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Today's Galveston Daily News has an interview with Tom DeLay were he flat out lies about Saipan, sweatshops and forced sexual slavery:

"Incredible lies" was the way House Majority Leader Tom DeLay described charges that some foreign workers on Saipan labored in sweatshops in the 1990s while others were forced into sex slavery.

Reporter Marty Schladen gives DeLay space to deny everything, but then presents facts to refute DeLay. And in the same article! It is a rare example of real journalism in our current times:

Other Chinese women told [Congressman George] Miller that the "restaurant" jobs they'd taken consisted of hanging out in karaoke bars, being forced to have sex with the patrons and then being shut out of the proceeds from their prostitution, his report said.

And there are more of DeLay's lies and the refuting facts below the fold...

In March 1998 Rep. George Miller put out "Beneath the American Flag: Labor and Human Rights Abuses in the CNMI", a report detailing labor abuse on Saipan. In today's article DeLay says he went to Saipan to investigate for himself the accusations in Miller's report:

DeLay said he'd heard the same allegations.

"I wanted to see it for myself because of the kinds of charges (that have been made) -- that I found to be totally false, incredible lies about the people of the Marianas Islands," he said. "These were clean garment factories. They were bringing people from China and paying them in many cases more in one year than they could make in 10 years in China, thereby supporting families back in China."

Trouble was that DeLay took his Saipan trip more than three months before Miller released his report. Today's article detailed some of Miller's findings:

He said he interviewed workers from China, India, Bangladesh and elsewhere. Almost all told Miller they had paid recruiters in their home countries $2,000 to $7,000 for a chance at one- or two-year labor contracts in Saipan's garment, restaurant and construction industries.

Some in the garment industry lived in barracks with no running water and a hot plate for a kitchen, Miller reported. For those amenities, they paid their employers $100 a month in rent.

One woman told Miller that when she became pregnant, her employer gave her a choice: return to China or be fired. The woman said she was afraid that if she went back to China, she'd be forced to have a late-term abortion.

Other Chinese women told Miller that the "restaurant" jobs they'd taken consisted of hanging out in karaoke bars, being forced to have sex with the patrons and then being shut out of the proceeds from their prostitution, his report said.

Meanwhile, the tidal wave of immigration brought with it spikes in gang and drug activity, Miller reported. [snip]

Despite an official limit of 11,000 foreign workers in the garment industry, Miller in 1998 estimated that the actual number was closer to 28,000. He placed the overall number of foreign workers in the territory at 42,000 -- more than the permanent population.

And DeLay responded:

 

"Sure, when you get this number of people, there are stories of sexual exploitation," DeLay said. "But in interviewing these employees one-on-one, there was no evidence of any of that going on. No evidence of sweatshops as portrayed by the national media. It's a beautiful island with beautiful people who are happy about what's happening."

And of course the US DOJ contradicted DeLay:

But the U.S. Justice Department did find proof of sex slavery.

In 1999, Soon Oh Kwon, president of Kwon Enterprises, and his wife pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to violating federal laws against involuntary servitude.

The two admitted to bringing Chinese women to Saipan in 1996 and 1997 on contracts to work as waitresses. Instead, they were forced to work as "bargirls" at Kwon Enterprises' karaoke club, K's Hideaway. The women were forced to have sex with the patrons, Kwon said.

If the Chinese women said they wanted to return home, they were told they could not leave until they repaid their debt for coming to Saipan. In case they had any thoughts of leaving any way, they were told they would be killed if they tried, Kwon said.

The case was one of 10 involuntary servitude cases the Justice Department brought in the Northern Marianas during a three-year period. They involved more than 150 victims, according to a Justice Department statement.

While the Justice Department found hard evidence that people were using Saipan's immigration rules to make women sex slaves, DeLay never did.

But Tom did find time to support the Willie Tan and his family's corporate empire (look at Luen Thai and the Tan Holding Company to get an idea of their size and reach):

 

"Certainly, when you look at a big operation like Willie Tan has, you can find anything," DeLay said. "But in general, what was going on there was legitimate and straightforward."

DeLay said the move in the 1990s to federalize immigration and minimum wage rules for Saipan was motivated more by the Democrats' political agenda than out of a desire to safeguard human rights.

"The issue was (former President) Clinton and leftist George Miller ... were trying to destroy what was going on in the Marianas Islands," he said.

Oh, the Tan Family has had a history of involvement in sweatshops:

In 1992, the U.S. Department of Labor filed suit against five of Tan's factories.

It said that employees were forced to work 84 hours a week with no overtime and below the territory's then-minimum wage of $2.90 an hour.

The suit also said that many of Tan's employees were not allowed to leave their work sites or the barracks where they lived.

Tan ended up paying $9 million in restitution to 1,200 employees. Up to that time, it was the largest fine ever imposed by the Labor Department.

And the Tan family was the source of the money behind Jack Abramoff's CNMI lobbying. It was their local Government officials who paid Jack without an official contract. And when that was slow they paid Jack through the Sapian Garment Manufactures Association and the Western pacific Economic Council. Much of their money flowed to DeLay and the GOP through Abramoff. And Tom gave the Tan clan what they wanted in return:

 

Frank Murkowski is now the Republican governor of Alaska. But in the late 1990s, he was chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which, like Miller's House committee, has jurisdiction over Saipan.

After his visits, Murkowski called the conditions faced by workers there "appalling." In 2000, he marshaled an immigration-reform bill through his committee and through the Senate.

However, in the face of DeLay's opposition, it died in the House.

And the 1999 testimony of Steven R. Galster before the House Committee on Energy and Resources spelled out the connection between DeLay and Willie Tan:

 

The picture I draw of the CNMI stems from my organization's research into human trafficking operations in the CNMI. Global Survival Network (GSN) is a human rights organization with a solid and extensive record for investigating cases of human trafficking around the world. [snip]

In preparing for our investigation, we learned that other foreigners were also buying jobs to work in Saipan, most securing menial positions with the Saipan garment industry. We read numerous accounts of alleged employer abuse, including recruitment by deceit, and working under coercive and/or debt-bondage situations. We could also see that these allegations were strongly denied by the garment industry, CNMI officials, and even some US Congresspersons.

Employer watchfulness and intimidation of workers --be it in brothels or garment factories-- makes it difficult to obtain reliable information through traditional journalism and interviewing methods. By the same token, employers may not comfortably share with researchers the true nature of their employment and supervisory techniques, for fear of saying something that will be taken out of context and used against them unfairly.

In response to these constraints, GSN adopted unconventional research procedures to document the existence or non-existence of human trafficking in the CNMI. Leading this research team, I posed as an apparel company representative interested in placing an order with Saipan-based factories. Employers felt comfortable talking to me because they saw me as a potential buyer. [snip]

... it is worth pointing out that the very top garment executives, as well as some CNMI legislators I met, felt completely immune from any potential Congressional reform efforts in CNMI. They claimed that House Majority Whip, Tom DeLay would manipulate congressional processes to prevent CNMI labor reform. The exact words of one executive, which summed up this feeling of immunity, were these: "You know what Tom told me? He said, [name of executive], if they elect me as majority whip, I make the schedule of the Congress. And I'm not going to put in on the schedule. They got to go through all the committees before they come to me. Even if it comes to me, I'm not going to schedule it. What, are they going to have a motion to get it from my committee, they will not do that --who are you? So Tom told me, forget it...not a chance."

This same executive, who holds more sway with the CNMI government than any one person, added: "[Tom DeLay] called up the guy who is charge of the committee, his name is Don Young from Alaska...And he said Don, nothing wrong with CNMI. He say, you gotta go there. If this is slave labor, mistreatment, those kind of thing, go after them. It's all not true...You guys are trying to do something right into wrong. Tom explained to them. So, Don Young backed off."

And the AP has reported that the Tan family is a big source of funds for the GOP:

Money also flowed from the Marianas to Bush's re-election campaign: It took in at least $36,000 from island donors, much of it from members of the Tan family, whose clothing factories were a routine stop for lawmakers and their aides visiting the islands on Abramoff-organized trips.

Two Tan family companies gave $25,000 each to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2002 elections.

Now is the time for us to keep the pressure on. Abramoff, DeLay and the rest of their gang need to be brought to justice. It is time to demand an independent prosecutor for all things related to Jack Abramoff.

Originally posted to dengre on Sun May 15, 2005 at 08:42 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  good stuff (4.00)
    the real crime about the cnmi is not abramoff's credit card.  It's that a few wealthy guys like Tan were able to buy corrupt law makers like DeLay and protect themselves from regulation.  I hope there will be more stories about this.
    •  if there are more stories.... (none)
      ...this guy may play a role: Patrick Pizzella was part of Abramoff's crew while he was at the firm of Preston Gates, and managed to snare a post (I wonder how?) in the Bush administration (along with another Preston Gates alum, David Safavian). Pizzella is assistant secretary of labor. One of his portfolios is head of OPIC, which is some sort of US mini-World Bank kind of thing which protects US investments ("and jobs"...thats a laugh) overseas. The N. Marianas are part of their deal. If there is nasty shit still going on in the N. Marianas, I would venture to guess that Pizzella might be of interest.
    •  Regulations? (4.00)
      They aren't just protecting themselves from regulations.  They are protecting themselves from prosecution for felonies that should put them away for life without parole.

      But do not reject these teaching as false because I am crazy. The reason that I am crazy is because they are true.

      by kenjib on Sun May 15, 2005 at 10:59:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lying about sex... (none)
      As far as I can tell, that's the only thing that's still unacceptable for politicians to do. But we'll have to wait and see if the MSM gives a shit about that anymore.

      This business will get out of control. It will get out of control, and we'll be lucky to live through it.

      by Omar on Sun May 15, 2005 at 11:01:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is some more info (4.00)
    http://www.alternet.org/story/13197/

    5/22/2002

    "Tom DeLay has long been a staunch defender of working conditions in sweatshops on Saipan and a foe of any kind of reform or regulation. Upon his return from a trip to the islands, a reporter asked DeLay about alleged sweatshop conditions there. "I saw some of those factories," DeLay responded. "They were air conditioned. I didn't see anyone sweating."

    But a federal court has found fault with DeLay's powers of observation. The court has just approved a preliminary settlement with 19 leading retailer in a landmark Saipan (in the Marianas Islands) sweatshop case. The court decision affects all factories in U.S. territory. The agreement embraces major reforms, including independent monitoring.

    "The court has paved the way for sweeping reform of America's worst sweatshop," said Al Meyerhoff, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs and partner at Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP.

    In the closely watched human rights case, a U.S. District Judge in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands issued an order certifying a class of more than 30,000 sweatshop workers and granting preliminary approval of a landmark settlement that will transform working conditions on the island of Saipan.

    The dozens of factory owners and retailers that had refused to settle include the Gap, Levi Strauss, JC Penney and Target, and they tried to block the settlements of the 19 other retailers. The court rejected those efforts, which had delayed the pending settlements -- reached in 1999 and 2000 -- from going into effect earlier.

    The settlement will fund an independent monitoring program and require the 19 settling retailers to purchase garments only from factories that adhere to strict labor standards in a comprehensive model Code of Conduct. Factories would be required to guarantee overtime pay for overtime work, provide safe food and drinking water and respect employees' basic human rights. The settlement will have a significant impact on the island's billion-dollar garment industry because the factories will likely have to improve their labor conditions to remain competitive.

    In certifying the class, U.S. District Judge Alex R. Munson concluded that "[T]he plaintiff Does' alleged injuries, although different, all stem from the same alleged conspiracy amongst the defendants to dominate and control the garment work force of Saipan."

    The class certification enables the litigation to move forward against all factories and retailers that have not settled. The "class" in sweatshop cases typically includes workers at just one or two factories that produce clothes for a single retailer. Certifying a sweatshop class of workers at 28 factories over a 13-year period who sew clothes for dozens of retailers -- comprising the entire Saipan garment industry -- is unprecedented in scope.

    According to the complaint, foreign garment workers in Saipan are often forced to work 12-hour days, seven days a week, in unsafe, unclean conditions that violate U.S. labor laws, while sewing clothes for America's leading clothing retailers.

    "This will dramatically improve the lives of thousands of workers who now toil day and night under deplorable conditions," said Michael Rubin, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs and partner at Altshuler Berzon Nussbaum Rubin & Demain. "These settlements will force the factories to provide the wages and working conditions the workers were promised upon coming to the U.S., instead of the unlawful and unsafe workplaces they have been forced to endure."

    Within five days, the 19 settling defendants will deposit $8.75 million into an interest-bearing escrow account to fund the settlement. Within 20 days, plaintiffs will issue notices to more than 30,000 current and former workers notifying them of the settlement. The court also ordered the factories to post the notices and distribute them to employees when they are given their paychecks. Members of the class will be a part of the settlement unless they choose to opt out. Soon after the workers are notified, the court will hold a "fairness hearing" during which class members and settling parties can be heard before final court approval of the settlements.

    "The workers on Saipan have been waiting for more than two years for the reforms agreed to by 19 retailers to go into effect. Now that the judge has ruled that the non-settling factories and retailers have no right to block these reforms, it's time that they clean up their act too," said Medea Benjamin, founding director of Global Exchange, an international human rights group. "

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun May 15, 2005 at 08:46:24 AM PDT

  •  No blue dress (4.00)
    There's no blue dress involved, so the national media could not care less.
    •  Our job (4.00)
      is to force them to care. Call Keith Olbermann, Al Franken, write LTEs, write your congresscritter, jump up & down, scream.

      I do wish we didn't have to grab them by the neck and tape their eyelids open to force the RWCM to see what's happening in RealityWorld,but we can if we try hard enough.

      As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Sun May 15, 2005 at 09:01:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How About (4.00)
      How about if we talk about the Chinese sex slaves as "Runaway Brides from Communist China?"  That might have traction.
      •  This Goes On All Over Asia (4.00)
        In Korea, for example, thousands of Philipinos are lured there for jobs as 'hostesses' and end being 'juicy girls' at clubs, turning tricks.  The clubs, for the most part, are used by American GIs, civilian contractors and other foreigners and expats.

        To prove the point, last year, the American Commander in Korea, GEN LaPorte (Sp), issued orders pretty much putting such clubs off limits 'because the club owners were using such women'.  Pretty much admitting this was indeed a white slave racket.

        It's also not surprising that Korean nationals were involved in white slaving in places outside Korea.  Korean agents in this business are often turned to because they are seen as impartial, and only motivated by money.

        I also understand that Delay has connections with various Korean right wing types who, in the past, have had the finger pointed at for dabbling in the skin trade.  There is a lot of money to be made.

        Sex for hire is a massive business in South Korea, where men often connect trips to whorehouses as a normal part of business socialization.  Country girls were usually sold into the business, and for a long time this system worked fine.  Korean girls have for decades been exported around Asia and the world to practice their trade.  Today, in Japan, many of the foreign hookers are Korean.

        However, after the 1988 Seoul Games, it became much harder for the whoremongers to recruit Korean girls.  Hence, Korean white slave traders began hunting for girls in Manila, through local agents, and the inflow of PI hostess/hookers began.

        Finally, Delay should also note that China will be having (or is) a labor shortage.  Maybe he can get in on the ground floor of that opportunity and fix a law or two that would allow free export of PI workers to go to China and provide more slave labor.  He is doing it in Iraq (and the Middle East), even Korea has many PI workers in country on, often, illegal terms.

      •  Oh come on, we can do better! (4.00)
        Pregnant Saipan Sex Slave Choses Prostitution to Avoid Forced Chinese Abortion; De Lay implicated.
    •  Why not? (none)
      It is a clothing firm issue.

      (/snark)

      It's the Neo-conjob, stupid.

      by nargel on Sun May 15, 2005 at 09:21:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's probably an entire range (none)
      of styles of Blue Dresses in Small, Medium and Large. If someone does a documentary on garment industry slavery, it could open on the Marianas with a travelling shot of racks and racks of...Blue Dresses. Cut to DeLay's moonscape face, a talking head, babbling balderdash as though it had just been severed: Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.

      I was just browsing Buzzflash, and I found a very excellent question, there: How strongly does God yearn for an end to labor laws? Should we ask him?

      So this is developping into a production pitch: anyone who wants to can pile in. Where should the crew go to interview the Holy Spirit on workers' comp? A ouidja board? Should we split a chicken? Read the Bible?

      It could be livened up a lot by quoting Procpius'secret history of Justinian's court, but that's also a great collective web-link project - so let's stick with documentary on today's slaves.

    •  Plus no white women (none)
      Nothing to talk about here!
  •  IMO (4.00)
    The real news here is not the information, sickening and eye-opening though it is; the important thing is where it appeared.

    Can it be that (one small piece of) the media is finally bestirring itself to report what's happening in the real world?

    Thanks to Marty Schladen for writing this piece, and to the Galveston Daily News for publishing it.

    The truth shall set you free.

    As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

    by sidnora on Sun May 15, 2005 at 08:57:57 AM PDT

    •  Galveston is uncomfortably close (4.00)
      to DeLay's home district -- and enjoys the services of Sane RepublicanTM Ron Paul as their Congressional rep. The neighbors are getting tired of the garbage being flung into their backyard.

      God bless "Texas' oldest newspaper," the tiny but fiercely independent Galveston County Daily News! These small local dailies and weeklies are becoming the giant-killers of our age.

      "You with your big words, and your...small, difficult words!" -- Peter Griffin

      by Penny Century on Sun May 15, 2005 at 09:49:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why are corporations permitted (4.00)
    to give tens of thousands of dollars to political campaigns? If corporations are "persons" why do they have rights so far beyond those of actual persons?
    •  I AGREE (none)
      For example, why are these "persons" ALSO not bound by the new bankruptcy laws? This whole notion of corporations being treated as persons should be fought tooth and nail in the courts as violating equal protections, seeing as how they get all the benefits and none of the risks of such a label.
      •  I think (none)
        that the new bankruptcy law specifically targets personal bankruptcy filings (chapter 7? 11? -- I can't remember) rather than the kind used by corporations. This is a large part of what makes the law so odious.

        pay no mind to us, we're just a minor threat

        by arb on Sun May 15, 2005 at 11:02:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tan gave to the NRSC and here's who got $$$ (4.00)
      NRSC recipients for the 2002 Election CycleOpenSecrets

      Lindsey Graham (R-SC) $18,500 Susan Collins (R-Maine) $17,500 Larry Craig (R-Idaho) $17,500 Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) $17,500 Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) $17,500 Greg Ganske (R-Iowa) $17,500 John Thune (R-SD) $17,500 James M. Talent (R-Mo) $17,500 James M. Inhofe (R-Okla) $17,500 Gordon H. Smith (R-Ore) $17,500 Bob Smith (R-NH) $17,500 Wayne Allard (R-Colo) $17,500 Norm Coleman (R-Minn) $17,500 Michael A. Taylor (R-Mont) $17,500 John Cornyn (R-Texas) $17,500 James B. Durkin (R-Ill) $17,500 Douglas R. Forrester (R-NJ) $17,500 Suzanne Terrell (R-La) $17,500 Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark) $17,499 Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) $16,178 Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) $1,460 Jesse Helms (R-NC) $1,321

      •  Foreigners can't give (none)
        to US politicians.

        Is Tan a foreigner?

        The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

        by devtob on Sun May 15, 2005 at 10:30:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They might be foriegn... (4.00)
          They patriarch of the family, Tan Siu Lin moved to Guam in the 1980s (or late 70s). He came from Hong Kong (or China). The various members of the family have been described as from America, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, China, Guam, CNMI and more. It depends upon the news report and whom they were trying to connect to.

          Their corporation, Luen Thai recently went public on the Hong Kong stock exchange to finance the expansion of their garment factories in China (they are currently shutting down their factories on CNMI, much like Wal-Mart leaving small-town America).

          One of the family members (Raymond) who gave to the Bush campaign was recently named Hong Kong young entrepreneur of the year.

          Who can say what country they are from? But we do know that US tax payers financed their entry into the global textile market and today China is the beneficiary of that process.

          The Tan family is an example of how DeLay and the GOP killed the US textile industry.

  •  Arrogant Dupe or Arrogant Shill (4.00)
    DeLay sounds very much like the foreign travellers who were shown around the Soviet Union in the 1930s and came back with glowing reports about how wonderful things were.  Never did it occur to them that they were being shown, well, Potemkin villages.  And never would it ever occur to DeLay that he was being given the run around.

    It's a beautiful island with beautiful people who are happy about what's happening

    On second thought, perhaps he knew perfectly well what was happening and was more than willing to report the Party Line nevertheless.

    Sure, when you get this number of people, there are stories of sexual exploitation.

    What a frakking punk.

    --Stu

    •  DeLay's justifications sound familiar (4.00)
      Delivered in his cornpone accent, these comments could have been delivered 150 years ago, talking about "happy darkies" down on the plantation, who don't want freedom.  Sure, there are a few problems, but take it from me, they're better off this way.

      Until America really comes to grips with the sins of its past, we will keep repeating them.

      Journalism is yours! www.propagannon.com. Help us support ePluribusMedia

      by Dallasdoc on Sun May 15, 2005 at 09:46:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure DeLay really busted hump... (none)
      in trying to get to where the most egregious incidents on CNMI were taking place.

      Not.

      "But then I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy ones and the oomny ones use, like, inspiration and what Bog sends." -- Alex de Large

      by rgilly on Mon May 16, 2005 at 04:14:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the time and effort (4.00)
    it took to put this together! This egregious behavior on DeLay's part has been under the radar for far too long.
    Some questions I'm considering asking my Senator:

    #-Did your campaign receive any funds from the Tan Family via the National Republican Senatorial Committee? If so, given the Tan family issues, have you given those funds back?

    #-Would you support a Congressional investigation into sweatshop and sex trade practices in the Northern Marianas?

  •  Where is the expose.. (4.00)
    Why doesn't 60 Minutes grab some under cover video of just what it's like on those clean garment factories or just what being a restaurant worker means?  It would make for great journalism.  ..... oh.

    "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" - Bill Clinton.

    by RAST on Sun May 15, 2005 at 09:14:18 AM PDT

    •  If I recall, (4.00)
      they already have - maybe more than 10 years ago (I haven't watched 60 Minutes much since then).

      I haven't really paid much attention to this issue or researched it much myself, but I've been aware of it for a long time, along with even worse conditions in apparel factories in Thailand and Burma.

      It just seems to me that hardly anyone cares about it, along with a long list of other issues, like outsourcing, health insurance, Sudan ...

      The politicians do worse than not carrying, since they're on the take (I heard an NPR report that there were only 4 Republicans in Congress who hadn't received money from DeLay; Hillary was a Wal-Mart board member at one time); the corporations don't care, because the $5 it costs to make a shirt that upscale department stores sell for $70 or more is a pretty sweet deal (the discount stores are cheap but make it up on volume and by exploiting their own employees in the US); the media doesn't care, because they want to keep getting ad revenues from Nike, Target, Wal-Mart and Levi-Strauss; and for the most part, we don't care, because we want to continue to buy cheap clothing, cheap food, cheap computers - cheap everything.

      I hope Armando keeps pushing Jim McDermott's idea of the Common Good, because adopting that concept with force is the only way change and improvement will ripple through the entire system. Probably needless to say I'm not real optimistic.

      We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

      by badger on Sun May 15, 2005 at 09:44:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget to... (4.00)
    Thank Marty Schladen for his exceptional piece of real journalism.

    When real pieces like this get published that actually compare Republican's public statements with facts, we need to make sure that the journalist knows that what they are doing is appreciated.

    Our appreciation will ensure that we get more of this "reality-based" reporting.

    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin...

    by Captain Doug on Sun May 15, 2005 at 09:26:55 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for that link (4.00)
      I sent Marty Shladen an e-mail thanking him profusely.  It's a wonder Texas's oldest newspaper serving a heavily Repub area had the independence and integrity to print this article.  Hooray!
  •  so obvious (none)
    We can conclude:
    Slavery's O.K. if you donate to Republicans.
    Lying is O.K. with most of the U.S. media if you're a Republican.
  •  I actually sent emails to my congressman (4.00)
    and to both majority an d minority leaders of the house in this respect.
    The must get rid of Delay ASAP for the damage thsi man is doing to our government is just the most horrible in my history.  He is tearing down any seriousness of a Congress that we should have.  He an dhis associates are criminals and should be prosocuted forthwith.

    Thanks for posting such a great diary.

  •  What the report neglects (none)
    Is that when Delay did his visit he only visited golf courses, so he didn't find any slavery or prostitution at the country club. See, simple explanation.
  •  IMO (4.00)
    DeLay deserves to go to jail.
  •  So under the cover of Clinton's impeachment (4.00)
    ... Warning! I'm not going to mince words here ...for lying about a blowjob, this self-rightous prick pulled off a major mafia-style scam and coverup that essentially enslaved thousands in sweatshops and the sex trade?!

    Wow! The word "hypocrisy" doesn't quite seem big enough for this sleight of hand.

    I wonder how much corruption was perpetrated by the GOP while they and the press were encouraging Americans to look the other way at a blue dress.

    Now tell me again ... why isn't DeLay in federal prison?

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Sun May 15, 2005 at 10:28:32 AM PDT

  •  Dude... (none)
    Put up a freakin' tip jar.

    Interrupt the thread above and put it up, man! This is SUCH a great thing to read this morning.

    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Sun May 15, 2005 at 10:51:05 AM PDT

  •  What we really need to do (none)
    is show how a great deal of GOP funding comes from pimps and pornographers (i.e., people and companies that make their money from the sex trade).  

    We should be doing all we can to drive a wedge between the right-wing "morality" and the "I got mine" laissez-faire economics wings of the Repugnant Party. This seems a promising opening for driving such a wedge.

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Sun May 15, 2005 at 11:21:38 AM PDT

    •  This kind of information (none)
      would be an excellent strategy for defeating Delay in '06.  People in his district are already sick of the guy. Does anyone have a way to forward this information to his democratic challenger?
  •  a vague memory (none)
    if anyone is inclined to dig deep.  When I was practicing law in Hawaii, some time between, say, 1998-2001, a class action suit was filed on behalf of cnmi workers against tan or some other sweat shop in the federal district court in Hawaii.  the honolulu firm goodsill anderson quinn and stifel represented one of the defendants.  I remember leafing through the complaint outside of a colleagues office -- it was full of allegations of slavery and nepharious practices.  wish I could remember more.
  •  For more info about the Marianas... (none)
    specifically Saipan, I found this excellent site:

    Saipansuscks.com

    These islands seem to be steeped in sleaze.

    •  here is an old post on Saipan Sucks (none)
      I posted a Diary on the Saipan Sucks Web site a few weeks ago. There are some interesting things on this site. One of the local politicians they talk about is the same CNMI politician that Ed Buckham and Mike Scanlon went to CNMI to ensure that he won election as CNMI Speaker of the House.

      This work to support Benigno Fitial, an underdog contender for speaker of the House and an ally of Jack Abramoff was reported in the LA Times.

      Before Fitial became a CNMI politician he ran a Tan Holding company garment factory (AKA sweatshop) on Saipan.

  •  I would be more shocked (none)
    to read the healine, "DeLay fails to lie about sex"

    "Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of." ~Arthur Dent, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

    by Entheate on Sun May 15, 2005 at 01:24:52 PM PDT

  •  Fortunately, your headline (none)
    did not mean what I at first took it to be. Using the terms "Delay" and "sex" in the same sentence sets up an automatic gag reflex. Ack. Ick. Ptooey.

    His denials of bad things happening to poor people are not only disingenuous, dishonest, and condescending, they are also too, too pukka sahib: "It's a beautiful island with beautiful people who are happy about what's happening."

    Ah, yes, Massa Tom. See the happy natives frolicking in the scenic countryside, smiling, smiling all the time.

    There's a nice-ninny priest/at tea in everyone,/all cozy and chatty as auntie,/but a saint comes/and throws rocks through the window. -- John Ciardi

    by Mnemosyne on Sun May 15, 2005 at 02:32:07 PM PDT

  •  very impressive (none)
    Who would think that the Abramoff-Delay connection can involve even more hideous stories?  I was not aware of these actions by Miller or (surprise) Murkowski.  It adds a lot to the Marianas angle.
  •  It is great that Mr. DeLay made such an (none)
    exhaustive inspection of these allegations. I'm sure he was about to fit in several inspections between his golf games. I'm sure many of these people he interviewed were gratefull to take a break during waiting tables at the club Mr. DeLay was conducting his investigation.

    Oh hell I just can't go on pointing out what a numbnuts DeLay is. Everyone in this country knows what kind of person he is. Thiose who give a s..t are trying to do something about it and those who don't care sit on their a..es and then we know those with money are behind DeLay every step of the way.

    Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

    by p a roberson on Mon May 16, 2005 at 04:55:39 AM PDT

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