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The Office of Special Counsel, which investigates campaign fundraising violations by government officials and employees under the Hatch Act, seems to be sweeping Republican violations under the rug.  I have received reports from whistle-blowers that, in the lead up to the 2004 Presidential Campaign, an investigation of then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was assumed by high ranking partisans in the office and placed on the back burner, while the same high ranking partisans gave their immediate attention to an investigation of Senator John Kerry.

On October 10, 2004, the Washington Post reported that then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was giving campaign-oriented speeches in presidential battleground states.  The article stated that "[t]he frequency and location of her speeches differ[ed] sharply from those before this election year - and appear[ed] to break with the long-standing precedent that the national security adviser try to avoid overt involvement in the presidential campaign."

What compounded the problem was that she seemingly was giving these political speeches on the taxpayers' dime, and that is not only unusual but illegal under the Hatch Act, which generally prohibits campaign activity on government time or on government property.  So I wrote to the Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, saying he should investigate this blatant violation of the law and abuse of public funds.  To date, I've heard nothing, but apparently much has transpired behind the scenes since I wrote that letter.

Apparently, during the same period of time, the OSC received and expedited an investigation of then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.  It sought information from NASA on whether Sen. Kerry gave a political speech on federal property.  While this was expedited, Bloch apparently sat on the investigation of Rice's travels that I asked him to commence until after the 2004 Presidential election.

The irony is not lost on me.  The officer tasked with ensuring that the executive branch does not engage in partisan political activity is apparently prioritizing such investigations in accordance with his own partisan aims.

Now, some of Bloch's own employees are suing him for political retaliation.  A March 31, 2005 Wall Street Journal story says several employees and non-profit legal groups allege that "Mr. Bloch and his chief political deputy, James Renne, have pushed out career staff members, hired associates who lack labor law experience and ordered career staff members to be fired unless they accepted immediate transfers to a regional office slated to open this year in Detroit.  The complaint also alleges that Mr. Bloch dismissed as many as 1,000 federal worker claims without an adequate investigation."

To get to the bottom of this, I am writing to Special Counsel Scott Bloch to find out directly from him whether he handles complaints about Democrats differently than complaints about Republicans (the full text of the letter is below).

April 13, 2005

Honorable Scott J. Bloch
Special Counsel
U.S. Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC  20036-4505

Dear Mr. Bloch:

On October 20, 2004, the Washington Post ran a story describing how then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice had been giving what appeared to be campaign speeches in battleground states during the final eight weeks before the Presidential election.  Glenn Kessler, "Rice Hitting the Road to Speak", Washington Post, October 20, 2004, at A2.   That same day, I wrote to you, requesting that the Office of Special Counsel conduct an investigation into whether Dr. Rice's activities violated the Hatch Act.  As you know, while the Hatch Act does not prohibit employees who are paid by appropriations from the White House from engaging in political activity on duty and during work hours, the costs associated with such political activity may not come out of the United States Treasury.

According to a recent complaint filed by certain non-profit organizations and anonymous OSC employees, my request for an investigation of Dr. Rice's activities received unusual treatment, particularly as compared to a matter involving a July 26, 2004 visit by Senator Kerry to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida which was alleged to violate the Hatch Act.  Specifically, according to the complaint, when my letter came in, you did not refer the complaint immediately to career employees in OSC's Hatch Act Unit, even for a preliminary investigation or inquiry.  Instead, according to the complaint, either you or Deputy  Special Counsel Renne deliberately assigned the case to yourselves, held on to it until after the election without taking any action at all, and then transmitted it to the career staff in the Hatch Act Unit for handling after the election.  The complaint contends that--by contrast--you ordered an immediate on-site investigation of the Kerry matter last August, only days after Sen. Kerry visited the NASA facility.  Indeed, an article that appeared in the Washington Post on Sunday, August 1, states that your agency had already formally requested information from NASA about the Kerry town hall meeting, which had been held only few days earlier on July 26, 2004.   See  Steve Barr, "Kerry Visit Could put NASA in the Hot Seat",  Washington Post, August 1, 2004, C2.  

These allegations of disparate treatment are serious ones.  Your office is charged with the even-handed enforcement of the Hatch Act, which itself was designed to ensure that partisan political considerations do not affect the government's discharge of its duties.  Indeed, given that OSC has exclusive authority to enforce the Hatch Act in the federal government, it is crucial that your agency avoid even the appearance of  partisan enforcement of that Act.  I am asking, therefore, that you provide a detailed and specific response to the allegations in the complaint regarding the disparate treatment your office afforded in the two cases identified above.  I am also interested in OSC's handling of another complaint that I filed on September 24, 2004, regarding a presentation made by certain officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to the annual conference of the American Dairy Products Institute and the American Butter Institute.

In explaining the disparate treatment you allegedly afforded the two complaints, and your investigation of the USDA complaint, I request that you answer the following specific questions, in addition to providing your response to the allegations in the complaint:

        A:    OSC's Routine Procedures

1.  Describe in detail the routine procedure OSC employs for processing incoming Hatch Act complaints, including but not limited to the following:

a.    When a complaint comes in alleging a violation of the Hatch Act, who receives it, to whom is it  routed, and for what purpose?

b.    What is the procedure that is used to record the receipt of the complaint?

c.    Who is responsible for recording the receipt of the complaint into
 the OSC case tracking system and when is that record made?

d.    What is done with the complaint after it is entered into the case tracking system?

e.    When is an official case file established?

f.    Who receives the official case file after a complaint t is entered into the case tracking system?

g.    Does the case tracking system record keep track of the location of the official case file?

h.     Is there a policy that determines the  priority for investigating Hatch Act complaints; if so what is that policy and who is responsible for assigning the priorities?

i.    Who decides which members of the staff will investigate the complaint.

j.    What standard procedures does OSC follow when it investigates a Hatch Act complaint.

k.     Who decides the when to begin investigating a Hatch Act complaint?

2.   Is the procedure for processing incoming Hatch Act complaints different when a member of Congress files the complaint?  If so, how?

    B.    OSC's Handling of the Rice Complaint:

  1.   On what date did OSC receive my October 20, 2004 letter concerning Dr. Rice?

  2.  Describe the handling of my letter beginning with the date it was received and up until the present time, including but not limited to:

a.    The date the complaint was entered into OSC's case tracking system and who entered it.

b.    To whom the case was assigned after it was entered into the OSC case tracking system and the date it was assigned.

c.     All members of OSC's staff who received a copy of the letter and the day they received it.

d.    Each individual who has been in possession of the official case file since October 20, 2004 and the dates that the file was in their possession.

e.    Your role and the role of Deputy Special Counsel Renne in handling the my complaint, beginning with the date that OSC received the letter.  Specifically, state whether and on what dates you and/or Deputy Special Counsel Renne met with members of OSC's career staff (including but not limited to William Reukauf and/or Ana Galindo Marrone) to discuss my complaint.  Is it true that Deputy Special Counsel Renne or another member of your immediate staff maintained possession of the case file until after the Election?   If so, why?   If not, who had possession of the case file through Election Day?

f.    The date that the career staff received the case file and were directed to begin working on it.

g.     The date OSC began an investigation of my complaint.

h.      The actions that were undertaken to request information or otherwise investigate my complaint including when those actions were taken and by whom.  Identify the dates of all written or oral requests for information and interviews conducted in connection with my complaint.

i.      The current status of the Rice investigation.

3.    Explain all deviations from the routine procedures identified above in the handling of my complaint.

    C.    OSC's Handling of the Kerry Matter

  1.   On what date did OSC receive a complaint alleging that a violation of the Hatch Act occurred in connection with Senator Kerry's visit to the Kennedy Space Center?  If OSC did not receive a complaint, state the basis for OSC's decision to conduct an investigation of the visit.

  2.  Describe the handling of the allegations regarding Senator Kerry's visit beginning with the date OSC received the complaint or otherwise opened a case file, including but not limited to:

a.    The date the complaint or case was entered into OSC's case tracking system and who entered it.

b.    To whom the case was assigned after it was entered into the OSC case tracking system and the date it was assigned.  

c.      When OSC sent out its first request for information and who prepared it.

d.      Who directed the immediate on-site investigation of the allegations regarding the Kerry     visit and why was an immediate investigation was ordered.

e.      Your role and the role of Deputy Special Counsel Renne in handling the allegations concerning the Kerry visit, beginning with the date that OSC received the allegations.  Specifically, state whether and on what dates you and/or Deputy Special Counsel Renne met with members of OSC's career staff (including but not limited to.William Reukauf and/or Ana Galindo Marrone) to discuss the Kerry complaint.  

f.       The OSC officials responsible for supervising the investigation of the complaint.

g.      The date OSC began an investigation of the Kerry allegations.

h.      The actions that were undertaken to request information or otherwise investigate the allegations regarding Senator Kerry's visit.  Identify the dates of all written or oral requests for information and interviews conducted in connection with the Kerry visit.

i.      The current status of the investigation of the Kerry visit.

3.    Explain all deviations from the routine procedures identified above in the handling of the Kerry allegations.

    D.    The USDA Complaint

  1.   On what date did OSC receive my September 24, 2004 letter concerning the presentation at the annual conference identified above?

  2.  Describe the handling of my letter beginning with the date it was received and up until the present time, including but not limited to:

a.    The date the complaint was entered into OSC's case tracking system and who entered it.

b.    To whom the case was assigned after it was entered into the OSC case tracking system and the date it was assigned.

c.     All members of OSC's staff who received a copy of the letter and the day they received it.

d.    Your role and the role of Deputy Special Counsel Renne any other member of your immediate staff in handling my complaint, beginning with the date that OSC received the letter.  Specifically, state whether and on what dates you and/or Deputy Special Counsel Renne met with members of OSC's career staff (including but not limited to William Reukauf and/or Ana Galindo Marrone) to discuss my complaint.  

f.    The date that the career staff received the case file and were directed to begin working on it.

g.     The date OSC began an investigation of my complaint.

h..      The actions that were undertaken to request information or otherwise investigate my complaint including when those actions were taken and by whom.  Identify the dates of all written or oral requests for information and interviews conducted in connection with my complaint.  Identify the individuals who were interviewed.

i.    Identify all individuals responsible for the preparation of the slides that were the subject of my complaint, state whether OSC interviewed those individuals.  What did those individuals identify as the purpose of the titles of the slides and the content concerning how to "maximize" votes from dairy states?  

j.    Did OSC interview Dr. Salathe; if so, how did he explain the titles of the slides and their content, discussing how to "maximize" votes from dairy states?

k.    Did OSC secure a transcript of the remarks made at the conference; if not, why not?

3.    Explain all deviations from the routine procedures identified above in the handling of my complaint concerning the presentation.

Please provide detailed responses to these questions by close of business on Tuesday, April 26, 2005.  Also, please reply through Perry Apelbaum or Ted Kalo of my Judiciary Committee staff at 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC  20515 (tel: 202-225-6504; fax 202-225-4423).

Sincerely,

John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member

Originally posted to Congressman John Conyers on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:53 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for your work on this issue... (3.96)
    and for bringing this to our attention.  This is very significant.

    Please recommend (that goes without saying, right?).

  •  Good work! (4.00)
    I am sure that your constituents are as proud of the work you are doing as most Kossacks are!  Don't give up the fight.  

    Its also really good to see you posting here at the DailyKos!

    Would you rather live in the ascendancy of a civilization, or during its decline? --Poindexter

    by Billy Shears on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:52:55 PM PDT

  •  Fantastic work, Congressman... (3.87)
    ...and we very much appreciate your coming to update us on your efforts. Thank you!
  •  Mr. Congressman, (4.00)
    you kick ass.  (just thought you should know)
    •  I second that, Rep Conyers! Chapeaux! (none)
      And, hoo boy, I thought I could get detailed.

      Your investigative questions ... and questions ... and questions  ... should leave no stone unturned, no crack unsealed!

      Give em hell, Rep. We are WITH you, as you were WITH us on many progressive issues, most recently recalling your fight for fair elections (which we did NOT have).

      Keep on keepin on ... and on ... and on ...

      oh, ps - I hate bankruptcy bill (+ ANWR) traitor dems.

      by NYCee on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 05:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am Shocked, Just Shocked! (4.00)
    Really.  We all know that CondiLiesalot is above the law, as is every other Republican.  The hypocricy of this regime simply knows no bounds.

    Thanks for trying to reel them in.  I, for one, am most appreciative (if a bit jaded)!

  •  Thanks for keeping us in the loop! (4.00)
    And thanks for continuing your good work for all of us.

    Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

    by ultrageek on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:58:59 PM PDT

  •  Great op-ed today! (4.00)
    I enjoyed your commentary on judicial independence in today's Detroit Free Press.

    For those Kossacks who haven't seen it, here's a link to it:

    http://www.freep.com/voices/columnists/econyers13e_20050413.htm

    In politics, sometimes the jackasses are on your side.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:59:26 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for your work on this. (4.00)
    Without people like you in the Senate, and Henry Waxman in the House, there would be few in the halls of government to look into this sort of everyday Bush-style corruption.

    Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

    "There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by susanp on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:59:38 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for your dogged efforts... (4.00)
    I wish that you were my representative. Thanks so much also for your efforts here on DKos to keep the suffering masses informed... please let us know at any time or in any way how that we can help you.

    The Cognitive Dissonant... "God does indeed have fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror to the universe"

    by Dood Abides on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:05:29 PM PDT

  •  What might happen (4.00)
    if something like this were to run in one of those...what do you call them...NEWSpapers?

    It don't mean a feng if it ain't got that shui.

    by Doc Bogus on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:06:29 PM PDT

  •  Congressman Conyers: (3.00)
    Mr. Congressman,

    First, thanks for your years of service in the House of Reps.  Also, thanks for your attention to the Dkos community.  However, I read something about you the other day that I would like you to please comment on.

    John Gorenfeld and Ron Gunzberger published an article on the LaRouche movement's efforts to push themselves into the mainstream of the Democratic Party, and you were mentioned in this paragraph:


    Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) -- the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus -- is also now consorting with LaRouche. On March 23, Conyers was the featured speaker at an event in Detroit sponsored by the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC). Conyers told the audience that he wanted to help them "take these [LaRouche] arguments, the book [LaRouche's Draft Democratic Party Platform], the weekly newsletter, and let's get it out into the debate ... what I would like to do with you, is to begin to debate these issues. I know that they're taken as gospel. But, unless they can stand the test of debate, they're just a great view held by a number of people, who believe one thing. But that's not going to sell it. And so, what I want to do, is, extend the discussion: What we need is discussions about this and where [the Democratic Party is] and where are we going." Others who appeared on the panel with Conyers included the Midwest LPAC coordinator and a leader of the LaRouche Youth Movement. The LaRouchies are already using the Conyers appearance for propaganda purposes to yet again to attempt establishing their legitimacy. They've reprinted it on various websites they control. This wasn't Conyers' first interaction with the LaRouche group, but it is his most overt move. Back in December 2004, Conyers invited LaRouche's group to present political testimony of alleged GOP voter suppression before an unofficial panel he chaired -- and LaRouche in return praised Conyers for doing so. "John Conyers has been playing a key role, and naturally, I'm fully supporting what he's up to," said LaRouche. ... Is it appropriate for any Democratic officials to attend LaRouche-sponsored events? I think the answer is pretty clear. Perhaps it is time for Congressman Conyers -- after serving 41 years in the House -- to consider retiring in 2006."

    You can read the full post at Politics1.com.

    Thank you in advance for your response,
    Sam Penney,
    Fairfax, VA

    •  I'd like to comment on this... (4.00)
      I was at a Democrat strategy meeting in Washington state a few weeks ago, and there were several members of the LaRouche youth group in attendance.

      I've been quick to dismiss them in the past, but as the strategy meeting progressed, they produced documentation on some of what we were discussing - about Amtrak, and about energy usage and generation.

      I had a look. They clearly showed how Amtrak's been gutted in the last few years, and they had hard data on the number of trips lost, number of car trips added, number of airplane trips added. They had suggestions for realistic high-speed rail routes that came from the DOT in 2001. They were level-headed. At first, they wanted to talk about maglev, but I steered them toward conventional high speed rail (there are a number of reasons conventional rail is more attainable), and they listened and learned.

      On energy, they used examples from real projects, from Kettle Foods in Oregon to Sustainable Ballard in Seattle, of how decentralization cuts our reliance on foreign oil and increases redundancy, prevents brownouts and cuts pollution. They were talking sense.

      I looked through some of their documents on the IMF, on fighting poverty, on sustainability in general, and frankly, while they aren't very good at getting their points across, they're pretty much in line with the rest of us. I welcome them into the party.

    •  I should point out... (3.50)
      LaRouche is racist, and his followers tend to be inflammatory and bigoted. I'm just saying that their platform lines up with a lot of the Democratic party.
  •  Thank You for all your hard work! (4.00)
    Now where's that tip jar?

    "I think it was 'blessed are the cheesemakers.'" ... "it was not to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products."

    by Rusty Pipes on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:11:47 PM PDT

  •  Mr Conyers, a great American (3.90)
    God bless you Mr. Conyers. I wish there were 434 more like you!
  •  thank you (4.00)
    Mr. Conyers, you've asked some excellent questions and I hope you can get some answers! Thank you for your efforts on behalf of getting some integrity back into the federal government.

    Act in your own best interest: Be a Democrat.

    by greatbasin2 on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:13:19 PM PDT

  •  Could you also look into this? (4.00)
    Found this article while researching Gannon. It's written by him for Talon News...but his sole source is the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.

    Article is also posted on their website.

    I have tried to research names of the leadership of the SMCCDI, but have been unsuccessful. Site states only that this group is comprised of Iranian students inside and outside Iran, and some professors.

    Article follows. It was just so weird to find Gannon associated with this group - he's never written anything on them or Iran before or since - that I've always been curious about the connection.

    Link is here: http://www.daneshjoo.org/article/publish/article_3252.shtml

    Kerry Taking Campaign Contributions From Pro-Iranian Group
    By Jeff Gannon
    Talon News
    October 15, 2004

    WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- The chairman of a pro-Iranian democracy group is charging that the campaign of Sen. John Kerry has been accepting political contributions from a lobbying group promoting the agenda of the mullah rulers of Iran. Aryo Pirouznia, leader of the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iraq (SMCCDI) says that backers of the regime in Tehran are channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Kerry campaign.

    During a press conference in Washington on Thursday, Pirouznia identified several individuals who have close ties to the Democratic presidential candidate. The most prominent of them is Hassan Nemazee, a New York investment banker and a member of the board of the American-Iranian Council (AIC). A chief goal of the lobbying group is the removal of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

    Once nominated by President Bill Clinton to be U.S. ambassador to Argentina, Nemazee has raised more than $100,000 for Kerry. Nemazee withdrew his name from consideration following allegations of improper business dealings.

    On March 19, 2004, Nemazee was listed as a vice chairman by the Kerry campaign, and on June 18, 2004, CBS News reported that Nemazee was part a group that raised more than $500,000.

    Other key Kerry fundraisers with similar ties include Susan Akbarpour, a recent immigrant from Iran whom the campaign lists as raising between $50,000 and $100,000 and her husband, Faraj Aelaei, a telecommunications executive raising the same amount.

    Iran has been alternately threatening to develop nuclear weapons and insisting that it needs uranium for energy production. During the first presidential debate, Kerry suggested that he would provide nuclear fuel to Iran.

    Kerry was critical of President George W. Bush, who called Iran a member of the "Axis of Evil" along with North Korea and Iraq when it was controlled by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Kerry lamented that the U.S. passed up an opportunity to join the Great Britain, France, and Germany in engaging Iran.

    Kerry said, "I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes."

    The Democrat's web site reiterates the "global test" he proposes for the mullah government. Kerry's plan is to "call their bluff by organizing a group of states to offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they cannot divert it to build a weapon. If Iran does not accept this offer, their true motivations will be clear."

    In one of his public statements about Iran, Kerry said, "I will be prepared early on to explore areas of mutual interest with Iran, just as I was prepared to normalize relations with Vietnam a decade ago."

    Following Kerry's advocacy on behalf of the communist government of Vietnam, Hanoi awarded a contract to Boston real estate firm Colliers International. At the time, the senator's cousin Stuart Forbes was head of the company.

    The Kerry campaign won't comment on the individuals in question.

    Copyright © 2004 Talon News -- All rights reserved.

    "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by grannyhelen on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:14:38 PM PDT

    •  Granny (4.00)
      Interesting –  because you can see an effort that I imagine is organized and coordinated to smear Dems and Kerry with consorting with Iran, or Iranian backers, to facilitate terrorist and nuclear weaponry.

      Specifically – Jerome Corsi, the 2nd author of the swiftboat vets' smear book "Unfit for Command" has written a new book about Iran's terrorist ambitions, Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians.  There's a site for the book also,   www.atomiciran.com

      I believe I remember Corsi got hired off to be a Worldnetdaily  columnist (so he's got a stipend now for his contributions).

          This Iran-oriented smear of Democratic politicians looks to be organized and compensated, first to Talon and now Corsi.

          Corsi posted bunches of partisan rants.

       My favorite quote
       by Corsi:         the Democratic leadership is   "going to Boston for the RATS convention."

          This and other red-meat opposite party quotes of his are found here  at  ubthejudge.com#swift  .

      •  Interesting... (none)
        It's actually MORE plausible that Gannon, a partisan hack with practically no journalism experience, let alone foreign correspondent experience, gets told about this "press conference" and receives "talking points" about it...

        ...than imagining that Gannon is some type of intrepid gumshoe with a natural yen for covering Middle Eastern countries like Iran and the grassroots democratic movements therein.

        I would personally love to know what - if any - relationship our government has to this Iranian student organization. If we do have one, even if clandestine in nature, and the administration used this relationship for partisan purposes...

        Wouldn't that be wrong? As in illegal?

        Curious stuff.

        "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by grannyhelen on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 06:17:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's easy to imagine (none)
          that there are a lot of the foreign "activist groups" that are in reality fronting (for our own government's foreign-policy ambitions) for factions in the US State Dept or coordinated thru US employees/contractors working at intelligence desks.

          I don't know whether they cross the line legally.

          They're part of the propaganda to fool the public and push around US opinion.

  •  WSJ article (4.00)
    Rep. Conyer's post refers to a Wall Street Journal article about improper actions by Scott Bloch and James Renne. Nonsubscribers can read that article here.
  •  Draft John Conyers for President in 2008 N/T (4.00)

    "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything" - Joseph Stalin

    by Blue Shark on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:20:37 PM PDT

  •  Congressman, (4.00)
          thank you.
          Democrats like you, are fighting everyday in this country, to "take back" democracy.
          Indeed, democrats {and lately it's a lonely, fight} are defending democracy, in this country, for all of us, on a daily basis.
          Congressman, great job! And again, thank you.
  •  Congressman Conyers (4.00)
    Thank you for your seemingly tireless efforts.

    I have just one request; could you, maybe, kick some butts of your Democratic colleagues in the House? There seems to be just a few of you that give a hoot about exposing the truth about how deceitfully this administration operates.

  •  ASDF (4.00)
    Can I just say, I love this place. I feel so.... connected and Alive...ALLLIVVVEEEE!!!

    K. I'm done. Thanks for listening.

    The Christian Right is neither.

    by librarianman on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:22:13 PM PDT

  •  On an aside... (4.00)
    ..Senator Conyers, it's great that you're fighting the good fight on this and other issues, but yesterday there was mention of a connection between yourself and the LaRouche folks on a diary about their ongoing lunacy.

    It seems the LaRouchies take great pride in calling you a friend, based mostly on comments you made that their policy papers warrant debate in the Democratic Party, and I figured it might be a good time to ask that you to either explain any connection, or make it clear, in public, that you have and want nothing to do with Larouche's crew.

    Not that I want to put a political friend on the spot, but as long as the LaLoonies are using your face to put bums on seats, I figured that you would have something to say about it, and that this would be a fine place to end the conjectrue about whether you approve of such connections or not.

    Thanks in advance.

  •  Congressman Conyers, (4.00)
    It's getting to the point where I'm not going to be able to refer to you without using the word "hero". Thank you sir, for the work that you're doing, and thank you for making those of us at Daily Kos a part of it.
  •  Congressman Conyers is a hero (4.00)
    Thank you for fighting corruption. We admire you, greatly.
  •  Mr. Conyers (4.00)
    You are doing and continue to do great work on behalf of all Americans, not just Democrats, and particularly in your investigation into the Ohio election irregularities of the 2004 Presidential election: an issue (the need for transparent elections) that should not, as you have pointed out, be taken as partisan in any way...since free and fair elections are essential for our democracy.

    Election reform is vital, so that our elections are transparent and auditable, and that is true no matter which party one belongs to.

    There is another extremely important matter that is also not partisan, but that demands further investigation if America is not to lose its way.

    That is the events of 9/11 and the failure of the 9/11 Commission to adequately address all pertinent and relevant questions regarding the events of that day. Recently declassified documents, widely reported in the NY Times and elsewhere, indicate that at least 52 seperate FAA warnings about possible terrorist attacks occurred in the months leading up to that tragic day. This new information, which may have proven even more newsworthy if released prior to the recent election, and which was released less than 48 hours after Ms. Rice's recent Senate confirmation as Secretary of State, is one more reason that the issue of possible government foreknowledge or criminal negligence regarding 9/11 needs to be looked into.

    Please see the following link http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20050409094920911      
    for more details.

    In closing, there exists a great deal of evidence (too much to detail here) that has come to light since the 9/11 Commission was completed that suggests the Commission did not do the most thorough, extensive investigation possible into all lines of inquiry: particularly those questions centering on what the government knew about possible terrorist activities prior to 9/11, and what warnings failed to be heeded.

    This is not a partisan issue, or should not be, since it deals with fundamental questions about how we can best, as a country, prevent future attacks from occuring.

    I implore you, from one American to another, to look into this matter. Your colleague, Representative Maxine Waters, recently caught Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld off guard, when she asked him about the simulated NORAD war games (which are, strangely, not mentioned in the Commission report) that occured on 9/11. He did not respond.

    I am hopeful that this issue--the issue of revisiting 9/11 to answer questions the Commission Report failed to address, many of which have come to light since the Commission issued its final report--is one that can and should be revived in a spirit of truth-seeking, and I am hopeful that you will help lead the way towards that development. There may be no greater issue facing America today.

    Sincerely,
    a concerned American citizen

     

  •  Rep Conyers, you are a true American Patriot and (none)
    hero!  We at RealityBased.Infoare enormous fans.  So when are you announcing your run for the Presidency?  Keep up the great work Congressman!
  •  Thanks You! (none)
    Senator Conyers,
     I too want to thank you for being one of the most stand up Dem Senators we have. Didn't dumbya just get through touring the US and going to tax-payer funded campus's and universities and not allow Independants,Liberals,Dems and other to attend?
     Also didn't Snow,Ashcroft,Powell,Gen. Myers and others also campaign for dumbya in '04?
     Why is this not investigated? Please continue to stand by Senator Kerry.
    Thanks for being the voice of sanity in the wilderness!

    Protect Life Bring The Troops Home!

    by arkdem on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:43:41 PM PDT

  •  Cannot Thank You enough for your work (4.00)
    Many have faulted John Kerry and others in the lost 2004 election.  But, in the darkest hours, when I really wondered what the real meaning was to the saying, "I've got your back" (Et tu?) -- you were there.

    We thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of our nation and our democracy.  

    You surely know war's an ill-omened tool, that never was used except by a fool? --Li Po

    by bronte17 on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:50:41 PM PDT

  •  Dear John, (4.00)
    Brother, you keep an eye on your health.  We need you right where you are doing just what you are doing.  With your level of activity you should take your daily multivitamin plus a mega C and E, a couple of calciums, 4 gelatin capsuls, a selenium, a triple strength Glucosamine/chondroitin, and a folic acid every day. (This is not info I hand out lightly or often)

    Thank you for all you do!

  •  Dear Congressman (4.00)
    Thank you for all your work combating this criminal administration.

    But I would seriously and respectfuly like to know why it it's almost always you dealing with these ugly issues? Where are the rest of the Democrats? What, they don't want to get their hands dirty? Sure there's Barbara Boxer in the Senate and I know you can point to other Democrats who work with you on these things. But honestly, judging by the frequency that your name appears at the bottom of letters, you're shouldering the lion's share of this stuff. It's like they made you the out-numbered understaffed Sheriff in rip-roaring Deadwood and they're staying inside hiding under a table somewhere.

    Why aren't they right there with you in force tackling these issues from the fraudulent election on up. What is up with the Kerry's of our party? I'd honestly like to know because while I respect the hell out of you, I no longer respect a party of cowards who pin the badge on one guy knowing he can't get it done alone and then hides out.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:56:10 PM PDT

  •  Congressman--thank you, (4.00)
    thank you for continuing to shine the light of inquiry into dark and unsavory corners--please keep fighting for all of us against those who would hijack and corrupt our struggling democracy.

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:59:30 PM PDT

  •  This (4.00)
    at Undernews (dated March 27th, 2005)

    PROJECT ON GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT - The FBI will investigate allegations of malfeasance and cronyism at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, according to a Wall Street Journal article today. Two Senate Committees are also looking into the allegations and hearings have been promised. The allegations were made in a complaint filed in early March by employees at the agency and concerned nonprofits.

    Today that group amended their complaint to charge that Special Counsel Scott Bloch, who runs the federal agency, has embarked on a campaign to politicize enforcement of the government's Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity on the job. The OSC is tasked with enforcing the Hatch Act, protecting government whistleblowers against retaliation and looking into personnel violations, among other responsibilities.

    According to today's filing, Bloch and his political cronies deliberately delayed investigating alleged Hatch Act violations by then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice prior to the 2004 election. In contrast, during the same period, allegations concerning a visit to a federal facility by Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry were expedited.


    here boo, here boo, want a cookie? good girl.

    by tepster on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 04:00:15 PM PDT

  •  Congressman Conyers (4.00)
    Thank you for your work on this issue as well as the thoughtful, intelligent work you have done in the past. It's not a good time in our nation for thoughtful and intelligent; I appreciate your leadership. I do hope you will lead on the desperate and very REAL need for election reform. I, for one, am ready to go to work and do whatever is necessary to take back our election process from the thieves who have stolen our voice. Thank you, sir.
  •  Thanks (4.00)
    Thanks to all of you for your kind comments.

    A few commenters have asked about a story on the internet claiming that I have close ties with the Larouche movement.  I have asked my staff to contact the publisher of that website with a full explanation.  Suffice it to say, apparently the Larouche movement has been using my name to promote themselves.

    To make a long story short, LaRouche supporters would come to my town hall meetings (and the hearings I had on Ohio election irregularities) and would disrupt the audience participation time with extended speeches about LaRouche.  Exasperated at a recent town hall on Social Security privatization, I asked them to hold their own meeting on it.  

    They subsequently did and invited me to attend and speak.  When I accepted their invitation, I was unaware of racist and antisemitic comments made by Mr. LaRouche.   I have since been made aware of those comments.  

    As to the comments themselves, I find them disgusting and deeply offensive.  If I had known about them, I would never have attended the event.  Unless and until they repudiate this racism and antisemitism, I will not appear before any group I know to be associated with Mr. LaRouche.

    I hope that puts these matters to rest.

    •  Thank you, sir. (2.12)
      But with all due respect, I find it hard to believe that you were unaware that LaRouche is a semi-cult leader whose beliefs are well past the fringe of reason.
      •  You are very much entitled to your opinion (4.00)
        But I can definitively state that, prior to this, you could fit everything I knew about LaRouche on to a postage stamp.  I am sorry that you find that hard to believe.  I guess I just don't have a lot of time to familiarize myself with every fringe group that is out there.

        I should have added to my earlier comment the following:  The internet report in question claims a LaRouche supporter testified at my Ohio election hearings.  As a number of Dailykos readers are probably aware (as are a number of casual C-span viewers who actually watched the hearings), this never happened.  That event forms the basis for the report's claim that I have longstanding ties with this group.

        •  I was there (4.00)
          I can attest to the fact that no (admitted) LaRouche supporters testified at the Ohio hearings.
        •  Thank you for answering. (4.00)
          I appreciate your candor and willing to be accountable to the citizens. I wish I could say as much about my representative. You've been so busy fighting on so many fronts that stuff is bound to fall through the cracks. You keep on fighting, please, and we'll get your back!
          •  hot damn conyers is a real elected representative (4.00)
            Bush screens his town halls so that no dissenter is allowed inside to even listen.

            Conyers comes to our blog, and when people make a nuisance of themselves, he actually replies. and makes himself available for a special meeting to address their concerns.

            If we had 200 more reps like Conyers in the House we would have a real democracy.

            My respect for him was high, but it has gone up another notch.

            Personally I think its fine that he attended one of their meetings and listened to them. It shows the man has the guts to deal with dissent. something our current president "bubble boy" completely lacks.

        •  thank you, congressman conyers! (4.00)
          i, too, have to confess that other than a cursory knowledge of larouche, i was unfamiiliar with his rabid bigotry.  when he begins to speak, i usually turn my attention elsewhere.

          as more than a casual cspan observer, i watched your hearings gavel to gavel.  you gave many of us hope at a time when all seemed lost.  you raised the questions that beg answers and challenged those who abused our nation in a pursuit of raw political power.

          i remember well the larouche supporters that tried to disrupt your hearings and your effective re-directing the hearing to it's proper course.  that they would claim your support shows the dishonesty of their movement.

          for your continuing work to protect america, you are to be commended.  would that america had a program to knight her champions - you would be among the first!  thank you for all you have done to stem the disaster that is this administration.

          you give us hope.

          we give you our unqualified support!  

          by all the universe, we are blessed by your presence.  thank you again!

          War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

          by edrie on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 04:54:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough. (3.80)
          And thank you VERY much for your prompt and honest response to this.  My concerns have been laid to rest, and I thank you for your candor.  Personally, I would have checked out the group before I spoke at it, but I can understand why you went ahead and spoke with them.  Thanks again for your reply and your brave service in Congress.  

          Peace,
          Sam

          •  I also have a problem with this: (4.00)
             "find it hard to believe that you were unaware "

            that statment can be summerized by two words

            "your lying"

            I find it hard to believe that a KOS contributor would say that to a sitting congressman or anyone else that has valuable post like this...it's simply impolite and questionable.  I think you should apologize.  I also think there are any number of ways to express your dissatisfation at the Congressman without calling him a lier.

            •  I think I have made it clear (none)
              that I respect Congressman Conyers and that I am grateful for his work in Congress.  I was not calling him a liar; I was expressing that his quote there surprised me.  I've also made it clear that I do think he's telling the truth, as I did say last night that: "My concerns have been laid to rest, and I thank you for your candor."  And if you look around this thread, you'll find that I'm not the only Dem who wnated some answers about this.  
              •  And I read all those comments (none)
                And then I read the Congressmans reply, in which you proceeded to call him a "hard to Believe".  It's not the question you had....that was valid it is the responce to his posting that I have an issue with.

                As well I have to believe That if a sitting congress person comes hear and post that will ask them polite question and make them feel welcome, it raises the prestige of the site and takes us closer to centers of power.

                If the congressman needs to answer your question, as it seems he did, he can post a reply, which he did, however at that point you basically called him a lier.

                While you also made statments that are positive about his responce I have to question you motives if you couch them with statments like
                "I find that hard to believe"

            •  If you can't (4.00)
              ask a question here, then where? a Bushie "town hall meeting"?

              Come on now...we aren't about idea suppression or dodging tough questions...

              Let's leave the "stifling" of others to Archie Bunker and Ann Coulter

        •  Bless you, Rep. Conyers... (none)
          We need many more like you.  You're a true hero, sir.
      •  you owe him an apology, IMHO (none)
        for your sarcastic comment, which has now been refuted.
        •  I don't think I need to apologize. (3.12)
          He responded to my concerns, and I believe him, but there's no need to apologize for an honest statement.  If he was offended, I regret it, but I stand by my question and my sincere thanks for his reply.
          •  With all due respect.... (1.57)
            you and your ilk are drain on the intelligent political discourse that seeks truth, fairness and accountability.

            Your "gannon-like" assualt of Rep Conyer's statement and your refusal to be accountable for your actions exposes you for what you are. A poser. You can go back now and tell all your little friends how you were able to get a sitting Representive of the United States to respond to your allegations and smears.

            It was a big day for you. Your mom would be proud. Keep drinking your kool-ade while the rest of us address some of the real issues facing this county.

            Note to Rep. Conyers: Thank you for passing along the information to us. The unfiltered contributions by you and your collegues is a valuable resource to those of us realize the mainstream media is purely a business out to maximize profits at the expense of accurate and relavent reporting. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. A thousand times Thank you.

            •  Nice to meet you, too, Random Excess! (3.50)
              To respond to your attack, which was far meaner than anything I asked Congressman Conyers:

              you and your ilk are drain on the intelligent political discourse that seeks truth, fairness and accountability.
              I was asking him for some truth and accountability.  I got it.  And I am not a drain from intelligent discourse just because I wanted a reply about this.

              Your "gannon-like" assualt of Rep Conyer's statement and your refusal to be accountable for your actions exposes you for what you are. A poser. You can go back now and tell all your little friends how you were able to get a sitting Representive of the United States to respond to your allegations and smears.
              What is one example of a time here that I have refused to be accountable?  I gave him my name, for crying out loud!  As for the Gannon reference, I do not belong to a fake news group, do not run internet porn sites, and I am not a liar.  My comments weren't smears, and the "allegations" weren't mine to start with.  Ron Gunzberger and John Gorenfeld wrote the article I quoted.  

              It was a big day for you. Your mom would be proud. Keep drinking your kool-ade while the rest of us address some of the real issues facing this county.
              Now there's some "intelligent political discourse"!!!  </sarcasm>

              Note to Rep. Conyers: Thank you for passing along the information to us. The unfiltered contributions by you and your collegues is a valuable resource to those of us realize the mainstream media is purely a business out to maximize profits at the expense of accurate and relavent reporting. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. A thousand times Thank you.
              At least we can agree on that passage.

          •  A no-brainer ... (none)
            You should have thought for half a second before posting.

            Which is harder to believe: that John Conyers would want to be associated with LaRouche in any way or that he had never heard of LaRouche?

            That's why your "question" made no sense and was out of line.

            But it is true that a ten-second Google search for "Lyndon LaRouche" would have told Conyers' staff all they needed to know. Obviously, they screwed up by not checking it out. There really is no excuse for it. A post to that effect would have been excellent.

    •  Thanks, Congressman (none)
      As a black from Charlotte, I've long respected your work from afar.  I didn't want to believe you'd crawled into bed with a bottom-feeder like LaRouche.  Glad to see you've dropped this clown like the piece of bad meat he is.
    •  Kudos. (none)
      When I posted the original question, I expected no response. To get one, and an extremely candid one at that, shows John Conyers to be truly what we hoped he'd be.

      Keep fighting the good fight, sir. We need more like you.

  •  Conyers/Boxer '08 (4.00)
    Make it so!
    •  Now that's a ticket (none)
      I could get behind, 110%.

      Thank you Congressman for this diary and your replies to the questions. I appreciate that you, Congresswoman Slaughter and Senator Boxer have made use of DailyKos to keep in touch with us and keep us apprised of situations that many would otherwise probably be unaware of.

      Many thanks.

  •  CongressHero Conyers (4.00)
    In honor of your endless pursuit of truth and justice as well as your tireless efforts on behalf of the reality-based community, I humbly bestow upon you the title of CongressHero Conyers.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    a/k/a irishsprite I donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!

    by ddr711 on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 04:22:25 PM PDT

    •  Thank You, Rep Conyers! (none)
      It's always great to get updates from our heroes & sheroes.

      You truly RAWK!

      We'll be working on electing you some Honest colleagues for a majority in '06.  Meanwhile, thank you for your tireless fighting spirit.  Too bad the repubs got so corrupt & power drunk that they ignored the wisdom of bipartisanship & got greedy in their shameless power grab.  Above the Law?  I think not.

      And, I second the motion to name you, CongressHero Conyers.

      "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

      by x on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 04:47:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Congressman Conyers (4.00)
    I appreciate all your hard work on this issue. Also, I want to give you heartfelt thanks for your efforts on the Ohio voting problems. I was there in the City Council Chambers in Columbus on December 13th and I will never, ever forget that you and the other members of the Congressional Black Caucus fought for me and mine.
    •  Thanks (4.00)
      Thank you for coming to support us.  The outpouring of public support in December and January was one of the most amazing things I have experienced in more than 40 years of public service.

      I wish we had been able to do more.  However, I want to assure you that my staff is still working on getting to the bottom of Republican efforts to disenfranchise voters in Ohio and in other states, and I am confident that one day the truth will come out.

      •  PLEASE..... (4.00)
        When the research efforts - in any matter - start to tax your staff, make an announcement here at dKos. A few elite users here more or less invented open-source journalism (whereby pyjama-clad net sleuths from across the country piece together the truth of any given story, free of charge), and the great desire of most of us here to contribute to the overall effort could be of great benefit to your office/staff.

        Of course, you might want to see if it's legal, first. But, given the amount of free "research" with which the average lobbyist is able to flood a Congressional office, I can't see how it'd be a problem.

        We love the announcements and the updates on your hard work. But I'm sure we'd most like to be of real, material, tangible help to you. So put us to work!

        We're a fearsome bunch. Just ask Jim Guckert.

        •  Not just 'elite' users - the rank n' file did too. (4.00)
          Please keep up the great work, Rep. Conyers. I spoke with you once on the radio regarding this issue and youhave never failed to provide an honest, insightful and realistic view of what can be done to rescue our electoral process from the partisan domination of the corporate Right.
  •  Whoo Hooo! Kicking Ass and Taking Names! (4.00)
    Right On!!!
    Again, it's Conyers stepping up to lead the fight.
  •  question.... (4.00)
    what recourse does your committe have if it finds that Bloch violated rules and regs?  Can you call for a hearing to investigate?  

    Thanks for your hard work....

  •  Congressman Conyers, (4.00)
    thank you for informing me of yet another GOP atrocity and providing me with an opportunity to lavish my praise on you and other CBC members who, despite the hostile environment courtesy of the Bush Crime Family, continue to tirelessly endeavor to preserve the Constitution and political justice in this country.
  •  I *HEART* Congressman Conyers! (none)
    My (our) Hero!
  •  INTERNET ARTICLE SOURCE (1.33)
    For those of you that want to read the article go to POLITICS1.com  (wwww.politics1.com)

    Im just giving credit were credit is due.

    I also find it hard to believe Conyers didnt know about LaRouche before hand. I mean Larouche only almost took over the Illinois Democratic party in the 80s and tried stealing electors from Clinton in Arkansas.  Any person in politics worth anything would have heard of this nutcase.  

    My white whale is a fair, free, and true Democracy.

    by IllinoisLiberal on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 04:56:07 PM PDT

    •  I can't decide if your a troll or not (none)
      But I don't think you should calling people liers especially congress people after7 posts on this site.

      Also, what proof do you have about what this guy is about....the www.politics1.COM ISN'T the biggest site in the world.

      •  I can't decide (none)
        about this poster's status either.  But having lived 30+ years in IL, I can understand where these folks are coming from, and give him/her the benefit of a doubt.  Especially because there is nothing to hide on the part of Rep. Conyers.  So, let him ask.

        In addition to the crazy Illinois LaRouches, I was also accosted by a Virginia LaRouche-a screamer standing outside of a post office--in VA, near our nation's capitol.  In two states I've had very bad experiences with them. So, perhaps this is why the IL guy questions more that the rest of us.

        We can all agree that Rep. Conyers is one Rep. that is doing a fantastic job.

  •  i am overwhelmed to the point of tears (4.00)
    that there are two members of congress, congressman conyers and senator boxer, who actually are willing to talk to those of us who make up the bottom layer of this political system.

    for the first time in many years, i feel that our voices are being heard - and our representatives are talking directly to us.  

    maybe there really is hope for america after all!

    thank you, congressman conyers and senator boxer!

    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

    by edrie on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 05:01:04 PM PDT

    •  you forgot Louise! (4.00)
      We're also very fortunate to have Rep Louise Slaughter grace us with her presence here.

      "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

      by catnip on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 05:15:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i just found her! i've been offline (4.00)
        for a bit - and to my greatest delight, today is the first time i've perused and discovered our congress at work working for US!

        THANK YOU LOUISE!!!  i also thanked her in her thread on bankruptcy and suggested in her ethics diary that the best way to thank these true public servants is to send money to their war chests.

        i don't have very much, but i'm going to pull a fiver for each of them and send it next week!

        maybe the other dems will notice when we say thank you with "feeling"!!!

        wow!  what a return to kos!!!  yaHOOOOO!

        (almost as much fun as riding my "ponies"!!!)

        War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Long Live Oceana!

        by edrie on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:50:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Make that four ... (none)
      Senator (soon-to-be Governor) Corzine is posting here too.
  •  Thank you Rep. Conyers (4.00)
    we are lucky to have you in congress.  But I am sick to death of what is happening with this, ethics, and military and veteran's affairs. When George Bush said it would be "easier if this was a dictatorship." I think since we didn't rise up and yell he and the republics think that gave the go ahead to forge one.  I wrote an op ed piece not long ago that ended  "We are living in a world that Kafka, Orwell and C.S. Lewis couldn't have imagined." I wanted to add "but Machievelli could." But figured they wouldn't publish.
  •  More on Bloch (4.00)
    from the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility:

    ...in the past year the Office of Special Counsel--

    • Dismissed or otherwise disposed of 600 whistleblower disclosures where civil servants have reported waste, fraud, threats to public safety and violations of law. Bloch has yet to announce a single case where he has ordered an investigation into the employee's charges. Bloch says that 100 disclosures are still pending; and

    • Made 470 claims of retaliation disappear. In not one of these cases did Bloch's office affirmatively represent a whistleblower to obtain relief before the civil service court system, called the Merit Systems Protection Board. Bloch says that another 30 retaliation cases remain in the backlog.

    In order to speed dismissals, Bloch instituted a rule forbidding his staff from contacting a whistleblower if their disclosure was deemed incomplete or ambiguous. Instead, OSC would simply dismiss the matter. As a result, hundreds of whistleblowers never had a chance to justify why their cases had merit.

    "According to Scott Bloch there is no waste, fraud or abuse in the federal government that deserves investigation," stated Ruch, noting that there may be even more dismissals than Bloch reported because the numbers cited above are limited to what was defined as a backlog and do not include new cases.

    Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. -- Ambrose Bierce

    by OkieByAccident on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 05:23:25 PM PDT

  •  Damn good diary (none)
    Much better than Rep Slaughter's. Maybe you can help her out.

    And thanks for letting us know about this; careful though, some of us may start suffering from outrage fatigue.

    If th' meek ever do inherit th' earth some one'll git it away from 'em before they have it an hour

    by NorthStarDemocrat on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 05:29:04 PM PDT

  •  CongressHero Conyers... (4.00)
    Thank you again, Representative Conyers, for your tireless efforts to initiate yet another investigation of the Bush Administration's ostensible corruption.  Your continuing courage to seek the truth amid an environment of zero accountability, lawlessness of this administration, and corrupt Republican Congress is exemplary.  Thank you for standing up for truth, freedom, and democracy.  If you ever need any support from us kossacks, just let us know.  We've got YOUR back.  God Bless.
  •  Ouch! (none)
    The OSC is going to have a hard time sitting down after that spanking. Please let us know if they ever actually answer your questions, I'd love to know how they would. You are one of my favorite people in government today. Keep the bad actors over that barrel. I wish we had more like you in Congress.

    "If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction." George Orwell

    by justme on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 05:38:16 PM PDT

  •  Good for you. (none)
    Why aren't my Congressmen and Senators like you? Oh yeah, they are Republicans. Could you repesent me anyway since they aren't?
  •  thank you (none)
    you have my total loalty and support forever.thanx for voter rights. born dem    die dem.  cant help it.
  •  Thank you, John Conyers! (none)
    You are a true public servant, a man of integrity and intelligence who is earning the gratitude of an entire nation, even if some of them don't realize it yet.

    If good deeds are truly their own reward, then you are certainly one of the top ten richest Americans.

    Most gratefully yours,

    d52boy

    Cela est bien dit, répondit Candide, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.

    by d52boy on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 05:52:57 PM PDT

  •  When the social compact has been broken, (none)
    are we morally obligated to go on supporting the violators?

    http://www.warresisters.org/

    For how long?

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:27:15 PM PDT

  •  Congressman Conyers (none)
    thanks for working to restore democracy here at home!! and thanks for taking the time to post here!!

    hark! hark! the Clark!!

    by Errol on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:43:14 PM PDT

  •  You serve your constituents well (none)
    Care to consider moving to Pennsylvania?
  •  Thank you! (none)
    You are a true statesman and obviously take seriously your job as a representative of the people. I appreciate all you do.

    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    by rcvanoz on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:49:01 PM PDT

  •  Thank You (none)
    Thank you, Senator Conyers!!

    Thank you for keeping the pressure on these scumbags. This is one of the infinite number of important stories to get lost among the infinite tales of corruption to come out of this administration... There are too many to keep up with!!

    Thanks again, we support you all the way...

  •  Another reality pill... (none)
    ... from the reality-based community.  Can the the RNC swallow it?  

    Reminds me of a song I once heard.

    Last verse:

    She swallowed the horse to catch the cow she swallowed the cow to catch the goat she swallowed the goat to catch the dog she swallowed the dog to catch the cat she swallowed the cat to catch the rat she swallowed the rat to catch the spider that wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, but I don't know why she swallowed the fly.  Perhaps she'll die.

    A slippery slope folk song.

    RNC is the fly.

    Thank you John Conyers!!!!  You are my MAN.

    Recommend.  Sorry I can only do it once.

  •  Representative Conyers, (none)
    Your diligence and integrity are much appreciated. Please keep driving it home that they cannot continue to reshape government to fit their political agenda.  Thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Nancy S.

    I *gladly* donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!

    by nancelot on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 07:09:04 PM PDT

  •  Congressman Conyers, (4.00)
    Your letter to Special Counsel Bloch is extraordinarily focused and detailed. There seems to be little room for the Special Counsel to evade the questions you ask other than by saying something unbelievable like 'I don't remember'. You know your job and you know how power can be abused. Most importantly, you are willing to pursue these abuses of power, which if they are not confronted and stopped now, will only continue to grow worse and yet more pervasive. Thank you for your superior work. You exemplify the ideal member of congress who knows policy inside and out, who knows where the weak areas of policy implementation are and what laws, bills and acts are required to strengthen those weak areas.
  •  Bravo! (none)
    It will be interesting to see if Mr. Bloch pulls a Mr. Blackwell and fails to respond.
  •  So Sad (none)
    That it takes time like this, when our beloved republic is so threatened, to recognize the extraordinary courage and steadfastness of people like Rep. Conyers.  Yes, you are one of my heroes.  Another, more recent,  is Republican Congressman Ron Paul, of  the Fourteenth District of TEXAS, no less.  I wonder if Rep. Conyers has worked with him or knows of his work on behalf of what was once the Republican Party.  

    Thank you, Congressman Conyers, for all you do

    •  Incidentally . . . (4.00)
      My husband, a more fervent kossack than I - and in his sixties - was also one who had never heard of LaRouche, and was so taken with his statements about Buschco that he ordered literature from this organization.  I found it on our doorstep; my husband has been educated; recycling has occurred.
  •  Rhetorical questions, to be sure... (none)
    But it's always good to get answers from this gang. Preferably in writing.

    What a zillion other people have said already, thanks for your efforts to expose this corrupt Bush-league administration for what it is. It's times like this I wonder why I ever left Michigan.

    Hatred is murder (1 John 3:15)

    by dirtroad on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 07:39:22 PM PDT

  •  Wow. (none)
    That ought to keep them busy!
  •  John Conyers (none)
    You are an inspiring American hero.

    "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Sen. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

    by bejammin075 on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 10:07:49 PM PDT

  •  Thank you Congressman... (none)
    For your attention to this matter. Nice to see you blogging!

    http://www.lightupthedarkness.org

    by kerrygoddess on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 10:14:02 PM PDT

  •  I would delete (none)
    the word "Honorable" since he sure hasn't earned it, and if you haven't earned it - regardless of your position, you don't use the honorific.

    Admiral Seronimous

    "Every day, in every way, I think I'm going to vomit."

    by seronimous on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 10:14:35 PM PDT

  •  thank you (4.00)
    Congressman, I grew up in Saginaw and have friends in the city of Detroit, and they couldn't be happier with you. You make me proud to be from the great state of Michigan.

    Michigan seems to be doing quite well for itself lately as far as elected representatives -- you, Senator Levin, and Governor Granholm have all been doing good things against tough odds in recent years, and you are appreciated by us all. Perhaps the best part is that even though I live in Ohio now, which has an absolutely terrible bunch of elected officials except for a select few, I get to feel like you're still fighting for all of us.

    I know that at age 75 you have been fighting for a long time. I am praying that your strength and resolve continues. This is a difficult time for our country and we need your voice and leadership now more than ever. Rest assured that we will hold up our end of the bargain and the people will be there for you.

    Lastly -- don't forget to pass your wisdom along, sir! The community needs more strong leaders like you.

    Best wishes.

    The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives. - Sir Winston Churchill

    by drewthaler on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 11:15:14 PM PDT

    •  so what is to be done? (none)
      I remember someone noticing this during the election -- Condoleezza Rice giving political speeches paid for by taxpayers -- and I was irritated by it. Discovering that they deliberately put off this complaint while expediting another one against Senator Kerry makes it even more maddening.

      The problem we have is an utter lack of accountability. The Republican partisans in the executive and legislative branches can abuse their power all they want, and each branch ignores the other's offenses.

      We cannot allow them to sweep the investigations under the rug, but as an ordinary Democrat I am supremely frustrated because I know that your questions are ultimately only rhetorical. No matter what wrongdoing is found, votes will go along partisan lines anyway and both Bloch and Rice will get off with a slap on the wrist. As the webcomic Get Your War On pointed out, there's seemingly no limit to how bad their actions can get. They could be robbing liquor stores and they wouldn't be held accountable.

      Is there anything that can be done?

      The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives. - Sir Winston Churchill

      by drewthaler on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 11:32:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You Rock, Congressman! (none)
    Many of us are working behind the scenes to support you and help you jail these terrorists!  We're with you Congressman!  I started working on a (admittedly still extremely simple) tribute page to you and the CBC at geocities.com/JamBoi The Congressional Black Caucaus continues to lead the way to Freedom for Americans!

    See dailyJam.blogspot.com for "Free speech, freely administered by a free, sovereign individual: JamBoi."

    by JamBoi3 on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 01:18:52 AM PDT

  •  Appreciate what you are doing (none)
    but why can't we impeach this corrupt administration? Why does Bush keep doing things behind closed doors- dismantling Tiltle IX etc?
    What are the recriminations if someone breaks the "Bush Loyalty Oath?

    How could our Democracy change for the worse so fast???

    Why isn't MORE being done to stop the maddness?

    roseeriter

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones"

    by roseeriter on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 02:16:40 AM PDT

    •  why can't we impeach this corrupt administration? (none)
      Because it worked very hard very fast to stock the major governmental institutions with sycophants and henchmen.  

      Because it worked hard to get the media on board with promises of unfettered earnings, merger freedoms, greater possibilities to control markets and drive out competition, and lowered levels of FCC supervision.  And it did get them on board, fast.

      Because it was able to capitalize on the phenomenon, developing for over 20 years in this country, of fundamentalist and right-wing "religious" voters looking for help from a single political party-- the Republican party-- in the hopes of getting around constitutional and traditional separations between church and state.  The Republicans have been happy to represent these interests in exchange for huge numbers of votes.  In the last five years this phenomenon has turned into an outright, shameless, and federally-financed alliance.

      Because they have given contracts to and brought on board in countless state and municipal locations, Republican-controlled and owned voting and tabulation machine companies and services, who are committed to fixing the results of the elections, and who are willing to lie and secretly steal in the name of achieving Republican perpetual rule.

      We can't impeach them, because they have taken over the system.  The system no longer works.  There are no longer checks and balances possible.  We have been witnessing a political coup, and thinking it was just a trend.  But believe me, it is no trend.  

  •  Bloch = Bolton? (3.66)
    Recommended
    Sir, thank you for your continued pursuit of fairness, accountability, and justice. It strikes me that Bloch's purging of career staffers is akin to what John Bolton is accused of against career intelligence analysts who's opinions don't fit with the ideaology of the Bush Admin. The same is happening at the C.I.A., where there is an ongoing purge of career analysts by Porter Goss.

    Thank you as well for taking the time to make yourself available to us. I hope you know how much this is appreciated and badly needed, especially in these days when it is becoming increasingly frustrating to feel that very few in Washington are doing anything to reign in this Admin.

  •  The Bush Politburo (none)

    It shouldn't surprise us.

    The Republicans, under Bush have decided they want the government institutions to work for them, not for the people.

    So if you have a John Bolton trying to mold intelligence the way he likes to hear it, or a Tom Delay using the FAA to track Democrats in TX or like in this case, a partisan investigator who refuses to investigate his side....they have decided they are going to use the government and their incumbency privileges this way.

    But I am very glad you are trying to check that abuse.

    Thanks.

  •  Sorry to brag... (4.00)
    But Rep. Conyers is from my state, Michigan. And no, you can't have him...

    Nice work, Congressman. Keep it up.

  •  Thank You (none)
    for your transperancy, and courage. Finally, a light in the dark night of public servants. Kudos!
  •  Speaking the truth to power-- it's (none)
    a cliche but it is so important to do it.  Thank you for doing it.  The very act of doing it heals the world through your pursuit of fairness, and your defense of justice.
  •  There is no (none)
    reason to tell someone to stop asking.  Or to tell them how to communicate with their elected leaders.  If they want more clarity, they want more clarity.  
    Your post sounded like a repub telling us "hey, that's enough asking...and you're being (sniff sniff)not a nice person" Frankly, the Congressman can take that and more, as he has shown us repeatedly.
    It might make an interesting diary: how much questioning are we on the left willing to tolerate?
    But for today,I'm done talking about it, not out of disrespect for your perspective, but because this is too long a diversion...it's becoming a hijacking.  
  •  Last comment for a while (4.00)
    I certainly appreciate the support expressed on this thread.  There has also been some back and forth about whether some critical questions and comments asked in this thread were appropriate.  

    While the appropriateness of comments is very much in the eye of the beholder, and the DailyKos community sets its own standards, from my standpoint: I am comfortable with being asked any question or receiving any input as long as it is posed in a civil manner.  In my view, all comments posted to date meet that test.

    I want to have an exchange of ideas with you and I welcome anyone who has something to say.  That is the purpose of setting up my own blog and posting here -- not to just receive praise (though that is very much appreciated) but also to be challenged, criticized, and questioned.

    I will not be reviewing comments on this thread for a while.  I am on the House floor in the next hour or so fighting a terrible, anti-consumer bankruptcy bill, which I know many DailyKos readers are familiar with and have been valiantly fighting.

    Talk to you soon and keep up the fight.

  •  Which reminds me ... (none)
    Bush jetting around the country on the taxpayer's dollar to push privitization of Social Security is also an abuse. I hope that it is being investigated too. I understand that even some Republicans are uncomfortable with the partisan exclusion at the Bush rallies.
  •  You make a former Detroiter proud (none)
    I grew up there and I got to vote for you in your first term, many years ago.  Thanks for keeping up the fight, these many years later.
  •  Refreshing (none)
    to have a congressperson with the cajones* to tackle these issues. The left will win the battle of ideas if we keep up this kind of straigtforward and honest approach.

    Thank You.

    *Pardon my spanish, but no other word better describes for me the strength and conviction being exhibited by some of our illustrious politicians these days. No masogynstic intent is intended. For the record,I consider Barb Boxer's cajones to be second in size and firmness to no one.

  •  thank you (none)
    It's nice to see someone still cares about all the election fraud perpetrated by certain Republicans.

    What we need in 2006 is to take control of the house, so that Rep. Conyers has an easier time launching full investigations of these corrupt Republicans like Rice.

  •  Wha-? There's a double standard for the (none)
    crimes of the right that vs. the crimes of the left?

    The utter hypocrisy of Tom Delay and what he gets away with vs.  democrats whose crimes are at most equivalent to Tom Delay blowing his nose. . .  .

    They only get away with it because the media is complicit with it.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 08:17:16 AM PDT

  •  My dear John Conyers, it's an honor (none)
    to hear from you.

    I understand that fellow's rather rash comment 'cause that's the first thing that popped into my head when I read your staff's statement.

    Then I remembered the decades of you always being out there on the right side of the fight while I was, first trying to find the damn "left media", then sitting around reading it but doing very little else but get sad and mad and worried and joining a few causes.  So yeah, I've known about Larouche for years.  But you've been fighting for Justice for years, Dems and Repubs, thank the Goddess, and there's only so many hours in a month and endless tricks and pages of legistlation to hide crimes against the people.

    May the Force stay with you.

    ps. maybe you should hire a outsider, sorta passive political junkie to survey the scene.  I waited on Tony Coehlo(?) before the election down here in Atlanta and I was shocked at what his staff didn't know.  Didn't even know what blogs or Buzzflash were!

    "yes dear...conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 09:59:36 AM PDT

  •  John Conyers (none)
    Congressman Conyers, you are a genuine American hero.  Thank you so much for all you do.
  •  I too think we are all honored (none)
    by your presence and your comments. What a class act!(excuse the cliche).  Keep up the good fight.  A shame about the bankruptcy bill.  I'm afraid the fight is a losing one in this House.  But i appreciate that you are fighting.  Thank you!

    Pennachio for Pennsylvania

    by skptk on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 11:38:33 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Senator Conyers! (none)
    Your presence at DKos has made my day!

    I have a hard time watching the Bush Administration in action. Like other's I feel helpless watching them trample over the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, law, ethics and the poorest and most helpless among us.

    Knowing that you're working to protect all of us from an out of control administration, gives me hope.

    I'm also honored to be sitting front and center for another step in democracy's evolution - the public exchange with an elected representative in our blog community.

    I'm eager to see your future posts as well as updates on the Bloch issue.

  •  You Get it! (none)
    Wow, everytime I come here there is another post by one of our Representatives on the recommended list.  This is the kind of government, the kind of Democracy I want.

    I have to say that I recently discovered the John Conyers blog and am blown away by your persistence, intelligence and your prose.  Consider me a fan.  And keep up the excellent work.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

    by poemless on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 02:14:32 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Representative Conyers (none)
    for attempting to represent those of us who still believe in constitutionally defined governance. Please continue to fight the good fight for all of us.

    Until we fix the voting, the voting is fixed.

    by deacon2 on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 02:21:59 PM PDT

  •  Proud (none)
    Representative Conyers, I just want to say that having you represent the people of Detroit has made me proud to be a Michigan native. On every issue about which I care, you have fought more than the good fight, and you have a voting record which backs up your commitment to progressive causes. Too many times, empty rhetoric is belied by votes. Thank you for your dedication and diligence in these efforts.

    "So much thinking in our society has been replaced by following. I know God didn't make us for that." --Keith Olbermann

    by Irony on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 03:01:24 PM PDT

  •  Thank u (none)
    where are the other democrats in the congress-why are they afraid to speak out?

    "Comfort" is no test of truth; on the contrary, truth is often far from being "comfortable."-Vivekananda

    by rini on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 04:57:53 PM PDT

  •  I got goose bumps reading your 'summation'.... (none)
    To say I'm proud is an understatement.  Our Founding Fathers would be busting at the breeches.  Thank you, Red

    only my toys are red

  •  I've added John Conyers' diary link (none)
    to a list of DKos diaries of elected officials I'm working on.  If anyone can help add other names to the list, I'd appreciate it.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/4/15/111941/418

    Well-behaved women rarely make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    by jaysea on Fri Apr 15, 2005 at 09:21:44 AM PDT

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