liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Monday, May 23, 2005

DeLay Inc.

A couple of journalists over at the the New York Times, Kate Zernike and Anne E. Kornblut, wrote a story supposedly linking Grover Norquist to Jack Abramoff's and Tom DeLay's influence-buying schemes, specifically in the Marianas. The story is entitled, Link to Lobbyist Brings Scrutiny to G.O.P. Figure.

I saw very little news reporting in the story, aside from the fact that Senator McCain's Committee on Indian Affairs
investigating whether Mr. Abramoff defrauded Indian tribes has subpoenaed records from Mr. Norquist's group, Americans For Tax Reform, after he refuled for six months to turn them over voluntarily.

Norquist has operated with an air of being "untouchable" in the last decade or so. He had close ties to Newt Gingrich, as he does to Tom DeLay, but Norquist himself is not a politician. He stays out of the public eye and out of the press. Instead, he is one of the behind the scenes players in the rise of the tax reform movement, the movement which provided the groundswell for GOP resurgence in the 80s and 90s. Today, Norquist's group is riding the crest of the high GOP tide.

Accoring to Zernike and Kornblut,
... Norquist has had a hand in nearly every conservative cause in Washington for nearly two decades ... largely through his Wednesday meetings, weekly beat-the-drum sessions attended by lobbysists, think tank employees and politicians that command such influence that the Bush administration routinely sends an envoy.

This looks to me like what could once have passed as honest, investigative reporting in the mainstream media, and many educated people will read this article and find its contents relevant to the DeLay story.

However, this story is a bold attempt to stand up to Norquist's minions and their politics of media monopolization, influence-buying and intimidation of journalists. This is baiting Norquist. It will be interesting to see who gets sent to retaliate against the Times for daring to drag Norquist into the public DeLay, Abramoff quagmire.

Also, is there another player on the liberal side positioned to follow-up or build upon the bad publicity and potential information leaks involving Norquist? We will be watching carefully.


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