Reid Him His Rights

There is an old saying that insists that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Harry Reid is living in a glass house and he has thrown enough stones to shatter the place. During the past year Dingy Harry Reid has constantly told us of the Republican culture of corruption. He has pointed fingers and every time there is a hint of impropriety by a Republican, ole’ Harry is there to point his finger and discuss the culture of corruption. Anyone with a brain has known that Harry Reid is neck deep in corruption and that is the mind boggling thing. No, not that he is corrupt but that he would make so much noise and draw attention to himself. He is almost standing on a street corner yelling “I am corrupt, come and get me.”

When the Jack Abramoff scandal broke Democrats, led by Reid, were in a full frontal assault with their “culture of corruption” claims. They quieted down a bit when it was learned that many Democrats had taken Abramoff money. In short order, politicians everywhere were returning Jack Abramoff money as if it were coated with anthrax spores. That is, they all turned it in except Dingy Harry. Reid received more than 60 thousand dollars in Abramoff money but said that there was nothing wrong with him keeping it. The money was donated to Reid by a group who later benefited from his involvement in an issue they needed resolved. But to Harry this was OK, he had done nothing wrong and the only people America needed to worry about were Republicans.

Harry Reid has also been the recipient of expensive ringside boxing tickets while legislation was being considered that might affect how boxing was regulated. The Nevada Athletic Commission, who gave Reid the tickets, feared they would lose authority if the legislation passed. Reid had this to say while defending his actions:

He defended the gifts, saying that they would never influence his position on the bill and he was simply trying to learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry. “Anyone from Nevada would say I’m glad he is there taking care of the state’s number one businesses,” he said. “I love the fights anyways, so it wasn’t like being punished,” added the senator, a former boxer and boxing judge. Washington Post

It would appear that Republicans who accept gifts are obviously doing it for personal gain but when Reid does it, well he would never let those things influence him. There is a very important lesson that has been learned the hard way over the years and that is, even the appearance of impropriety is wrong. It does not matter what a person is doing if the appearance is that the person is doing something wrong. Often in the professional world, perception is reality and when people think you are doing something wrong then you are. In these circumstances, it would be impossible to prove a person was not biased if he voted in a way that favored the person who gave him the gift. In addition, Harry Reid is a well paid Senator who could afford his own tickets and then he could write them off as a business expense. Reid was a boxer and a boxing judge so he should have a good idea as to how the industry works. I would also wager that gambling is the state’s number one business. I wonder if Reid claimed the value of the gift on his taxes.

Recently, Harry Reid’s name was back in the news cycle as he was involved in a questionable land deal that netted him 1.1 million dollars. Harry Reid bought some property and he transferred it to a company created by a friend of his. Reid never reported the land transfer on his financial disclosure forms even though he did not own it. Harry Reid claimed, in a press release, that he still owned the land through a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) but land records show he was not the deeded owner of the property. This deal involved a few players and one of the owners was a land developer who benefited from a government land swap that Reid supported. The AP discloses the complex issue:

_The deal began in 1998 when Reid bought undeveloped residential property on Las Vegas’ booming outskirts for about $400,000. Reid bought one lot outright, and a second parcel jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported. The seller never talked to Reid.

_In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to a limited liability corporation created by Brown. The senator didn’t disclose the sale on his annual public ethics report or tell Congress he had any stake in Brown’s company. He continued to report to Congress that he personally owned the land.

_After getting local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, Brown’s company sold the land in 2004 to other developers and Reid took $1.1 million of the proceeds, nearly tripling the senator’s investment. Reid reported it to Congress as a personal land sale.

The complex dealings allowed Reid to transfer ownership, legal liability and some tax consequences to Brown’s company without public knowledge, but still collect a seven-figure payoff nearly three years later. Breitbart (AP)

Reid did not report this on his ethics form, did not disclose his stake in a company and he continued to report that he owned the land even though records show he sold it for the same price he bought it. After the land was rezoned and then sold, Reid made a huge profit and reported it to Congress as a sale of his own property. The way he did business, as the story points out, allowed him to transfer ownership, legal liability and tax consequences and then allowed him to make a fortune off the sale. Once again the appearance of impropriety is enough to make this bad but the dealings indicate Reid used his political position for personal gain and this is a violation of the law. Reid dismisses this as an election year smear tactic but has directed that his financial records and ethics papers be corrected to report the things the way they should have been in the first place. Reid calls this the correction of an oversight, when a Republican is involved he calls it a culture of corruption.

But wait, there’s more. Harry Reid has been using campaign money to pay Christmas bonuses to the staff of the Ritz-Carlton where he lives. Over the last few years Reid’s campaign spent $3300 on such bonuses and now Reid has written a check to reimburse the campaign but only after this information was made public by the Associated Press. Reid is claiming, just as he has in every other act of corruption, that this is an attempt to take attention away from Republican failures and of course, Reid has an excuse. He is also claiming that while it is not necessary for him to recompense the campaign he is doing it so that the opposition can not use it against him. He made similar claims while directing his staff to fix his financial and ethics records. What appears to be happening is that while Reid claims Republicans are trying to take the light off their own failures he is actually engaging in a disinformation campaign to make it look as if he has committed no crime. Here is what Harry Reid said about the Christmas bonuses:

“When the campaign first donated to the holiday fund, its experienced lawyer William Oldaker advised us that such donations were permissible. The campaign’s current lawyer, Marc Elias, says the same thing. Nonetheless, I am reimbursing the campaign from my own pocket to prevent this issue from being used in the current campaign season to deflect attention from Republican failures.” Breitbart (AP)

This is convenient and allows Reid to use a lawyer as his scape goat. He claims that two experienced lawyers said it was OK and he is only paying the money back to avoid the distraction. However, here is what the AP report indicates:

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has been using campaign donations instead of his personal money to pay Christmas bonuses for the support staff at the Ritz-Carlton where he lives in an upscale condominium. Federal election law bars candidates from converting political donations for personal use. [my emphasis] Breitbart (AP)

It is highly unlikely that two “experienced” lawyers did not know that federal election laws prohibit using political donations for personal use. Even if that is accepted as true, it is beyond reason that Harry Reid did not know this. He has been in the Senate a long time and he knows that he may not use political donations for personal use. All members of Congress know this and Harry Reid is no different. Harry Reid is engaging in the same kind of deception he accused the Republicans of but instead of failure he is distracting people from his criminal conduct.

Harry Reid was one of the loudest Democrats out there when it came time to shout about a culture of corruption. Harry Reid has discussed the need to change leadership and to get rid of the corrupt politicians. Reid has done this while saying nothing about members of his own party, such as William Jefferson (D-LA) who was involved in criminal activity. Now that Reid’s criminal acts have come to light the public is treated to excuse upon excuse and clean-up of “over sights.” Harry Reid has taken money and other gifts and in exchange he used his political office to provide favorable results for his benefactors.

There are corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle. There are nearly as many Democrats as Republicans involved in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Each side has members who break the law and use their offices for personal gain. Unfortunately, the members of Congress fail to see what they are doing as being illegal and instead focus on those in the opposition who have done the same things. Harry Reid has been screaming about the culture of corruption and from what has been written about his activities, it is obvious that he is an expert in the subject.

Regardless of party, it is time to clean out those who betray the trust of the citizens of this country. It is time to hold them all accountable and to ensure that they understand that they work for the citizens and not the other way around. It is time to get rid of any politician who has been involved in unethical or criminal behavior. It is time for the people of America to take back the country and that starts by taking back the government.

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2 Responses to “Reid Him His Rights”

  1. GM Roper says:

    What an outstanding post! Arf!!!!