixth paragraph. ....
How about this for a lede?
Congressman Alan Mollohan borrowed $35,000 from the head of an organization that he steered millions of tax dollars to, using his position as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Don is right that this Other Paper story was mishandled, but the OP has actually been pretty good at reporting on the Democrats' "culture of corruption" problems. They're certainly not as bad as Pinch's NY Slimes.

Previously on MOLLOHAN:
5/14: Mollohan update
4/27: Surber KO's "Beach Boy"
4/21: Mr. Ethics steps down
4/12: Democrats? Ethics? Hello?

-- McCAIN

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