Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Vance: Johnson Should Give DeLay Money to Charity

A quick response to the DeLay indictment from 5th District congressional hopeful Paul Vance:

"Perhaps some good can come out of today’s news, that is why I am asking Rep. Nancy Johnson, who in the past voted for Rep. DeLay for Majority Leader and accepted campaign contributions from Rep. DeLay to give those contributions to the Red Cross to aid the families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita."

"This may be the only way," said Vance, "that the dirty money Rep. Johnson accepted can become clean once again."

Vance also called in his press release for the Republican Majority Leader to resign.

This is not the first attempt that's been made to tie Nancy Johnson, Rob Simmons and Chris Shays to Tom DeLay and George Bush. So far, that strategy hasn't worked well for challengers.

However, if Republican scandals and miscues at the national level continue to appear in the news, they might have more of an effect. We'll see. For now, though, Johnson will stay as far away from DeLay's troubles as she can manage.


Quinn said...

If you got a picture of Nancy Johnson eating kittens, she would still probably be re-elected. As it is, you have the most tenous connection between Johnson and DeLay, which boils down to:

Nancy Johnson is a Republican. Tom DeLay is also a Republican. Tom DeLay is corrupt. Therefore, Nancy Johnson is also corrupt!

Now, I'm not one for espousing the endless intelligence of voters. But even I don't think you're going to be able to get that one past them. Particularly since the same formula hasn't worked even though Dems have been trying it since Bush was elected in 2000.

Ebpie said...

Does Vance have his website up yet?

Anonymous said...

As much as Quinn makes me laugh at his description of Nancy Johnson, the truth is that the formula he dismisses worked wonders for the GOP in 1994 against Clinton, helped Democrats pick up House seats in 1996 and 1998 against the Republicans ... right now the Republican brand is suffering and the President just like Clinton in 1994, may not be on the ballot, but the voters will find a way, if directed, to vent their anger, for more, see 1986 Senate races where Dems turned back the Reagan landslide of 1980.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Johnson eats kittens!?? YIKES!

The formula is simple, if Nancy Johnson stands for something- why doesn't she say so. She double talks or stands silent while her district suffers. In this district and in this state, standing silent on corruption should be punished by the voters.

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with eating kittens? Alf did, and I kind of liked him.

Quinn said...

Ah, but Republicans in 1994 offered more than righteous indignation and character assassination. They offered a pro-active plan.

On a district level, they need to offer candidates, and they need to raise money. Now, I must say that despite the futility, Democrats have offered more than simply token candidates in the 5th District in the recent past. Paul Vance has not impressed me so far, because he wants to depend on discontent with the Bush Administration to throw Nancy out of office.

Here, Nancy has done nothing wrong other than being a Republican. The voters see this, and they don't buy it when Vance tries to pin that on her as a crime. This sort of thing might work in Waterbury, but it won't work in the relatively Repulbican 5th District. You need more to dislodge a popular incumbent than discontent with the President and the Congressional leadership. And so, until Johnson is indeed herself personally caught eating kittens or committing some other heinous act, she will be bulletproof.

Genghis Conn said...

No website for Vance yet. Murphy put his up just recently. I'll link to Vance's as soon as I hear about it.

It is very difficult to tie Nancy Johnson to DeLay, Bush, et. al., given her image as a "nice" moderate. None of our Republican members of Congress have particularly strong public ties to the GOP leadership (Bush included).

Nate said...

I'm normally in agreement that trying to pin Johnson to Delay, Bush & co. is a losing battle, but in this case Vance has good reason to raise a valid point: Nancy Johnson may have received dirty money, so why not donate it to a worthy cause? No one's going to start lumping Johnson in with the Exterminator because of this story, but we need to look at this in terms of small battles (and in this case, victories); Paul Vance will probably get his name into someone's article by making Nancy Johnson look like a career politician who is part of the underlying problem behind today's major national story. Not enough to base a campaign on, I agree, but not bad for a day's work.

CT05 Admin said...

Nancy Johnson is a career politician who is an integral part of the problem: the "privatization" of Congress since the Republicans put out the Contract on American in 1994.

Her defense of Gingrich in 1996 as Chairman of the Ethics committee nearly cost her her seat, as Charlotte Koskoff's narrow loss that year attests.

Since then, she has been rewarded and promoted as she has actively supported the leadership.

She can't take the money and perks with one hand, and dismiss her role in the Republican House leadership with DeLay and company with the other.

Given a serious alternative, the Fifth Congressional District is _not_ a Republican seat.

And we are more than ready for a change.

MikeCT said...

Paul Bass reports on speculation about Weicker running against Lieberman (which Weicker dismisses "99%").

Genghis Conn said...

A Weicker-Lieberman rematch would be great fun, but I doubt it will happen. Weicker is in his mid-70s, and his heath isn't great.

MikeCT said...

Kittens in Congressional Kitchen Cause Commotion

Washington DC. (AP) Republicans in the U.S. House, still reeling from the resignation of Tom DeLay under a cloud of scandal, were stunned by new revelations that their colleague, Representative Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, enjoys eating kittens. Johnson acknowledged that she devours the fledgling felines, which are served as appetizers at her GOP fundraisers. "They go well with red wine, and the donors love them," explained Johnson.

Local Republican leaders are standing by Johnson. "I don't think Connecticut voters are interested in Nancy Johnson's dietary habits," said State Republican Party Chairman Bill Hamzy. "This is just another partisan and desperate attack by vegetarian Democrats, out of touch with mainstream carnivores."

The Democratic response was less forgiving. "This is just another example of Republican callousness," said Nancy DiNardo, state Democratic Party head. "What's next? Puppies?"

"I only eat puppies on holidays and special occasions," responded Johnson.

CT05 Admin said...


Genghis Conn said...


Anonymous said...

A few months ago and with great fan fair, Sen.Chris Murphy claimed his disgust at Nancy Johnson's silence concerning the Tom Delay issue as the reason he would run against her next year.
Not a month or two later, Sen. Newton "resigns" after being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He claims he is innocent of any wrong doing, but pleads guilty anyway.
Was there any response about the Sen. Newton issue from Sen. Murphy? I didn't hear any. Did Sen. Murphy publicly urge Newton to resign? If he did, it was with far less fan fair than his very public, and politically motivated criticisms of Nancy Johnson.
Sen. Murphy who is hoping to be the next Connecticut career politician, should apply the same level of disgust to someone sitting in the same senate chamber as he does, and in his own party, who is guilty of unethical behavior as he did to Tom Delay, who as of this point, has neither pleaded guilty to, or been convicted of, anything.
Sen. Murphy failed his first test.

Nate said...


You can put the word "resigns" in quotes all you want, but the fact remains that Delay was investigated then indicted-- Newton was certainly under heavy investigation but hadn't been charged with anything in the months leading up to his resignation. Sure, neither one of them has been found guilty of anything, but to imply that Sen. Murphy has arbitrarily drawn a line in the sand is just not true. He seems to draw his line where an individual is charged with something, the same place as millions of other people in this country.

Anonymous said...

nate, i am a democrat in the 5th district and want to see nancy johnson defeated more than anyone, but you can't be seriuos with that last post...

Nate said...


What led you to believe I was not being serious? Are you saying that anytime someone is investigated by law enforcement their colleagues should immediately call on them to resign? Delay got the House investigation rules changed when they did not suit him, which was a clear abuse of power. With Newton, all we had were Courant reports that the FBI was raiding offices in Bridgeport.

Like you, I'd like to see Nancy Johnson get beaten, but not at the cost of demanding the resignation of people who have not been charged with anything. Regardless of the politics, I think that's only fair, but at the same time I don't concede that voters will reward someone so willing to abandon a member of their caucus at the first whiff of bad publicity.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll try to be real clear here. Sen. Murphy clearly pointed out that Nancy Johnson's silence on the Tom DeLay issue was the reason he decided to run against her. Fine, I have no issue with that, if he honestly feels as he says.
However, Sen. Murphy's silence in regard to the Sen. Newton issue, both before and after he "resigned" or resigned, which ever you prefer, his office is to me is an unacceptable double standard.
Political corruption is political corruption, where ever it exists. You simply don't resign an office, and plead guilty to charges, if you are innocent. What we saw here was a disgraceful violation of public office, and public trust. Sen Murphy's silence regarding this sad story, leaves me wondering just how serious he was in his original comments regarding Nancy Johnson's silence regarding Tom DeLay.
I try my best to cast my vote for a candidate, not against a candidate. To me any elected official who puts what's best for the party, ahead of what's best for us all, is just be one more elected official from either party who becomes part of the problem, and not part of the solution.
Sen. Murphy will spend the next year running against Nancy Johnson. I hope he remembers while he does run for that office, that he still has a job to do as an elected member of our General Assembly. To me he can best prove he is the right candidate for the 5th congressional seat by introducing, and getting passed, serious legislation which once and for all cleans house of all the corrupt political riff raft from both parties here in Connecticut.
He has the next year to change my mind about him, I honestly hope he can, but I will need to see from him serious reasons to vote for him, not just reasons to not vote for Nancy Johnson.

Anonymous said...

You're being a little disingenuous. Newton was stripped of his committe chairmanship (early on) his "leadership" position, and indentified in all but name only in court. To be consistent, Murphy and the others should have been calling for a full investigation by the Ct Senate leading to his possible expulsion.
To draw a bright line distinction bettween Newton and DeLay based on an "indictment" by a Texas prosecutor with a history of politically (both Republicans and "unfriendly" Democrats)motivated prosecutions is a tad specious. His "investigation" and "indictment" of Kay Bailey Hutchison got tossed out in a heartbeat when it got to court. I'm not drawing any conclusions with respect to the Delay matter, but simply pointing out that if Murphy was willing to let Newton's case( in his own backyard ) run the distance, he should do the same in the Delay case.

Nate said...

To be consistent, Murphy and the others should have been calling for a full investigation by the Ct Senate leading to his possible expulsion.

Actually, the Senate Democrats were investigating the rules for expulsion this summer. There's not much you can do when the body is not in session, though. I'll be the first to admit that looking into the rules is not the same as taking action, but you seem to favor these type of public maneuvers that usually don't go anywhere (when was the last time anyone resigned because they were asked to?), so wouldn't that cover it? Also, for all any of us know Sen. Murphy and/or others may have privately approached Newton to resign months ago. Would that make a difference, or does it need to be done in public?

Anonymous, you make some good points, and I'm not taking the position of defending bribe-takers and their apologists. I just don't know what publicly asking Newton for his resignation would have accomplished, besides a little publicity for Sen. Murphy. I'm especially unsure of what you would have Murphy say now that Newton is resigned. I'm sure everyone in the Senate (Dems & Republicans) is taking the "let's move on" approach. If they're serious about ending corruption, I'd rather they spend their time drafting legislation to that end, not brow-beating Newton, who has already resigned and pleaded guilty to something.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you make some good points, and I'm not taking the position of defending bribe-takers and their apologists. I just don't know what publicly asking Newton for his resignation would have accomplished, besides a little publicity for Sen. Murphy. I'm especially unsure of what you would have Murphy say now that Newton is resigned.

My issue here is that I hate with a passion, political hypocrisy.... Sen. Murphy's silence regarding the Sen.Newton matter after being so vocal about Nancy Johnson's silence regarding the Tom DeLay matter,is plain and simple, political hypocrisy.
Apparently,when he sees an opportunity to use the Tom DeLay matter for his political benefit, he goes very public. However, when disgusting misuse of public office by a fellow state senator and member of his own political party takes place, he remains publicly silent.
What Sen. Murphy would have accomplished by publicly at least voicing his disgust with Sen. Newton's actions before Newton resigned, would have shown that his "sincerity" in these matters transcended concerns for political party affiliation.
His failure to do so, certainly gives me the appearance that his outrage at Nancy Johnson's same silence regarding Tom DeLay, was outrage designed for personal political benefit.
He could have at least tried to be consistent with himself. He failed miserably. Frankly, a rookie mistake and cause for concern with someone running for such an important office.
At this point I have no interest at all in anything Sen. Murphy may now say about either Tom DeLay, Sen. Newton or, Nancy Johnson. It is far too late. He clearly has shown a double standard, and sadly that is exactly what is wrong in both political parties.
The only way Sen. Murphy can now ever again earn my vote, is to put his money where his mouth is. He should focus his attention this next year in the General Assembly on getting passed significant legislation in Connecticut designed to stop the endless stream of corruption by both parties in this very corrupt state.
As I said, I will not listen to reasons why I should not vote for Nancy Johnson, I want to hear reasons to vote for Chris Murphy. So far I have none.

The best we voters can do is to stay informed. We need to hold our elected officials to our standards, not the lower standards set by their political parties. I firmly believe that any politician from either party that puts what is best for their party ahead of what is best for us citizens is just one more politician who is part of the problem in Hartford as well as Washington, and not part of a solution. A solution we so desperately need in both places.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nate,Are you still out there?? Since you have not responded to my last post here am I correct in assuming you agree with me?? :-)

Nate said...

Hi Anonymous,
Umm, that would be partially correct. I agree that I hate political hypocrisy and that voters should stay informed, but those are pretty broad statements... does anyone disagree with them? I'm not about to disagree with your statement that Sen. Murphy can't ever earn your vote-- it seems a little premature more than a year out from the election, but I'm not going to argue a personally held belief of yours.

I still think that calling out someone from a higher legislative body is different than calling out someone from your own body. You may not like that, but it's a fact of life that legislatures (especially upper bodies, e.g. Senates) are ruled by decorum and standards. I wish you luck in your quest, but you will probably never find a first-term politician from either major party willing to call on a veteran colleague to resign. Consider the parallel situation in everyday life. Would you be as willing to publicly criticize your boss at work as you would to criticize Jodi Rell? Would you let the HR dept. investigate your boss before you started making statements to the paper? By the same token, would you need an independent investigation of Gov. Rell before you wrote a letter to the editor about her? Does that make you a hypocrite? Please pardon that extended, rambling analogy, my point is that the big difference in the two cases in the Sen. Murphy situation is not necessarily one of party lines, it's the fact that you're talking about two completely different legislative bodies. Again, you can rail against that all you want, but I don't make the rules.

Finally, as I said before I favor action, not feel-good public statements. If some Democrats had approached Sen. Newton privately, I would consider that just as good. I am assuming since you did not respond to that point that you agree with me?

Nate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi Nate, Thanks for responding. I do enjoy a reasonable dialogue.
You asked if anyone really disagrees with finding political hypocrisy disturbing. I'd say most people would say they do find it disturbing. The problem however especially with our elected officials from both parties is, that they seem to conveniently find ways to excuse it when they themselves practice it. I am not railing this point simply about Chris Murphy, he simply like many others just make it for me. I am just in this case pointing it out.

I know I did say in my first post that Chris Murphy should have asked Sen. Newton to resign. I would be very happy to back off from that comment a bit, if it will help me make my points clearer to you.
I find it unacceptable for Murphy to try to publicly suggest that Johnson's silence regarding Tom DeLay is somehow any more offensive or different from his public silence regarding the clear corruption,and disgusting misuse of office, by a fellow party member,and fellow state senator.
In no way do I find your analogy in that regard rambling, I just don't find it consistent with my concerns.
I will try to make my point as clear as possible. Does Chris Murphy find political corruption disgusting only when it is in another party, and useful against an opponent? Or does he hate it everywhere as I, and I would guess you do as well?
I would naturally assume he would say the latter. Simply put, a snake, is a snake, anywhere. That being the case he then should have shown the same public disgust with Sen.Newton when he had the chance, that he has shown with Tom DeLay. Now any statements from him in this regard to me at least, would ring very hallow.
To your point, I am absolutely sure many democrats approached Newton privately and asked, maybe even told, him to resign. Just like I am sure many republicans privately did the same with Roland.
The difference here for me is once Murphy made the choice to publicly hold Johnson to some standard regarding DeLay, he then placed that same public standard on himself regarding the Newton matter. That fact that he did not, disturbs me greatly, and does give me cause for great concern about him.
To be very clear Chris Murphy can still earn my vote, but the key word is earn. I am not saying he cannot, and in fact at one time he actually had my support. But I have seen little in his record of seven years in the Connecticut General Assembly that makes him for me a choice over Nancy Johnson. Inconsistent political double standards from him certainly are not going to help.
Finally, I agree with you. Feel good statements are one thing, action is something else. For Murphy to change my current opinion of him, regain my respect, and once again earn my vote, he now needs to use the next year putting his money where his mouth is regarding political corruption. We need this corrupt political mess in both parties in CT cleaned up. If he is honest regarding his feelings regarding alleged national political corruption, I hope he will take a very active and leadership role, in the General Assembly this coming year dealing with and finding ways to end the endless stream of corruption locally. If he can be successful here in Connecticut, I assume he can in Washington as well. If he can't here, how could he be there?
Politics, and business at the state capitol as usual, just isn't going to cut it for me any more.
Best Regards