Sunday, May 30, 2004

Nighthorse Campbell caught lobbying for software firm
U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell has been caught...er...red-handed lobbying a drug-fighting task force to throw a no-bid contract to a company with ties to Campbell. The Justice Department has launched an investigation into Nighthorse Campbell's actions. The Republican senator has vowed to retire at the end of this term, although he is openly threatening to run for governor. Given what has graced the governor's office in Denver in recent years, he can probably get gullible Coloradans to put him there. Read about it here and here.
Cheney set up Halliburton Iraq contract
Reuters is reporting tonight that a White House e-mail obtained by Time magazine shows that Vice-President Dick "Unca Dick" Cheney "coordinated" a multi-billion dollar contract for Iraqi reconstruction for his old employer, Halliburton. Cheney's office is denying that he intervened to throw business to Halliburton. The icing on the cake here is that the incriminating e-mail was handed to Time by Judicial Watch, a far-right legal foundation headed by uber-wingnut Larry Klayman. The original Time story can be found here.
Retired wing-nut sheriff leads "threadbare" life
Former Palm Beach County, Florida, Sheriff William R. Heidtman spills his guts to the Palm Beach Post in this bizarre sob-sister piece. Heidtman, age 88, who says he always votes Republican, sounds like the quintessential redneck lawman from the 1960s, which is when he held office. In addition to knocking the heads of striking Jamaican sugar cane cutters and quelling a local race riot at a county high school, Heidtman also took his wife, who was 30-odd years younger than him, along on porn shop raids. Nice work, if you can get it. Heidtman got dicked over by his own Republican Party in 1976 when they ran a primary opponent against him.
Prances on Aircraft Carriers declares war on the environment
This is a great piece by Bill McKibben in the latest edition of the New York Review of Books. McKibben cites a number of new books and reports outlining how the Bush Administration has accrued the worst environmental record of any President in U.S. history. It's the end of the world as we know it...

Friday, May 28, 2004

Janklow pardoned son-in-law for three DWIs
Former South Dakota Gov. and U.S. Rep William Janklow, who recently left jail after serving a brief sentence for killing a motorcyclist after running a stop sign, apparently doesn't have any problems with driving while intoxicated. Well, actually, you'll need to be the Republican's son-in-law to receive such understanding, but it might be worth marrying into the Janklow dynasty if you're a bottle jockey. You see, while he was governor, Janklow pardoned his son-in-law, William Gordon Haugen II. The Get-Outta-Jail-Free cards also covered a conviction for marijuana possession. Read more about it here. And thank you to the keen-eyed EP V for spotting this one and letting me know about it!
Judge springs gun nut who made target list
Thanks to U.S. Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney, an Illinois man arrested last month for possession of explosives -- and damn near everything else needed to start a small war -- is out of jail. Mahoney sprung Michael Breit, age 20, this past Monday. This came despite the fact that Breit, along with his arsenal, had also compiled a list of famous Democrats and admitted to investigators that he planned to kill them. But Breit's murderous tendencies don't end there. The lad has an ambitious plan to kill 1,500 people at a Democratic Presidential caucus. Just the kind of guy we need walking the streets. Thanks, Judge Mahoney! Read more about Michael Breit here. Thanks to KS for sending this story to me. By the way, anyone know Judge Mahoney's political affiliations?
Dole aide goes down for mail fraud
Earl Allen Haywood (ever notice that serial killers and assassins are always referred to by all three names?), former assistant treasurer of Elizabeth Dole's campaign for the U.S. Senate, will be spending some 18 months in the federal pen for stealing $174,725 from the campaign. Damn it, is there no honor among thieves? Read about Earl Allen's fall from grace here. Thanks to JK for the link to the Justice Department press release on this one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Rethug legislator arrested for stalking
In the best of all worlds, stalking laws would apply anytime a Republican came near a state legislature or the U.S. Congress. Until that happy day arrives, though, we'll just have to make do with whacked-out Thuggies stalking other people. New Hampshire State Representative Charles LaFlamme, is an, er, striking example. LaFlamme faces trial in July on charges of stalking and violating a protective order. The victim of LaFlamme's attentions is his ex-girlfriend. LaFlamme, who hasn't shown up at the state legislature recently, had been spotted waving at his former flame and mouthing, "I love you." He also repeatedly phone her. Check out obsessive Rethug love here.
I'd like to speak to my sheriff, please
When Florida State Senator Lee Constantine was stopped for drunk driving May 9, he demanded ten separate times that the deputies who stopped him allow him to speak to fellow Republican, Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary. How do we know this? Because the jailers at the county lock-up videotaped Constantine's boozy arrest and processing. Constantine denied, via his attorney, that he was trying to log-roll his badge-toting buddy. Read about it here.

Monday, May 24, 2004

It's a party at my place!
Just a reminder -- please visit and use our new discussion board, the Felonious Elephant Rants. You'll see the link to it at right. It's free to join up as a member and it is intended to give Felonious Elephant readers the opportunity to interact with one another. I ain't doin' this for my health, folks. The Felonious Elephant Rants is our own place to talk about what we want to talk about.
Spare the rod, spoil the abuser
Knowing Jeb Bush can get you a lot of things in Florida. It got Michael D. Stanford a job as a director of a for-profit charter school in Jacksonville a couple of years ago. Stanford landed the job with The Crossroads School despite the state having shut down his own for-profit charter in 2000 for financial mismanagement and a 2001 arrest for child abuse. This is nothing out of the ordinary for Stanford. He was canned from a home for troubled children in 1996 after authorities caught him "co-mingling" funds. Why in God's name would anyone trust this bastard with educating any child? Well, you see, Stanford's employer is buddies with Gov. Jeb Bush and...well, you can figure out the rest. Read more about Stanford here.
Rowland goes gently into that long night
You know your political career is seriously hosed when even George W. Bush doesn't want to associate you. Connecticut's Republican Gov. John Rowland reach that embarrassing nadir recently when the Bush re-selection squad gave Rowland the heave-ho from appearing in public with Bush. Rowland is under investigation for corruption in office and the stench is apparently too strong for Fearless Leader. Read more about the fall of John Rowland here.
When I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you
Pity your average National Park Service superintendent. He or she is overwhelmed with visitors, must manage that human tidal wave with inadequate facilities and funding, has to somehow keep the hordes of visitors from interacting with the wildlife and, if you're the super at Yosemite, handle the odd serial killer investigation. But our long-suffering National Park Service leaders have an additional burden placed upon them by the Bush Administration. See, the Rethugs don't want the American people finding out how badly they've administered the nation's national parks system. So, they've clamped down on parks superintendents and other employees. They've been given a sheet of boo-yah budget stats to intone dramatically whenever someone, say, wonders why the bears look shabby. Nothing wrong here, folks. Just move along. Hey, I think I just saw a moose! Read about this censorship here.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Cat killer's son arrested for drunk driving
The son of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was arrested May 19 for drunk driving. William Harrison Frist, Jr., failed a balance test and a breathylizer test after Princeton, New Jersey, cops pulled him over for illegally passing another car. Young Frist is to be commended for not going the usual Rethug route and invoking his father's name and political office. In that respect, the Princeton University sophomore is far more of a stand-up guy than Prances on Aircraft Carriers, who used to brag about beating drunk driving busts as a college student by invoking his grandfather and father's names. Read more about Frist's arrest here.
More on moronic ex-sheriff
Former Davidson County, North Carolina, Sheriff Gerald Hege, who recently pled guilty to charges of obstruction of justice, ought to be the poster boy for Law and Order Republicanism. Before his own deputies sold him out to state investigators, Hege had turned his post into a fiefdom that, quite frankly, was fuelled by racism. Learn more about the former sheriff's misdeeds here and here.
GAO dings Medicare advertisements as illegal propaganda
I damn near blew Diet 7 Up through my nostrils a month or two ago when I saw the first of two "public service announcements" touting the Republican Medicare rape act. If you didn't see them, you should know that the PSAs were shot and edited to look like authentic news stories. Now, the General Accounting Office has lashed the ads, calling them illegal "covert propaganda." The GAO doesn't have policing powers to arrest anyone for this nonsense, but its ruling will likely put a stop to the ad campaign. Read more for yourself here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Check out Felonious Elephant Rants
I have set up a message board on the World Crossing web site for Felonious Elephant readers and the people who love them. You can find Felonious Elephant Rants here. I urge you to make use of the message board as a place to discuss progressive, Democratic politics or complain about those evil Rethugs.
Gay Rethugs get shut out of state convention
You won't have the Log Cabin Republicans to kick around at the North Carolina Republican Party's state convention this weekend in Greensboro. That's because convention organizers denied the group, which represents gay Republicans, a booth at the convention. "It appears to be you must be a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant and married for the Republican Party to pay any attention to you," said Ed Farthing, the retired lawyer who requested the booth. "I think that is a good 1950s voter profile." Meow, girlfriend! Read more about it here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I broke the law and the law won...
Motor-mouthed, meat-headed, no-good-white-trash Gerald Hege, the former sheriff of Davidson County, North Carolina, pled guilty Monday to two counts of obstructing justice. The law and order Republican, who once had the highest-rated show on Court TV, dodged any active prison time. Read about this self-proclaimed "lawman" here and here.
Anti-abortion whacko jailed for child molestation
You may remember the separate cases of two men who, in the 90s, killing doctors who performed abortions. One, Paul Hill, was executed by the State of Florida last year. The other, Michael Griffin, is serving a life sentence. The two murderers shared a common bond -- an anti-abortion zealot named John Burt who associated with both men around the times they committed their respective crimes. Burt was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Florida judge May 12 for molesting a 15 year-old girl. Read about this pervert here. Thanks to EP V for bringing this creep to my attention!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Time's up, sir! Okay, maybe not...
Bless the overzealous public information officer, for she shalt make thee unto a horse's patoot. Secretary of State Colin Powell got a global embarrassment this morning when one of his aides, worried that Powell's Meet The Press interview was running too long and jeopardizing other scheduled interviews, literally jerked the general off the air. Crypto-Republican gasbag Tim Russert was left talking to an empty set for a few moments until Powell managed to escape the clutches of Emily Miller, his assistant press secretary. Russert, of course, was offended and huffed and puffed and reminded me why I have absolutely no respect for him. Miller, on the other hand, reportedly called the show's executive producer a few hours later to complain about Russert's blather making the interview run long. I think I like this woman! Check it out here.
Who needs the Geneva Convention?
Whoopsie! Prances on Aircraft Carriers and his henchmen have been caught red-handed signing off on a plan to evade the protections offered by the Geneva Convention to captured terrorists and enemy combatants. Usual suspects Dr. StrangeRum and King Crisco are directly implicated in this attempt to justify breaking international law. This is impeachment material, folks. Read about it here and .here.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Town shows how stupid it can be twice in one century
Dayton, Tennessee, is a slice of fundamentalist Americana. It was here, in the 1920s, that Clarence Darrow made a monkey out of William Jennings Bryant during the Scopes Trial on whether evolution could be taught in the town's schools. Now, the good burghers of Dayton have seen fit to let their freak flag fly once again, this time over the subject of gay rights. The Rhea County Commission, you see, outlawed homosexuality briefly this past March. The law prohibited homosexuals from living in the county. Once several of the commissioners sobered up, the new ordinance was unceremoniously voted down two days later. This weekend, hundreds of gays and lesbians and fair-minded heteros flocked to Dayton to hold a Gay Day rally. And things turned out like they should in America the Beautiful. Everybody had a good time and let Dayton know that it can't oppress people, no matter how much it apparently wants to. Read about it here, here and here (where self-proclaimed men of God make horses' asses out of themselves).
You're known by your company of creeps
U.S. Congressman Jim Ryun should be on cruise control at the moment. The Kansas Republican hails from a state where his party usually mops up the floor with Democrats come election time. This year may be different, though. Ryun is running for re-election against a former Republican, Nancy Boyda, who changed her party affiliation to the Democratic Party. Boyda says she made the move because she believes the Republican Party has turned its back on small and medium-sized family farms in order to serve the interests of corporate agriculture and big business. People who change parties typically don't fare well when they try to run for elective office. Boyda, however, has outraised Ryun $275,000 to $94,000 for the first quarter of 2004 -- well over a three-to-one advantage. She's also campaigning against Ryun's cozy ties to Westar Energy and Western Resources, whose former CEO has been convicted of conspiracy and money laundering. Boyda is also pointing out Ryun's vote in favor of a $254 million tax break for Enron. Is there fire building on the prairie? Decide for yourself here.
Register of misdeeds
Union County, North Carolina, Register of Deeds Judy Price is in a whole heap o' trouble. Her crime? Embezzling money from the county for at least a decade. The 57 year-old Republican is also on the hook for obstruction of justice for lying to State Bureau of Investigation agents. Read about it here, here and here. Thanks to KB for this great tale!

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Former Rethug candidate arrested for trying to run neighbor down
Shanna Matteo, a former Republican candidate for the Leon County, Florida, County Commission has anger management issues. Police there arrested Matteo April 28 on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon in question was Matteo's car, which she reportedly "gunned" into a neighbor's yard in an effort to run him and another neighbor down. Matteo currently serves as corresponding secretary for the Tallahassee Republican Women's Club. Let's hope the club doesn't make the mistake of appointing her sergeant-at-arms. Read all about it here.
Florida Rethugs attempt to bury campaign finance law enforcement
This one has to be one of the more Orwellian ideas to come down the pike in a while. The banana republic of Florida's ruling Peronista...I mean, Pinochista...damn it...Republican Party is ramming through changes in exisiting campaign finance laws that would effectively end enforcement of those laws. Republicans in the Florida House want to amend the law so that only complaints based on personal knowledge can lead to law enforcement investigations of violations of campaign finance laws. When investigations do occur, the revised law would only allow investigations and prosecution of the specific charges made under the personal knowledge requirement. In other words, if the authorities discovered other crimes during their investigation, they would be restrained from investigating those crimes. Anna Cowin, the Republican chair of the Florida Senate's Ethics and Elections Committee says the changes are needed in order to distinguish hearsay from valid legal complaints. This is a crock of shit since Florida law, like that in all 49 other states, already makes such distinctions. Read more about the continued devolution of the Sunshine State here. Thanks to Scott C. for spotting this story and getting it to me!
Sinclair executive sinned with ladies of the evening
How hypocritical is the media industry? I'm not even sure anyone could do a meaningful satire of the sleazebags at this point. You'll remember last Friday night's ABC Nightline tribute to our fallen dead in Iraq...unless, of course, you live in a city where the local ABC affiliate is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group. You see, Sinclair Broadcasting decided that Ted Koppel reciting the names of Americans killed in Iraq was politically partisan. What noble, all-American mind conceived this boycott? David S. Smith, the president and CEO of Sinclair Broadcasting Group. The same David S. Smith who was arrested in 1996 by Baltimore police for trying to hire an undercover officer for sex. Read about it here and here. Big waves of appreciation to Stentor for digging this one up.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Murderous Republican pol headed to prison
Thomas Druce, a Republican legislator in Pennsylvania, did a bad, bad thing one night in 1999 -- he killed a pedestrian and tried to cover up the evidence. It worked for awhile. Then, law enforcement authorities in Harrisburg received an anonymous Christmas card in December, 1999, dropping a dime on Druce and the cadaver in his closet. Druce's insurance company also landed on him like an 800-lb. gorilla because the Rethug had lied to adjustors about how his car was damaged. Druce was eventually tried, convicted and sentenced to two to four years in prison. This law and order Republican, however, is trying to chisel his way out of serving his prison sentence by claiming that house arrest following his conviction counted against his sentence time. He had hoped to shorten his jolt in the joint to less than a year and had taken legal steps to prevent the state from revoking his bail. Instead, Druce announced today that he will turn himself in to authorities and start serving his sentence. Prosecutors, who say Druce has fought them every step of the way, are delighted. "(T)he defendant has fought everything else in this case, so I'm pleasantly surprised," Dauphin County D.A. Edward M. Marsico, Jr., told an A.P. reporter. Read more about it here, here and here.
Up-and-coming N.C. Rethug de-railed by perjury charges
You don't have to be a major crook to be a leader in the Republican Party, but it helps. Case in point is 24 year-old Matthew Ryan McWilliams, former vice-chair of the Moore County, North Carolina, Republican Party. Young Matt apparently fibbed about work done on his aborted (bwahahahahahaha!!!!) campaign for an at-large school board seat in Moore County. Said fibbing was done on official documents for the State Board of Elections. Matt is now facing five counts of perjury and two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. Matthew, meanwhile, has graduated to working on a Republican congressional campaign. Is this a party that can spot leadership or what? Read about it here.
The 7% solution
Seven percent of likely Republican voters polled by the Charleston Daily Mail say they want Joey Oliverio to win the party's nomination for West Virginia governor. That's pretty good support in a crowded race, more than two other Rethug candidates who have run hard for the nomination. The cherry atop of this particular shit sandwich is that Oliverio, a painting contractor, moved to Florida and dropped out of the governor's race in February following two arrests on charges that included assault. So, does this mean seven percent of West Virginia Republicans are dumb as stumps or know a fellow crook when they see him? Read more about it here and here.
Still angry after all these months
Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson is still steaming about the Bush White House's attempts to discredit him by leaking his CIA operative wife's name to Republican columnist Robert Novak. Wilson, whose book on the scandal hit bookstores late last week, lets it all hang out in this interview with the American Prospect.
Media Matters sheds intense light on right-wing cockroaches
If the name David Brock sounds somewhat familiar, it's probably because you fumed over one of Brock's hit pieces in a right-wing rag in the 1990s. For most of that decade, Brock was the hit man of choice for the Republicans, writing scathing -- and often knowingly false -- stories about Anita Hill and President Bill Clinton, among others. Brock went through his own personal trial by fire when he wrote a biography of Hillary Clinton that drew outrage and condemnation from his supposed friends because it wasn't stridently anti-Hillary. That, plus remorse over the work he had already done for Republican publications like the American Spectator and a dawning realization that there was no real place in the Republican Party for an outwardly gay man, led Brock to a spiritual conversion of sorts. He's already published a best-selling autobiography documenting his career as a tool of the Republican Party. Now, Brock has launched a weblog with tremendous promise. Media Matters seeks out instances of right-wing bias in the corporate-dominated media. It is to journalism as the Felonious Elephant is to Republican criminals. Dave has a lot more thorough coverage, though, because he has several paid researchers who do nothing but read through newspapers and magazines, watch right-wing television and listen to right-wing radio hosts. I have only myself and my loyal, occasional contributors. Give Media Matters a try and let me know whether you think it's a valuable resource.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Where is your blue-eyed son now...
Humiliating and torturing Iraqi prisoners? Here's the controversial photos from Abu Ghraib prison. I'm not real proud to say I'm an American when my government (and its private contractors) are allowing shit like this to happen.

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