Follow the (Democratic) Money: A Scandal Guide
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were told by Deep Throat in Watergate, "Follow the money." That's good advice today as we unravel the burgeoning number of political scandals. There certainly is plenty of money to follow.
We can start with one of the star players in Big Labor, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The average voter probably never heard of the SEIU until the Blagojevich scandal. A top SEIU official, reported to be Tom Balanoff, was caught on tape wheeling and dealing with Blago on the Senate seat. The media has largely ignored this aspect of the story -- or the hundreds of millions that the union has given to lawmakers.
Why should this matter, aside from a potential criminal problem for the official (who reportedly got a visit from the FBI)? Remember the advice: follow the money.
A pro-business group called Americans for Job Security laid it out in a handy ad with the header "Connect The Dots, Chicago Style" in the Washington Post:
The investment of money from Big Labor to elect Democrats will likely bear fruit in the new administration as the Employee Free Choice Act and other legislation favored by labor makes its way to the top of the agenda. But will there be hearings on the SEIU's role in Blago-gate or its equally disturbing role in a charity fraud scheme in California? Highly unlikely. The Democrats wouldn't dare turn on their money men.