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Republican Rot - Is Congress's GOP majority becoming as corrupt as the Dems were? ~ John Fund
Opinion Journal ^ | February 9, 2004 | John Fund

Posted on 02/09/2004 1:50:14 AM PST by Elle Bee

Edited on 04/23/2004 12:06:27 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

One way you can tell that Republicans have become the dominant political party in Washington is to watch them cash in.

Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana has announced that next Monday he will step down as chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Observers expect he will soon leave Congress to become the chief lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry at an annual salary that's rumored to approach $2.5 million, a record for a trade association head. Mr. Tauzin isn't doing anything illegal, but what's good for him isn't good for the country or for the Republican Party. Their voters are already showing signs of concern that congressional Republicans are taking on the bad habits of the Democrats they ousted from power in 1994.


(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: billytauzin; johnfund; kstreet; tauzin
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1 posted on 02/09/2004 1:50:15 AM PST by Elle Bee
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To: Elle Bee
Term limits are needed for all these idiots. They start out fine, and then are corrupted by the system.
2 posted on 02/09/2004 1:54:12 AM PST by tkathy (The nihilistic islamofascists and the nihilistic liberals are trying to destroy this country)
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To: tkathy
I don't know if they actually 'start out fine' ... but I don't think that congress has a reputation which can be further tarnished ....IMHO

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3 posted on 02/09/2004 1:57:34 AM PST by Elle Bee
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To: tkathy
I'm of the opinion that one's core principles are unshakeable and therefore uncorruptible--unless the core principles are wobbly to start with . . . making the notion of "starting out fine" a dubious notion . . . Genuine leaders have genuine core principles.

Harsher and harsher opinions of these men and women in Congress come easier and easier as I get older and older and, I might add, sadder and sadder.

With best wishes,
Penny


4 posted on 02/09/2004 2:07:14 AM PST by Penny
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To: Elle Bee
...Bob Livingston, the former Appropriations Committee chairman who now operates one of Washington's most popular lobbying shops, says such rules are impractical and would prevent qualified people from seeking seats in Congress "because they won't be able to provide financial security for their families after leaving office." What happy horsesh*t!
5 posted on 02/09/2004 2:10:05 AM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: Elle Bee
Both Livingston and Tauzin come from Louisiana, one of the most corrupt states in the union. John Breaux is also retiring this term, and is widely believed to be angling for a high paying lobbyist gig.
6 posted on 02/09/2004 2:19:30 AM PST by ambrose (John Kerry is a War Criminal, Not War Hero)
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To: thegreatbeast
An amazingly dumb statement, even for Livingston. They leave Congress when they're in their 60s, 70s or older (and their kids are in their 30s and 40s). Strange time to start thinking about "providing for the family's financial security." Besides, most of them are lawyers or other professionals with plenty of skills, experience and connections. Does Livingston think such people can't make a good living without becoming high ticket lobbyists?
7 posted on 02/09/2004 2:20:22 AM PST by Bonaparte
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To: tkathy
The government is just WAY too big!!! If the government was of the requisite size to fulfill the functions mandated by the Consitution, there would be no incentive for trade associations, etc to grease the system to their benefit, no revolving door, no wasteful social programs, etc. Real campaign finance reform involves: 1.)drastic downsizing of government (cold turkey, not incremental) and 2.) full disclosure of campaign contributions.
8 posted on 02/09/2004 2:31:37 AM PST by Smber (The smallest minority is the individual. Get the government off my back.)
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To: tkathy
To find out how it happens, read Dr. Tom Coburn's Breach of Trust.
9 posted on 02/09/2004 2:38:55 AM PST by aristeides
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To: Elle Bee
bttt , always.
10 posted on 02/09/2004 2:51:16 AM PST by prognostigaator
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To: Elle Bee
If Republicans consolidate their control over Washington while failing to reduce the size of government, they will inevitably be caught up in the care and feeding of the state.

Word.

11 posted on 02/09/2004 3:02:21 AM PST by Drango (Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.)
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To: tkathy
Republicans are taking on the bad habits of the Democrats they ousted from power in 1994.
Does anyone else notice that Rep. Billy Tauzin is the sole poster boy for the thesis of this riff? Does anyone else remember how Mr. Tauzin came to be a member of the Republican congressional leadership?

Hint: He was "Rep. Billy Tauzin" before he became a Republican. And he became a Republican after the Republicans won control of the House in 1994 . . .


12 posted on 02/09/2004 3:43:29 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (Belief in your own objectivity is the essence of subjectivity.)
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To: Bonaparte

And never forget their outrageously generous pension benefits that allow some congressional veterans to collect a million bucks a year in pension money. I think most Americans gag when they hear Livingston try to peddle that horse hockey.
13 posted on 02/09/2004 3:56:20 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: tkathy
Term limits are needed for all these idiots. They start out fine, and then are corrupted by the system.

Isn't this guy relatively new?

14 posted on 02/09/2004 3:56:51 AM PST by joesbucks
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To: Elle Bee
We need to ban John Fund and send him to LP.
15 posted on 02/09/2004 3:59:48 AM PST by joesbucks
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To: Elle Bee
bump
16 posted on 02/09/2004 4:13:00 AM PST by independentmind
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To: Elle Bee
No wonder Zell Miller couldn't stomach Washington any longer.
17 posted on 02/09/2004 4:22:21 AM PST by hotpotato
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To: joesbucks
LP ???

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18 posted on 02/09/2004 4:39:19 AM PST by Elle Bee
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To: Elle Bee
It was Abraham Lincoln who said it in simple terms. We have a governemnt that is of the people, by the people and for the people., We are a nation that only has public servants. We have gone to great lengths to see that we never tolerate government rulers.

There are just two majorities that elect politicians. The Democrats majority, when they can win it, extends from the left to just right of center. The Republican majority, when they can win it, extends from the right to just left of center.

The right and left are always screaming that their party's elected officials don't serve their base. NO one ever got elected by their base. They get elected by winning more than half of the voters. Than means getting the votes of more than half the center. Unless you are in a three man race. The Arnold Governator did something new when he took his half out of the center.

People in the center and they are 30 percent of all voters, vote for the candidate they like, and for the candidate who will do the most for them.

The problem for the right is that most of the people on the right haven't a clue about what it takes to win their agenda. The right think what motivates them, will motivate the center. If the center believed what the right believes they would all be on the right.

Go to any town that is the benificary of a pork project. If the local congressman gets federal funds to build the National Mumbly Peg hall of fame in the town, the radio stations, newspapers, service clubs and churches will praise that congressman for bringing jobs and busisness to that community. When he speaks at the local Rotary Club he will be introduced as the man who through great effort and selfless sacrefice got the Mumbly Peg Hall of Fame located in our fine town. It matters not if the congressman is Democrat or Repubublican when the people who have the power to make him unemployed want the Mumbly Peg Hall of Fame he will do all he can to get it for them... Plus the funds to repave the street it is located on and more funds for a parking lot to hold 55,000 cars. It is the way our government was designed to work.

So candidates are going to do what it takes to win the center and get every Mumbly Peg Hall of Fame they can get.

What part of public servants don't decide policy.. their masters do... confuses the right most?

If you want to control government spending first convince a solid marjority (that includes the center) that limited spending is good. Secondly sit back and watch government spending shrink.

If you want something done you have to get the approval of those running the joint....be it General motors or the United States of America. IT is real simple. If the customers want it.. GM will do it to sell cars. THE USA is run by its voters and if voters want it politicians will do it to get votes.

Until those on the right understand who is boss,and who really calls the shots, the right will only suffer massive defeat of its agenda.

19 posted on 02/09/2004 4:42:46 AM PST by Common Tator
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To: Elle Bee
another site that many malcontents have foudn when their FR accounts become inactive.
20 posted on 02/09/2004 5:46:32 AM PST by joesbucks
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To: joesbucks
then why are you banishing Fund there?

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21 posted on 02/09/2004 5:49:35 AM PST by Elle Bee
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To: Elle Bee
"...Bob Livingston, the former Appropriations Committee chairman who now operates one of Washington's most popular lobbying shops, says such rules are impractical and would prevent qualified people from seeking seats in Congress "because they won't be able to provide financial security for their families after leaving office"

The Founding Fathers never intended political service to be a career job. Men wishing to serve their country sacrificed their time and careers to do so, then went back to what they normally did for a living. That we have career politicians is 90% of the problem in D.C.

22 posted on 02/09/2004 6:09:50 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: George W. Bush
Last week, the House Ethics Committee revealed that for the past two months it has been investigating an allegation by Rep. Nick Smith, a Michigan Republican, that party leaders offered him a bribe in exchange for his vote on the Medicare bill. Mr. Smith voted against the bill and later said unnamed members of his party had said they'd contribute $100,000 to his son's congressional campaign if he had voted in favor. If not, Mr. Smith said, they told him they'd see that the younger Mr. Smith lost his race. Mr. Smith later recanted, saying his claim of bribery was "technically inaccurate" and has since refused to discuss the matter further. (Either a good lawyer has advised him to keep his mouth shut or the GOP thugs offered to overlook his opposition to a bill that's already passed and help his son out PROVIDED he dismiss his charges)

But other GOP members stood by their stories of strong-arm tactics. South Carolina's Rep. Jim DeMint said contributors threatened to withhold donations for his upcoming Senate race unless he voted for the Medicare bill, while Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri said a state legislator threatened to run against him. Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida was told his path towards a party leadership position would be blocked if he voted against the bill.

Republicans should view such tactics and the bidding war for Mr. Tauzin on K Street as warning signs of ideological dry rot.(FR demonstrates this clearly. There are many posters who consider conservative values as hampering.)

23 posted on 02/09/2004 6:17:11 AM PST by KantianBurke (Principles, not blind loyalty)
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To: KantianBurke
The speaker of the GOP legistlure in Floriduh in 2000, now holding a House seat, strongly opposed the Pill Bill.

Since it passed by only a few votes, Rove had Bush calling the last few votes to pressure it personally.

The congressman said something like "I'm a conservative and I came here to cut spending, not expand it."

Bush snapped (as I recall) "So did I" and slammed down the phone.

Bush/Rove found their last few votes, no doubt by pork distribution and/or intimidation. The Floriduh legislator got sent to the back benches, their future in the GOP now in question.

And people claim he's conservative. I guess this is one of those times where the 'compassionate' overwhelmed the 'conservative'.

Merely an anecdote but an example I think is not isolated.
24 posted on 02/09/2004 6:26:35 AM PST by George W. Bush (It's the Congress, stupid.)
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To: George W. Bush
Give him credit, it's Tom Feeney (R.-Fla.), a great man.
25 posted on 02/09/2004 6:41:12 AM PST by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: George W. Bush
I was giving him credit as a conservative. My recall of his name failed.

We had a thread last week that had the story in his own words.
26 posted on 02/09/2004 6:43:56 AM PST by George W. Bush (It's the Congress, stupid.)
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To: Elle Bee
Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana has announced that next Monday he will step down as chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Observers expect he will soon leave Congress to become the chief lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry at an annual salary that's rumored to approach $2.5 million, a record for a trade association head.

How did Billy boy vote on the prescription drug bill?

27 posted on 02/09/2004 6:50:01 AM PST by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: tkathy
The California legislature has term limits.
28 posted on 02/09/2004 6:53:52 AM PST by Austin Willard Wright
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To: George W. Bush
I only wish some company would offer Senator Robert Byrd a lucrative contract, effectively removing him from the US Senate.
29 posted on 02/09/2004 8:05:42 AM PST by Carolinamom
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To: Elle Bee
Because he's written a stinging article on Bush.
30 posted on 02/09/2004 10:36:42 AM PST by joesbucks
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To: joesbucks
I'm sorry, let me correct that. A stinging story on republicans. Our site is now centered on supporting republicans over democrats, not comparing republicans to democrats. Such stories only inflame the malcontents to start 3rd party efforts which ultimately end up in defacto votes for dems.
31 posted on 02/09/2004 10:39:13 AM PST by joesbucks
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^
32 posted on 02/09/2004 2:17:56 PM PST by Dumb_Ox
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To: joesbucks
I'm sorry, let me correct that. A stinging story on republicans. Our site is now centered on supporting republicans over democrats, not comparing republicans to democrats. Such stories only inflame the malcontents to start 3rd party efforts which ultimately end up in defacto votes for dems.

I agree that we should support republicans over democrats. That is exactly why we should not stand idly by will the GOP develops a reputation for the kinds of corruption that eventually drove the Dems out of the majority position in congress.

33 posted on 02/09/2004 5:21:24 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along)
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