Saturday, August 26, 2006

Politics for the Ethically Challenged

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Senator Bob Menendez is in a battle against Tom Kean, Jr. It was revealed that he's been renting to an organization that he got federal funding for:

Republicans charged this week that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez profited from his office by collecting nearly $350,000 in rent from a government-funded social service organization.

The non-profit North Hudson Community Action Corp. rented space for its federally funded preschool program in a Menendez-owned building in Union City starting in 1994, the year after he began representing the area's congressional district. The rent ranged from $3,100 to $3,400 a month over nine years, the Menendez campaign said.

Interestingly enough, this is front page in the Inquirer but is not available at the online site where bloggers could link to it.

Another Democrat with ethics issues:

WASHINGTON - Illinois congressman Danny Davis and an aide took a trip to Sri Lanka last year that was paid for by the Tamil Tigers, a group that the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization for its use of suicide bombers and child soldiers, law enforcement sources said.

Davis' seven-day trip came under new scrutiny this week following the arrests of 11 supporters of the organization on charges of participating in a broad conspiracy to support the terrorist group through money laundering, arms procurement and bribery of U.S. officials.

The five-term Democratic congressman said he was unaware that the Tigers paid for the trip and on his required congressional disclosure form he reported that the trip was paid for by a Hickory Hills, Ill.-based Tamil cultural organization, the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America.

...The Tamil Tigers is a separatist group that has been fighting since 1983 for an independent state for 3.2 million ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, a tear-shaped island nation of 20 million off the southern tip of India. In addition to conventional guerrilla tactics, the group has used terrorist methods, including 200 suicide bombings, in a bloody conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives. Though the violence between the government and the separatist group abated during the past several years, it recently surged again, threatening a renewed civil war.

Nice folks your hanging with Rep. Davis. I have to ask this question; what would possess a member of Congress to accept an invitation to Sri Lanka in the first place? Even those who barely pay attention know that India had major terror issues with the group.

They were responsible for suicide bombings and death and the good congressman thought it a good place to visit.

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