Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Home Field Advantage

Stuff I've been discussing elsewhere in the blogosphere, that I'd rather discuss here:

1) The Republican Party really did have a culture of corruption. This does not mean that every Republican was corrupt, but it does mean that corruption existed in networks, not just within individual offices, and that the corruption continued, in part, because of partisan resistance to ending it. In Ohio, Tom Noe used illegal fundraising with local Republican's help to raise money for Bush, helping him gain stature and influence with Bob Taft and the state legislature, leading to his ability to bilk the BWC for millions of dollars, which we found out about despite the AG withholding documents. In Washington, Grover Norquist and Tom Delay hatched the K-Street Project, to enhance ties between the GOP and lobbyists, leading to corporate authorship of regulatory legislation and creating the conditions under which Jack Abramoff sold influence on the Hill, most notably through his bribes of Ohio Congressman Bob Ney. William "The Freezer" Jefferson was corrupt, but he went it alone, not with a network of corrupt Dems. Marc "The Brotherhood of" Dann hired his unqualified friends to run rampant in, around, and over the AG's office and greater Franklin County. His network of insulation turned out to be about five people in Mahoning County.

A Culture of Corruption takes years to develop, usually in the context of single-party rule. This happened in Ohio and in the GOP during the first half of this decade. It has certainly happened before in Democratic strongholds like the first Daley in Chicago or Tammany Hall in NY. But it is not going on at this time in Columbus or D.C. Although I'm hopeful that it won't, it could happen by, say, 2012. Until then, it should be remembered that individual cases of corruption that don't spread between officials and are prosecuted without partisan resistance are not elements of a culture.

The only possibility of this changing that I see would be if it turns out that there is any truth to the rumors about money and influence from gaming interests in Dann's office. That's the type of lobbying network that could snag multiple officials. I'm betting against it (ha-ha), but I'm willing to wait and see.

2) Cynthia Ruccia. I'm done discussing Clinton Supporters Count, Too, but there are some in the blogosphere who are having a hard time finding Ms. Ruccia's Dem bona fides. Besides being a Gold-Level member of the FCDP (defined by financial support of the party), you can find her on the Executive Committee by using the Wayback Machine.

3) Ohio Daily Blog got credentials to cover the Democratic National Convention from the floor. Buckeye State Blog, therefore, did not (the DNC promised one slot per state). What this means is that one of Ohio's long-running, highly trafficked, and frequently updated left-leaning blogs was chosen over one of Ohio's other long-running, highly trafficked, frequently updated left-leaning blogs. For some, this is a problem because they thought that some automatic formula such as 2*Technorati Authority / Alexa Rank2 * months in existence + number of politics posts = credential score. When they found out that it wasn't just some arbitrary formula, and that the deciding factor among long-running, highly trafficked, frequently updated left-leaning blogs involved politics, they were astounded. How could a decision where a Political Party is picking a Political Blog to cover a Political Convention involve even a hint of Politics? It's an outrage!!

I like both blogs, and have posted at both. I was a bit surprised myself that ODB got the nod over BSB. But I think it makes sense, and all the talk from supporters of BSB getting Rogered or Jacked or Jobbed is some of the whiniest-ass crap I've heard from Dems in a long time.

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