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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cesspool snorkeling

The Oregonian's occasional game of "Who had the pickle?" is always a fun read. They're constantly checking public officials' expense accounts while they ignore the much bigger scams in which our government leaders are often involved.

Today they came up with a big catch, though -- state legislators flying to Maui on lobbyists' dime and not reporting it as state law requires. The offenders' responses are pitiful.

It's become pretty clear that they're not just incompetent in the legislature. Some are crooks.

Comments (12)

I love their excuse--"it was the lobbyist's responsibility to tell me I had exceeded the allowable amount!"

This from the political party that can't go 5 seconds without cutting some vital social program in the name of "personal responsibility."

Right up there with yesterday's gem from Saxton: "I ran into Norma Paulus at Strohecker's, and she told me it was o.k."

Maybe these guys are so out of touch they don't realize it costs more than $144 for a trip to Hawaii...

Reminds me of when Saint Mark Hatfield thought that Steuben glass figurines sold for $2.98.

Mike Caudle, the Democratic nominee challenging Wayne Scott in House District 39, today released an ethics and lobbying reform package that would help root out the type of abuses laid out in The Oregonian article.

Jonathan Singer
Campaign Manager
Committee to Elect Mike Caudle

While I agree Jack that there are even bigger forms of corruption at all levels of government in Oregon, until it is against the law to accept these type of gifts, the gifts will get bigger and bigger.

If you remember a few years ago, a lobbyist sued for the right to let spouses attend these type of events with lobbyists.

And how does Rick Metsger get off claiming he was a paid consultant? So he is employed by the beer and wine industry now? Will he now claim a conflict of interest when voting on alcohol taxes?

Lastly, I wonder if each legislator received a 1099 for the cost of the trip. Any way we could pass this info to the IRS and Oregon department of Revenue?

Heh.... Derrick "Flounder" Kitts. Is that a guy who knows how to party or WHAT?

In addition to the statement about not knowing that the trip was worth more than $144, I also got a good laugh at the one guys comment that their stay at one of the most posh resorts on Maui was "strictly a working vacation". I suppose it goes to prove that some people will say almost anything when they get caught with their pants down around their ankles. Metsger's move to get an opinion letter from the ethics squad exempting him from reporting may have been legal, but it doesn't make him any less of a whore than the other three morons. Trips like this smell bad even when they are reported. It's not like going on a fact finding mission to Darfur to check into ethnic cleansing or something. If they want to learn more out about the beer and wine industry in Oregon (insert snort of disgust here) they can stay at the Red Lion in Jantzen Beach.

In yesterday's story and today opinion, the O completely misses the point.

The O keeps harping on how low Oregon's beer and wine taxes are and that they've never been raised.

The real scandal is the distributorship arrangements mandated by law that divert consumer dollars to distributors. Why else would a six pack of Portland microbrew be cheaper in LA than in PDX? Certainly ain't the taxes!

Yet again, the O is distracted by the shiny objects (taxes) while avoiding the real magic (screwing consumers).

Thanks for the info/insight Garage Wine. The O could definitely do a better job plumbing the depths of the cesspool in Oregon:

A few days ago,it published an opinion piece where a lawyer lauded Oregon's fine tradition of judicial independence. Yeah? I am reading "Nimrod" (A Bojack selection). That's not the historical picture I am getting, nor is it the picture presented in other local historical accounts. Nor is it the picture a modern-day small time lawyer sees. But it seems to be what the Big O wants us to believe.

And this morning, there is a front page story: "Mexican drug gangs take root in S. Oregon containing this line: "The report notes that Oregon has been spared the kind of Mafia organizations and rampant public corruption reported elsewhere in the nation...". Are they considering that the key word here is "reported" and that perhaps we aren't hearing about corruption-going all the way up to the Oregon Attorney General's Office-because it isn't being investigated or reported. C'mom you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are many examples and lots of documentation, but they prefer to listen to official sources call whistle blowers nasty names.

I’ve always wondered whether those and other government officials who receive all this travel and related meals and entertainment are required to report the value of the trips for federal and state income tax purposes. I don’t think anyone can legitimately argue that they’re “gifts” as the lobbyists are expecting at least some quid pro quo (access) and the only reason the recipients receive the travel and other perks is that they’re government officials (employees of the public).

Yup, "Flounder" was in Hawaii... you can tell by all the broke, tanned strippers who worked so hard, on his lap, during his "work trip" and didn't even get a friggin' tip.

My tip would be "stay in school."


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Cesspool snorkeling:

» Bunch o' bums from Jack Bog's Blog
The number of Oregon legislators implicated in Maui-gate continues to grow, and now we have a couple from the D side of the aisle busted. Time for a different topic on BlueOregon, heh heh.... [Read More]

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