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Between the Lines

December 05, 2003

Bribery on the House floor?

May have happened. As I noted here, Rep. Nick Smith of Minnesota claims business interests told him they’d donate $100,000 to the campaign of Smith’s son, who wants to succeed him in Congress, if he’d vote for the administration’s Medicare “reform.” Smith wouldn’t. So these same wonderful people told him his son was “dead meat.”

Sounds like bribery, doesn’t it?

Timothy Noah at Slate thought so, and urged Smith to name the miscreats: “So, Congressman. Enough with the guessing games. Who tried to bribe you?

Smith hasn’t complied yet.

Now the Democratic Party and a watchdog group are getting into the act, demanding that Attorney General John Ashcroft launch an investigation.

"Not only was this bribe offered to a member of Congress, it was offered on the floor of the House of Representatives by another member of Congress," DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe wrote Ashcroft.

Ashcroft spokesman Mark Corallo says the attorney general's office will review McAuliffe’s letter.

Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute said, "I've never heard of anything like this on the floor. It just stains the speakership."
Ornstein said an inducement of campaign money "is by every standard a violation of the law." But he added, "Will anything be done about it? I'm very skeptical."

We’re with Ornstein on this one.

Posted by tbrown at 12:00 PM


Close encounters with Air Force One, v 3.0

The story on the supposed close encounter between Air Force One and another airplane off the coast of England, which supposedly almost blew security for the flight, is back again in new form. Now the plane is no longer from British Airways but from a "non-UK operator." And it still doesn’t make much sense.

Posted by tbrown at 11:56 AM




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