GOP Sees Charles Taylor as a Liability

From The Hill:

Members of the House Republican Steering Committee have warned Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.) that he is in danger of losing his chairmanship of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee if he does not raise or donate more money to Republicans.

According to the article, fundraising is only one of about 10 considerations the Steering Committee looks at. Gee, could one of them be the presence or absence of complete moral bankruptcy?


I've had a sinking feeling all morning

that people will brush off Taylor's ethical stench by saying he's "just like Jim Black."

What do you all think? Are we at risk of throwing stones from a glass house? Are Black's transgressions in the same league as Taylor's? Should Jim Black resign as speaker in the interest of taking the target off the backs of Dems statewide?

I wrote a whole diary about this and accidentally deleted it . . . which is probably a good thing.

It's raining cats and dogs outside.

I think there are a couple of reasons

that that might not happen. First, Taylor is a much bigger personality in NC-11 than Black. Also, Taylor's problems take place on a national stage, and will get national attention (or should, anyway).

On the other hand, if Taylor supporters do compare his troubles to Black's, we won't be able to call bullshit, and we'll have Black to thank. I for one wouldn't have any problem with Shuler, if pressed, saying "sure, Taylor and Black both have ethics problems, and both should go."

I agree

As I mentioned earlier on the Black thread, I hope he is innocent so we don't have to deal with this crud.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

"And is that what you would say, if pressed?"

he said, pressing.

I guess I'm trying to understand it as an integrity issue. As a person committed to competent, well-managed government, what's the most effective way to think about Jim Black? Is it better to have him in a leadership role . . . or not have him? He gets things done. But are they the right things? And can the old dog learn new tricks?

What's the smartest position to take?

Is Jim Black a great public servant or a small time Tom Delay? Can one be both, or are they antithetical?
Is focusing on Black right now a waste of time and energy?
Does it make any difference anyway?
Should we just wait and let the "process" work?
Aren't we part of the process?

Speaker Black? Got any thoughts?


There's the practical question of whether Black is a bigger asset than a liability, but there's also the (bigger, as far as I'm concerned,) issue of the damage done to a healthy democracy. Lawmakers, whether Democrats or Republicans, who sell their influence are working against the principles of openness and responsibility to the people. Those people have to go.

Not to sound like a Neocon apologist

What do we know about this case?
Is it clear he is guilty?

If he is being investigated, he should stop down temporarily.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

No, a neocon would say

"If our guy is being investigated, lets talk about WMD in Iraq Iran."


Yes, I think it's fair to call this an investigation. And you're absolutely right that Black should step down from his leadership position temporarily: the mere appearance of impropriety can do a lot of damage.

It isn't clear he is guilty of ethical or legal

wrongdoing...but it is very clear, and has been for some time that he has acted outside the realm of common sense. He has admitted to using very poor judgment. This isn't a quality I want in someone serving in a leadership position - Democrat or Republican. He is a family friend, so it's hard to speak out against him. I think we need to watch our tone, though when speaking out against anyone in our own party. (It being an election year and all.....)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Black needs to be Removed...Maybe

Okay, I'm pretty much a "let's keep control at all costs" kind of guy. But, this story suggests to me that Black needs to be removed from office by US now, rather than by the courts later...maybe.

The board began investigating the committees after it received a formal complaint in June 2004 from Democracy North Carolina, a nonprofit campaign-finance watchdog. The group reported that some contributions from the video poker industry to Black came from people who did not know they had given the money or had said they would be reimbursed for their donations. The nonprofit group made a point of saying it was not accusing Black of wrongdoing.

That sounds pretty damn crooked - unless of course all the people complaining are Republicans trying to blacklist Black.

*The group also reported the surge in contributions to Decker's campaign in early 2003 and said many donors had never given to him before*.

I actually don't see this as a problem. Let's say it's 2006 and we have a 50-50 split with the Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Collins or Snow starts talking about switching parties, but they are not sure if they could win reelection as Democrats because they wouldn't have enough funding. If someone started an ActBlue page for the Democratic Primary winner in Maine, I would contribute. I want to win the Senate, a middle-of-the-road Senator from Maine would be better than Cheney having control over Senate votes and committee chairmanships. My point, is that lots of people might start donating to Decker is he became a Black ally.

Black used $45,000 from a state reserve fund to create a state job for Decker after he lost his re-election bid in 2004.

Okay, my first reaction was burn the bastard. But, then I got to thinking. What is the job?
Bad appointment: No-work job.
Good appointment: Decker is doing hard work in a job related to his expertise.
This was alluded to in the article, but covered in another N&O story.

Since then, Decker has used campaign money to buy a car and a plane ticket to go pick it up. He spent thousands from his campaign account on lodging, food and gas during the session, while receiving a $104 per diem from the legislature for such expenses.

However, the first article didn't mention this:

State Rep. Joni Bowie had $25,000 in her campaign after losing her bid for a ninth term in the state House last year. She spent most of it on a new Acura sports car and a new Dell computer, then invested the remaining $6,700 for her retirement.

Bowie's explanation: She was out of office, other lawmakers have done it, and it's perfectly legal.

"Everybody I know takes what's left over in their account, don't they?" said Bowie, a Guilford Republican.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Robert, I think most of us are in agreement there.

I just think we need to watch the tone. Don't do the gooper's job for them. I remember seeing that article. I think the Charlotte Observer wrote something like that a while back.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Good discussion

These are tricky times and we have to be smart and alert and forward-thinking at every turn.


PS I hope my tone has been okay here. Like I said, I'm trying to behave. I'm just a citizen looking for leaders that deserve to be followed.


Your tone isn't fine, but I don't think tone is the problem. Maybe when Hood showed up it was a wakeup call that this could be something more than a couple people chit-chatting. Because of that, it immediately seemed like there was a call for more serious posts, more thought of the future. Which is great.
What I think needed to change were the overly snarky comments, but not the tone! Let's face it, Republicans suck. Their ideas suck. Their policies suck. Their politics suck. There is no reason to be kind and/or nice to Neocons because they are destroying the very foundation of our society. Thoughtful and provocative yes, nice - absolutely not. If we've learned anything from the Washington Dems, it is that nice guys finish last.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Good coaching

It's a delicate balance and I suspect I will always tilt more toward the extreme than not . . . if only in the interest of giving cover to our more moderate brethren.

Don't you have anything better to do on Saturday night?

I've got two young kids

Saturday night is not so different from Monday night :)
But, today we went to the circus and other than the PETA protestors, it was a great experience for the kids.

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl and I'm a former Pennsylvanian, life-long Steeler fan.

All in all, I'll call that a good weekend!

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I've got two pre-teen girls.....

Sitting in here on the puter is better than hiding in the closet waiting for the drama to end. :)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Just think

in about two years you'll be wishing you had GPS on them!

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

We're thinking about

implanting microchips under their skin. Ok...just kidding on that one. But when they're driving??????

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I've told my two year old angel girl

that she can't date until she's 25 and she agreed...on tape.
Sorry honey.
: )

My son says he is going to be a professor at UNC, live with us, and work in the same office as me!

Ah, I'll enjoy that while it lasts.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Just 25?

Try 40. :)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

A, Your tone is just fine.

But don't lose the snark. Snark is great when someone backs up what they are saying with a high level of intelligence. Sarcasm without substance won't work, but I've never thought that anything you posted diminished the credibility of the site.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.