Friends of Tom Delay plan attack ads on behalf of Indiana’s Chris Chocola

Associates of disgraced former house majority leader Tom Delay are funding attack ads under the name “Americans for Honesty” for nine Republican congressional candidates in embattled districts, including on behalf of Representative Chris Chocola of Indiana, according to the New York Times.

A previously unknown group led by a Republican political consultant in Houston is financing television advertisements against nine Democratic House candidates from North Carolina to Arizona.
The group, Americans for Honesty on Issues, is spending more than $1 million on the advertisements, which accuse Democratic candidates of carpetbagging, coddling illegal immigrants, being soft on crime and advocating cutting off money for troops in Iraq.
The television spots appear to be the first wave of a boatload of negative political advertising that will appear in the weeks before the Nov. 7 election. Many of the advertisements will be produced by independent organizations known as 527 groups, after the provision in the tax code that allows such groups to spend virtually unlimited sums on political activity as long as it is not formally coordinated with parties or candidates.

The leader of Americans for Honesty on Issues is Sue Walden, a close ally of Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader who left Congress amid questions on ethics and fund-raising. Ms. Walden has also raised money for President Bush and served as an adviser to Kenneth L. Lay, the former chief executive of Enron who died in July.

Americans for “Honesty” — I’m surprised that lightning hasn’t struck them already.

Continue ReadingFriends of Tom Delay plan attack ads on behalf of Indiana’s Chris Chocola

Delay scandal widening; fissures in GOP party are starting to show

Quote from, with internal links to wikipedia for more information on the players in the wide-scale GOP corruption:

The indictment sent a shock wave through the GOP establishment, which is already reeling from a swath of criminal and ethics investigations. Three individuals, eight corporations and two political action committees connected to DeLay have been indicted as a result of the probe. In addition, the government’s top procurement official, David Safavian, was arrested in September for obstructing a criminal investigation into uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a close DeLay ally. Abramoff himself is under criminal investigation for defrauding Indian tribes and was indicted for wire fraud in Florida in a separate case. Top White House aides, including Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, have been targeted by a special prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Representative Duke Cunningham announced he would not run for re-election after overselling his house for $700,000 to a military industry lobbyist; he too has been indicted. FDA chief Lester Crawford resigned unexpectedly after just two months on the job, possibly because of failure to report his wife’s sizable pharmaceutical-industry holdings. And DeLay’s Senate counterpart, Bill Frist, is battling possible insider-trading charges for dumping millions in HCA stock, a company founded by his father and run by his brother, weeks before it plunged in value. The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into Frist and HCA in September.

“The fact that Tom DeLay is under criminal indictment and Senate majority leader Bill Frist is under criminal investigation is a historic first,” says Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “This demonstrates the culture of corruption among the Congressional leadership that has become a cancer on our country.”

Fleshing out that tidbit about David Safavian a bit more: he was the White House’s top federal procurement official, and was in the midst of the lucrative Gulf Coast rebuilding plans when he had to resign to be arrested for the obstruction of justice charge. He’s responsible for giving some of the no-bid contracts to Halliburton and other companies with a track record of corruption. So you know about how the government money for Katrina relief is going to be spent.
Also, Abramoff has links to organized crime, and a mob murder investigation: “3 Arrested in Killing of Businessman With Whom Abramoff Feuded.”

All of these guys have sleazy scandals, and all of them are interconnected, with Delay at the top greasing the wheels with dirty money… for a complete picture of how wide the corruption spreads, read “Beyond Delay: the 13 Most Corrupt Members of Congress” by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Continue ReadingDelay scandal widening; fissures in GOP party are starting to show

Gap Clothes and Saipan Slave Labor, courtesy of Tom Delay

The island of Saipan is part of a U.S. Commonwealth, located in the Pacific, near Guam and the Philipines. Because of this, clothes made there can carry the “Made in the U.S.A” label, although that’s just a technicality. These clothes can also come into the U.S. tariff-free and quota-free, to highly profitable U.S. markets. What Saipan doesn’t have, though, is coverage by U.S. labor laws, or U.S. immigration laws (you can contact the Family Law Firm in Fresno to resolve any of your immigration or visa issues), which makes this something like heaven to the garment industry, who have set up massive sweatshops and reaped huge profits. For immigration related enquries, people can check this link and learn more! Clothes made there include Tommy Hilfiger USA, Gap (which includes Old Navy and Banana Republic), Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne.

Here’s what’s going on in the sweatshops; women are recruited into them from China and the Philipines. The women pay their life savings to get into them, thinking that they are going to the United States. Instead they’re taken to Saipan, where the make less than half the U.S. minimum wage. As minimum wage for any employment is mandatory sometimes employees may sue employer for giving less wages in such cases employer has rights to consult attorneys to defend against wage garnishment .Many of them have to “pay off” their entrance fee but can never earn enough to pay their “debt” so they are basically indentured servants, or slave labor. There is evidence that some of the women are forced to participate in sex rings. The ABC undercover reports on this identified one 14 year-old girl who was forced to dance nude on stage and perform sex acts. Women who get pregnant are forced to have abortions. (Culture of life, indeed.)

Here’s where Tom DeLay comes in. When he was House Republican Whip, he prevented legislation to reform the labor laws of Saipan, although that legislation has already passed the Senate. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff paid for DeLay to go on a golfing trip to the U.S. commonwealth (that’s illegal, BTW) where DeLay said in an address to the sweatshop owners: “You are a shining light for what is happening to the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America and leading the world in the free-market system.”

Now I’m suddenly really uncomfortable in all my Gap and Old Navy clothes. These are the kind of sleepless nights that the “Made in the U.S.A.” label is supposed to prevent.

Continue ReadingGap Clothes and Saipan Slave Labor, courtesy of Tom Delay