Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hillary Clinton '84

Nice. (h/t New York Post)

Your $ at Work:Peter King Buys Reelection, Influence for Rudy Giuliani; Skimps on Staff Salary

Via Newsday, we learn a few things about how Peter King spent the $1M your federal tax dollars helped finance. First off, King's cheap when it comes to paying staff salaries:
King (R-Seaford) was the most frugal of the local members, paying his staff a total of $659,391 in 2006.
Nevertheless, King runs an office of bloat, racking up the highest costs on Long Island:
Rent, telephone and office supply bills ranged from a total of $180,784 for McCarthy to $304,696 for King.
Not surprising that a Republican like King would undervalue those that actually run the halls of Congress on a daily basis, while also spending way too much. King doesn't scrimp when it comes to ensuring his own reelection though:
King and Bishop (D-Southampton), who both faced tougher re-election bids than other local members, spent much more on sending mail.

Bishop spent $131,772 and King $157,889...
You know those glossy fliers you throw straight into recycling? Well, campaigns spend good money for those, and $158K is a HUGE mail buy. Except this time, YOU pay the bill for "King '06".

Buying reelection with your money is one thing, but can you believe King is buying political clout too?

His smaller staff payroll included $17,000 for two family members of 9/11 victims to act as homeland security advisers during his tenure as the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Firefighter Ken Haskell and former president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association Jimmy Boyle are longtime friends of the congressman and were the most vocal 9/11 family members supporting President George W. Bush in his 2004 re-election campaign.

King said the pair attended and coordinated meetings and homeland security training sessions for him, provided information on the needs of the firefighting communities and acted as a liaison for other families of 9/11 victims.
Aand cue the freakin' alarm bells.. Active Bush campaigners? Smells like patronage to me. More importantly, the major conflict of interest at play. As Chairman/Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee, Peter King relies upon First Responders for credibility. Using YOUR $, King provided $17K to a well-connected former Union Boss. Peter King plays a prominent role both in his capacity as Ranking Member of Homeland, and leading the push for Rudy Giulani's Presidential campaign. Given this, it's highly unethical that he provides a salary, at your expense, to a powerful constituency for both himself and Rudy Giuliani.

Today Peter King has the gall to suggest:
""I think I'm protecting the integrity of the committee"
by working to keep Rep. Jefferson, FBI-investigated Democrat, and congressman from Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. I do agree with King that an ethically challenged Congressman has no place sitting on Homeland Security.

That's why Peter King should STEP DOWN IMMEDIATELY. He is buying influence from firefighters, and last year denied the fact that his family lobbies for a firm involved with business in front of the very committee he chaired. Peter King's ethical lapses are just too much to risk when it comes to Homeland Security.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Peter King and Rudy:St. Patrick's Day Slight to FDNY??

Apparently Peter King marched in today's NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade with his fearless leader these days, Rudy Giuliani.

Now, I wouldn't expect a conservative Republican like King, or a pandering-to-the-right quasi-Repub like Rudy, to pay much mind to the fact that the parade's organizers have refused to allow gay and lesbian Irish-Americans from participating in the parade.

However, we all know that King has draped himself in the American flag, and frequently invokes 9/11 to endorse all sorts of terrible Bush ideas. Rudy is even running for President because of his "extensive experience with terrorism", aka he happened to be Mayor on 9/11.

So of course I'm interested to see how the duo reacts to this years Parade Politics. Via the Empire Zone:
This year’s main parade controversy involves the decision of the parade’s planning chairman, John Dunleavy, to move the firefighters to the middle of the parade — from their place of honor in the front — reportedly because they held up the parade last year, and because they showed up drunk. If he doesn’t relent, Mr. Dunleavy could very well be facing the jeers of a boo coalition organized by a city councilman.
They "held up the parade" to allow New Orleans Firefighters to join them, by the by. Mayor Bloomberg had this to say to parade organizers:
"I guess my advice to the guy running the parade is look, nothing’s perfect, lighten up. You have rules, rules are there to be guidelines, don’t enforce them at this level…. They’re our bravest, they protect us… Why dis them? I can’t understand why the guy’s doing it.”...
He said he would spend most of the parade tomorrow marching with firefighters to “stand up for them.”
Mayor Bloomberg saw how much of a slap in the face this is to NYC's Bravest, and took a stand to march with them in solidarity. I've heard no reports of a similar sentiment from either Peter King or Rudy, though I'll stay alert.

In the absence of a statement in support of the firefighters, or better yet, marching with them in the middle of the parade, King and Giulani are complicit in this callous move to degrade our bravest public servants.

Given Giulani's "tenuous relationship" with FDNY, and King's glorification of the heroes of 9/11, I cannot interpret this silence as anything other than brazen grandstanding on the part of those all too quick to comodify bravery for political gain. Shame on you, Peter King and Rudy Giulani.

(Was anyone there? Find any news reports about where they marched? I hope I'm wrong on this one.)

UPDATE:King on the record
http://www.firefight... :
Marching beside presidential hopeful and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Long Island Rep. Pete King declared that Dunleavy "is just wrong."

"The parade is not about John Dunleavy," he said. "The parade is about New York, and the FDNY personifies the spirit of New York. But fortunately not many people pay much attention to John Dunleavy."

Unfortunately, King is wrong; a lot of people did pay attention to Dunleavy's actions, and that's why he should've come out in support of the firefighters much sooner.

Now what about Giulani? Why wasn't his press secretary all over this days ago, and where did they march in the parade?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Racial Profiling for Dummies: Peter King Edition

Remember how Peter King's brilliant answer to terrorism is "Profile all the brown people at airports"?.

Yeah, I had my doubts too, but don't worry, the Washington Post tells us "it's totally legit, we can definitely catch the bad guys that way!":

Terrorists Proving Harder to Profile

"..terrorism suspects from atypical backgrounds are becoming increasingly common in Western Europe. With new plots surfacing every month, police across Europe are arresting significant numbers of women, teenagers, white-skinned suspects and people baptized as Christians -- groups that in the past were considered among the least likely to embrace Islamic radicalism."
I know I personally feel safer under Peter King's 'leadership'.. Heckuva job, Petey!