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Monday, April 19, 2010

Keith Olbermann on Palintology

1 comment:

SPECTRE of Deflation said...

Citizen Reid

Harry Reid has a long, proud history of public service. Nevadans should cast a cold, hard look back at his many accomplishments before voting in 2010.

From 2002 to 2005, Senator Reid was extremely generous with Christmas gifts for service workers at his luxury condo. He gave away $3,000 in gifts and gratuities for elevator and cleaning personnel. Unfortunately, the money came from campaign contributions and not his own bank account. It was only after the Associated Press' John Solomon discovered the sleaze that Reid claimed it was a clerical issue and a Republican smear campaign.

In 2004, for example, after Reid made a profit of $1.1 million on a real estate deal, he failed to fully disclose the details as required by the Senate. His partner (left) was reported to have some odd ties to the casino business and his name surfaced in investigations into organized crime and bribery.

In 2005, Sen. Reid sponsored an $18 million earmark to build a bridge over the Colorado River. Coincidentally, a few miles from the bridge's location is a 160-acre parcel of land owned by one Senator Harry Reid. So, yes, Reid's own earmark greatly increases the value of his huge swath of land.

Curiously, Reid had received 60 of the acres from an oil magnate friend -- the owner of Haycock Petroleum -- for a total of $10,000 in 2002, though its assessed value was $120,000. And Reid continues to underreport the value of the land, though nearby sales put its real value at nearly half a million.

Harry Reid's three sons and his son-in-law are also concerned with serving the people. All have served as lobbyists and have blurred the line between family connections and special interests. In fact, his son-in-law helped increase lobbying fees at DC's Holland & Hart from $100K to $2 million in only one year. A series of LA Times investigative reports suggested that Reid had introduced legislation and pressured regulators to unblock a huge real estate deal fronted a heavy Reid contributor who also happened to be the employer of Reid's son Leif.

At the same time, Reid was vice-chair of the Senate Ethics Committee. When asked specifically about conflicts of interest involving family member-slash-lobbyists, he insisted there were none. Yet the Senate's rules have since changed to prohibit lobbying by family members, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

The Times' story found that mining companies paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobbying firms, and the payments just happened to follow around Reid's son-in-law from firm to firm. Rory Reid's services were also sought out by mining firm Placer Dome, according to the Times.

Reid's son-in-law was also engaged by the American Gaming Association, a helicopter tour company fighting restrictions near the Grand Canyon, chemical companies seeking deals in Nevada and the Hughes Corporation as it looked for land near Vegas. Sen. Reid helpfully advanced all of their agendas -- purely for altruistic reasons -- and even helped a partner in the law firm that employed all of Reid's sons get a right-of-way moved off his property.