Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sweeney on CSpan

John Sweeney (R NY) was on C-Span this morning.

He stated of Chertoff, "The secretary has to show us he has a real understanding. ... If this is the way he thinks we ought to respond to these threat needs then he ought to resign" and then quickly admitted that congress is to blame for widely misappropriated Homeland Security spending, saying "This was about spreading the money around, about pork spending..." I guess no one told him that he was in Congress and should be fixing that problem. Usually he seems to mostly work on his obsession with steroids.

One call from within NY's 20th district came in while I was listening asking Sweeney what success he's had with legislation and why he's voted to support the GOP party line 90% of the time, and Sweeney's answer:

Partisan calls are fun in an election year. 90% voting is a made up number.

Ignore the question. Dismiss the caller as partisan. Say they are making things up. Uh, seems pretty rookie if you ask me.

Sweeney was elected in 1998, the DCC researched the voting record and reported on it here.

I did a tally of the 108th congress, just the last full session and Sweeney voted with the Democratic party in just 13 of 99 votes. See the post here. It seems like Sweeney's recent bid to be a real independent fighter, is all just a page from Karl Rove's strategy for keeping the GOP majority in congress. The Washington Post has a votes database up here which makes it clear that Sweeney supports the Bush administration and always has been a party line guy.

Another caller said that Sweeney is now critical of Chertoff, appointed by Bush, but shouldn't Sweeney be held accountable for having put Bush in power in the first place by leading the Brooks Brothers Riot in Miami in 2000? Sweeney takes another cue from Rove/Bush/Cheney and said:

Revisionist history is always fun, especially in a campaign year.

In spite of Sweeney's desire to pretend that he never went carpetbagging down to Miami, the fact remains that he did. To claim that people who ask him about it are the ones who are revising history is the utmost in arrogance and hypocrisy. Here are the facts:

On Nov. 22, 2000, after learning that the Miami canvassing board was starting an examination of 10,750 disputed ballots that had previously not been counted, Rep. John Sweeney, a New York Republican, called on Republican troops to “shut it down,” according to Down and Dirty. Brendan Quinn, executive director of the New York GOP, told about two dozen Republican operatives to storm the room on the 19th floor where the canvassing board was meeting, Tapper reported.

“Emotional and angry, they immediately make their way outside the larger room in which the tabulating room is contained,” Tapper wrote. “The mass of ‘angry voters’ on the 19th floor swells to maybe 80 people,” including many of the Republican activists from outside Florida.

News cameras captured the chaotic scene outside the canvassing board's offices. The protesters shouted slogans and banged on the doors and walls. The unruly protest prevented official observers and members of the press from reaching the room. Miami-Dade county spokesman Mayco Villafana was pushed and shoved. Security officials feared the confrontation was spinning out of control.

The canvassing board suddenly reversed its decision and canceled the recount. “Until the demonstration stops, nobody can do anything,” said David Leahy, Miami’s supervisor of elections...

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