Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category
Back in February of 2007, then-Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller pushed through a $30-a-day increase in per diem payments for senators:
The Senate voted 59-7 to ratify an increase in daily expense allowances from $66 to $96 per senator, a 45 percent boost. The ratification came with a hitch: Those who voted for it automatically get the expense payments, known as per diems. The seven senators who voted against it don’t get it. “You can’t vote ‘no’ and take the dough,” Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, said after the vote.
The seven dissenters, all Republicans, can still collect expense checks. But first, they must tell the Senate fiscal staff how much they will take, and that paperwork will be public. Voting “no” were Sens. Ray Vandeveer, of Forest Lake; Dick Day, of Owatonna; David Hann, of Eden Prairie; Bill Ingebrigtsen, of Alexandria; Amy Koch, of Buffalo; Geoff Michel, of Edina; and Pat Pariseau, of Farmington.
One of the senators that voted for that outrageous increase was Julianne Ortman. According to this article, Sen. Ortman was a busy person that winter:
It’s been a busy and prosperous spring for Sen. Julianne Ortman.
For the past six weeks, Ortman has been working full time in her new $91,000-a-year job as chief financial manager for the office of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, a political ally. At the same time, she has been collecting her $31,149-a-year legislative salary and a $96 daily expense allowance while missing some committee hearings and Senate floor sessions.
The dual roles of the Republican from Chanhassen, an assistant leader of the minority caucus, were evident May 11. Ortman was paid by Hennepin County as working on county business from 8 until 10 a.m., while state records show her answering a roll call for the start of the day’s Senate session in St. Paul at 9:20 a.m. A review of county payroll records and Senate documents from April and early May show that Ortman often bounced between her two jobs, at times starting one job just minutes after officially punching out from the other.
According to this search website, the article was first published by the Star Tribune on May 19, 2007. Mark Brunswick and Mike Kaszuba were the reporters. Mssrs. Brunswick and Kaszuba should be praised for their work in piecing this information puzzle together.
It’s bad enough that Sen. Ortman voted for that expensive per diem increase. I said at the time that $66 a day is more than enough, especially when the senators that voted for the per diem increase were getting the per diem 7 days a week from the first day of the session until the last night of the session.
It’s worse knowing that Sen. Ortman was on the clock for the legislature and for Hennepin County at the same time:
In two instances, she missed Senate committee meetings while working for the county, according to the records. Meanwhile, many of her county payroll records show her working long hours, evenings and weekends on days when the Senate was in session.
Sen. Ortman owes taxpayers an explanation for how she worked long hours for Hennepin County at the same time the Senate was also in session. They’d probably like to know how it’s possible to be in two places at the same time.
Obviously, this isn’t a policy difference. However, it’s the type of thing that raises ethical and potentially legal questions about Sen. Ortman.
Alan Dershowitz, the famed civil rights attorney and Harvard Law School professor, is upset with the prosecutors in the George Zimmerman trial:
Immediately after the verdict was announced, however, the NAACP and outspoken activist Al Sharpton called on the Justice Department to launch a federal civil-rights probe, charging that the case had been racially tainted.
Dershowitz is calling for a civil-rights probe as well. But he contends the person whose rights were violated was Zimmerman.
“I think there were violations of civil rights and civil liberties — by the prosecutor,” said the criminal-law expert. “The prosecutor sent this case to a judge, and willfully, deliberately, and in my view criminally withheld exculpatory evidence.”
The evidence in this case was contradictory. That means the jury couldn’t have honestly been certain of anything. That’s reasonable doubt. The jury could’ve said that they found the evidence sufficient to convict. That’s what race-baiters like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and President Obama were counting on. They’d pinned their hopes on the jury voting on their emotions, not the evidence.
To their credit, the jury didn’t take the bait from these race hustlers. They followed the law. They examined the evidence. They concluded that George Zimmerman acted in self defense. Either that or they concluded that the prosecution didn’t meet their burden of proving their theory of the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Dershowitz singled out special prosecutor Angela Corey for “disciplinary action.”
He criticized the state’s probable-cause affidavit for not including evidence indicating Zimmerman could have been acting in self-defense, including graphic images of blood streaming from his scalp and nose.
“The prosecutor had in her possession photographs that would definitely show a judge that this was not an appropriate case for second-degree murder,” the Harvard professor told Newsmax. “She deliberately withheld and suppressed those photographs, refused to show them to the judge, got the judge to rule erroneously this was a second-degree murder case.
“That violated a whole range of ethical, professional, and legal obligations that prosecutors have. Moreover, they withheld other evidence in the course of the pretrial and trial proceedings, as has been documented by the defense team,” he said.
It’s quite stunning to hear of a special prosecutor withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense team. The picture of George Zimmerman’s bloody head alone should’ve eliminated the charges of second degree murder before the trial. It also should’ve put into question whether there was a case for manslaughter.
That’s because the picture showed that it was reasonable for George Zimmerman to think his life was in danger. Regardless of who followed who, the reality is that George Zimmerman’s worries were legitimate the minute Trayvon Martin started bashing George Zimmerman’s head into the pavement.
The race-baiting industry won’t stop because hatemongers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Barack Obama need it to continue. That’s the sad commentary on America.
Tags: Angela Corey, Special Prosecutor, Ethhics Sanctions, Civil Rights Violations, Prosecutors, Exculpatory Evidence, Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School, Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Self Defense, Reasonable Doubt
One man’s unsubstantiated accusations might be a liberal’s smokescreen. That appears to be the case with this editorial. Here’s what I’m specifically talking about:
Remembering this is a family newspaper, my descriptors point more toward sad, spiteful, brutal, even mean. Yes, they come in two colors: red and blue.
Whaddya mean I can’t say U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is dead-on right to say fellow House Rep. Keith Ellison is tied to a terrorist group?
Those two statements summarize several correspondences I’ve had from local readers wanting to share their opinions on unsubstantiated accusations from both of these elected officials.
This isn’t an unsubstantiated accusation. It’s Randy’s excuse for not running an LTE I submitted during the height of the National Security Five noncontroversy. I provided the proof of the Keith Ellison-Muslim Brotherhood connection in this post:
Tax records show the group that paid Ellison’s expenses, the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, received nearly $900,000 in taxpayer money in 2006 and 2007 from a rental arrangement for Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA), an Inver Grove Heights charter school.
Here’s the connection to the Muslim Brotherhood:
In May 2005, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross reported in The Weekly Standard that MAS is a U.S. front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, a claim supported by a September 19, 2004 Chicago Tribune story that stated: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.”
It’s become increasingly clear that Krebs sees his job as providing political cover to the DFL. This isn’t an unsubstantiated rumor. Documents filed with the state of Illinois identify the Muslim American Society as being part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tax records verify that the MAS/Muslim Brotherhood paid for Ellison’s trip to Mecca. In fact, Ellison was the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation for accepting that expensive of a gift at a time when Democrats were in the majority.
It’s stunning to think that Krebs thinks that the connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and Keith Ellison isn’t direct and substantiated.
Simply put, it isn’t that the last 3 months of a campaign are the silly season. A legitimate case can be made that campaigns get silly in September and October.
It’s that it’s silly season 24/7 at the Times.
There’s no question that President Obama appreciates this disgusting ad:
That’s because this president, and the staff he surrounds himself with, love playing dirty politics. President Obama picked Bill Burton to be his deputy press secretary. President Obama knew that Bill Burton wasn’t a man of great character. That’s why it can’t be a surprise to the Obama campaign that Burton put this disgusting, almost defamatory, ad together.
It’s the Chicago way.
About the ad itself, others have given Mr. Soptic a pass:
It is my sincerest hope that when you made your anti-Romney ad mentioning your wife, your thinking was still too muddled by grief to make reasonable judgments. If so, shame on those who encouraged you and on those who exploited your rash words in this ad.
I won’t give Mr. Soptic a pass. I won’t hesitate in saying that it’s tragic when a woman that young dies of cancer. That’s as far as I’ll go, though.
It’s important to remember that it’s been 6 years since his wife passed away. That’s plenty of time to properly grieve his wife’s death. It’s equally important to remember that the insinuations didn’t come from a man who’d lost his wife weeks ago. They came from a man who’d had 6 years to collect himself.
He knew that Mitt Romney didn’t have anything to do with his wife’s death. Let’s be clear about this. If Bain hadn’t closed GST Steel, would his wife still be alive? No rational person would argue that.
President Obama hired David Axelrod, too. Axelrod plays dirty like other Chicago politicians and operatives. He doesn’t play hardball. He’s an outright liar who, when he’s caught, tries to deflect,change the subject and obfuscate. He’s a despicable person.
Which leaves the Dirtbag-in-chief. He’s loving this. If he has to have his henchmen use a dishonest, albeit sympathetic, man insinuate that Mitt Romney killed his cancer-riddled wife, he won’t hesitate in pulling that trigger.
By Bill Burton’s standards, President Obama and disgraced AG Eric Holder have blood on their hands because Operation Fast and Furious led directly to Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death.
If President Obama had character, he would’ve fired Holder and Secretary Napolitano immediately for their incompetence and their covering Operation Fast and Furious up. Instead, he hid the documents that Chairman Darrell Issa’s committee had subpeonaed with a flimsy assertion of Executive Privilege.
That’s before talking about the lies that Stephanie Cutter has told. She said she didn’t know anything about Mr. Soptic’s story so she wouldn’t comment on Burton’s video. Then it’s exposed that she participated in the campaign’s conference call with Mr. Soptic.
Don’t any of these people tell the truth?
President Obama’s administration and campaign are as disgusting as anything Richard Nixon ever put together. That’s what’s earned him the title of Dirtbag-in-Chief.
Tags: President Obama, Operation Fast and Furious, David Axelrod, Chicago Way, Bill Burton, Eric Holder, Joe Soptic, Stephanie Cutter, Janet Napolitano, Corruption, Richard Nixon, Democrats, Election 2012
It’s time that the Senate ran Sen. Reid out of office. Of course, Senate Democrats will protect Sen. Reid because their highest priority is maintaining power, not doing what’s right.
If Democrats won’t do the right thing, then it’s up to the American people to defeat them this November.
For instance, when ‘moderate’ Sen. Klobuchar stays silent about Sen. Reid’s disgusting behavior, her actions say she isn’t willing to take a principled stand against a disgusting human being. That’s all the reason Minnesotans should need to fire her this November. It isn’t like she has any accomplishments during her time in office. (Except if you count her voting to raise Medtronics tax bill by $175,000,000 per year as an accomplishment.)
Jon Tester, Sherrod Brown, Tim Kaine, Claire McCaskill, Bill Nelson and others should pay the price for not criticizing Sen. Reid’s disgusting statements, too.
It’s bad enough that Sen. Reid made the initial accusations without a bit of proof. What’s worse is his newest statements:
On Wednesday, Reid stuck to his story, and broadened it.
“I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid said in a telephone call with Nevada reporters. “I have had a number of people tell me that.”
Asked to elaborate on his sources, Reid declined. “No, that’s the best you’re going to get from me.”
“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”
Talk about chutzpah. Sen. Reid makes statements that haven’t been substantiated by anyone willing to make these accusations public. When Sen. Reid’s honesty is challenged, albeit not by GOP senators or by the allegedly MSM, his reaction is that he shouldn’t have to prove he isn’t lying through his teeth.
Sen. Reid is a disgusting individual who isn’t worried about proving whether he’s telling the truth.
If GOP senators stay silent or make statements like this, they’ll send the signal to progressives that they don’t have an incentive to stop their smear campaigns:
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Wednesday that he did not see Romney’s tax returns as a “relevant issue” and that if people want more disclosure, “they should pass a law to make it that way.”
Talk about wimpy. Sen. Rubio could turn this into a media disaster for the Democrats if he issued this statement:
Sen. Reid’s disgusting and unsubstantiated accusations fit a pattern with Sen. Reid. His defeatist statement that “The war is lost” demoralized our troops while they fought bravely. His unsubstantiated allegation from a mystery investor who doesn’t have the courage to make these accusations in the light of day calls into question whether this person exists.
It’s time for Sen. Reid to put up or shut up or be held accountable for his disgraceful actions. Sen. Reid won’t pass a budget. Sen. Reid won’t accept responsibility for verifying the identity of this mystery investor.
While Sen. Reid sits on his thumbs or makes wild allegations, Republicans in the Senate and the House continue putting forward proposals to dig this nation out of the mess this administration and Sen. Reid have kept us in.
It’s time for Sen. Reid to prove he isn’t lying through his teeth. If he brings this Bain investor forward, then it’s a debatable issue. If he continues making these allegations without offering proof, it’s reasonable to think that Sen. Reid is lying.
UPDATE: This has the feel of Rathergate. Disgraced ‘journalist’ Dan Rather tried accusing George Bush of not fulfilling his service to the Texas Air National Guard during the 2000 campaign.
When that fell through, he waited until 2004 to run the story. The fledgling blogosphere quickly discredited the article, leading to Rather admitting that the documents were “fake but accurate.”
Is this Harry Reid’s “Rathergate moment”? I can’t rule it out.
People can’t forget Harry Reid bragging to the press that “the war is lost.” It was a despicable, anti-American thing to say. He said it repeatedly. He said it without hesitation or regret. Frankly, America is worse off having Harry Reid still in office.
They’re worse off because he’s a despicable, discusting human being who won’t hesitate in doing a hatchet job without the slightest bit of proof.
His latest disgusting act was accusing Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes for an entire decade. He said that he’d heard that from an anonymous Democrat who invested with Bain:
Reid suggested that Romney’s decision to withhold tax information would bar him from ever earning Senate confirmation to a Cabinet post. Then, Reid recalled a phone call his office received about a month ago from “a person who had invested with Bain Capital,” according to The Huffington Post.
Reid said the person told him: “Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.”
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Reid told HuffPo. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”
First, it’s doubtful that this confidential informant exists. If the dirtbag exists, however, then he’s a gutless wimp for not coming forward and making the accusations in public.
Whether the disgusting dirtbag exists or not, Sen. Reid shouldn’t make those unsubstantiated allegations public because it’s impossible, short of hacking into the IRS website, to verify the voracity of these allegations.
What’s disgusting is that President Obama’s campaign hasn’t criticized Sen. Reid for making these unsubstantiated (and unsubstantiatable) allegations. Their silence implies that they approve of Sen. Reid’s accusations. Their silence in this situation should earn them nothing but unlimited derision and criticism.
I don’t want Sen. Reid to apologize. I want Republican senators to make his life a living hell before running him out of the Senate. I want Republicans to torment him, call him out for what he is: a dirtbag who won’t hesitate to make unsubstantiated allegations.
The other thing that I’d recommend them to do is use Sen. Reid’s disgusting outburst to raise money to defeat as many Democrats as possible this fall. The best punishment for Sen. Reid short of running him out of the Senate is to turn him into the Minority Leader.
It’s time for Republicans to take the gloves off. If they continue acting like gentlemen and ladies, Sen. Reid, Sen. Durbin, Sen. Schumer and other notorious hatchetmen won’t have an incentive to stop being hatchetmen.
Let’s hope the GOP grows a spine ASAP. Let’s hope they carry out a ruthless vendetta against this dirtbag from Nevada.
Finally, here’s my (rhetorical) question to Harry Reid: Sir, have you no shame?
Unfortunately, we know the answer to that question is no, he doesn’t have any remorse or shame.
Bruce Hentges is in hot water. In Hentges’ St. Cloud Times op-ed, he made this statement:
According to Sahlberg, education in Finland, a country with virtually no private schools and a very low poverty rate, has been seen first and foremost; not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.
Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling and individualized student guidance. In other words, by focusing on equity of opportunity for all students, Finland has produced academic excellence.
Hentges references Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education’s Center for International Mobility in the first paragraph. In that first paragraph, Hentges attributes to Sahlberg that education in Finland…has been seen…as an instrument to even out social inequality.
Hentges’ second paragraph looks like a personal observation but it isn’t. Here’s what was written in the Atlantic:
In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.
Here’s the last sentence in the Atlantic’s paragraph:
Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.
Here’s the first sentence in Hentges’ second paragraph:
Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling and individualized student guidance.
After that, Hentges says this:
In other words, by focusing on equity of opportunity for all students, Finland has produced academic excellence.
Here’s the next paragraph from the article in the Atlantic:
In fact, since academic excellence wasn’t a particular priority on the Finnish to-do list, when Finland’s students scored so high on the first PISA survey in 2001, many Finns thought the results must be a mistake. But subsequent PISA tests confirmed that Finland, unlike, say, very similar countries such as Norway, was producing academic excellence through its particular policy focus on equity.
It’s clear that Hentges’ op-ed didn’t give attribution to the Atlantic’s article. It’s clear that Hentges ‘borrowed’ one sentenced from the Atlantic’s article, then mixing it with his own personal opinion.
In the dictionary, that’s known as plagiarism:
the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work, as by not crediting the author
This isn’t a criticism of the St. Cloud Times. It’s difficult for them to know the wording of every article on every subject. Instead, it’s an indictment against Mr. Hentges, especially considering the fact that AJ Kern used that same sentence, with attribution, during her presentation on improving teacher quality during the Restoring Excellence in Education Forum.
Considering the fact that Mr. Hentges is an academic who sits on the St. Cloud School Board, he knows better than to claim personal credit for things written in an article. It’s plagiarism, pure and simple. It’s proof that Mr. Hentges’ professionalism and ability to serve should be questioned.
When Valerie Plame was all the talk with liberals, conservatives grew tired of Joe Wilson’s fabrications. I said at the time that the easiest way to detect whether Amb. Wilson was lying or not was to see if his lips were moving. Based on her bold accusations, then her immediate backtracking on the issue, I’d suggest that the Joe Wilson Rule applies to Nancy Pelosi. Here’s Pelosi’s disgusting accusation:
When Newt challenged her, saying that she should “bring it on”, Pelosi started backtracking faster than I thought an old lady like her could move. Here’s Newt’s response:
After Newt’s response, Team Pelosi went into damage control:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office on Wednesday said the minority leader doesn’t have any dirt on Newt Gingrich.
Pelosi has suggested in two interviews that she knows something that could prevent Gingrich from becoming president, but her office said the California Democrat doesn’t have any secrets about Gingrich, who has shot to the top of national Republican polls after winning the South Carolina primary.
“The ‘something’ Leader Pelosi knows is that Newt Gingrich will not be President of the United States. She made that clear last night,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement.
“Leader Pelosi previously made a reference to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware,” Hammill said.
San Fran Nan is a windbag. Tell her to jump on her broomstick and tell her to get the hell back to San Fran.
Mitt’s been peddling the notion that Newt’s sanctions were proof of a fatal character flaw. This video, featuring Brooks Jackson, says the opposite:
First, Brooks Jackson is the most trustworthy, no nonsense campaign finance reporter in the business. Second place behind him doesn’t exist.
David Bonior, one of the most partisan Democrats ever to be part of leadership is quoted as saying “Mr. Gingrich engaged in a pattern of tax fraud.” John Lewis said ” We cannot have a Speaker who is under investigation for lying to counsel investigating his involvement in a massive tax fraud scheme.”
The problem with their coordinated attacks is that they aren’t based on anything resembling reality. That isn’t opinion. That’s the Clinton IRS’s ruling in the matter.
There’s no doubt but that Mitt wants to continue this narrative. Similarly, there’s no proof that substantiates Mitt’s attacks. In short, Mitt is being as dishonest as the Agenda Media. In the eyes of conservatives, it’s one thing to attack a man’s character or his record. It’s another to be as deceitful as the Agenda Media.
In fact, Mitt’s arguments mirror Nancy Pelosi’s arguments. First, here’s Mitt:
“Speaker Gingrich has also been a leader,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “He was a leader for four years as speaker of the House. And at the end of four years, it was proven that he was a failed leader and he had to resign in disgrace. I don’t know whether you knew that, he actually resigned after four years, in disgrace.
Romney continued: “He was investigated over an ethics panel and had to make a payment associated with that and then his fellow Republicans, 88 percent of his Republicans voted to reprimand Speaker Gingrich. He has not had a record of successful leadership.”
The IRS found that the initial allegation leveled by Pelosi, Boniors and others didn’t have merit.
Here’s what Bill Jacobson at Legal Insurrection said about Mitt’s attacks:
So Romney is going on attack. The centerpiece will be Newt Gingrich’s consent to a single ethics violation (out of 84 charged) in the 1990s. The process was highly politicized by Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi. Newt ultimately was vindicated by the IRS on the issue, but you wouldn’t know it from Romney’s speech yesterday in Florida.
If Mitt is going to buy into Pelosi’s and Boniors’ propaganda, then he’ll further damage his credibility with conservatives. People didn’t trust him before Mitt’s deceitful attacks. They’ll trust him less after this.
Newt isn’t Mitt’s biggest problem. Mitt is. Mitt’s seen by the base as artificial, plastic. Attacking Newt won’t solve Mitt’s conservative crisis.
If there’s been a more childish, juvenile stunt pulled by a presidential frontrunner’s campaign than this, I wouldn’t know what it is:
The Romney campaign today will deliver an anniversary cake to Gingrich HQ in SC today marking the 15th yr (to the day) that Gngrich became the first Speaker of the House ever reprimanded for an ethics violation.
Here’s Greta’s opinion:
I don’t know about you but with all the serious issues confronting our nation and for our next President to address, whether it be President Obama or a Republican, I find this gesture (below) from the Romney campaign to make them look very junior high. If Governor Romney even knows about this (and he may not), he should pull the plug on this prank. It doesn’t make his campaign (and thus him) look presidential. He wants to appear Presidential right now. It is one thing to point out and emphasize differences and experiences, it is another to ridicule.
This isn’t just amateurish. It’s proof that Mitt can’t handle not doing well. When things don’t go his way, like they did in Monday’s debate, Mitt’s “looks presidential” facade disappears. It didn’t take long for Mitt to revert to his spoiled brat ways.
This stunt screams “I don’t look presidential.” How appropriate.