Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dirty Harry

No, not Clint Eastwood, although that'd be a whole lot easier for the average American to understand.

I'm talking about Harry Reid, who over the last year or two has accused the Republicans of being everything but stealing candy from babies (and I'm sure that has crossed his mind as well). The hypocrisy comes in the fact that if you investigate it, Reid is dirtier than the majority of Republicans.
-First of all, the free ringside boxing tickets given to him by the Nevada Athletic Commission (the regulators of boxing in Nevada) during the time that Senate was considering a bill to regulate boxing. Nope, that's not corruption, that's 'investigative legislation'.
-Next, Jack Abramoff. Tom Delay is forced to resign due to the money he took from groups represented by Abramoff, but Reid? Oh, heck no. He'll take the money and keep calling the Republicans corrupt without any concern for a politically overzealous prosecutor going after him.
-How about land deals? Nope, not sexy, but definitely dirty. Harry has two that stick out, and that's without even doing much research. One where in 2002, thousands of acres of federal property were opened up for development. His son's company? Oh, they got access to a large portion of this property and developed it for millions of dollars. I'm sure there's absolutely zero connection between Harry being there and his company profiting.
The other land deal is a bit more complex, which is why, like Whitewater, I'm sure it'll get no traction amongst the media. IQ points of members of the media being in the double digits tends to mean that we as Americans only get the news that they can understand. But I'll try to explain:
In 1998 Harry Reid bought some vacant land outside of Vegas for about $400,000. Yes, this is the same land that he worked to get freed up for development from federal acreage. One parcel he bought solo, the other parcel was bought jointly with a guy named Jay Brown, who doesn't exactly have the purest reputation.
In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to an LLC created by Brown, but did not disclose that he had sold it through any of his reporting required of senators.
After using Reid's influence to get local officials to rezone the property, Brown's LLC sold the land, and paid Reid $1.1 million. In 2004.
But Reid didn't OWN the land in 2004. So either he got paid for his influence in getting the property, for his influence in getting the property rezoned, or paid for helping this guy sell the land. Any of these are unethical. Oh and did I mention that when questioned regarding this land deal by an AP reporter, Reid hung up on him?

But it's the Republicans who are corrupt? Man, we may as well legalize it, because it seems like a good number of folks are smoking it.

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