Just this last weekend we got Sweeney's latest puff piece mailer for his campaign. Apparently, mirabile dictu, he's from upstate. Well, whoop-de-doo. So is Kirsten Gillibrand. So am I. So is my neighbor, the town drunk.
Now, admittedly, my neighbor doesn't have a seat in Congress that was essentially given to him by the governor, but by the criteria implicit in Sweeney's mailer, he has the same qualifications. The joke of Sweeney's whole strategy, as far as I can tell from what I read, is that while claiming to be one of us, he's been the consummate insider in Washington. He's been DeLay's slave, voting with him 92% of the time, he's the one of the guys the Bush team sent down to Miami to shut down the electoral process in the famous bourgeois riot that helped Bush to steal the election in '00, he was the deciding vote on CAFTA, which has only hurt his district. While we continue to suffer from the concentration of corporate power that is the GOP today, Sweeney continues to collect money from the pharmaceutical lobby ( hello, Utah !), oil, and on and on. He studiously stood back from making a public statement on the attempt to gut social security, but is known to support privatizing it.
He has shown the good sense to stop his wife's skimming off his fund-raising, but not out of principle, but because the only other person doing this is currently under investigation.
Of course, he's got his own troubles:
Last year, two aides from the Justice Department pulled the financial disclosure records of Rep. John Sweeney, along with those of a number of other lawmakers and aides. The others made sense as possible subjects of interest in the Abramoff investigation, but Sweeney didn't. What was the Justice Department investigating? We couldn't figure it out.
Carlson had no explanation for why the Justice Department might be examining Sweeney's records, only saying that "they are public records, anybody's free to examine them" and that "many people do look at them."
Now, are we sure that this is why the Justice Department is looking at Sweeney? No. But it's been repeatedly reported that lawmaker's arrangements with their wives interest investigators, as with Tom DeLay's wife Christine, who worked for DeLay and for Buckham.
The man has enriched himself at our expense, and that is the furthest thing from his self-portrayal as being a salt-of-the-earth hard-working Upstater. Upstaters are honest, hard-working, self-sufficient, not lying leeches.
Oh, yeah, and the mailer never mentions the GOP or George Bush, either.