Monday, January 3, 2011

An Open Letter To Congressman Darrell Issa: On Ethics, Let Sarah Palin Be Your Guide

Darrell Issa is the tough talking Republican Congressman from Vista, California who will head the powerful Congressional Oversight Committee in the brand new 112th Congress. Since the election in November, Congressman Issa has been sending strong signals that he intends to give his power of subpoena quite the workout, holding officials in the Obama regime accountable for their misdeeds and unethical behavior.

Late Sunday the Los Angeles Times posted an article that would appear in Monday's print edition noting that Issa has pledged to find some $200 billion in government waste.

There are plenty stories of the Congressman's desire to stop waste, fraud and abuse, so imagine my horror when I saw this headline over at The Blaze:

Politics As Usual: Rep Issa Says Sestak Offer Was ‘Obama’s Watergate’… ‘Criminal Event’… And We Are Totally Not Investigating Because Bush Did it Too

The video at the link is from Congressman Issa's appearance on CNN's State of the Union. Now the host is the typical lamestream media hack, and at first appeared to really be putting a lot of words in the Congressman's mouth. But as I watched the video, four times total, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

The conversation is about the fact that democrat senatorial candidate Joe Sestak was offered a position within the Obama regime in return for not running against turncoat Arlen Specter in the primary, after democrat turned Republican, Specter, went back where he belonged, to the democrat party after realizing he could no longer win as a Republican. [Turns out he couldn't win as a democrat either!]

Sestak would beat Specter only to lose to Conservative Pat Toomey in November.

Here's the problem with Sestak. It's a felony to offer someone something of value to drop out of a political contest. This is usually done by the Executive Branch, by offering up an ambassadorship, or some other position, or advisory role to a person.

Doesn't matter if it's a paid or unpaid position. It's illegal. Of course, from a money standpoint, either way these shenanigans cost the taxpayers money, wasted money, which is supposedly in Congressman Issa's wheelhouse. He certainly says it is.

What troubles me about the Congressman is the fact that he acknowledges this is a crime, even as he backs away from talk of impeachment. Sadly, like most politicians, he splits the difference, saying it's Obama's Watergate, but backing away from impeachment talk. [Watergate, of course, was an impeachable offense]

** Please note, I'm not advocating impeachment, at this time.

His biggest excuse for saying he's not going to do anything about this is because someone in the Bush administration, who he doesn't name, nor is he sure of when it happened, is supposed to be guilty of the same thing.

That's sorta lame, even for a politician, but especially so for someone who has been talking very tough when it comes to oversight and reform. You gotta walk it like ya talk it, or you lose the beat.

As our mothers told us at a very young age, two wrongs don't make a right!

Put another way, if someone in the Bush administration really committed this crime, the answer is NOT to excuse the Obama regime, but to go after whoever committed the crime in the Bush administration, AS WELL!

Look, in the grand scheme of things, what Obama and his people did with Sestak is small potatoes, and the man didn't even take the bait. In fact, Sestak blew the whistle on the whole thing himself! What matters is this signals that Issa may be just another one of the “good old boys” in the Ruling Class who is quite happy to look the other way even if the offenses are a felony.

Not the start to the 112th Congress we were hoping for.

In fact, if you read the L.A. Times piece, here, it seems Issa may be softening his stance on Obama, who he once called "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times." Of the regime, Issa also stated: "They've played fast and loose with the money Congress gave them."

All of this is true. In fact I think it's an easy case to make that Obama is the most corrupt American President in history. The worst we've had in the 234 year history of the Republic.

Look, I want to say right now that I don't think Congressman Darrell Issa is a bad man, or a corrupt man. I think he's misguided, and has been a member of the “good old boys club” for way too long. This is why we STRONGLY support strict term limits for all elected officials. Even the best of the best can be ruined by spending too much time in one office, especially in Washington.

With that said,  I have some very simple and important advice for Congressman Issa:

Sir, if you really and truly want to clean up Washington. I mean really clean it up, reform it, and get rid of those who lie, cheat, and steal, wasting money at ever step along the way, go after EVERYBODY!

I've been a long time supporter of Governor Sarah Palin. Long before most of America had heard her name. In fact, not long after she became the Governor of Alaska. I write this to help you understand that one of the things that immediately caught my attention, and has held it ever since, is her long and storied career as a reformer. A real reformer.

Now anyone can reform a thing or two, and score big points by taking on corrupt members of the other party. It takes real cojones to go after members of your own party, some who are your friends, and maybe even mentors.

One of the earliest stories that sets Sarah Palin apart from the crowd, comes from her early days as a member of the Wasilla city council. We all know Wasilla is a small city now, and was even smaller before Sarah became Mayor, and grew the place. Wasilla didn't even have a police force until a group of young forward thinking leaders decided to run for office, recruiting Sarah to run with them. One of these leaders, a fellow named Nick Carney, recruited her to run.

Not knowing the man personally, what I have read leads me to believe he isn't a really bad guy, and he was certainly an early mentor of Sarah's. Stephen Mansfield, in his book, The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin, describes the situation well.

Carney, who had retired early as a state employee had found himself in Wasilla. Besides lacking a police force, Wasilla also lacked a garbage hauling service, as do many small towns nationwide. The residents of Wasilla were stuck hauling their own garbage to the dump. Being an entrepreneur, Carney saw a need and quickly filled it, offering up his services to one and all. Life was good.

As Mansfield writes in his must read book, it wasn't long before Sarah and Carney would be butting heads on certain issues. This shocked Carney, as he thought, that as a rookie politician, Sarah would understand the most important commodity in politics is loyalty.

As she gained more confidence, she began showing she understood the REAL most important commodity in politics is principle, and the ability to put it above anything else. Including the friendship of someone who considered her their protégé.

What got Sarah and Carney sideways? Well, in what probably seemed reasonable to Carney and some others on the city council, including Mayor John Stein, Carney is said to have spearheaded a drive to create a city ordinance that would force residents to have their garbage hauled away by, wait for it, Nick Carney's garbage hauling business!

As Sarah and others saw it, this was a clear case of conflict of interest in which Carney's company stood to make some serious money over time. For the record, Carney denies this is the way it went down, claiming he recused himself from the issue, but was brought in by other council members as a “consultant.”

Yeah, OK.

Now us city dwellers are used to paying to have our garbage hauled away, and even paying a fee if we take things to the dump ourselves. But in most cases, this is done by city workers or in some cases private companies who won the contract through competitive bid. Either way, the billing is done through the city. No way a city council member, in a normal city, would get away with creating a law giving his company the exclusive rights, and forcing the citizens to pay for his services.

Yeah, I know, in the grand scheme of things, much like the Sestak situation, this thing with Carney isn't a huge deal, but it was to the citizens of Wasilla. It also serves to point out that even with little things, principle matters more than anything. Especially party loyalty.

People who know the Sarah Palin story know she would take these solid principles with her through two terms as Mayor, her time as the Chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and Governor.

Of course the most famous story of Sarah Palin as a reformer comes from her time as the powerful Chairman of the oil and gas commission. It wasn't long before she uncovered all sorts of misdeeds, some minor, some so criminal the FBI would soon be investigating, and corrupt politicians would be going to prison. Corrupt REPUBLICAN politicians.

One of the more minor, but still serious issues, surrounded fellow commissioner Randy Ruedrich, who was, and still is, the Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. It seems Ruedrich, instead of doing his job as an oil ad gas commissioner, was spending his time, and state resources, doing Republican Party business instead. This would result in Ruedrich having to pay the largest fine in state history, $12,000 to be exact. This was small stuff, but significant anyway, and a crime.

Sarah who as Chairman was in charge of ethics, was soon tipped off of several troubling criminal situations within the agency and in the oil business. These were buddies of then Governor Frank Murkowski, who called themselves the “Corrupt Bastards Club” finding it hilarious after an angered Alaskan, upon learning of massive corruption, called a group of them “corrupt bastards” after running into them at a local eatery.

These cats looked at this as a badge of honor [among thieves] and actually had caps made up proudly telling the world they were members of the “Corrupt Bastards Club”! If you ever hear Sarah Palin mention the “CBC” while talking about dirty Alaska politics, this is who she's talking about.

Anyhow, as it happens, all of this led straight to her boss, Frank Murkowski's door step. For those not familiar, after Sarah was term limited as Mayor, looking for the next challenge, she ran for Lt Governor and lost a squeaker. However, it got her really noticed statewide as a star, which led to newly elected Governor Murkowski appointing her to the Chairmanship of the AOGCC.

The situation there was obviously a mess.

On top of everything else, Sarah was approached by the state's Attorney General and warned if she went public with the major corruption she had uncovered, she herself would face criminal charges!

Now one has to remember, that Sarah and Todd Palin don't come from money. Both of their families were just common folks. Todd had a good job working on the North Slope, but being the head of a powerful state agency paid well, and they had four kids to raise at the time. They were making the most money they ever had, and doing the right thing, going public, was considered “political suicide.”

This was a tough spot. A go along, get along “good old boy” would have looked the other way to save their own career.

What did Sarah do? She resigned and went public, of course, not really caring that it was supposedly the end of her political career, and the loss of a six figure income to boot.

It would be this integrity and loyalty to principle over party politics [as these were Republicans] that would see Sarah not only survive but thrive, ending up as the Governor when the next election came around, beating Murkowski in a landslide during the primary and a former popular democrat Governor soundly in the general election.

Sarah would take this tough stand on principle with her to the Governor's office as she would battle Big Oil, and other corruption.

A funny side story. As both Sarah and Frank Murkowski ran for Lt Governor and Governor at the same time, and Murkowski was a long term and sitting United States Senator, many thought that Murkowski should, and would, as Governor, appoint Sarah as Senator, filling his unexpired term. Instead Murkowski would appoint his daughter Lisa instead.

Had Papa Frank appointed Sarah, instead of his daughter to the United States Senate, the CBC would still be up and running, Murkowski might still be Governor, and the federal prison system would be less filled with Alaskan politicians. By appointing her as AOGCC Chairman, Murkowski hired his own [political] assassin!

I tell that story, because it reminds me of the situation that arose after the 2008 presidential election. After the McCain campaign lost, Sarah Palin had every intention to go home and continue being one of the most successful and popular Governors in the country, sadder …. but wiser.

The problem is, Barack Obama and “Alaskan” Pete Rouse, who is now Obama's Chief of Staff, had created a group of thugs to harass Sarah during the election, and after seeing how well she resonated with the American people, the order was given to not only keep it up, but put the coals to it. Full speed ahead!

It was the continuous bogus ethics complaints that were bankrupting Sarah personally, and costing the Alaska tax payers millions as well, that would lead Sarah to make the decision to not seek a second term as Governor, and resign from her four year term a year and a couple of months early. This would save the Alaska tax payers millions of dollars, and keep her from going personally bankrupt.

Remember, at the time, Sarah had a $500,000 personal legal bill fighting all of the bogus complaints [all of which were dismissed] that she had to pay from a salary as Governor of $125,000 a year.And had she stayed, the complaints would have continued, and possibly increased.

Our readers who are familiar with the situation know Obama's Alaska Mafia had turned filing bogus ethics complaints into a game. Even filing complaints using the names of TV characters as the complainants!

Much like Papa Frank, Barack Obama sowed the seeds of his own demise, and created the opportunity for the one who is helping bring him down. By forcing Sarah Palin to resign as Governor in order to save the state from being pillaged by thugs with an agenda, she had nothing but free time on her hands to become the nation's strongest leader, and the front runner to take Obama's job in 2012.

Oh, and as a tribute to Sarah, on December 22, 2010 a new law took effect in Alaska that would make the state cover all legal expenses for the Executive, should they ever be harassed by thugs with bogus “ethics” complaints, further vindicating her for doing the right thing.

Congressman Issa, in case you are wondering why I told you this long story [though it should be obvious] not only is standing on principles the right things to do, and worth doing for the sake of doing what's right, all by itself, it can also lead to bigger and better things.

Sarah Palin has been committing “political suicide” since her earliest days in politics, now she stands at the very summit of the national scene, poised to our next President. And she didn't do it because it was easy, politically expedient, or a career builder. In fact it would normally be anything but. But she stuck to doing what was right, no matter what.

Millions admire Sarah Palin for a lot of reasons, but the thing that has people shouting her name loudly is her principles. She's a principled Reagan Conservative, and more importantly an honorable public servant, a rare commodity these days.

Congressman Issa, we want to believe that you, and men like you, have the same desire to be honorable public servants. To look out for the people, and root out corruption in Government.

We WANT to believe it!

The problem is, one can't just talk the talk, one must walk the walk. One must walk it every day.

Washington is a holy mess of corruption and yes, evil. This corruption and evil is not exclusive to one political party, as there are bad apples in both. Too many people looking out for themselves rather than the American people who elected them, and sadly, they use tax payer's hard earned money to further their corruption.

Whether it's funneling money to buddies back home through no-bid contacts, using tax payer dollars to bribe fellow members of Congress for votes on rotten and dangerous legislation, or offering up a job to drop out of a political contest to help out a friend, it's all bad.

Some of these are actual crimes, others damned sure should be. All are immoral and steal from the American people, and tarnish the legacy and ideals that are the United States.

This is why I implore you Congressman Issa, in the strongest terms possible, when it comes to ethics and corruption busting, use Sarah Palin as your guide on how to proceed.

It shouldn't matter whether a person is your best friend or worst enemy. Doesn't matter what party he or she is from. If you find someone breaking the law, or doing something even a little suspicious, it's not only your job, but your sworn duty to do something to stop it, and if warranted, prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Oh, you'll piss people off. You'll make enemies left and right with everyone. Everyone that is, except the American people. You get serious and do what is right, and you will have the American people standing with you through thick and thin.

Thanks to the corrupt, inept, and in some cases EVIL people who are running things in Washington, our Republic, the greatest nation the world has ever known, is on the verge of collapse.

These people have sacrificed the nation that brave men and women have fought and died for, just to feather their own nests. We are at a point now that we simply cannot survive if this continues.

Congressman Issa, in order to save the Republic, one cannot be timid or tender. This is going to take a man of steel nerve and rock solid reserve. Someone who will not be swayed by friendships or party allegiance. Someone who will do what is right, no matter the personal cost.

If America is to be saved, not one single corrupt politician can be spared, They must all go. If need be, we can always build more prisons to hold them. That would be stimulus money well spent!

We are counting on you. You talked a big game before you were re-elected to another term, and made Chairman of one of the most essential congressional committees. You are charged with overseeing how the federal government operates, and making sure it is done in an ethical manner. The American people have, through the election process, put a lot of faith in you, and given you an awesome power to do what is right.

Sarah Palin is fond of saying there are two sorts of politicians, those who eat well, and those who sleep well. Now is the time for you to decide what sort you will be, fat, or content knowing you have done the right thing.

You only get one shot to do the right thing. Do not let the American people down.

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