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May 20, 2006


imagine this.

a set of republican contractors or subcontractors whose purpose is to influence elections in ways that benefit the republican party nationally.


maybe a specialist in telemarketing who can do phone jamming.

maybe a specialist is computer hacking.

maybe a specialist in editing the software


the actual votes on an electronic voting machine.

maybe a few old cia hands to deal in serious domestic misinformation campaigns - beyond the usual, i mean.

you would not want the existence of this electoral fifth column known, now would you?

think of the endless possibilities for election manipulation at a "safe" remove.

all this can be yours,

once you've let go of any sense of the need to be, organizationally or personally, self-restraining for the benefit of the whole political system.

once you take the view, that is, that george w. bush has taken, that "it's just politics."

Great post as per usual emptywheel. My eyes were opened by FDL posts on wingnut welfare, the "non-profits" that laundered GOP income and sheltered neo-con articles under the imprimatur of the corporate media. Judge Bork, the evangelist of "strict constructionism" was making appearances to sink Harriet Meier's SC nomination, but he hasn't said a damn word about the hyper activist Executive Branch. Of course not, Bork is a "scholar" in residence at the Hudson Institute with Scooter.
I suspect that Republicans sheltered their gaping financial advantage over the Dems, because transparency would only have confirmed how weak the Democratic Party was/is.

Hush money. Tobin = E. Howard Hunt.

It all comes back eventually. You are right.

There's another interesting ingredient to add to the mix. Three tribes represented at the time by Jack Abramoff gave $5,000 donations to the NH Republican Party. (Or maybe it was two tribes at $5k each, and a third Abramoff-connected entity for the other $5K.) Tribes giving money to state parties isn't by itself all that odd. But there are no recognized tribes in the state of New Hampshire. Thus, there's no Indian gaming in New Hampshire, and no chance of Indian gaming any time in the forseeable future.

Why do I bring this up? Because the payments by the NH Republican Party to the firm that did the phone jamming came to a total of...you guessed it, $15,000.

Oh, another example along the lines of what John mentions upthread: affirmative action opponent/right wing shil Ward Connerly is often mentioned as a "wealthy businessman." A few years ago I had a conversation with some of the people ramping up the opposition to the Connerly-sponsored attempt to overturn affirmative action in Michigan, and they said that as far as they could tell, any money Connerly had came from receiving "consulting fees" from some of the rightwing groups that funded his institute or foundation or whatever it was, and that group in turn was typically the source of the funds for the campaigns and associated expenses against affirmative action. Thus, Connerly's role appears to be the affirmative action hire to supply a black face out front for the public to see, while the money funding these efforts against affirmative action comes from other sources, primarily groups on the hard right.

Good point, DH, I forgot to include the Abramoff funding.

It's tempting to figure out where his tribes' unexplainable giving went to see if there's any smoke like there was in NH.

I really don't understand how they even managed to find attorneys in NH who would bill at a rate that added up to $3 million. After all, it wasn't a complex case, and there don't seem to have been many questions of law here... and they lost-- the guy is going to jail. So who are these very expensive and yet far from successful attorneys?

Or maybe a mil or so went to, uh, "taking care of his family while he was upriver keeping his mouth shut?" I think I saw something like that in The Godfather.

Abromoff and Scanlon (mostly Scanlon) were active in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2002, though they got found out and their ploy flopped, but it would be interesting to add this chapter to what we already know about their efforts.

There were two prongs to the story. On one hand Scanlon was all involved in trying to get a bankrupt dog track built in Hudson Wisconsin in the 1980's turned over to a Wisconsin Indian tribe for development as a Casino/dog track property. The Hudson property was never Indian land, but there was a ruling from Interior that they would entertain a land swap. Hudson is a little less than 20 miles outside of the Twin Cities -- and it would have been major competition for existing Minnesota Casinos in the area -- plus it pitted the Souix against traditional Wisconsin Winnebago enemies. The DFL party in Minnesota has been a strong defender of Indian Gaming ever since it became legal, and they donate mostly to DFL Politicians and the party. About 85% of Minnesota Indians vote DFL. So part of the idea was to hurt tribes that supported Democrats. Thank Goodness Wisconsin had the ability to call a special election on the land swap, and while Scanlon poured millions into the campaign -- it lost. The town of Hudson is a quiet river town, and had no interest in a Casino. Thus end to one prong of the ploy.

The other part of the ploy had to do with Karl Rove financing -- in part through Norm Coleman's campaign -- an Indian newcommer running on the Green ticket for Senate against Wellstone. In 2002 the Greens had an automatic ballot slot, given Ralph Nadar's performance in 2000. But early on the Minnesota Greens and the Wellstone Campaign had a pow-wow, and the Greens decided not to endorse anyone, a deal that was supposedly sealed when Winnie LaDuke endorsed Wellstone. But at the Green convention this new guy pretending to be a highly principled Indian Mystical Environmentalist showed up and when no one stood for the Senate Nomination, put his name in at the last minute. As the only volunteer he got the endorsement even though the Leadership of the Greens tried to stick with their deal. Nex we heard of the guy, he was traveling with Norm Coleman with Norm picking up the bills, to all the events where Coleman-Wellstone debates were scheduled. (County fairs and the like.) Anyhow, the Star Tribune dug out how Rove was sending money to him -- and just before filing time, another Indian, a writer and legitimate Green Party member filed, he won the Green Primary (with lots of DFL'ers crossing over -- we have open primaries) -- and at his "victory party" he announced that he had no more money, thus could not campaign further -- and he thanked all his voters. Thus the Green Party kept its end of the deal, their line had a name on it on the ballot -- but the candidate essentially endorsed Wellstone.

Last we heard of the Indian Rove had set up to run -- he was at the Department of Interior, political appointee -- dealing with Indian Casino issues. (Nice Pay-off -- surprised they didn't make him head of FEMA!)

This -- well both of these prongs -- are potentially matters that could be brought up vis a vis Rove -- and Abramoff and Scanlon. It is not exactly crank phone calls -- but it is very much in line with the electorial doings of 2002. I think the story needs to be added in with the New Hampshire operation.

Sara, what's the name of the guy they ran? I'm curious whether he has shown on the radar of the Abramoff scandal.

ohhh, some poor bastard is in trouble now

"Sara, what's the name of the guy they ran? I'm curious whether he has shown on the radar of the Abramoff scandal"

now that's the kinda stuff I'm afraid of

regular patrons get immunity, right ???

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