Monday, May 08, 2006

Ney on Ethics

Remember Bob Ney, the guy who was head of the House Ethics Committee when Tom Delay got a free pass? Well, his Chief of Staff, and Pombo contributor, Neil Volz, just copped a plea. According to the SacBee, Volz admitted that he "participated in a conspiracy to corrupt Ney, his staff and other members of Congress with trips, free tickets and meals."

Remember, I mentioned Pelosi cutting lose Jefferson to swing in the wind and wondered who would be the next to go on the Republican side? Looks like it was Ney. Maybe Rocky Balboa was right. Hastert in Acampo was a sign that Pombo is still safe from the ethics committee, since Dennis and Nancy have this dance going on.

11 Comments:

Blogger VPO said...

AP Story details the same kind of activities that Abramoff, et al, were doing for Pombo and his staff. Pombo is not mentioned, but these are people he is very familiar with.

Former Aide to Rep. Ney Pleads Guilty
By PETE YOST , 05.08.2006, 05:26 PM

A former top aide to Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty Monday in the Jack Abramoff influence peddling scandal, admitting he conspired to corrupt Ney, his staff and other members of Congress with trips, free tickets, jobs, meals and campaign events.

The criminal investigation of Abramoff's lobbying operation has now claimed Abramoff and three former congressional staffers: Volz as well as Tony Rudy and Michael Scanlon, who both worked for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

All four are now government witnesses whose prison terms may depend in part on how cooperative they are with federal prosecutors in the investigation involving lawmakers, their aides and members of the Bush administration.

"They're singing for their supper," Ney lawyer Mark Tuohey said of Abramoff, Volz, Rudy and Scanlon. The lawyer said many of the allegations regarding Ney are incorrect and that "the government has been sold a bill of goods by Mr. Abramoff."

Tuohey said Volz was under "extraordinary pressure" to assist the Justice Department probe.

Volz said he engaged in a conspiracy, the intent of which was "to influence members of Congress in violation of the law."

In a nine-page document that focused on Ney's conduct, Volz enumerated 16 actions he said his old boss took on behalf of Abramoff clients. During the period from January 2000 through April 2004, Volz said Abramoff and his lobbyists gave Ney and members of his staff trips to Lake George in New York state, New Orleans, the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., in 2003, and a weeklong golfing retreat to the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.

In addition, Volz wrote, Abramoff provided the congressman and his staff numerous tickets to concerts and sporting events in the Washington, D.C., area; regular meals and drinks at restaurants including Abramoff's restaurant Signatures, and unreported use of Abramoff's box suites at the MCI Center Arena in Washington and Camden Yards Stadium in Baltimore for political fundraisers for Ney and for candidates and political organizations he supported.

Tuohey said the congressman and his staff paid their own expenses on the trips that were inside the United States and that the congressman is "not really" a golfer. Tuohey said Ney's reason for going to Scotland was "because of the official business portion" - a meeting with representatives of the Scottish Parliament and a separate meeting with U.S. military officials. A scheduled meeting with some representatives of the British Parliament did not occur.

Ney's public filing for the Scotland trip took place two years afterward, a mixup that Ney's legal team says was due to papers being misfiled or mislaid.

Volz, 35, worked for Ney from 1995 until early 2002, when he went to work for Abramoff.

Are these accusations accurate? U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle asked Volz during a court proceeding.

"Yes, your honor," Volz replied.

"Mr. Volz, how do you wish to plead?" asked the judge.

"Guilty, your honor," Volz replied. Volz faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The court papers did not detail the conduct of other congressmen, but it said that Ney, acting with Volz and others, agreed to:

_Sponsor legislation to lift a ban against commercial gambling by the Tigua Indian tribe, an Abramoff client in Texas.

_Sign a letter opposing creation of a commission to study Indian gambling.

_Assist Abramoff in obtaining government property for Abramoff's private school in Maryland.

The court papers also say that after asking Volz what Abramoff wanted the congressman to say, Ney assured the Tiguas in Texas that Abramoff was effectively representing them and that Ney would continue to press for legislation on their behalf.

In a 2003 meeting to assist Abramoff clients, Ney told Housing Secretary Mel Martinez that one of Ney's priorities would be housing for American Indians.

Among the projects on which Volz worked was securing a contract for Foxcom Wireless, an Israeli communications company, to improve cell phone reception in House office buildings.

In a conference phone call with reporters, Ney's lawyers acknowledged that the congressman met with Abramoff about a wireless contract for the House buildings. The lawyers added that Ney, then chairman of the House Administration Committee, also met with Haley Barbour, now the governor of Mississippi, who was lobbying for a competing firm at the time. Ney has said he would have been within his rights to award the contract on his own, but instead held an open competition and awarded it based on merit to the firm represented by Abramoff, Foxcom Wireless.

"The Department of Justice has now appeared in federal court four times and has been unable to even allege that Congressman Ney was bribed," Ney spokesman Brian Walsh said in a defiant statement.

The conspiracy charge that Volz pleaded guilty to states that in exchange for a "stream of things of value" supplied to Ney, the congressman agreed to take favorable official action on behalf of clients of Abramoff and Volz.

Associated Press reporters Mark Sherman and David Hammer contributed to this story.

7:56 PM, May 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (repeating a post I had to bury as post #33 to an MUCH older thread where our friend R(obert) I(eye) C(see) K(ellar) tried once again to slime McNerney with this book deal garbage) -- here it goes:

======================

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and nice try, Rick, er, Robert Kellar)

1) The next sentences in that "hot, hot, hot" story are:

"They were inoffensive pledges, such as "War is a last option, not a first choice," and "Healthcare for Americans, not just Iraqis."

As it turned out, they were chapter titles to the book.

McNerney campaign chief A.J. Carrillo blasted his counterpart for planting these scurrilous rumors in the ear of a leading San Joaquin Valley Democratic activist.

"It was a desperate act," Carrillo says. "He even told Stella not to tell anyone that it came from him."


2) Even the Filson crowd (e.g., Kellar) knew that they were doomed to fail at this smear attempt:

"Candidate Jerry McNerney's guy says candidate Steve Filson's guy waged a sleazy attack in an effort to derail a California Democratic Party endorsement at last weekend's convention. (McNerney prevailed.)"

3) The correct way to post a hyperlink, dear Rick, er, Kellar, is this way, you FM!

4) In the future, know what Michael Jordan used to say to those who tempted to knock him off his perch...

It's NOT boasting...IF you can back it up. (Which you, Kellar, apparently CAN'T.)

Scooooooooooooooore! (As they say in Brazil.)

$.02 out.

10:22 PM, May 08, 2006  
Anonymous bgibb said...

Listen, we can all debate this McNerney-Tallitsch issue ad nauseam and not get anywhere. The fact is it’s hit Roll Call; it’s hit the Contra Costa Times. Filson supporters can pick out isolated quotes making McNerney look bad, McNerney supporters can pick out isolated quotes redeeming him. What it boils down to, though—and I know I’ll get blasted for this and even respect your need to attack, to fight back, to try to put out this fire—is that McNerney cannot beat Pombo with this out there. It’s just too damaging. It wouldn’t take much for Pombo to tie McNerney intimately with Tallitsch, and the point is not whether that would be fair—the point is that it can easily be done because McNerney appears in the book and Tallitsch says the offer to signatories was that they could promote his book as their own. One commercial, a few mailings, etc—in this district, you cannot have it out there that the candidate from the Democrats believes all Republicans are greedy and bigoted. I believe Republicans in this district are willing to kick out Pombo, that they’re fed up, as we are, by his despicable conduct. But they won’t usher in someone associated with similarly despicable views. Did McNerney get screwed? I really don’t know. If so, that’s truly unfortunate. But it’s not the first time a blunder has cost someone in politics and it won’t be the last. He can’t beat Pombo. I think you guys know that in your guts. Tell me why I’m wrong.

4:23 AM, May 09, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

bgibb,

I know you're upset that your guy Filson is losing the primary to someone you doubtlessly have no respect for. I know that it must really get your goat that the powers that be can't just anoint a candidate from on high and have the grassroots meekly go along with it. But please, spare us your prophesies of a political apocalypse for McNerney.

He's going to win the primary, and when he does it'll be incumbent upon all of us to defend him against whatever slime attack Pombo's going to throw his way. And if I'm wrong and Filson wins, we'll all have to defend him against the inevitable slime attacks from Pombo.

The point is, I have all the faith in the world that it's a given that Pombo is going to find bullshit to throw at the eventual Democratic nominee. Remember, Pombo doesn't let facts get in the way of a good story.

I just hope that once Filson loses the primary, you lose your motivation to soft-pedal this issue and that you find the courage to call it what it is: bullshit.

10:50 AM, May 09, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr. Gibb,

Rocky here having his cuppa Joe, while your pal Rickey is probably off roosting wherever the hell it is dat chickens roost. That yellow buttwipe (Heh heh) ain't even raised his head on dis here blog since Rocky got serious and asked him to say sumtin nice about McNerney outta respect for a fellow Dem.

Anyways, like I was saying, jist who the hell appointed you chief judge of who's electable and who ain't? As best I can tell, you get one vote like everybody else. If you don't like McNerney, vote for Pretty Boy Filson, but don't get up on some high horse and tell us McNerney can't win. I mean poisonally I dunno how anyone could vote for Pombo the Jagoff, but dey do. He wins, and keeps on winning, so explain dat one to me smarty-pants. If you can't, you don't know Jack.

Now I told you I'm gonna start paying more attention to you, cuz I'm not sure yer showing either McNerney or Rocky the proper respect. Nor this guy/goil named "Delta" wid the weird name, who makes a post about a guy named Volz only to have you respond wid stuff like dis that not only don't make no sense but has nuttin to do wid the subject matter at hand.

You say "Tell me I'm wrong." OK - yer wrong. But yer not only wrong, you ain't showing the proper respect to udders here wid me in dis here "Inner Circle." Like your friend Rickey ButtaWipeO, yer full of sumtin more den jist yerself. Go back and read dat crap you jist posted again - it makes about as much sense as me "wheedling my way into some friggin inner circle cuz I rinse" like you said yesterday.

Git a friggin clue, will ya? Or go roost wid yer friend Rickey. Heh heh.

Rocky out; good to see old $.02 back in. Yo $.02 - you need to be careful 'bout staying on topic too.
PS: Youse guys can even e-mail Rocky at rockyadrian.balboa@hotmail.com, but no flirting wid Adrian or I'll bust yer head.

11:22 AM, May 09, 2006  
Anonymous bgibb said...

Matt, it’s not a question of whether I respect McNerney, although I do. There are plenty of people I respect whom I don’t particularly want in congress. Regardless, of course Pombo will try to smear whomever he’s running against. The problem is that this one will stick, regardless of whether you happen to think it’s bullshit.

Rocky, I didn’t say I was chief judge; I do have an opinion, and it’s shared by many. And do I think it’s odd that people continue to vote for Pombo? Sure. But the explanation is clear: it’s a predominantly Republican district and most people vote their political affiliation. Many are willing to switch over now and then, but needless to say they’re more willing to consider those closer to the middle. By the way, I said tell me why I’m wrong, not tell me I’m wrong, although the former is often too much to ask.

4:43 PM, May 09, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

The real issue with this McNerney book endorsement flap is his judgment.

McNereny's explanation--"I didn't have a campaign manager to stop me from myself"--is rather comical, and unfortunately for him, indicative of someone who has bad judgment. McNereny is essentially saying "I got snookered by some guy on the Internet!" This is hardly a reassuring message for an undecided voter.

Remember, most voters don't actually read campaign platforms or care about self-proclaimed "grassroots" bonafides. Its things like this that gets people's attention.

9:40 PM, May 09, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

bgibb,

I'm sorry I haven't responded to your Chicken Little routine until now, but I was too busy calling voters in the district. Still, I have to say that there's something called a burden of proof and your nice little theory that the sky is falling for McNerney is quaint but lacks any sort of evidence to back it up.

And Rick, if people are really paying attention to these lapses of judgment, you better be concerned about Filson's little speech to the South County Democratic Club. Oh, I forgot. This type of thing is nothing more than a blip on the radar screen of the most attentive voters. I know that's an inconvenient truth for you since you were so gleeful when this wholly manufactured controversy appeared in print. But your work is cut out for you. You might want to spend more time working to contact voters and telling them something positive about Steve Filson than trying to keep this smear campaign against McNerney alive. When you're whole strategy devolves into hopping against hope that your opponent's campaign collapses, you're in trouble.

10:32 PM, May 09, 2006  
Anonymous bgibb said...

Matt, it’s almost as if you don’t bother to read the posts, preferring instead to stick to your standard lines, which are rapidly degenerating into nothing more than talking points. My “quaint” theory is not that McNerney’s campaign is necessarily crumbling but that he is not the best man to run against Pombo because he committed a gaffe that cannot be expunged from the public record. No matter how many times you call it a smear, it’s not going to miraculously become one. A smear is something that lacks any sort of basis; this has a clear basis, and even the most generous interpretation makes McNerney look sloppy and gullible. Thank you, though, for brightening my morning with an inadvertently humorous image, hopping against hope. It brings to mind a group of counter-demonstrators, congregated en masse during a March against AIDS or perhaps cancer to Hop against Hope.

5:42 AM, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Rickey ButtaWipeO.

It about time you show your ugly mug on dis here blog. I been waiting for you, ya yellow punk.

I said dis on May 8 right here on dis blog:
"Even Apollo paid me a compliment after I knocked his lights out - you can redeem yerself here, but somehow I suspect your sitting around packaging up more shit to throw at someone. LOSER!"

Now here's what you did duh next day on May 9:
(TRACY, CA) – Jerry McNerney abandoned his campaign pledge today to follow a path of “integrity, honesty, and accountability.”  To introduce himself to voters in the 11th District, Jerry McNerney’s first mail piece falsely asserts the California Federation of Teachers opposes the candidacy of Democrat Steve Filson."

Now does Rocky got you pegged correctly as a "shit-throwing LOSER," or what? Seeing dat I can see into da future, you can just call me prophylactic.

But anyways, like I was saying, you surface for air for all of toity tree seconds to hoil more shit at McNerney cuz yer a shit-throwing SORE LOSER. Yer pissed off old Pretty Boy didn't get the big city newspaper endorsement, aren't ya? Everyting else yer throwing out now is jist the icing on the street.

Now its like yer coming up wid all dese reasons why the grapes don't even taste so good, woo woo woo, like in dat classical story the Moby Grapes of Wrath. Yer a friggin jagoff, and you jist showed it to anyone wid any common sense on dis here blog. Specially dose of us here in duh Inner Circle, where I am wid Mr VPO, Mr $.02, and Delta who seems partial to duh Repuglican McClosky but at least he's punching the right sleaze bag. You ain't.

You need to find someone like Adrian to toin you into a friggin human bean, for Chrissake.

Cuz you are the sorriest excuse fer a Dem I've ever seen. You ain't said nuttin good about nobody, and nuttin bad about Pombo. You don't belong in no inner circle, outer circle, or even the Circle Circle casino in Reno. Why doncha go back to roosting wid yer buddy Gibby Boy, though I ain't decided yet if he's as much of a lost cause as you. Yer a disgrace as a Dem - does crap like dis give me any reason to vote for Pretty Boy? No, the Repuglican McClosky seems to have more going for him den Pretty Boy.

Accordingly, Rocky's new preferences is for Thomas, McNerney, McClosky, and Pretty Boy in dat order. Dat's right, Pretty Boy is now under the Repuglican, and all becuz of you. (Rocky admit he don't know nuttin about duh other Repug dey call Beano.)

Yo Mr $.02. Rocky sorry, but he dunno how to do tings like you did wid the underline tings dat when you click on 'em dey take you to a new webpage. Maybe you come on over sometime and visit me and Adrian and teach Rocky new computer tricks.

Yo Gibby Boy. Rocky tinks deres hope for you, but you better watch out for who yer roosting wit. You roost wit yellow ButtWipes and you can't help but pick up the smell, you know what I'm saying?? And one more ting - I thought I did address the "why" of yer question, which is basically dat if you can't explain why people vote for Pombo, you can't explain why dey won't vote fer McNerney. It ain't jist party affiliation, dats pretty lame. Noneduhless, you showed Rocky some respect so he gonna treat you wit some as well. Butt, I'm telling ya, watch out fer dat ButtaWipeO guy, cuz if you really want Pretty Boy to win you better get woid to him that Rickey is his biggest friggin boat anchor.

You know what I mean? You get what I'm saying? You follow my drift?

Rocky out.

10:55 AM, May 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and I'm off-topic, sorry) but:

1) Rocko -- here's how you hyperlink within a posting window like this:

2) Decide what URL you want to use, http://www.richardpombo.com for example, then

3) When you are at the point in the post where you want that to go, type (note that you only use a space or a comma when specifically told to, otherwise ignore all spaces and commas) the following: <, followed by a, followed by a space, then href= followed by the URL wrapped in quotes, so in our case it would be "http://www.richardpombo.com", followed by > immediately after the second ", followed by the text you want to use as the hyperlink (if I wanted to have THE BIG DICKSTER as the hyperlinked text, I would type that in next) followed by <, then /, then a, then > and you're done.

4) As an example, here's what that would look like if I did that here: THE BIG DICKSTER -- see?

Use the force, Rock, I know you can.

$.02 out.

P.S. Citrus Pete's endorsement by the CTA moves him up to a 45% chance on beating Pombo in my view, and if he does real well (or Dicko does real badly in his hometown strut-yer-stuff performance) it might move my needle to a coin-toss (50%).

12:32 PM, May 10, 2006  

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