Mar
12
2009
--

Real estate shenanigans and the Democratic Party.

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D, WV-01) is merely the latest on the list.

Reading Brian Faughnan’s piece about Rep Alan Mollohan’s (D, WV-01) steering earmarks to his landlord while receiving free rent reminded me, of course, of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s (D, formerly IL-05) steering lucrative polling contracts to his landlord while receiving free rent. And now I’ve been reminded by fellow RS Contributor Mark I that Senator Bob Menendez (D, NJ) notoriously steered earmarks the way of – and greased the path of federal funding for – a tenant of his when he was both a landlord and a Congressman. There’s apparently money in real estate shenanigans: I’m starting to wonder whether the House orientation session for freshmen Democrats includes a quick rundown on the topic. (more…)

Mar
10
2009
2

Senator Menendez (D, NJ) being recalcitrant over spending bill.

He doesn’t approve of the spending bill’s change in Cuba policy (Via Dan Riehl):

:The Menendez rebellion was a jolt of political reality for Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Obama, signaling that the solidarity of the stimulus debate is fading as Democratic lawmakers are starting to read the fine print of the bills they will wrestle with in the coming weeks and months, and not always liking what they see.

[snip]

Menendez knew that his hard-line approach to Cuba was a minority view within his party, and that it was at odds with Obama’s approach. But he did not expect to discover a significant policy change embedded in the text on an appropriations bill. His policy aides came across the language when the legislation was posted on a congressional Web site.

“The process by which these changes have been forced upon this body is so deeply offensive to me, and so deeply undemocratic, that it puts the omnibus appropriations package in jeopardy, in spite of all the other tremendously important funding that this bill would provide,” the enraged son of Cuban immigrants said last week on the Senate floor. Menendez even slapped a hold on a pair of Obama nominees to draw attention to the issue.

If you’re wondering why a spending bill has in it a provision that would quietly change our Cuba policy, it’s really very simple: the Democrats want to change our Cuba policy, they control Congress, and they can thus put anything in the appropriations bill that they blessed well feel like putting in. “Appropriate” or “inappropriate” doesn’t really enter into it; what’s important is that they can do something, they desire to do something, and so they will do something.

The article also mentions Democratic efforts to keep subsidizing private student loan companies and farmers (at least, the ones in Nebraska and North Dakota). But that’s just ordinary pork from Ben Nelson and Kent Conrad; what makes the Menendez balk interesting is because it’s supposedly based on a moral objection. (more…)

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