Caution: Opinion Zone Ahead
You should read the entire article here if you want to see how the present Republican Congress and power structure works. A very sad tale in itself, but it speaks to the $12,000 in Delay cash and the thousands more of Abramoff cash Sue Kelly has accepted...and the obvious reason she refuses to return it.
Pardon the extended quotes from Moyers:
Back in the first Gilded Age, Boies Penrose was a United States senator from Pennsylvania who had been put and kept in office by the railroad tycoons and oil barons. He assured the moguls: "I believe in the division of labor. You send us to Congress; we pass laws under which you make money... and out of your profits you further contribute to our campaign funds to send us back again to pass more laws to enable you to make more money."
A recent CBS News/New York Times poll found that 70% of Americans believe lobbyists bribing members of Congress is the way things work. Findings like these underscore the fact that ordinary people believe their bonds with democracy are not only stretched but sundered.
DeLay was a man on the move and on the take. But he needed help to sustain the cash flow. He found it in a fellow right wing ideologue named Jack Abramoff. Abramoff personifies the Republican money machine of which DeLay with the blessing of the House leadership was the major domo.
Some of the money went to so-called charities set up by Abramoff and DeLay that filtered money for lavish trips for members of Congress and their staff, as well as salaries for Congressional family members and DeLay's pet projects. And some of the money found its way to the righteous folks of the Christian Right.
It gets worse.
Some of Abramoff's money from lobbying went to start a non-profit organization called the U.S. Family Network. Nice name, yes? An uplifting all-American name, like so many others that fly the conservative banner in Washington. But the organization did no discernable grassroots organizing and its money came from business groups with no demonstrated interest in the "moral fitness" agenda that was the network's professed aim.
Let's call it what it was: a scam - one more cog in the money-laundering machine controlled by DeLay and Abramoff. A former top assistant founded the organization. DeLay's wife also got a sizeable salary.
Twenty five years ago Grover Norquist had said that "What Republicans need is 50 Jack Abramoffs in Washington. Then this will be a different town."
Well, they got what they needed, and the arc of the conservative takeover of government has now been completed.
If we Americans want our democracy back, we must insist that this Republican Culture of Corruption ends and ends soon. As we've seen through our examination of the FEC records in earlier posts on this blog, the limitlessless flow of PAC money with its inferred bribery is destroying representative government. This must stop before it destroys the very fabric of our unique American democracy.
To those who would say, "NYBri, they all do it," I would say, even if it were true, that is the worst reason in the world to allow it to continue. I tried that argument out with my mother when I begged for permission to get away with stuff when I was a kid. Thankfully it didn't work with her then and it shouldn't work with us now.
Unfortunately, Sue Kelly seems to be a card carrying, dues paying enabler for the inner circle of the Republican Culture of Corruption and we have a responsibility to do what WE can, in the 19th District to help end that culture's grip on our democracy.
You CAN make a difference by working and voting for a change this November, because all we need to do is look at the headlines to see how desperately we need one.