Monday, February 28, 2005

Breaking news... kinda

Raw Story breaks the story that a group surreptitiously (now that's an adverb baby) promoting Social Security phase-out paid for two junkets for Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Since at the time this took place, the group in question, the National Center for Public Policy Research, was a lobbying group, DeLay may have stepped over the bounds of House ethics rules and maybe even the law. I've mentioned this group before, in my research on pro-phase out groups. They're of the "there is no trust fund and we have $25 trillion debt in the system in 50 years" stripes. The NCPPR spent $64,064 dollars for one junket in 1997 to Moscow and St. Petersburg, and more than $70,000 for a trip to London for him and his wife, where he even played golf in Scotland. I'm not arguing against Congressional junkets here, but they shouldn't be paid for by lobbyists who are trying to get Congressmen to vote the way they want them to. That's called bribery and it's wrong. NCPPR also has launched a number of scare tactics to get people to send them money and keep the fact that

“Inside your sealed envelope is information regarding the potential collapse of the Social Security system – and how it can endanger you and the entire United States senior citizen population,” NCPPR president Amy Ridenour writes in one such letter obtained by RAW STORY. “It is also critical that you share this pertinent information ONLY [sic] with other trustworthy individuals.”
Yeah, really creepy stuff. But I've almost come to expect it from right-wing think tanks. So, we won't see DeLay in front of the ethics committee, though, too many of his friends are now running that show. The Republicans have done a pretty effective job of subverting any and all attempts at being ethical and within the boundary of the law in order to protect sleaze like Tom DeLay. Go Red State Values!

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