06 February, 2007

Another Corrupt Democrat

The searchlight of justice seems to have pinned down yet another politician from my side of the double-yellow line: Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Fumo.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, one of the most powerful figures in Pennsylvania politics, was indicted Tuesday on 139 federal counts alleging he used a nonprofit group for personal and political gain and defrauded the state Senate out of $1 million.
Authorities had been investigating the Citizens' Alliance for Better Neighborhoods for more than four years. The group was started by Fumo aides in 1991 to serve the neighborhood where he grew up.

The 267-page indictment included wire fraud, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, mail fraud and tax counts. It also accused Fumo of engaging in a systematic cover-up through the destruction of e-mails and other electronic records.
"Fumo not only abused the Senate purse by paying employees who solely or partially did personal and political work for him, but further defrauded the Senate by overpaying employees who did both official and personal tasks," the indictment said.

Fumo, anticipating the indictment on Monday, temporarily stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the appropriations committee but remains in the Senate.

The Philadelphia Democrat, who has beaten two previous indictments, promised to clear his name.
"He directed that Senate employees and contractors employed by the Senate serve him in any manner he desired, throughout the regular workday and at all hours of the day and night, to further his political goals and attend to his personal wants," prosecutors said.

Enough is enough is enough is enough is enough. Too many Democrats have taken to heart the adage, as coined by the semi-mythical Nixon staffer, "Power corrupts. Absolute power is kinda neat, though." Actually, too many starts with the number one. He's bilked the Pennsylvania treasury, shafted the state Senate, and used his power for his own gain. This Fumo character has even gone so far as to accuse the judge of animosity against him by citing his "repeated personal attacks on Judge Davis' character, honor, independence, integrity, honesty, judicial temperament and suitability for office" so as to force the judge to recuse himself from the case. All this puts him at the same level as Congressman Jefferson down Louisiana way: political toilet logs that need to be flushed alongside their political careers.

The One And Only Angie wondered if this guy was a Republican, would we left-leaning folks be all over him like stink on toilet logs? Yup. Should we give him a free pass simply because he's not a Republican? Nope. Too bad that the only Democratic blogger even mentioning this whole escapade is teh Atrios, and he gives Fumo a nice slap upside the head. (Exceedingly rare it is that I give Duncan a credit instead of giving him a slap upside the head. Yet I give the credit when it's due.)

Only one person shining the searchlight on this? And now, including myself, two?

Not nearly enough.

Carpe jugulum.

(To respond to 186, only dishonest partisan hacks in the Democratic party try to pretend that corruption is only a Republican problem. And one thing I am not is a dishonest partisan hack. I try to be an honest partisan hack, thank you very much. Too bad I fail miserably at the partisan hackery.)


Angie said...

Nice post! :)

(so much better than anything I could ever do)

Off Colfax said...

As I said, Angie...

You're welcome.