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The culture of corruption and regurgitated talking points

By Frank Salvato
web posted February 6, 2006

While Democratic Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee; both representing the San Francisco, California Area and both caustically anti-war, facilitated the staged ejection of Cindy Sheehan from the State of the Union Address, Democrats continued regurgitating their stale talking points for any and every media outlet that still considers that type of blather newsworthy. Included in almost every interview, was the allegation that the Republican culture of corruption continues on the national political scene.

The phrase "culture of corruption" was pitched by the Democratic Party's bumper-sticker writers on the heels of news that Washington power-broker Jack Abramoff pled guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion and that he pledged to cooperate with investigators on the issue of Capitol Hill corruption. Like moths to a flame, each and every Democratic member of Congress glommed on to the phrase. From Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean to Dick Durbin and Harry Reid, it seems as though whenever there is a microphone or a camera nearby, it is standard operating procedure to invoke this phrase in every other sentence.

However, there is a "culture of corruption" that is getting little notice from the "progressive" friendly mainstream media. From buying votes, to Jesse Jackson's favorite accusation, voter disenfranchisement, there have been instances of political corruption within today's progressive Democratic Party that would illicit phantom applause from the dead voters on the Chicago voter rolls.

Recently in East St. Louis, Illinois, US District Judge G. Patrick Murphy declared that the American election process was "under attack" when he sentenced a former Democratic election worker to a year and a half in federal prison for felony conspiracy to commit vote fraud. Former precinct committee member Sheila Thomas, along with a local Democratic Party chairman, a former city official, a city hall volunteer and another precinct worker were all convicted of scheming to buy votes with cash, cigarettes and liquor, the bribes sometimes as little as $2.

In Milwaukee, four liberal activists – two of them children of prominent Milwaukee Democrats, including former Mayor Marvin Pratt and US Rep. Gwen Moore – pled no contest to charges they slashed the tires on a fleet of vehicles rented by the regional Republican Party for transporting voters to the polls. The four "activists," who were volunteers working for the Kerry-Edwards Campaign, slashed the tires of 25 vehicles in an effort to keep those who would vote against their candidate from casting their votes, a right guaranteed in the US Constitution.

Additionally, the publishers of the on-line cooperative encyclopedia Wikipedia recently disclosed that they had to block the US House of Representatives IP address because congressional staffers were committing violations described as "deliberate attempts to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia." Congressional staffers for US Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) deleted references to his term-limits pledge and his $4.8 million campaign war chest, the largest of any House member according to the FEC.

The Meehan edits represent two of more than 1,000 made by congressional staffers in the past six month. Additional "edits" included a change to the bio of Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) stating that he "smells of cow dung" and an edit to the bio of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) claiming that he was "ineffective."

There is an old adage that proclaims, "All politics is local." While politicking has gotten more complicated since the days when these words were first spoken, they still ring true today. It is the political foot soldier who makes a candidate viable, who gets a candidate elected and who makes an elected official effective. An elected official can only be as good as his staff, his organization, and his political foot soldiers.

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the progressive media darlings can pontificate all they want about an alleged "culture of corruption" among Republicans on Capitol Hill. But if one simply pays attention to the political chicanery reported in the 20-something pages of your city's newspaper, events never reported in the national mainstream media and seldom brought up by the politicos inside the Beltway, it is incredibly obvious which political party is mired in a culture of corruption.

Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal.us. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, socio-political education project. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, numerous radio shows coast to coast and his pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at oped@newmediajournal.us Copyright © 2006 Frank Salvato


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