Liberal TKO


I saw RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s little hyper-GOP speech on I guess we can all be thankful that Steele managed to get through a speech without once using the word “brother” or breaking into a rap freestyle. But he had some strong words, dripping with pre-scripted and manufactured moral uprightness, with respect to the alleged job offers the White House made to Democratic Senate candidates Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff in exchange for dropping out of their respective primaries.

Hold on a minute . . . are we really going to take Steele seriously as someone who can preach morality, a guy with a past full of financial shenanigans? Isn’t this the same guy who (even before Bondage-gate) had a grand old time chartering private jets using donors’ money, redecorated his office to the tune of over $18,000, and whooped it up in Honolulu at a winter meeting at the same time the rest of the country was mired in an economy that rivaled the Great Depression? And wasn’t Steele the same guy who hired crook Alan Fabian to be his finance chairman in his 2006 Senate run — the same Fabian who’s now in jail for fraud to the tune of almost $40 million?

Steele spent his minutes-long speech alluding to shady dealings and cover-ups (something he’d know something about, I’ll give him that). And athough the White House counsel’s office did acknowledge that they used former President Bill Clinton as an intermediary to talk to Sestak (Clinton and Sestak are close friends, by the way), it was a vague offer of an unspecified appointment to an unpaid position on a presidential advisory board.

Steele boldly questioned whether President Obama knew about the conversations that took place around these two candidates — despite the President’s claim that he knew nothing. Come on, Steele, throw it down: When you very nearly accuse the President of the United States of lying, you’d better have more to back it up than vague insinuations that it’s just “part of a larger pattern of backroom Chicago style politics.” Steele flatly stated that Romanoff “was offered a choice of one of three jobs by Rahm Emanuels’ deputy Jim Messina” if he would drop out of the primary, a claim that both the White House and Romanoff have denied.

Steele also called for the resignation of Rahm Emanuel if he “has been offering government goodies” as some sort of quid pro quo. But legal experts have stated that there’s little basis for charges that these conversations, even if they took place, were illegal. Even Richard Painter, a former Bush ethics advisor, “repudiated [the] claim that Romanoff discussions were illegal, and legal experts have denied the statute applies in similar cases . . . [Painter] said that it is a ‘real stretch’ to say the White House’s conversations with Romanoff violated the law. Moreover, in analyzing the Sestak case, legal experts have repudiated the claim that 18 U.S.C. § 600 applies even in cases where a job offer was actually made.”

Takes cojones, doesn’t it, for Steele to call for the resignation of another political figure, considering that he himself narrowly escaped having to resign over the RNC’s Bondage-gate? When Steele was on the hotseat, I seem to recall him shamelessly comparing himself to President Obama and claiming the calls for his resignation were race-driven. How this guy could look anyone in the eye and take a moral high road is beyond me.

But blatant hypocrisy didn’t stop Steele from demanding that the “Department of Justice must step in and assign an impartial referee . . . either . . . a special investigator or an independent counsel . . . .”

Loyola law professor Richard Hasen said on Fox News, (after ripping Fox’ coverage as “pretty breathless”), “It seems to me that this is really much ado about nothing . . . I went back and looked at this Section 600, the one that says about these job offers. That seems to be a statute that’s really aimed at preventing patronage appointments. That is, you know, giving people who have done political favors for you jobs where they make money. I can’t find a case where it’s ever been applied in this way, and I think there are some good reasons why it probably shouldn’t be. What we have here, really, is a political deal. It’s a deal to say in order to strengthen the party, one of the two people competing should step aside. It’s the kind of thing that happens all the time, and it’s the kind of thing that probably is not what the statute was really designed to prevent.”

Steele wrapped up his self-righteous speech with, “All we have right now is a series of transparent cover-ups. So much for change you can believe in.”

By the way, what’s a “transparent coverup?”


Posted in Uncategorized


  1. “…with respect to the alleged job offers the White House made to Democratic Senate candidates Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff in exchange for dropping out of their respective primaries.”-JD

    Nothing “alleged” about the offers. Robert F. Bauer, the White House counsel, issued a memo stating, “Efforts were made in June and July of 2009 to determine whether Congressman Sestak would be interested in service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board, which would avoid a divisive Senate primary, allow him to retain his seat in the House, and provide him with an opportunity for additional service to the public in a high-level advisory capacity for which he was highly qualified.”

    Romanoff released an email that contained a list of 3 paid positions in the Administration offered by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, whose boss, Rahm Emanuel, was implicated in the Clinton/Sestak offer. Robert Gibbs read a statement during the June 3rd press briefing that included,“Jim Messina called and e-mailed Romanoff last September to see if he was still interested in a position at USAID, or if, as had been reported, he was running for the U.S. Senate.”

    It is difficult to understand the use of the term “alleged” referring to acknowledged offers.

    Comment by ramjet — June 12, 2010 @ 11:20 AM

    • The question posed to Romanoff was if he’d be interested in a position OR if he was running for the senate. Can’t see a thing wrong with that.

      Comment by Liberal TKO — June 12, 2010 @ 11:42 AM

      • I did not make a judgment whether what was done was wrong or not, but that these offers to Sestak and Romanoff occurred, they are not “alleged” to have occurred.

        Comment by ramjet — June 12, 2010 @ 12:48 PM

      • Okay, fair enough . . . except I’d still dispute (with Sestak, since it concerned unpaid advisory positions) whether it was a “job” or not. Maybe splitting hairs . . . .

        Comment by Liberal TKO — June 13, 2010 @ 8:40 AM

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