In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 13, 2006 / 13 Teves, 5766

In search of a leader to clean House — and Senate

By Jack Kelly

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 1994, Republicans were swept to power in Congress chiefly because of public disgust over a series of scandals involving, mostly, Democrats.

The GOP vowed to change things. But barely a decade later, Republicans in Congress largely have become what they once campaigned against.

Much of the responsibility for this sad state of affairs rests with Rep. Tom Delay of Texas, until last September the House Majority Leader. Rather than seeking to diminish the untoward influence of lobbyists in Washington, Delay strove to replace Democrat lobbyists as the chief influence peddlers with GOP ones.

In Washington D.C. on Jan. 3rd, lobbyist Jack Abramoff pled guilty to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. A day later in Miami, he pled guilty to fraud and conspiracy in his purchase of a fleet of casino boats in Florida.

Mr. Abramoff's principal victims were indian tribes who owned casinos, who paid Mr. Abramoff's firm $82 million to help them obtain gaming licenses, or to prevent rival tribes from getting them.

Mr. Abramoff is a friend of Rep. Delay, and his business partner, Michael Scanlon (who pled guilty earlier) was once Mr. Delay's press secretary.

So maybe Ronnie Earle, the highly partisan Democratic district attorney of Travis County (Austin), Texas, did Republicans a favor when he indicted Rep. Delay on what looks to me like a trumped up charge. GOP rules require a leader to step down if he is indicted.

Mr. Abramoff will get a shorter sentence in exchange for his testimony against Members of Congress, congressional aides, and Interior Department officials who did favors for him.

The only congressman mentioned in the plea agreement is Bob Ney, a Republican from Ohio. The court papers say Rep. Ney helped obtain a visa for the relative of a client; put comments in the Congressional Record supporting Mr. Abramoff's Florida casino bid, and offered legislative language that would have permitted a tribe in Texas to reopen a casino.

If Rep. Ney did these things as an explicit quid pro quo for the gifts and campaign contributions Mr. Abramoff and his clients showered upon him, he committed a crime.

But what is really criminal about Washington is not what is illegal, but what is legal. If the quid pro quo were merely implicit, if Mr. Abramoff was merely buying access and goodwill with his gifts and contributions, then Rep. Ney committed no crime, which is not the same as saying he did nothing wrong.

And if there was no explicit quid pro quo, then Rep. Ney did no more than what nearly every other member of Congress is doing. Our whole system of campaign finance is based on bribery and extortion. Lobbyists don't provide congressmen with campaign funds or golf outings in Scotland out of the goodness of their hearts. They expect something in return. And usually they get it.

Though Mr. Ney was the only Member mentioned in court documents, the Justice department is looking closely at four other lawmakers, the Washington Times reported Wednesday.

Two — Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana and Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona — are Republicans. But the other two are Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. This will complicate efforts to portray this as solely a Republican scandal, as will the fact that 40 of the 45 Democrats in the senate received campaign contributions from Mr. Abramoff or his clients.

The federal budget is bloated grotesquely by "earmarks" for special interest groups. There will be no solution until we recognize corruption in Washington is systemic and bipartisan. Term limits would help. Those most likely to succumb to the blandishments of lobbyists are those who've been in Washington for quite a while.

But barely disguised bribery will be the rule as long as lawmakers must rely on special interest groups for the bulk of their campaign funds.

Candidates for federal office should be permitted to accept contributions only from people who are registered to vote in the states from which they are seeking election, or from the political party to which they belong. Only when lobbyists can no longer do big favors for our lawmakers will our lawmakers stop doing big favors for lobbyists.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

Jack Kelly Archives

© 2006, Jack Kelly