'A Criminal Organization Masquerading as a Political Party'
"Think of the Democratic Party as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party," my friend and fellow PJM columnist Michael Walsh wrote in 2009 in the guise of his leftwing alter-ego, David Kahane.
Certainly, at a minimum it's safe to say that Democrats were rather active on the nation's police blotters today. Since this is one narrative the MSM will never assemble (as they're in on the fun), it's up to the Blogosphere -- so here we go.
First up, the password is
Swordfish Shrimp Boy:
"BREAKING: Anti-Gun CA Senator Leland Yee Charged With Gun Running," reports The Truth About Guns:
It what would surely place his likeness prominently on the Mt. Rushmore of hypocrisy if the allegations are proven in a court of law, famously anti-gun California state Senator Leland Yee has been charged with, in addition to bribery and public corruption…yes…gun running. Specifically conspiring with known organized crime lord Kwok Cheung “Shrimp Boy” Chow to illegally import firearms and sell them without a license . . .
The affidavit charges that the $2 million worth of weapons to have been secreted into the country from the Philippines included rocket launchers and machine guns, some of which Yee himself had fired while on Mindanao. A portion of the weapons Yee conspired to bring into the U.S. through New Jersey were to have been forwarded on to North Africa via Sicily.
At NRO's Corner, Tim Cavanaugh adds, "California State Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat representing San Francisco, was arrested Wednesday by the Justice Department in an apparent sting that involves a famous Chinatown criminal, local media report":
Yee is the third Democrat in the California state senate facing criminal charges. The other two are in Los Angeles County. Rod Wright of Inglewood is taking a leave of absence after being convicted of perjury and voter fraud related to charges that he lied about his residence when running for office in 2008. Monetebello’s Ron Calderon is also on leave while fighting 24 felony counts related to bribery in exchange for steering legislation.
The Democratic Party has 28 out of 40 seats in the state senate. Wright’s and Calderon’s absences have already left the Democrats without the two-thirds supermajority they often claim to need, presumably so they can stand up to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the Democratic-controlled State Assembly, and the Democrats who hold all statewide elected offices.
Like the Truth About Guns Website, Rush Limbaugh is also having a schadenfreude overdose:
The reason that I stopped everything to take your call -- and clearly, folks, he didn't call for this reason -- is Leland Yee is the California politician who attempted to get me fired and disbarred and dismembered and dis-whatever else'd after I impersonated the ChiCom premier. The ChiCom premier was here and having a joint press conference with Obama.
I did an interpretation of the ChiCom premier speaking Chinese. (interruption) Yeah, it was one of my best shows. Leland Yee and these people had an absolute fit! They thought, "This is exactly the kind of racism and the bigotry and the insensitivity and what else" that I, El Rushbo, am known for. And that's why I took the call. So here this guy who wanted me thrown off the air for racism and bigotry is now having his offices raided by the "feebs" because of possible corruption while in office. I just love it!
RUSH: These guys, they sit up there all majestically in their royalty, and they try to eliminate their opposition. All the while their hands are in the till and they're engaging in corruption I couldn't even dream of. So I'm actually glad, Chris, that you called, and I'm actually glad that you got through. 'Cause otherwise Leland Yee's name probably would not have come up today.
Beyond Yee, as I said, today was quite a day for Democrats and the police blotter. Democrat Charlotte NC Mayor Patrick Cannon resigned today after less than six months in office, "just hours after he was arrested and accused of taking more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do work with North Carolina’s largest city," the Blaze reports:
Cannon submitted his resignation letter to city manager Ron Carlee and city attorney Bob Hagemann, Charlotte spokesman Keith Richardson said in an email. The 47-year-old Cannon is charged with bribery and public corruption. The Democrat took cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment as bribes and solicited more than $1 million more, according to a criminal complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Cannon said in his resignation letter that the pending charges “will create too much of a distraction” for the business of the city to go forward. He said it was effective immediately.
Keith Farnham, 66, a Democrat Illinois state rep, resigned today. In an article dated Monday, but updated to reflect Farnham's resignation today, the Chicago Tribune reported:
Reports that federal agents were looking for evidence of child pornography when they seized computers from the Elgin district office of former state Rep. Keith Farnham shocked local officials who said the lawmaker was well-liked and active in the community.
"I couldn't even fathom it. I was stunned," said former Elgin Mayor Ed Schock, adding that Farnham always worked on the city's behalf.
Farnham has not been accused of any crime.Federal agents were searching for documents "pertaining to the possession, receipt or distribution of child pornography" as well as computer files, copies and negatives of child pornography or any documents that depicted minors "engaged in sexually explicit conduct," according to a search warrant released Friday.
And the hits just keep on coming.
"Pa. State Sen. LeAnna Washington ordered to stand trial," Philadelphia's ABC affiliate reports today:
Pennsylvania state prosecutors won a first step Wednesday in their corruption case against state Sen. Leanna Washington, securing a judge's ruling that they have enough evidence for a trial on charges that Washington crossed the line when she allegedly ordered taxpayer-paid employees to organize an annual "birthday party" political fundraiser.
For eight years, Washington pressured her Senate staff to devote weeks to drawing up guest lists that included city and state officials, creating invitations and taking money from invitees that ultimately went to Washington's campaign account, prosecutors say.
They also allegedly used taxpayer-paid computers, copiers and office supplies.
District Judge John Kessler ruled that testimony from one of Washington's former employees, Jamila Hall, was strong enough to allow the case to go to trial. In a grand jury presentment issued with the charges March 12, prosecutors listed seven current or former employees or interns, including Hall, who said they witnessed or carried out tasks to organize the fundraisers.
Washington, 68, declined comment after the two-hour hearing at Kessler's Montgomery County office. Washington, a Democrat who represents parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, is running for a third full term this year.
Meanwhile, "Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Albany office of Assemblyman William Scarborough this morning, he confirmed to reporters," Capital New York reported, also today:
Scarborough, a Queens Democrat, said the F.B.I. asked questions about the per diem reimbursements that legislators collect for each day they spend in the Capitol. Agents took papers from his offices in Albany and Jamaica, and also accosted him in his hotel room this morning.
”I'm innocent, but I understand the reality,” Scarborough said to a group of reporters who, hearing rumors, flocked to his office on the sixth floor of the Legislative Office Building. “I don't know what's going to go on. I am going to talk to a lawyer, this is just stunning to me.”
* * * * * * *
Scarborough received $59,085 in per diem payments between 2010 and 2011. He submitted voucher payments claiming $825 for five nights in Albany from March 13th to March 17th 2011, while public records showed he attended a town meeting at York College in Jamaica Queens that Thursday.
“I may very well have gone to that meeting, turned around and gone back to Albany that night,” Scarborough told the New York Post in 2012. “If we arrive in Albany before midnight, we’re entitled to put in for the night.”
The Assembly doesn't require members to submit hotel receipts and Scarborough told the Post he would not look for them.
“I don’t think I have to give you proof,” he said at the time.
And, "Law enforcement officials raided the office and home of House Speaker Gordon Fox on Friday as part of a criminal investigation by the U.S. attorney's office, FBI, IRS and state police," AP reported:
Officials would not say who or what was being investigated, but authorities worked for hours inside the Democratic House speaker's Statehouse office while state troopers stood outside.
Authorities entered the office carrying an evidence bag and empty cardboard boxes Friday morning. Fox's spokesman, Larry Berman, said state police had asked everyone working in the office to leave but he didn't know why.
Yesterday, AP added that Nicholas Mattiello, a fellow Democrat, replaced Fox after he resigned, following the raid.
Mattiello, a Democrat from Cranston, comfortably won the vote to succeed Gordon Fox, 61-6, with six abstentions and two absent. Oversight Committee Chairman Michael Marcello, D-Scituate, had challenged Mattiello for the top House spot but conceded earlier Tuesday, saying he didn't have enough votes.
The vote came during the first meeting of the House since the dramatic series of developments that began Friday morning when state and federal authorities, including the FBI, the IRS and the state police, searched Fox's office and home and carried away boxes of material. Officials have declined to detail what the probe is about or say whether Fox is a target. Neither Fox nor his lawyer has commented on the investigation.
"Today, Democrats Across The Country Have Won Some Pretty Heinous Headlines For Their Actions," GOP.com notes.
"Unexpectedly," as Bloomberg.com would say.
Update: "I’ll just say this: Remember Jack Abramoff? Duke Cunningham? Babes in the woods. It’s starting to feel like 2006 all over again, just with the opposite party label all over the indictments," David Freddoso writes in "The case of Leland Yee: This is the craziest criminal complaint against a lawmaker you’ve ever read."