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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    What price a Senator's integrity?

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 11:21:44 AM EST
    Tags: Stabenow, Athens, corruption, lobbying, lobbyists, hazardous waste, canadian garbage, illegal, Jim Papas, Detroit (all tags)

    I'm a generous guy.  Alas, I'm also chronically cynical.  So it takes a concerted effort for me, at times, to give people the benefit of the doubt.  

    Maybe it started in college, working at Fulton Heights Foods where it turned out that everyone who instinct said was going to write a bad check or try to sneak out with steaks tucked under their shirts turned out to be every bit the crook you figured.  

    Maybe it was all of those group-projects in school... burned too many times after convincing myself the under-achievers the teacher always seemed to assign my squad would actually show up the next day with their share of the work completed.

    Heck, it was probably that fourth grade class Christmas party when my "Secret Santa," Carla Parker, wrapped and gave me used ChapStick (I wish I was making that up) while my friends were opening GI Joes and Transformers.  Freaking Carla Parker.

    Lets be honest, though... what do raw steak thieves, lazy students and gift-wrapped garbage have on your average politician.  Did I mention that I'm a generous guy?

    I am, though.  Or I try to be.  So when Michigan and Congressional Democrats prattle on and on about the need for lobbyist reform, for a new era of ethics and for transparency I want to take them at their word.  I trust the Democratic Party about as far as I can log-toss Mark Brewer but individually, I do the best I can.

    Still, there comes a time when even the most gracious observer is left scratching his head.  How can someone like Michigan's Senator Debbie Stabenow, for instance, say the things she says and vote the way she votes (remember, this is a woman who voted to create a "Senate Office of Public Integrity") and then sit by while the husband who shares her home, and bank account, presumably, rakes in a half-year's income by working illegally as a lobbyist for a scandal-prone Detroit area developer?  And lobbying in favor of a project she made a point of opposing during her last bid for office?

    Something just doesn't sit right.  Red flags pop out of every corner of this thing, as much as the bulk of the mainstream media would like to ignore them.  Bells and whistles, too.  It is obvious that the Senator understood what her husband was doing these past six months, so I'll ask the obvious question... what would motivate a twice-elected member of the United States Senate to cast aside all of her best rhetoric and surrender her moral high ground?

    If it weren't for a lifetime spent watching Law and Order re-runs I wouldn't know where to start but the embarrassingly large number of hours spent watching the procedural has taught me one thing about detective work... follow the money.

    Read on...

    A quick review of public records tells us that Tom Athen's boss, developer Jim Papas knows two things; one, how to rake in millions of dollars from Detroit pension funds despite chronic failure and two, how to scribble checks to Democrats.  And not tiny ones, either.

    According to the Bureau of Elections and the FEC, Papas has given the Democratic Party and her candidates over $240,000 in just over four-years time.  

    Andy Dillon brought home $2,500 in Papas money.  John Kerry's Victory Fund saw an influx of $25,000.  Even freshman Congressman Mark Schauer got in on the act, bringing in $2,300.  The big winners, though, are the sort of accounts that can make a difference to a woman like Senator Stabenow.

    Papas wrote checks of $10,000 to the Michigan Democratic Party, $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee, another $25K to the Democratic Congressional Committee and a fat $30 Gs to the Senate Democratic Fund.

    That's not chump change.

    The number that could best explain Senator Stabenow's decision to turn a blind eye to the blatant illegality, ethics and lobbyist violations happening right under her nose remains a mystery, though.  Just how much Papas money found its way into her bank account while her husband broke the law to support a toxic waste well Stabenow once claimed she opposed?  

    I'd like to believe the best about people, even Democratic Senators... but the cynic in me says that every Senator has her price.  This is one time I hate to be proven right.

    < Wednesday in the Sphere: February 18 | freep: Detroit making toxic pension decisions >

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    Incredible (none / 0) (#1)
    by irishduke on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 11:27:39 AM EST
    I still for the life of me, have no idea why this woman is a Senator!!!

    Hey Michigan... (none / 0) (#2)
    by rdww on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 11:50:15 AM EST
    You had one of the best and brightest young senators in DC in Spence Abraham.  But you turned him out to elect a sleazy Democratic/UAW hack.  Happy now?

    She's Horrible (none / 0) (#3)
    by SagGOP1 on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 03:58:20 PM EST
    She's Horrible

    Great (none / 0) (#5)
    by Crippy on Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 05:45:08 PM EST
    post Nick!  But did you have to post the picture?  :-)

    God help us!

    • Sir by Crippy, 02/18/2009 06:32:47 PM EST (none / 0)
    Kind of answers the question doesn't it? (none / 0) (#10)
    by LookingforReagan on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:00:36 PM EST
    It shows that you don't have to have one functioning brain cell to be an elected member of Congress. And it also is what is wrong with this country. The elected elites who fancy themselves as some sort of aristocracy are about as dumb as they come and that is true of elements on both sides. They all believe that they are brilliant and always the smartest people in the room. They develope an arrogance about them that coupled with inate stupidty is a dangerous thing. We have a Chief Executive that suffers from this very problem. If these people Stabs-us-now, Nazi Legosi, Barbra Boxed, John F'in Kerry and many others could only see themselves through the prizim of our eyes they might be surprised that while we recognize they are stupid they are also dangerous for thier stupidity and arrogance. I do not remember a time when the Congress of the United States was viewed with such disdain and disrepect. They are about as incompetent as they come. This was one of the reason that the founders did not want a full time legislative body. They become isolated, atune to only the opinions of their fellows and the braying asses that make up the butt licking sheep that laughingly refer to themselves as America's truth tellers, the media. We are so far away from where the vision of the founders intended to lead us it is a wonder that we have lasted this long. But we are partly to blame. For to many years we have let these idiots and know nothings get away with this and have had to little interest or involvment in what they were doing. That has changed to a degree but it needs to happen more. To begin with we need a Congressional reform act to make them accountable. Does anyone think that Obamacare would have passed if any of these glittering jewels of colossal ignorance was required to live under it and take part in it? You can bet not. Make them contribute to Socialist Security the same damned way we have to and you can bet that the issues with the system would get solved. You see you can't make good judgements about a law when you have no interest in it because well it really doesn't apply to you. Time it did. Term limits for Congress must be the prime concern of the People. This must happen no matter what. Judges too. They must be forced to retire at age 70. No more lifetime appointments. Unless we become better citizens we can't police the pigs at the trough like Dear Liberal Debbie. The time is nigh for us to force these people to do their jobs and to do the bidding of the people not their party.

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