Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesdays with Paulie 10/3/06

Blagojevich Gets Tax Break

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich appears to be getting favorable treatment by the taxman. It turns out that his property tax assessment went up just under 1% while his neighbors went up about 37%. Democratic Cook County Assessor James Houlihan claims Blagojevich was not given any preferential treatment. He argues that the governor was over assessed in previous years so the current assessment is simply "catch up." However an examination of the assessment that occurred 3 years ago shows Blago's increase was 40%, comparable to his neighbors 43% rate hike. Of the 156 homes in Blago's neighborhood, all of them received double digit assessment increases, except for one. Can you guess which home...I knew that you could.

It's been a profitable term for the state's top official and his family. Last month it was discovered that the governor's daughter received a $1500 check as a "birthday gift" from his former campaign treasurer, after his wife received a $48,000 a year state job. The governor received over $30,000 in charter flights from a company that miraculously received a 2.5 million contract to oversee a new recreational site in southern Illinois, while another company had done the master plan for the project, was unable to even bid for the contract since the contract was given out as a no-bid....It's good to be the king!

Foley Shameful, Democrats Maybe Worse

The recent revelation that Florida Congressman, Mark Foley (R-FL) was having explicit email and instant message conversations with a 16 year old male page is despicable on multiple levels. It also serves as a sad reminder of how often people in power believe that the same rules that apply to everyone else, somehow don't include them. This recent event is also exposing how nobody in Washington really cares about the teenage page or pages involved, they only care about the political points.

Today's Washington Times in calling for House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign. They are citing various red flags that the Speaker should of noticed or knew and ignored as the reason for him to leave. I am not ready to call on Hastert to resign until we can learn exactly what he knew. If it is true that the Speaker knew that Foley was indeed sending sexually explicit messages to underage pages, I too will call for his resignation. However, I have it under good authority that Hastert had investigated emails and found nothing that would cause him to ask Foley to step down. What is being misunderstood in the medias reporting is the difference between email and Instant Messaging. IM does not leave the same record trail as an email. If it is revealed that the GOP leadership was privy to email that was inappropriate than they are guilty as well, but viewing IM is different and much harder to obtain.

Another question that has recently come up is what did the Democrats know? 5 weeks before the mid-term elections and suddenly the Foley scandal goes public. The same authority that I mention above informs your brilliant blogger that the investigation Speaker Hastert is calling for will also ask what the Dems knew and when did they know it. The fact is that if anyone regardless of party affliliation knew of Foley's action, was aware that teenage boys were being manipulated and decided to ignore the situation or held the information until most politically beneficial, are just as guilty, if not more than the Florida congressman.

If Foley had chosen not to resign, it's very possible he could of survived the ordeal if history would of repeated itself. In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) had a sexual relationship with a male teenage page, which Foley has not been charged with. Studds not only did not resign or even show remorse, he rejected the congressional censure of him and continued to get re-elected and represent his district until he retired in 1999. Six years later in 1989, Rep. Barney Frank lived with a man who ran a male prostitution business out of their apartment. Frank also fixed 33 parking tickets for his companion. Frank received a mere reprimand from Congress that was not even a unanimous vote.

Before leaving office, President Clinton commuted the sentence of Illinois Congressman Mel Reynolds (D), who had a sexual relationhip with a 16 year-old campaign volunteered who he pressured into lying for him. Regardless of political affiliation, all of these situations stink to high heaven. Maybe it's time to re-examine the idea of term limits .



At 10/06/2006 2:17 PM , Blogger goethean said...



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