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View Diary: Insider Trading in Frist and Delay's Office: Story Growing (125 comments)

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  •  Not to rain on the parade.... (none)
    ...but the Business Week article, at least to me, suggests that what these political intelligence firms may be doing is recruiting Congressional staffers to report back to them information, not unlike how the CIA case officers "recruit" agents in the field.  I'm sure these staffers are then paid "under the table."  So it then all becomes how loyal you are to your boss and your ethical standards.

    My point is that this may be going on in ALL congressional offices to some degree or another.  Now, granted it probably happens a LOT more in Republican congresscritters' offices (esp. committee chairmen and leadership offices), as they have singlehandedly usurped all the decision-making power, but it still could be a wide-spread, quasi-clandestine phenomenon as the BW article seems to suggest.

    The key question is if the relevant Congresspersons knew this was going on, or even if they actually condoned it and let these operatives set up shop in their offices.  Rep. Slaughter seems to suggest at least in Delay's and Frist's cases, that may have been what's going on.  And if they knew it was going on, they must have also been profiting from it as well, so how were their payoffs laundered from these "intelligence" firms back to their office (or PAC) without having to be reported?

    To put it more bluntly, are there lobbying "front" companies for these intelligence firms that arrange kickbacks for members who "allow" their operatives to have access to the member's office and staff?  Or do Delay's and Frist's offices have any outside contractors that do, say, IT work as a cover for their information-gathering activities?

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    by viget on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 02:31:38 PM PST

    •  It would be interesting to see a breakdown (none)
      of these firms campaign contributions and charitable contributions, particularly to see if the were donating to Abrofund Charities.
    •  Maybe so (4.00)
      You seem to be implying that there may be a bipartisan aspect to this scandal, which could be true.  I have no reason to think that Democratic staffers are always honest and ethical just because they're Democrats.  (However, if you're a young person who is greedy to make money, hopefully you're smart enough to realize that the Republican money machine is what you need to hitch your wagon to.)

      However, keep in mind, the most valuable information is foreknowledge of the legislative agenda, which starts with the leaders of the two chambers, DeLay and Frist.  They and their staffers know what they've got planned for next week long before they tell everyone else.  And as for the Democrats, well, we know they work over on the dark side of the plantation.  They're lucky if the Republicans bother to share the legislative agenda with them at all.  So even if Ted Kennedy's aide were to tell you everything he knows about the Republican agenda for next week, it probably wouldn't be much beyond what's already known publicly.

      Anyway, I assume everyone agrees that whatever the case may be, this is a scandal that simply needs to be investigated all the way to its end, and let the chips fall where they may.

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