#rsrh Leaders of the PACs: Health Care Payola.

This was originally titled “Doing Well By Selling Out,” but by now, who really believed that they were sincere in the first place?

Vulnerable House Democrats who supported the healthcare bill last month reaped big financial rewards.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports show the crucial yes votes cashed in between March 21 and the end of the first quarter on March 31. They received big money from Democratic-leaning political action committees (PACs) and fellow Democratic members of Congress.

Several of these members were last-minute yes votes, which helped push the legislation to passage.

Continue reading #rsrh Leaders of the PACs: Health Care Payola.

Yosi Sergant out at National Endowment for the Arts.

Payola questions remain.

More or less. Sergant, for those who were wondering, was the NEA communications director who had been had been involved in a conference call last month that – depending on who you asked – was either a perfectly innocent conversation with various artists, or a recruitment drive for commissioned artwork in the Obamaist Realist style.  This is being scored as another win for Glenn Beck, although I’m not sure but that Big Hollywood should get the goal, and Beck the assist: at any rate, Sergant has since been reassigned.
(H/T: Amanda Carpenter) Continue reading Yosi Sergant out at National Endowment for the Arts.

Charlie Rangel (D, NY) gave money to Democrats on Ethics Committee.

(Via @vermontaigne) Three of them.  Need I add that Charlie Rangel is currently under investigation by that committee?

Charlie’s “angels” on the committee include Congressmen Ben Chandler of Kentucky, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Peter Welch of Vermont. All have received donations from Rangel.

Two of them – Chandler (KY-06, R+9*) & Butterfield (NC-01, D+9) – are apparently keeping it, too.  Considering that Rep. Rangel has given money to 119 Congressmen since the ethics probe began last year, you could almost not blame them.  Or almost not blame Rangel for acting as if he was above the laws that he writes:

Congressman Rangel has been arrogant in refusing to discuss how, as the man who writes this country’s tax laws, he failed to report over $1 million in outside income and $3 million in business transactions as required by the House, lapses under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

“I recognize that all of you have an obligation to ask questions knowing that there’s none of you smart enough to frame it in such a way that I’m going to respond,” Rangel said.

Almost.  But trust me, Charlie: the GOP takes back the House in 2010, we’re going to find it really easy to make you respond to the question.

Moe Lane

*Ben Chandler has already acquired a Republican challenger: Matt Lockett.

Crossposted to RedState.

The – translated – Gibbs PhRMA/Axelrod payola video.

Video via The Conservatives: it’s of Gibbs ducking and weaving away from a question about why Axelrod’s former company’s getting that sweet, sweet ad money from the White House’s new friend PhRMA, so I thought that I’d annotate it. Particularly note the snide comment about free markets at the end.

Yes, there’s a small problem with the bottom-half text. Windows Movie Maker, remember? I do what I can with the tools that I have – and I know that the tools that I have aren’t the best.  Hence, the Wish List.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Rounding up the FTC Blog Regulation reaction.

Real quick summary: the FTC wants to keep an eye on blogs to see whether we’re trading favorable reviews of products for financial reward – which doesn’t sound so bad, until you consider that this apparently includes things like Amazon Associates links.

But they would need to think twice if, for instance, they praise parenting books they’ve just read and include links to buy them at a retailer like Amazon.com Inc.

That’s because the guidelines also would cover the broader and common practice of affiliate marketing, in which bloggers and other sites get a commission when someone clicks on a link that leads to a purchase at a retailer. In such cases, merchants also would be responsible for actions by their sales agents – including a network of bloggers.

Going down the list:

  • Ed Morrissey suspects a political aspect.  The administration’s reputation precedes them, you see.
  • James Joyner doesn’t suspect a political aspect, but he used the word ‘insane’ a lot.
  • Aaron Brazell apparently thinks that this is an appropriate extension of existing marketing rules, and that affiliate marketing is ‘borderline seditious’ anyway. Err, OK?
  • Daily Danet mentions that he’s not getting any of this sweet, sweet blogger swag. Something that popped into my head, too*.
  • And I’m guessing that this is going to be Glenn Reynold’s roundup post. Might as well link to it now.

My personal opinion?  The FTC doesn’t have to want to muck up our lives in order to successfully muck them up.  Always assume that any regulation or law that can be used inappropriately will be used inappropriately, whether or not malice was intended.

Also: buy stuff at Amazon Associates. While you still can!

Moe Lane

*I got a used copy of a book mailed to me once so that I could be up to speed for a conference call. Whoopee.

Crossposted to RedState.