Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Real Agenda

A Press Release from the Republican Congressional Committee that took Gillibrand's words out of context and tried to attack her recent Comprehensive Ethics Proposal back-fired this week. The press coverage it generated was not what they were expecting. Locally the release was issued by Saratoga County GOP, but it was obviously written by higher ups in the National Republican Congressional Committee. We all know why they would not want to see reforms like Kirsten's gain any traction with voters, it is something the party leaders give service to one week and then back peddle on the next week. More about that here in yesterday's NYT. While Sweeney tries to sell himself as a reformer, the reality is that lobbyists are the top industry supporting his campaign. He is also a back peddler on this issue. In the Post Star's coverage of Gillibrand's Ethics Proposal, Sweeney's Chief of Staff tried to point to uncovering the blatant and most corrupt ethics violations in the history of congress as proof that the Republicans had their ethics problems under control, claiming, "The process of rooting out corruption is working, which is why former Rep. Duke Cunningham [R, CA] is going to jail." (source) Kind of like how the Bush administration tried to tell us that the insurgency in Iraq was proof of how successful the war effort was. And Melissa Carlson, Sweeney's spokeswoman recently said:
There has been a lot of talk in Washington about ethics laws and lobbying, and certainly there are things we could look at, members [of Congress] looking to do any kind of reform should keep in mind that the right to petition is a very sacred constitutional right." source
At any rate, the party chose an odd source to issue the release since Saratoga County Republican Chairman Jasper Nolan recently defended Sweeney's lobbyist connections by saying "Lobbying is the fourth branch of government -- if you know what I mean." Needless to say, they don't sound like a party committed to real change to anyone paying attention. The real agenda of the party at the local and national level is to promise reform and then get back to business as usual. Here's what their smear efforts yielded: By MAURY THOMPSON Published on 3/10/2006 News From the Campaign Trail THE POST-STAR

* The National Republican Congressional Committee in a press release Wednesday criticized Democratic congressional candidate Kirsten Gillibrand for holding a $500-per-person campaign fundraiser in Washington. Dubbing it Gillibrand's "Hypocrisy or Bust Tour," Ed Patru, an NRCC spokesman, said it was hypocritical to hold such an event when Gillibrand is calling for ethics and campaign finance reform. Gillibrand campaign manager Bill Hyers said the $500-per-plate event was still significantly less than the cost for some events for incumbent U.S. Rep. John Sweeney, R-Clifton Park, which have been as high as $2,500-per-plate. Gillibrand must raise money to be competitive under the current system, he said, suggesting Sweeney supporters appeared to be desperate in their criticism. "We're down there meeting with friends and supporters," he said.

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