Friday, July 29, 2005
Public corruption: Courtesy NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez, we have a revealing excerpt from a press conference held yesterday by House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi. The following exchange is in regard to the early morning passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).
Q Can you elaborate, Madame Leader, on some of the offers that were made to Democrats that you know about?
REP. PELOSI: No.
Q In which case -- it's a pretty serious charge, that you're saying some of them didn't pass legal muster to you.
REP. PELOSI: Yeah.
Q You're saying that -- that Republicans were trying to bribe Democrats?
REP. PELOSI: I didn't use the word bribe.
Q Well, you said it wasn't legal.
REP. PELOSI: I said that offers were made that were, in my view, questionable. And I know that they would be at a cost to the taxpayers. And I say that without any hesitation.
Q But that's a very serious charge.
REP. PELOSI: It is.
Q Could you just -- could you just give us the specifics of what you've heard?
REP. PELOSI: No, I'm not going to. I'm telling you, and -- why don't you go ask the Republicans or the White House what they were offering people? They would know best; they're the ones who were making the offers. I think that this has to stop. We have to stop the Republican rip-off of the legislative process on Capitol Hill. It has to stop now...
Q Madame Leader, I'm sorry to belabor this point, but it is -- let me see how to phrase this -- is there a difference between horse trading and federal violation regarding offering something of value for somebody's vote?
REP. PELOSI: Yes.
Q There's got to be a difference, right?
REP. PELOSI: Yeah. There is.
Q So now you're beyond just the normal give and take of --
REP. PELOSI: Yes.
Q I don't see how you can just lay that out there without giving us the specifics --
REP. PELOSI: Well, I just did. But I just did.
Q Is that fair, though? Is that the way you would like to be treated?
REP. PELOSI: That's the way we are treated. That's the way we are treated.
Q Are you going to pursue any sort of ethics complaint --
REP. PELOSI: I may. I may. I may. Not me, but those who have the information may. But these are the kinds of things that are very hard to prove if the deal is not consummated. That doesn't mean the deal wasn't offered. And it really -- because they have a poverty of arguments in favor of CAFTA, they have to resort to these extraordinary means.
Pelosi's attempting to characterize typical political horsetrading as something sinister and illegal -- the GOP bought off 15 of her Democrat colleagues to get CAFTA passed. Well, as we here in San Diego have recently seen firsthand with two of our city councilman, when you have bribery or public corruption, both the briber and the bribee are guilty.
So, who are the dirty Democrats according to Pelosi?
- Melissa Bean, Illinois
- Jim Cooper, Tennessee
- Henry Cuellar, Texas
- Norm Dicks, Washington
- Ruben Hinojosa, Texas
- William Jefferson, Louisiana
- Jim Matheson, Utah
- Gregory Meeks, New York
- Dennis Moore, Kansas
- Jim Moran, Virginia
- Solomon Ortiz, Texas
- Ike Skelton, Missouri
- Vic Snyder, Arkansas
- John Tanner, Tennessee
- Edolphus Towns, New York
One wonders what these free trade supporters would have to say to charges that they are corrupt.