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Republican Family Values Politicians
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reuters report "Merv Griffin died a closeted homosexual"

Gay reporter Rex Wockner just forwarded this story. Rex doesn't think there's every been a mainstream-media headline quite like this before. I think he's right. Why does it matter that Merv Griffin was gay? Because it matters. Meaning, if Merv could marry, and if bashing Merv weren't one of the top planks of the platform of the Republican party, then Merv being gay would be as significant as his ethnicity - an interesting side note. But being gay isn't just a side note in America today. It's still a source of great prejudice, particularly political prejudice from Republicans (or at least the far-right extremists who currently run the Republican party). So until America treats gay men and lesbians with the same respect that it accords other Americans, Merv Griffin sexual orientation will remain relevant.


NOTE FROM PAM: There's a lot more to this story, which I've been covering over at my pad. The editors at the Hollywood Reporter spent a lot of energy fretting over Richmond's piece, which confirmed the impresario's orientation -- he had worked with Merv on his talk show and it was common knowledge that Griffin was gay. Discussing this in print, even after the mogul passed away, obviously raised the ire of industry heavy hitters (and likely advertisers) and the Hollywood Reporter pulled the piece, without explanation yesterday, and it disappeared from Richmond's site as well.

Reuters, by the way, ran it, as well as other outlets, but the news service was also pressured, later adding a disclaimer tag to the story:

"This was a story from The Hollywood Reporter that ran as part of a Reuters news feed. We have dropped the story from our entertainment news feed as it did not meet our standards for news. GBU Editor"

What standard for news did Richmond's piece not meet? Someone at Reuters had already given it the thumbs up, so it must have passed those heralded standards before the irate calls came. That's scandalous on its own.

You'd think the matter of an obit about or reminiscence of a public figure wouldn't generate all this brouhaha, but that's what happens when the world outside of the closet is so frightening to people in Hollywood that all sorts of insane measures are taken to reinforce the message is that there is something inherently wrong with being gay.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Franklin official charged in assault
Sam LaGrone, Staff Writer
Correction: A story in some editions of the City & State section Friday incorrectly said a Wendell man had been arrested and charged with possessing drug paraphernalia. The suspect, part of a group arrested because of a 911 call from a boat in the Pamlico Sound, is Robert Christopher Zimmerman, 38, of Knightdale.

Franklin County commissioner Harry Foy is charged with assaulting a female and drug possession.

A Franklin County commissioner was arrested late Wednesday on charges of drug possession and assault after a 911 call was placed from a boat in the Pamlico Sound, authorities said.

Harry Lee Foy Jr. of Spring Hope was charged with one count of assault on a female, possession of less than half an once of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, said Dare County Sheriff Rodney Midgett.

Sheriff's deputies received the 911 call from the alleged assault victim while she, Foy and two others were on a 25-foot boat three miles off shore of the Outer Banks town of Hatteras, Midgett said.

The sheriff's department asked the Coast Guard to intercept the boat and bring the passengers to shore, Midgett said.

Once there, Dare County authorities arrested all on board, including Laurie Bowemper of Spring Hope, who made the call.

Bowemper and Bobby Taylor of Baily were charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Robert Zimmerman of Wendell was charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.

Foy was released early Thursday morning on a $2,000 bond. He could not be reached Thursday for comment.

Foy is a Republican at-large member of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.

Staff writer Sam LaGrone can be reached at 836-4951 or sam.lagrone@newsobserver.com .
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wash. prosecutor's sexual relations raise ethical questions

CHEHALIS, Wash. -- The tomcatting of the elected prosecutor in this conservative rural town has jeopardized as many as four cases brought by his office and prompted a complaint to the state bar association.

Liam Michael Golden, a Republican who ran unopposed for Lewis County prosecutor last November, is facing allegations that he did not properly disclose past sexual relationships with the mother of a victim in one case and the mother of a defendant in another. His office also charged someone with cyberstalking a woman Golden had slept with, though Golden recently turned that case over to a prosecutor from neighboring Thurston County.

The fourth case involves a 16-year-old boy charged this month with providing drugs to the mayor's 20-year-old son, leading to his fatal overdose. Some locals have questioned why any charge was brought in that case and suggested it was timed to deflect bad press.

Golden, a divorced father of two, concedes the relationships but denies any impropriety in his handling of the cases. The Washington State Bar Association is reviewing a complaint made against him. His chief criminal deputy, Jason Richards, could also be in trouble for handling plea negotiations with a juvenile arson defendant knowing that Golden had slept with the boy's mother, court documents show.

The accusations have dumbfounded people in Lewis County, a timber-and-agriculture region that's still reeling from another titillating controversy last year. Patti Prouty, a county administrator, was fired after exchanging racy text messages with on-duty law enforcement officials - including the police chief in nearby Napavine. Turns out Prouty also figures in the current scandal.

"Mike's got a lot of explaining to do," said Mark Anders, chairman of the county Republican Party. "I have some heartburn about him having affairs here, there and yonder, just from a personal moral standpoint. But in this post-Clintonian era, your personal life is your personal life, and you have to ask, 'Well, was it legal? Was it ethical?'"

Early this month, one of Golden's deputies charged a woman with sending Prouty harassing e-mails late last year. The deputy, Jonathan Richardson, says he didn't speak with Golden before filing the charge. Once Golden learned of it, he had the case transferred to a Thurston County deputy prosecutor because of Prouty's "past involvement" with Lewis County.

Golden said last week that he and Prouty had a brief affair about two years ago. But Prouty denied the affair to local reporters this week.

Anders and a retired Lewis County prosecutor, Jeremy Randolph, say Golden's conduct reflects poorly on the office, and several defense attorneys and a law professor say it's ethically troublesome.

Early this year, Golden's office prosecuted a 16-year-old boy arrested for investigation of arson. From shortly after his November election until the boy was arrested in January, Golden dated the boy's mother, Kristine Wallace, who had worked on his campaign. Golden never disclosed the relationship, and Wallace didn't tell her son's attorney, Jonathan Meyer, until after the boy pleaded guilty in juvenile court.

In a sworn declaration filed in Lewis County Superior Court, Wallace said Golden persuaded her to relate discussions with her son's attorney.

"I allowed my feelings for a man to distort my commitment to my child and cause me to do things and say things that destroyed his chances at justice," Wallace wrote.

She said that she and Golden exchanged text messages frequently about her son's court appearances and about meetings with Meyer. With her affidavit she filed pictures of text messages from Golden's cell phone number, including one that read, "This was not taken lightly and he is lucky to avoid adult court" - a statement that could be construed as dissuading her son from fighting the charge or from seeking to withdraw his guilty plea. The boy has not been sentenced.

"That's way inappropriate," said Seattle University Law School ethics professor John Strait. "One, he's giving legal advice to someone he doesn't represent. And if he's using her as a conduit to get to the defense, that's major misconduct."

Strait added that he believed Golden handled the cyberstalking case properly by having it transferred.

Meyer has asked a judge to dismiss the arson case and is seeking phone records that could shed more light on the extent of the communication between Golden and Wallace.

Meanwhile, Wallace has filed a complaint with the Washington State Bar Association. Golden responded by writing that he ended the relationship when the boy was arrested and disclosed the relationship to his chief criminal deputy. His text messages to the boy's mother "consisted of my civil responses to her communications to me," he wrote.

In a telephone interview, Golden denied using Wallace to gather information about the defense and said he never shared information about the case with his deputy prosecutors.

"I believe that ultimately, when all is heard, it will be determined that I acted appropriately," Golden said. "The allegation seems to be that I hide these things. That seems to be not true."

Wallace's complaint also raised the case of David Brosius, convicted in June of failing to register as a sex offender. Golden personally handled the case, but failed to disclose that he had dated the mother of a girl Brosius had been accused of molesting. Brosius' lawyer, Don Blair, who was trounced by Golden in the Republican primary, is seeking to have the conviction thrown out.

Richards, the chief criminal deputy, said he kept his boss apprised of developments in the case but that Golden made no decisions about it.

"That didn't have any bearing to me at all regarding what the ultimate outcome of the case was," Richards said. "I knew there had been a dating relationship, and I just knew Mr. Golden said, 'I don't want to be associated with the case.' The allegations against the defendant were supported by his confession, and the plea agreement was a standard plea agreement."

Meyer and Douglas Hiatt, a Seattle attorney who represents the boy accused of providing drugs to the mayor's son, said Richards had a duty to report his boss's affair and said they expected a bar complaint to be filed against him.

Hiatt also said he will seek to have the charge against his client thrown out, saying the charge appears to have been politically motivated to deflect attention from the Golden controversy. The death occurred about 11 months before the charge was filed; Golden says it took so long because of staff changes in his office, and nothing but the facts of the case were considered in the charging decision.

Anders, the GOP chairman, said he was stunned by the charge and more so by its timing. The sum of the allegations doesn't look good for Golden, he said.

"If the Supreme Court" - which handles lawyer discipline - "comes in and says 'no harm, no foul,' we'll see some gossip tongues wagging and it will have no real effect on Michael doing his job," Anders said. "But as more and more of this stuff comes out, any prospects for his reelection are rapidly fading."
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This wife beater is not a t-shirt
November 15, 2006

More GOP family values; pull out the tiny violin for a pol in Minnesota.

Apparently Rep. Mark Olson shoved his wife to the ground several times, leaving bruises, which were observed by sheriff's deputies called to the home at the time of the incident.

With a Bible in his hand and looking haggard from two nights behind bars, Rep. Mark Olson, R-Big Lake, walked out of the Sherburne County jail Tuesday seeking forgiveness from his wife, the public and God after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault after an incident Sunday at his home.

Olson, 51, who was just elected to his eighth term in the Legislature, stopped short of acknowledging guilt for the charges.

"I have failed terribly in my family affairs. I'm grateful for my wife's strength to speak up. First of all I need God's forgiveness and I need my wife's forgiveness and my family's. Then I need the public's forgiveness and all other officials I've done harm to." Olson was released without bail. He was ordered to stay away from his wife and children and from their home.

Olsen said he has not considered resigning.
There's audio of this sad sack begging for forgiveness in front of reporters. Perhaps he should have though about anger management and responsibility before he worked over his spouse.

Fun fact: Mark Olson is also listed in the Minnesota Young Republicans' Hall of Fame.

For more on this, including copies of the police report, head over to Dump Mark Olson.

Heidi Olson Tells Her Side of the Story-see video.
Heidi Olson Challenges Rep. Mark Olson's Allegations of Abuse
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Heidi Olson at last gets to tell her side of the story to Bob Grawey in the Star News.

The popular board game Monopoly turned out to be the breaking point for Rep. Mark Olson and his wife, Heidi. The game was meant as an occasion for Olson to bond with Heidi’s 13-year-old son who has autism. Instead, it turned into the event that ultimately led to Olson’s arrest and trial for domestic assault.

How could a simple board game lead to such a devastating end? Answers can be found in looking closer at family dynamics that led to the Nov. 12, 2006, incident in which Heidi says Olson threw her to the ground three times.

.... because Rep. Mark Olson is way into rules :

Even though marriage started out on a happy note for the couple, it did not take long for things to sour. For Olson, a first-time marriage at 48 years old included being a parent for the first time to five children, one of them with autism.

Coupled with these dynamics, Heidi says Olson’s biblical interpretation of Scripture became a major source of contention in their home and marriage.
Heidi maintains Olson’s biblical interpretation of the man being the head of the home meant that Olson has total control of everything in the home, and that her role was to merely support whatever decisions he made.

The biggest conflict, she says, was about parenting issues, discipline in particular. She adds that Olson did not feel she responded quickly enough or hard enough in disciplining her kids.

“My opinions regarding raising children, or how I felt something should be done, were not going to be listened to,” Heidi says. “He had an idea of how it should be done, and he really wanted it to be done that way.”

At first Heidi went along with the way Olson wanted things, but when she saw how harsh things became, she says she wanted to regroup and tell him his ideas of running a family and a marriage were not working for her. He would not concede, though.

“He saw any input I wanted to have on disciplining my own children—my biological children—as being disrespectful to him,” Heidi says.

Olson conducted family life much like politics, Heidi contends. She says the politician, husband and father saw issues as black or white, right or wrong. But politics did not work in a blended family situation, she says in which diplomacy and compromise was needed.

Olson’s harsh disposition was particularly egregious concerning Heidi’s autistic son. When the boy would make a mistake about something, Heidi says Olson would not overlook the error even though it might be petty.

Such was the case when Olson was playing Monopoly with the 13-year-old.

“My son with autism had paid the wrong price for a hotel,” Heidi recalls, “and because Mark deals with everything as either right or wrong, he had to correct him on the price of the hotel. It became an issue and I received a call from my son saying ‘Mark just won’t let it go. I don’t know what to do.’”

Heidi instructed her son to stop playing the game and go to his room and read a book, or he could apologize for paying the wrong price and continue playing the game. The boy apologized and continued playing, but apparently Olson would not let it go.

“My son started hitting himself because he became so frustrated with Mark, and he thought Mark was harassing him,” Heidi says. “So he started hitting himself in the head, and hitting at Mark.”

Several days passed since the incident, and whenever Heidi tried talking to Olson about how her son needed to be handled, he refused to talk about it.

“These kinds of kids have a quicker breaking point than most other kids,” Heidi explains. “You just don’t harass them about stuff that isn’t a big deal. You learn how to talk to them.”

... but she soon learned that Rep. Mark Olson has a quicker breaking point Olson’s arrest:

Heidi was still upset that Olson would not discuss the Monopoly game incident with her, and days later when he arrived at the house to take measurements for a new garage, she told him to leave. When he tried to enter the house, she stood in the doorway blocking his entry, refusing to move. Heidi says he then threw her to the ground and jumped on top of her.

“I did not scuffle with him,” Heidi claims. “I stood there with my arms crossed. His sweater did get ripped, though, when I tried to grab hold of something as he threw me down.”

It was this same incident that Olson allegedly said, “You’ve taken everything from me. I have nothing to lose,” according to Heidi.

Heidi says Olson was referring to his belief that she had not allowed him to be the head of the house he believed was his biblical right.

The physical conflict worsened. Olson threw Heidi down a second time, and after yet another show of force from Olson sent her to the floor, Heidi felt she had to escape.

“The third time he threw me to the ground, and when he started saying he “didn’t have anything to lose” and “come over here and let me finish you off,” then I became afraid of him,” Heidi says.

She ran back into the house to get away from him, according to her account of the physical assault. This incident was the basis for court proceedings conjecture during Olson’s trial, detailing a marriage that had gone bad.

Rather than calling 911, though, Heidi called her sisters and Olson’s brother. Heidi was afraid Olson might take his own life after driving down a path leading into the woods, particularly after saying he had nothing to lose.

While Olson’s brother tried talking to him, one of Heidi’s sisters called 911. It was the fourth separate occasion Olson had forcefully thrown Heidi down She says, though, that he never hit her.

Through all the marital conflicts, Heidi says she and Olson sought marriage counseling three times and pastoral counseling twice. She also asked for help from both of the couple’s families in attempts to get answers to their marital issues.

...Heidi considers herself a political scapegoat...

When Olson was arrested and standing trial for two counts of misdemeanor domestic assault, Heidi says things became even more unbearable. She feels Olson’s efforts to save his political career hinged on making her seem like the abuser instead of the victim.

“The trial was really all about vilifying me to get Mark off,” Heidi claims.

What hurt Heidi and her children the most, though, she claims, was Olson’s allegations that her autistic son abused him, and that he was afraid of the 13-year-old boy.

“How far do you need to go to save your job?” Heidi states. “Who do you need to sacrifice?”

The marriage to Olson and the trial that ensued was hard on Heidi’s five children as well. Heidi says her two youngest kids are in counseling because of the ordeal.

... the story ends with Heidi's strugle with divorce and forgiveness...

Even though the couple’s divorce is imminent, Olson has stated publicly that he wants to reconcile their marriage. But Heidi will have nothing to do with the notion.

“He totally crossed the line at the trial when he said I have the potential to kill him in his sleep,” Heidi says, and that he was afraid. I would never reconcile with Mark.”

Though Heidi says she still loves Olson and will miss some things about him, she will not put herself or her children through another hurtful or abusive situation.

Questioned about her public claim of forgiveness for Olson, Heidi admits she is still working on it.

“I can forgive him, but it doesn’t mean I have to invite him back into my home,” Heidi says. “Forgiveness for me means letting go of the need to punish him. It’s going to be more of a journey than an event.”

... Heidi Olson and her family seem like nice people. Too nice to be subjected to Rep. Mark Olson's abuse. But, there are a lot of nice people out there who have to put up with Rep. Mark Olson's abuse... like elected representatives who will have to figure out a way to keep the Minnesota's bridges from falling down and killing people. How easy will that be with Rep. MArk Olson ranting about Global Warming and Personal Rapid Transit?

It doesn't look like the Republicans will be able to kick Olson out of the legislature in the next session.... unless nice people... people who know about Rep. Mark Olson's promotion of PRT and other snarky activities come forward and tell their stories too.

If you have a story, the comments are open and my e-mail address is up at the top.

Ken Avidor blogs about Rep. Mark Olson, Personal Rapid Transit and other snary stuff.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If John McCain is so interested in stopping child sexual exploitation then let's start in Congress! Mark Foley was a Congressman for eleven years and we have only seen a few emails Foley sent to young male pages. Is that all there is? Eleven years and two emails? We need all emails from the last eleven years in Congress released to the public and investigators to see if Foley victimized other young boys! How do we know if there isn't a Republican pedophile ring in the Congress?

So let's help out old John McCain and have a real investigation of Congress, not just one week of news headlines of two emails released and that galoot, Dennis Hastert, lumbering, mumbling assurances that the issue has been resolved. If this law is good enough for all Americans, it should be good enough for Congress. Congress needs to set the example and prove that there isn't rampant child abuse in Congress by government employees and powerful politicians before they start surveillance on we the people.
John McCain’s War On Blogs

McCainJohn McCain has made clear that he doesn’t like the blogosphere.

Now he has introduced legislation that would treat blogs like Internet service providers and hold them responsible for all activity in the comments sections and user profiles. Some highlights of the legislation:

– Commercial websites and personal blogs “would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000.”

– Internet service providers (ISPs) are already required to issue such reports, but under McCain’s legislation, bloggers with comment sections may face “even stiffer penalties” than ISPs.

— Social networking sites will be forced to take “effective measures” — such as deleting user profiles — to remove any website that is “associated” with a sex offender. Sites may include not only Facebook and MySpace, but also Amazon.com, which permits author profiles and personal lists, and blogs like DailyKos, which allows users to sign up for personal diaries.

Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that this proposal may be based more “on fear or political considerations rather than on the facts.” When he introduced his legislation to the Senate, McCain offered no evidence that children are being victimized by people who post comments on blogs.

McCain’s legislation could deal a serious blow to the blogosphere. Lacking resources to police their sites, many individual blogs may have to shut down open discussion.

Foley stonewalling over access to Congressional computer
by Pam Spaulding

Mark Foley is on the hot seat because investigators want a peek at the former congressman's computer. Under Florida law, the age of consent is 18, and some of Foley's ham-handed, lurid online IM pickup lines to pages would be considered a crime if the intent was to seduce the minor. The problem is that neither Foley nor the House will allow access to the computers. (CF News):

Florida's top police agency said Wednesday its investigation into former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley's lurid Internet communications with teenage boys has been hindered because neither Foley nor the House will let investigators examine his congressional computers.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says it hopes to conclude its investigation next week. Foley, a Florida Republican, resigned from Congress on Sept. 29 after being confronted with the computer messages he sent to male teenage pages who had worked on Capitol Hill.

"We have requested to review federally owned computers that Mr. Foley used during his time as a representative, but the U.S. House of Representatives ... cited case law restrictions that prohibited them from releasing those computers," said Heather Smith, an FDLE spokeswoman.

Smith said that the House claims the computers are considered congressional work papers, and that only Foley can release them for review.

...After his resignation, Foley checked himself into an Arizona facility for what his attorneys said was treatment of "alcoholism and other behavioral problems." At the time, his attorney said Foley was gay, an alcoholic and had been molested by a priest as a teenage altar boy in Florida.

Investigators have contacted the Committee on House Administration and the House general counsel -- none of the calls have been returned.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former aide to GOP officials arrested in prostitution sting
August 15, 2007

Tim Droogsma, a former press secretary to a U.S. senator and a Minnesota governor, was arrested Tuesday in a midafternoon prostitution sting on St. Paul's East Side.

Tim Droogsma, a former press secretary to a U.S. senator and a Minnesota governor, was arrested Tuesday in a midafternoon prostitution sting on St. Paul's East Side.

He allegedly arranged a deal for sex from an undercover officer through Craig's List, police spokesman Tom Walsh said Wednesday.

Authorities cited Droogsma, 50, of Red Wing, on a misdemeanor charge of engaging in prostitution and jailed him for about 12 hours before releasing him on his own recognizance early Wednesday.

He denies the allegation.

Droogsma was a spokesman for Sen. Rudy Boschwitz in the late 1980s and Gov. Arne Carlson in the early 1990s. Recently, he publicly supported a candidate seeking to replace state Rep. Steve Sviggum. All three elected officials were Republicans.

Asked Wednesday about his arrest, Droogsma wrote in an e-mail: "Obviously, I'm deeply embarrassed by this allegation, which is not true and which is the result of a severe misunderstanding, and I look forward to making my case in court."

He declined to explain the misunderstanding.

Droogsma was one of about a half-dozen men arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly engaging in prostitution on the East Side.

Because police plan to continue the sting, Walsh declined to give specifics about Droogsma's arrest.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larry Craig has been screwing around with pages since 1982! All of the Reagan Era of family values, all of the Bush 1 and 2 eras.
What will Mitt say about Larry Craig?
by Pam Spaulding

Larry Craig, up until a short while ago, served as a co-senate liaison for the Mitt Romney campaign. Here is what a Mitt mouthpiece, Matt Rhoades, announced.

"Senator Craig has stepped down from his role with the campaign. He did not want to be a distraction and we accept his decision."

Sidney Smith, a Craig aide in Boise, said Monday afternoon that the senator was "in the (Boise) area" but was declining to give interviews.

Mitt's campaign is backing away as fast as it can from the potty-sex Senator. Take a look at Mitt's YouTube page scrub job. He had a video of Craig lauding the former Massachusetts governor, but you can no longer play the video. Click the link on the page -- it goes nowhere. And look at the direct YouTube page.

*What a blast from the past -- a vintage Larry Craig denial:
ABC News report from 1982 -- Rep. Larry Craig issues a preemptive denial regarding any involvement in a congressional sex and drug scandal.

Idaho's Larry Craig on the issues:

* Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)

Craig has a 0% rating in HRC's 2006 Congressional Scorecard.
Meet the Press January 24, 1999, Sunday 9:00 AM

MR. RUSSERT: Larry Craig, would you want the last word from the Senate be an acquittal of the president and no censure?

SEN. CRAIG: Well, I don’t know where the Senate’s going to be on that issue of an up or down vote on impeachment, but I will tell you that the Senate certainly can bring about a censure reslution and it’s a slap on the wrist. It’s a, “Bad boy, Bill Clinton. You’re a naughty boy.”

The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughtyboy.

I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.

The question issue now is simply this: Did he lie under oath? Did he perjure himself and did he obstruct justice? And that’s where we’re trying to go now in this truth-seeking process. And I hope we can get there. And then I’m going to have the chance to decide and vote up or down on those articles. After we’re through with this impeachment trial, it’s collapsed, it’s gone, then the Senate will make a decision on if it’s a censure or not.

Read the transcript from the 40-year-old man who says he had sex with Craig
Gregory Hahn - ghahn@idahostatesman.com
Edition Date: 08/28/07

A 40-year-old professional man with close ties to Republican officials told the Idaho Statesman he had oral sex with Sen. Larry Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004.

The man spoke to the Statesman on the condition he not be named. He said he was sure it was Craig he had oral sex with but said he had no evidence other than his word.

Craig denied the allegations, and said, "I am not gay and I have never been in a restroom in Union Station having sex with anybody.

"There's a very clear bottom line here," Craig said. "I don't do that kind of thing. I am not gay, and I never have been."

Here is what the man told the Statesman, with some of the details of the men's room encounter edited out:

"Upon walking into Union Station one day, I made eye contact with a well-dressed older gentleman whom I recognized as Sen. Craig. We, after having made eye contact for 30 seconds or so, we began walking towards one of the restrooms in Union Station.

"I followed him in there. We went to the urinals, where we both unzipped ...

"The restroom became busy, too busy to do anything. So we zipped up and then followed each other to the second restroom in Union Station, where we began the same process. And had a -- I also performed fellatio for a very, very short amount of time, as that restroom became busy as well. At that point we both zipped up and left and went on our separate ways.

"Walking time included I would say maybe three minutes, four minutes. Not very long.

"It was unmistakable. I mean, I just recognized him, you know, as being Sen. Craig. I just didn’t have any doubt in my mind that that’s who it was. And when the encounter was over I proceeded to search on the internet and confirm that you know with a picture of him, and sure enough it was him.

"I contacted Mike Rogers via email after having read on his web site he was at that point outing staff members, which I am less comfortable as a gay person outing staff members than people like Sen. Craig who are actually voting on legislation negatively affecting gay people as they are themselves having gay sex.

"I’ve always been interested in politics and probably if you showed me pictures of the hundred senators I could probably name 75 or 80 of them. And that would be true over the last probably 20 years. So, I don’t think it’s unusual that I did recognize him. There’s no doubt in my mind that that’s who it was."

Last edited by antifascist on Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ralph Gonzalez (right) worked as campaign manager for the '03 Orlando mayoral campaign of advertising executive Pete Barr (left). (JULIE FLETCHER, ORLANDO SENTINEL / February 4, 2003)
Murder-Suicide Claims Prominent GOP Strategist; Gaydars Going Wild
by Trish | Aug. 24, 2007,

The Gonzalez crime scene

Ralph Gonzalez, a former executive director of the Georgia GOP while Ralph Reed was its chair, was found shot to death yesterday with two other men in a home he with shared with one of them in Orlando.

Gonzalez was among the three people found inside the home, and their bodies may have been inside since Tuesday, authorities said.

“The third person was the shooter. He shot my son first and then shot David and then killed himself,” Eva Gonzalez said.

A prominent Republican Party consultant is one of three men found dead in a Central Florida home Thursday in an apparent double murder-suicide possibly sparked by a lovers’ quarrel, according to detectives

The home where the deaths occurred was also listed as the headquarters of the Strategum Group, a Republican consulting firm whose clients include Jack Abramoff-linked U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.).

The other victims were identified as David Abrami and Robert Drake. Gonzalez lived in the home with Abrami, and Drake was a former roommate who was visiting from out of town.

“(It was) horrible. I can’t believe he lied in there, and the more I see all that blood, it was sickening. Why would anybody want to shoot my boy?” Eva Gonzalez said.

The police have an answer for that, Mrs. G. but you might not like it.

A prominent Republican Party consultant is one of three men found dead in a Central Florida home Thursday in an apparent double murder-suicide possibly sparked by a lovers’ quarrel, according to detectives…

“We are working it as a homicide, but there is some early evidence to suggest that this may in fact be a murder-suicide,” Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Allen Lee said.

"Christian Voter Alert"
An attack ad from the Strategum Group’s portfolio

Reed himself, the former head of the
Christian Coalition, also flies under
the gaydar in Republican
conservative circles. If he’s not gay,
he fooled me.

Our sympathy goes out to
family members of the three men,
along with our hope that you will have answers soon and that you will make your peace with whatever they turn out to be.

Three found dead in home of GOP consultant

The address where this crime took place was also the Florida address for The Strategum Group, a political consulting outfit run by a man named Ralph Gonzalez. A portion of Gonzalez’s bio from The Strategum Group’s website:

Prior to founding the Strategum Group, Ralph served at the Republican Party of Florida’s House Campaign Division, as Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party, and is a veteran of dozens of campaigns across Florida, from Mayoral Races to Congressional. He also has international political experience, helping to manage a campaign on the Island of St. Maarten.

Ralph Gonzalez’s national and international political experience, his experience and understanding of the political and legislative process, in conjunction with his unique political instincts, has made him a first class asset to political candidates and organizations.

Ralph was born in Miami, speaks fluent Spanish, and currently resides in Orlando.

Records filed with the Florida Division of Corporations indicated that Gonzalez founded Strategum in 2003 as a domestic profit corporation.

In early 2007 another report filed by Strategum with the state indicated that he had a partner based in Marietta, GA, Todd Schnick. Gonzalez apparently maintained strong Georgia ties, as Republican Congressman Tom Price (disclosure: Rep. Price and I attend the same church in Roswell, GA. - S.H.) could be seen as one of several politicos giving testimonials for Strategum on the Group’s website.

Another testimonial for Strategum was given by controversial Florida Republican Tom Feeney, who represents Florida House District 24. Feeney’s quote on the Group’s site read:

Ralph Gonzalez was a key part of my team at House Campaigns when I was Florida Speaker of the House as well as my congressional race. The team at Strategum Group have been valued advisors on key issues in my district. They are a huge asset to any candidate or organization. There simply is no one better at strategy and analysis. I am proud to work with Ralph and the Strategum Group!

Feeney’s bio on Wikipedia points out that he was once called one of the “20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress” by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Blogger Brad Friedman has also doggedly tracked other possible instances of corruption connected with Feeney.

The Orlando Sentinel indicated that Feeney was not Strategum’s only controversial client:

Last year, Gonzales worked on the campaign of then-state representative Sheri McInvale, who was indicted last week after prosecutors say she fraudulently sought taxpayer reimbursement for a newsletter.

Whatever they did for their clients, Strategum was expensive. The Sentinel reported in July of 2005 that one failed candidate for Orlando mayor had paid the consultants $115,000 for “three weeks of work.”

This story is still developing, since the actual identities of the victims are not yet known, and authorities are only considering murder-suicide as one scenario.

Updates will be posted below.

UPDATE 1, 7:15 p.m. ET

Ralph Gonzalez’s career seems to have always put him one degree of separation away from infamous former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

When Ralph Reed was elected chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in 2001 [link], two of the party’s executive directors were Todd Schnick and Ralph Gonzalez. When Gonzalez filed an annual report for Strategum with the State of Florida Division of Corporations in January, 2007, Schnick was listed as one of his business partners. (Note: Todd Schnick is a name that you might remember if you believe the 2000 presidential election was stolen, and that said theft occurred in Florida.)

Ralph Reed has been associated with Abramoff since at least 1981.

Tom Feeney’s connections with Abramoff have been well-documented by Brad Friedman. This link goes to just one example.

Updates will continue as needed.

UPDATE 2, 7:44 p.m. ET

The Orlando Sentinel has confirmed that one of the men found dead in the home in Orlando was indeed former Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party, Ralph Gonzalez.

UPDATE 3, 11:36 p.m. ET

The Orlando Sentinel has reported the names of the other two men found dead in the home at 2420 Hickory Oak Blvd.: Gonzalez’s roommate David Abrami and a friend named Robert Drake.

David J. Abrami
Central Florida News 13 suggested in this article that Drake may have murdered Abrami and Gonzalez before committing suicide.

Abrami, in 1992, was vice president of the Central Florida Young Republican Club. That group made the news in November that year because they’d planned a weekend turkey shoot [link — you’ll need to scroll down to the middle of the page].

In and of itself this wasn’t news. The fact that they wanted to use enlarged photos of then incoming president Bill Clinton as targets was news. The Secret Service, naturally, vetoed the idea.

Abrami also had a MySpace page he’d been maintaining since 2006. His last login was two weeks ago. There wasn’t much there, and only one friend. Had he taken the page down? Does it matter? For all we know, it might.

Another interesting note about David Abrami: according to this article published 10 years ago in the Orlando Business Journal, Abrami at one time was an employee of another Orlando-area politcal consultant/publicist, Doug Guetzloe.

Things must have changed quite a bit in the decade since. Guetzloe made comments here about Strategum and Gonzalez (if they were indeed made by him) in 2006. His attitude seemed to indicate he was no fan of Ralph Gonzalez or The Strategum Group.

UPDATE 4, 8:02 a.m. ET, 8/24/07

Florida Today published an article this morning titled, “Lovers’ fight may have sparked 3 deaths.”

Who the “lovers” were is not clear. Quote:

A Republican Party consultant is one of three men found dead in a Central Florida home Thursday in an apparent double murder-suicide possibly sparked by a lovers’ quarrel, according to detectives.

If said lovers were among the three dead men, no one will miss the irony of Abrami and Gonzalez having ties to conservative Republican campaigns for the last 15 years or more.

UPDATE 5, 11:35 p.m. ET

Thanks to Dave, who posted a link in the comments to David Abrami’s blog.

Abrami mainly documented his travels, including a European trip he took with Ralph Gonzalez in 2006. A portion of an entry Abrami wrote about a visit he an Gonzalez made to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam:

[We] took a taxi to the Anne Frank House. I did not read her diary in school, but Ralph did. It is a moving exhibit. The murder of six million people is something that I cannot comprehend. The murder of one little girl, though, is within my mental grasp. The exhibit does a good job of putting a single human face on the Holocaust. At the end I bought a copy of the Diary.

In another entry, Abrami gave some idea of his perspective throughout his travels in the EU:

For many years I prayed for the death of communism, rejoiced when it finally died, and then read about the post-communism adjustments. It was interesting to see these countries first-hand. I look forward to going back.

An article published Friday night by WFTV, a Florida station, contained an interesting statement about the suspected killer, 30-year-old Robert Jason Drake:

Drake’s grieving aunt, who asked not to be identified, told Eyewitness News he lived with her and his uncle for six months in an east Orlando neighborhood. He did tile work for his uncle after spending four years in the Marine Corps. But, six weeks ago, Jason told them he was having problems with a friend and was going to kill them…

Six weeks ago?? Did Drake habitually threaten to kill people but never follow through? This story is strange enough already without some of the conspiracy-laden theorizing already being applied to it in the political blogosphere.

Last edited by antifascist on Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Richard George "Rick" Renzi (born June 11, 1958) is an American politician and has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 2003, representing Arizona's 1st congressional district.

Renzi is currently under federal investigation for his involvement in a land-swap deal. On April 19, 2007, the FBI raided his family business, and he temporarily resigned from the House Intelligence Committee. On April 27 Renzi denied printed claims he was considering resigning office; however, on August 23, Renzi announced he would not be a candidate for re-election in 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Republican arrested for "oral sodomy." I 'm not going to ask what that could be. Another nasty, bad, naughty Republican boy.

Jon Clifton Hinson (March 16, 1942 - July 21, 1995) was a politician from the state of Mississippi.

Hinson was born in Tylertown, Mississippi, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Hinson was an aide to Representatives Charles Griffin, Democrat, and Thad Cochran, Republican. Hinson was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican in 1978, rising from relative obscurity when he was 36. Cochran vacated the seat because he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

During his re-election campaign in 1980, Hinson admitted that he had been arrested for committing an obscene act, exposing himself to an undercover policeman, at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Hinson denied that he was homosexual and blamed his problems on alcoholism. He said that he had reformed and refused to yield to demands that he resign. He won re-election with 39% of the vote because an independent candidate split the Democrat vote.[citation needed]

Hinson, who was married to Cynthia Hinson, was then arrested on February 4, 1981 and was charged with attempted oral sodomy[1] for performing oral sex on a male employee of the Library of Congress in the restroom of the House of Representatives. He resigned on April 13, 1981, early in his second term. He said that his resignation had been "the most painful and difficult decision of my life." He was succeeded in Congress by Wayne Dowdy, a Democrat, who won the special election held in the summer of 1981.

Soon afterwards, he acknowledged that he was homosexual. His marriage ended, and he became an activist for homosexual causes.

He later helped to organize the lobbying group "Virginians for Justice" and fought against the ban on gays in the military. He also was a founding member of the Fairfax Lesbian and Gay Citizens Association in Fairfax County.

He never returned to Mississippi but lived quietly in the Washington area, first in Alexandria, Virginia and then Silver Spring.

Hinson also disclosed that he survived a 1977 fire that killed nine people at the Cinema Follies, a Washington theater that catered to a gay clientèle. He was rescued from under a pile of bodies -- one of only four men who survived.

In an article for the Washington Blade, a gay newspaper, Hinson wrote that when first elected to Congress, he was "still closeted and into heavy denial."

Hinson died of respiratory failure resulting from AIDS in Silver Spring, Maryland at the age of 53.

Hinson's body was cremated, and the ashes were buried in Tylertown after a private service. Hinson, by then divorced, was survived by a brother, Robert Hinson, in Gulfport, Mississippi.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


David Timothy Dreier (born July 5, 1952), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since January 1981, representing California's 26th congressional district (map). He was first elected to the U.S. House at age 28 in 1980.

Dreier's sexual orientation

In the fall of 2004, Dreier was "outed" in print by journalist Doug Ireland in an alternative newspaper, L.A. Weekly, in its issue of September 24–September 30, 2004. The L.A. Weekly reported that Dreier has had a romantic relationship with his longtime chief of staff Brad W. Smith, who collects a $156,600 government salary. Smith collects the highest possible salary allowed by law for a committee staff member and is reportedly the highest-paid chief of staff working for any House of Representatives committee chair. ("By comparison," wrote Ireland, "the chief of staff to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee makes $126,000, while the chief of staff to the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee makes just $100,696.")

The "outing" was a result of Dreier coming under increasing scrutiny from gay rights groups because of what they characterize as an anti-gay voting record in Congress, which includes support of the Defense of Marriage Act (signed by Bill Clinton), as well as votes against gay adoption, and against inclusion of homosexuality as a protected status in hate crime and employment discrimination legislation. As with all "outings" of allegedly anti-gay politicians, the question has arisen as to whether, if the rumors are true, the politician's record reflects hypocrisy, or whether the sexual orientation of politicians is an irrelevant private matter and the "anti-gay" votes merely reflected the wishes of constituents.

Dreier's 1998 and 2000 Democratic opponent, Janice Nelson, alleged that his relationship with Smith had been an open secret for many years. His 2004 opponent, Cynthia Matthews, came out of the closet and demanded that Dreier do the same. Dreier did not publicly respond to these charges, which were discussed on local radio programs in his district. At the time, the mainstream U.S. print media did not cover the story (although the controversy was later, in June 2005, addressed in the British press after it was announced that British prime minister Tony Blair's son Euan would work as an unpaid intern for Dreier's committee during the summer of 2005).

In the midst of the controversy, Dreier voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment on September 30, 2004. He explained his opposition to the amendment by stating that he felt the Constitution was not the appropriate tool for restricting rights. He also has voted against the Flag Desecration Amendment.

Dreier has yet to comment on his sexual orientation.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hague has habit of blaming others

King County Councilwoman Jane Hague's recent arrest on a drunken-driving charge wasn't the first time she has blamed others after finding herself in trouble.

In 2001, when the car Hague was driving collided with a Metro bus in downtown Seattle, the bus driver -- a county employee -- said in a written report that she told him it was his fault. When he disagreed -- and witnesses later confirmed his account of the collision -- Hague reportedly said to him, "Do you know that I'm your King County councilwoman?"

In 1999, when the King County ombudsman found Hague had violated the county ethics code in 1997, she blamed it on bad advice from the council's attorney -- who flatly denied that she had ever asked for such advice or that he had given it to her. Several other council members were indignant that Hague tried to blame the lawyer.

And when she was arrested on the drunken-driving charge in Bellevue on June 2 -- in an incident that wasn't publicly known until Aug. 21, -- an obscenity-spewing Hague reportedly blamed the arrest on her husband, Ed Springman. He was a passenger in her Mercedes convertible.

A state trooper said in a written report that Hague, 61, "became irate and (used) expletives" and "said it was her husband's fault that she was in the back of a patrol car and being treated like a criminal, and her husband would have to find the best attorney" for her.

When the officer suggested she could speak to a public defender if her husband -- a wealthy Eastside developer -- couldn't find her one, Hague reportedly "stated she would not talk to any second-rate attorney."

A separate report written by a county sheriff's deputy who arrested her said she declared in a slurred voice that he was wasting his time. He said she exclaimed, "This is f---- ridiculous, don't you have rapists to take off the street?"

After she failed several roadside sobriety tests and the deputy transferred custody of the handcuffed councilwoman to the state trooper, the deputy's report said she complained, "This is f---- ridiculous, I don't need handcuffs."

The trooper's report said Hague questioned his qualifications to administer blood-alcohol tests, on which she had readings of 0.135 and 0.141, well above 0.08, the statutory definition of intoxication. He wrote, "Several times (Hague) stated I should be out looking for real criminals, and sarcastically stated that my mother must be proud of me."

Hague, a Republican running for re-election, was in Arizona on Monday on a vacation hike through the Grand Canyon, a staff aide said. Her attorney, Doug Cowan, while declining to go into specifics, implied that Hague disputes the arresting officers' version of events.

"There are two sides to the story, and we will be telling ours at the appropriate time," he said. Hague has pleaded not guilty.

Brett Bader, Hague's political consultant, said any suggestion of a pattern of behavior in her current and previous problems "is nothing more than an effort by her political opponents to take advantage of an unfortunate situation, which she regrets, for their own political gain."

None of Hague's "political opponents," however, made such a suggestion to the Seattle P-I.

"The fact is, Jane is tough, and she gets results," Bader said. "I would suggest that these attributes in a male would be praised while female officeholders are still subjected to a double standard."

At the time of the 2001 bus collision, Hague claimed that the bus hit her car when she made a right turn. The Metro driver, however, said the councilwoman's sport utility vehicle pulled out and drove into the side of his bus. Several witnesses, including an off-duty police officer, agreed with his account.

Hague later denied the driver's assertion that she had tried to pull rank by mentioning her office and said, "Anyone who knows me knows I am not like that."

The 1999 ethics violation stemmed from Hague's raising of $29,555 -- mostly corporate and lobbyist donations -- to finance her successful campaign for second vice president of the National Association of Counties.

Duncan Fowler, then the ombudsman, said Hague violated the ethics code, which bars a county official from accepting gifts from parties having business before the county. He didn't fine her, because he believed the violation was unintentional.

Hague said council attorney Jim Brewer advised her on the matter beforehand. But Brewer said the issue of fundraising never came up in their conversation and he didn't know she intended to seek money from private parties. Several council members said Brewer always emphasized that they must never accept gifts from anyone doing business with the county.

The fact that Hague's latest embarrassment didn't become public for 2 1/2 months has raised Democrats' suspicions that it somehow was kept quiet until after the candidate filing period the week after Hague's arrest.

Her Eastside 6th District now leans Democratic, but no credible Democrat filed against her because she has been popular there and has $240,000 in her campaign fund. Her only opponent is Richard Pope, a perennial candidate who is running as a Democrat but has run other times as a Republican. Embarrassed Democratic leaders aren't supporting him.

State Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz said he had "strong Democrats who were thinking of running against Jane Hague, and it was difficult for them to make that decision (not to run). But certainly if the public had known about this DUI in a more timely fashion, Richard Pope would not be our candidate right now."

Interim county prosecutor Dan Satterberg, a Republican running for election, said the deputy prosecutor who handled the case in King County District Court in Redmond was new to the office and to the Seattle area, and the name "Jane Hague Springman" didn't ring a bell.

Satterberg said nobody else in the prosecutor's office, including himself, was aware of the arrest until news media started making inquiries Aug. 21. The arrest report didn't state Hague's occupation.

Asked what he would have done if he had known Hague had been arrested, Satterberg said, "An elected official? That's an easy one. We would notify the press because that's a different category of citizen. That's someone who has been entrusted by the people with a certain amount of power."
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan will remain free during second appeal
By Michael Higgins | Tribune staff reporter
August 21, 2007

Former Gov. George Ryan will remain free while he pursues a second appeal of his sweeping fraud and corruption convictions, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late this afternoon.

In a crushing legal blow to the former governor earlier today, a three-judge panel from the appeals court denied Ryan's initial appeal 2-1. The judges found that Ryan received a fair trial last year despite a series of juror controversies.

Though Ryan had been allowed to remain free pending that appeal, the court had warned that Ryan and co-defendant Lawrence Warner would have to report to prison within 72 hours if they lost it. Ryan faces a 6 1/2 -year prison sentence.

This afternoon, however, the court stayed that order, finding that Ryan could remain free while a second appeal plays out. Under this afternoon's ruling, Ryan will remain free until the full 7th Circuit—a group of 11 judges—refuses to hear his case or until the full court hears his case and makes a ruling.

A decision on whether the full court would hear Ryan's case could take about six to eight weeks, and a ruling on the case could take until December or January, according to Joel Bertocchi, an attorney who specializes in appellate law...

In its decision this morning, the three-judge panel found that U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer acted within her authority when she replaced the jurors after the Tribune revealed they had failed to disclose information about their criminal backgrounds.

"We conclude that the district court handled most problems that arose in an acceptable manner, and that whatever error remained was harmless," Judge Diane Wood wrote for the panel. "We therefore affirm the convictions."

Ryan was convicted in April 2006 on charges that as secretary of state and governor, he doled out sweetheart deals to co-defendant Warner and other friends and used state resources and employees for political gain.

Warner's conviction also was affirmed today. He was sentenced to almost 3 1/2 years in prison.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Republican radio personality Scott Eller Cortelyou of Denver arrested on suspicion of using the Internet to lure a child into a
sexual relationship
Radio personality arrested for Internet luring

FORT COLLINS – A Denver radio personality from KRCN radio 1060 AM was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of using the Internet to lure a child into a sexual relationship.

Fort Collins Police say 53-year-old Scott Eller Cortelyou, host of KRCN’s Business for Breakfast show, was arrested at the radio station in Lakewood around 9 a.m.

Cortelyou had previously worked as a news anchor and business editor for KOA and KHOW AM radio stations in Denver. His radio show, Business for Breakfast has been on the air with Cortelyou for 10 years – two and a half on the Radio Colorado Network and seven years prior to that on KOA Clear Channel.

Cortelyou also maintains the Business for Breakfast Web site.

Ron Nickel, Cortelyou’s boss at Radio Colorado Network says Cortelyou has been a perfect employee for the past two and a half years. Nickel says the radio host was arrested at the studio following his show Tuesday morning.

Police say the investigation into Cortelyou began in August 2006 and is ongoing.

Fort Collins Police transported him to Larimer County Sheriff’s Office where he was booked on Internet luring of a child and Internet sexual exploitation of a child.

Police say they have been working with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office for the past six months on the investigation.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Four More Top GOP Outings Could Be in the Offing
by Jon Ponder | Sep. 4, 2007

In the wake of closeted Sen. Larry Craig’s self-outing in an airport men’s room this summer, Mike Rogers, the Washington-based publisher of blogActive who outed Craig, is threatening to reveal the secret sexual identities of two leading GOP senators, while two allegedly gay Republican congressmen are making headlines and drawing unwelcome attention to themselves, the timing of which could not be worse.

The senators are Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, from Kentucky. More about them below but first let’s look at two allegedly closeted members of the House, representatives Patrick McHenry and David Drier, who have been in the news lately.

Rep. Patrick McHenry’s Connection to Gay Murderer Confirmed

Rep. McHenry was one of the chief spinmeisters sent out by the House GOP leadership to do damage control after the outing of Rep. Mark Foley last year. McHenry was an interesting choice to spin away the leadership’s culpability in enabling Foley’s misbehavior because, like Foley, there have been persistent rumors about McHenry’s sexuality in the capitol and in North Carolina for years.

The rumors came to a boil in May when one of McHenry’s aides — who also shared digs with him — Michael Aaron Lay, 26, was indicted for voter fraud in North Carolina:

The indictment charges that [Lay] illegally cast his ballot in two 2004 Congressional primary run-offs in which McHenry was a candidate. The charges indicate that Lay voted in a district where it was not legal for him to vote.

At the time Lay was listed as a resident in a home owned by 32-year-old McHenry but campaign records indicate Lay’s paychecks were sent to an address in Tennessee. McHenry won the primary by only 86 votes. According to Gaston County, North Carolina District Attorney Locke Bell, Lay was indicted on Monday, May 7 by a local grand jury.

Now McHenry has been connected to the triple murder-suicide in Orlando last month in which the closeted gay former executive director of the Georgia GOP, Ralph Gonzalez, and his straight roommate, David Abrami, were shot by Jason Robert Drake, a gay ex-Marine.

Originally portrayed as a lover’s quarrel among the three men, recently developed particulars of the case have revealed Drake’s entanglement with a murder related to gay prostitution services in the Washington, D.C., area. It has also come to light that Rep. McHenry was an associate of Gonzalez and Gonzalez’ killer:

When I spoke to McHenry’s office about this they at first insisted they never heard of Drake then, confronted with specifics, admitted they know him. They refused to put Congressman McHenry on the phone. There is every indication that McHenry may have been one of the Republican elected officials who was using the services of the gay prostitution agency connected to Drake.

The North Carolina Conservative has more:

Another, more sinister motive [for the triple suicide-murders] has been put forth by several sources, including CrimeBlog.us. Reporters there say that Drake was associated with the owner of a gay escort service in the Virginia Beach area. The owners of that escort service are facing charges that they murdered the owner of a rival company catering to the gay community…

Sources tell The North Carolina Conservative that Drake volunteered on several Republican campaigns in western North Carolina, and was an associate of Congressman Patrick McHenry. Gonzalez is also believed to have been associated with McHenry in the past. Since being elected, McHenry has attempted to insure that all elected officials in his district are his supporters and cronies. This has caused a very nasty political war of attrition in the 10th District. Sources say that Drake worked on these campaigns as a surrogate of McHenry.

Aside from the gay angle, the murders of Gonzalez and Abrami have been tied to a suspicious suicide through Gonzalez’ connection to allegedly corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Florida. Gonzalez also worked with Christian politico Ralph Reed and Sheri McInvale, an indicted state pol in Florida.
Rep. David Dreier Gets Comfy Addressing Colombian Congress

Rep. Dreier, a senior House Republican was outed in 2004, but the public didn’t seem to notice. If he wants to keep it that way, he should avoid making a spectacle of himself, as he did last week in front of the Colombian legislature:

A U.S. congressman said on Thursday he meant no offense when he hoisted himself onto the lectern of Colombia’s lower house to address his Andean colleagues, some of whom were offended or simply amused by the faux pas.

Colombian newspapers carried pictures of Rep. David Dreier, a California Republican, sitting on top of the wooden podium and talking with local legislators on Tuesday while on an official visit…

“I have the highest regard for the Congress of Colombia,” Dreier told reporters in Bogota. “I meant absolutely no offense … I simply wanted to demonstrate my warm feeling and affection.”

Dreier was outed by Doug Ireland, who writes the column Direland in the LA Weekly, who was motivated by Dreier’s perfect record of voting against gay civil rights:

The “outing” was a result of Dreier coming under increasing scrutiny from gay rights groups because of what they characterize as an anti-gay voting record in Congress, which includes support of the Defense of Marriage Act, as well as votes against gay adoption, and against inclusion of homosexuality as a protected status in hate crime and employment discrimination legislation.

When Tom DeLay was removed as House Majority Leader in 2005, Dreier was Speaker Dennis Hastert’s pick to replace DeLay on an interim basis, but other House leaders quashed the move because Dreier is gay. The fact that Dreier is apparently happy to stay in a party that penalizes him because of who he is speaks volumes.
Sen. Lindsey Graham Is on Mike Roger’s List

If it were to come out that McCain’s Mini-Me, Sen. Graham, is gay, his chances of being reelected in South Carolina next year would drop to zero:

Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an unmarried/never married 52 year old with a funny, forced way of walking, has been far more fastidious with his homosexuality [than former Rep. Mark Foley was]. Again, “everyone” knows– except the voters in conservative South Carolina. Not that it doesn’t come up from time to time; people talk. In fact, the head of the Democratic Party in South Carolina said something when the effeminate Lindsey decided to run for Thurmond’s senate seat. “He’s a little too light in the loafers” to succeed Strom Thurmond. Graham got into a really queenie tizzy fit and loudly threatened to sue– although he didn’t. (They never do.)

Other famous never-married GOP figures in their 50s include White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice.
Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Won’t Explain Why He was Expelled from the Army after 10 Days

Minority Leader McConnell has been the object of gay rumors for while, too. In fact, Wonkette has referred to him as “My Old Kentucky Homo.”

Mike Rogers says:

Are the long standing rumors of McConnell’s extra-curricular shower activities in the military true? I believe so, and not just because his office refused to provide me with a copy of his discharge records. I wonder what they are trying to hide.

And Rogers told Counterpunch:

“Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s quick expulsion from the Army –for fondling a private’s privates — is finally being discussed in Kentucky.” He notes that McConnell, discharged after just 10 days in the Army in 1967, “has consistently prevented anyone from seeing his military discharge papers” but a Freedom of Information suit may bring them to light. (After the revelation of Craig’s arrest and confession, McConnell cosigned a statement with other top Republican legislators stating, “This is a serious matter” and indicating he is examining “other aspects of the case to determine if additional action is required.”)

As we noted last week, Republicans painted themselves into this gay corner when they formed their star-crossed coalition with Christian nationalists in 1979. It was never a good fit. Country club Republicans don’t generally care about discussing family values, and going to church is not the central focus of their lives — not hardly.

The GOP could find itself right back where it was after Watergate. Bush and his toadying to the Christian right has driven away the right-leaning independents. Without the support of the poor, dumbass so-called Christians, there aren’t enough country clubbers and anti-taxers out there to win a national election. Status quo circa 1977.

If the secret lives of any of these men are revealed as the election cycle ratchets up, the Christianists could well seek solace in a third party next year, leaving the GOP’s Washington elite literally without a base to stand on.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Republican event organizer quits, citing `lies'
Calling claims against him irrelevant and 'old news,' an organizer for a presidential event in which Rudy Giuliani will be the keynote speaker said he would step down.
Sep. 01, 2007

A St. Petersburg organizer for a Rudy Giuliani presidential event plans to step down amid revelations of his arrests for allegedly extorting an FSU student in a sex case and his conviction for dealing in stolen state computers.

Barry S. Edwards, 45, told The Miami Herald that the charges against him were ''old news'' -- and were 'unfounded' in the student sex case -- but he nevertheless thought it would be best to withdraw from the Pinellas County Republican Party fundraiser because ``I'm not relevant and I shouldn't be the story.''

Edwards said he was not being paid for organizing the Sept. 7 Reagan Day dinner, and had no real connection to the campaign of Giuliani, who is to be the keynote speaker at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg.

Edwards is listed as the events chairman on the invitation for the $100 per ticket dinner.

The two criminal incidents involving Edwards were unrelated, and occurred within months of each other in 1998.

According to a Florida State University arrest affidavit: Edwards was first charged after a 19-year-old FSU political science intern claimed Edwards, then an adjunct professor, plied him with beers, trolled briefly for prostitutes, watched ''heterosexual'' pornography and then exhorted him to masturbate in a game.

The intern said Edwards threatened him with bad grades if he didn't ''get into it.'' He declined to press charges. Edwards said the claims were ''lies'' but he didn't ''want to revisit it.'' Edwards was fired from FSU.

Shortly after his extortion arrest, state Capitol police then arrested Edwards on charges of theft, burglary and dealing with stolen property after the cops said he stole at least $10,000 worth of computer equipment from offices of the Florida Legislature.

In November 1998, the state dropped the extortion charges, saying the victim had requested that charges be dropped. In 1999, Edwards pleaded no contest to the dealing in stolen property and theft charges and was sentenced to 100 days in jail and three years probation. A judge withheld adjudication, meaning Edwards is not a convicted felon.

Edwards said he stole nothing, but that he used bad judgment. He declined to discuss details, but likened the situation to buying a Rolex watch for $200. ''Either it's fake or its stolen,'' he said.

Pinellas County Republican Party chairman Tony DiMatteo said he knew of Edwards computer arrest but didn't know about the extortion charge. DiMatteo noted that Edwards, a former Democrat who once worked at the party and fundraised for candidates, is not a party officer.

The fact that the charges are coming up again, Edwards said, is just another example of the viciousness and coarseness of politics today.

''Whether you did something or were accused of something you didn't do almost doesn't matter. Perception is reality,'' he said. ``This chills people from becoming involved.''

Said Elliott Bundy, a spokesman for Giuliani, ``this gentleman was organizing the event on behalf of the Pinellas County party and not us. We have no further comment.''

Herald researcher Tina Cummings contributed to this story.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former GOP power Currin going to prison

Titan Barksdale, Staff Writer
As a federal prosecutor, Sam Currin spent six years prosecuting drug dealers, pornographers and other criminals. Now, he will spend nearly the same amount of time in prison himself.

Currin, 58, whose career included stints as a judge and as chairman of the state's Republican Party, became the latest North Carolina leader to be sent to jail when he was sentenced this week in federal court to 70 months behind bars on money laundering and obstruction charges.

His attorney, Mark Calloway, would not comment about the sentence.

Currin rose through the political and legal ranks as a protege of then-Sen. Jesse Helms. He worked as an aide to Helms, a conservative Republican who eventually nominated him for the U.S. attorney position and later for a federal judgeship, which Democrats vehemently opposed. Critics of the nomination called Currin a religious and political zealot and accused him of lying in a 1982 personnel hearing over his firing of a paralegal.

Currin, 58, was never confirmed. But he served as a Superior Court judge before becoming the Republican Party chairman.

Though Currin hasn't had a leading role in politics since he was ousted as Republican Party chairman in 1999, his actions could contribute to a sense of mistrust of government. Voters have seen Meg Scott Phipps, a Democrat who was the state's agriculture secretary, former Democratic House Speaker Jim Black and state Rep. Michael Decker sentenced for illegal activities.

"It adds to this sort of feeling of scandal and corruption in politics at the moment," said Andy Taylor, the political science chairman at N.C. State University. "Perhaps its another thing that Democrats can say when they point to Republican corruption."

Advocates for ethics in politics say this shouldn't be used as political fodder.

"Currin was a player in politics in a big way, but, unlike some others, his wrongdoing wasn't connected to his political works," said Bob Phillips, the state's executive director of Common Cause, an ethics reform group.

"I think it reinforces attitudes that are pretty hardened about people who have been in public service, and that feeling is that they are prone to mistakes," Phillips said. "It's unfortunate because that's a perception and not reality."

Currin, who has about 90 days before he has to report to prison, has agreed to testify against his former business associates.

The crimes he was sentenced for Tuesday stem from Currin's work as a lawyer in private practice.

Currin pleaded guilty in November to federal charges that he conspired to launder about $1.3 million that a computer spam artist made by inundating e-mail inboxes with stock schemes.

Prosecutors say Currin's role netted him more than $240,000. He funneled money from the scheme into his law firm's trust account, and later lied about it to a grand jury.

Carter Wrenn, a veteran Republican consultant and former Helms strategist, said Wednesday that he remembers Currin as a competent, nice person.

"I knew Sam pretty well back in the Helms years, and I'm sorry for him and his family," Wrenn said. "I guess he made some pretty unfortunate and bad mistakes."
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flynt unveiling more claims involving New Orleans senator
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS—A former New Orleans prostitute who says she had an affair with Sen. David Vitter has passed a lie-detector test and will provide details of the four-month relationship at a press conference Tuesday, according to Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.

Wendy Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Ellis, says she had a sexual relationship with Vitter, R-La., in 1999, when he was a state legislator.

Copies of the results of Cortez's polygraph test, which she took at Flynt's request, will be provided to reporters at the news conference at Flynt's office in Beverly Hills, Calif., Hustler said in a news release Monday.

Vitter spokesman Joel Digrado wouldn't comment on the Flynt news conference. In an e-mail, Digrado said, "Sen. Vitter and his wife have addressed all of this very directly. The senator is focused on important Louisiana priorities like the water resources bill and the Iraq debate."

Vitter, 46, apologized in July for committing a "very serious sin" and acknowledged his Washington phone number was among those called several years ago by an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey. The admission came after Flynt's Hustler magazine told the senator that his telephone number was linked to Palfrey's escort service.

Federal prosecutors accuse Palfrey of running a prostitution ring, but she claims her escort service was a legitimate business. Vitter was not charged with a crime.

Flynt has offered to pay $1 million to anyone
who can show he or she had a sexual encounter with a member of Congress or a high-ranking government official. It is unclear whether he has offered Cortez any money.

Vitter, a first-term senator elected in 2004, has denied having relationships with New Orleans prostitutes. In a call-in radio show during the Senate campaign, he dismissed as "absolutely and completely untrue" that he had a relationship with a Wendy Cortez.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert Lichfield
Utah fund-raiser for Romney, Robert Lichfield, steps down

Robert Lichfield involved in schools that are subjects of lawsuits

September 7, 2007
By Lisa Riley Roche
Deseret Morning News

A Utah fund-raiser for Mitt Romney who helped the GOP presidential candidate collect $300,000 in donations at an event in St. George earlier this year is no longer part of the campaign. Robert Lichfield, who is affiliated with several schools for troubled teens that are the subjects of lawsuits alleging child abuse, left his position as a Utah finance committee co-chairman in July, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign said Thursday.

The Web site "Radar" reported Thursday that Romney asked Lichfield to step down. But Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said Lichfield "resigned on his own accord" from the campaign shortly after stories surfaced in late June about his legal problems.
Lichfield's name did not appear on a list of national finance chairmen and co-chairmen released by the campaign on July 31 that included seven Utahns. Campaign officials said then that Lichfield was no longer involved in fund raising.
The Web site report comes after two other people involved in the Romney campaign made headlines.

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, stepped down last month as Romney's Senate liaison, after the public learned of his guilty plea to a charge of disorderly conduct in an airport bathroom in connection with a sex sting.

Earlier in August, a Romney national finance co-chairman, Alan Fabian, resigned his position with the campaign after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on 23 counts of bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and perjury.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Randall Hinton is a long-time business associate of Robert Lichfield.
Randall Hinton convicted of two counts of child abuse
September 1, 2007
Vic Vela
The Daily Record

Randall Hinton

After a six-hour deliberation, a six-person jury found Randall Hinton — the project manager and co-founder of the Royal Gorge Academy boarding school — guilty of one count each of third-degree assault and false imprisonment.

Royal Gorge Academy

However, jurors felt there was enough reasonable doubt to find the defendant not guilty of four other counts of third-degree assault and one count of false imprisonment as the week-long trial ended late Friday evening.

In a trial that featured references to everything from red ants, feminine hygiene products, swastikas, “The Da Vinci Code,” and the Columbine Massacre, it was no surprise that a Jack Nicholson movie character was too referenced.

In his closing argument to jurors, Fremont County Deputy District Attorney Thom LeDoux attempted to paint Randall Hinton in the same light as Col. Nathan Jessep — the marine, played by Nicholson, who stood trial in the 1992 film, “A Few Good Men,” who was court-martialed in the movie. Like Jessep, LeDoux said Hinton tried to excuse his actions at the school as a man who was “just doing his job.”

“But, when you do something that causes harm to another human being, we have an obligation to take a good, long, hard look at what you do,” LeDoux said.

Jurors did just that. Deliberations began at 3:30 Friday afternoon, with the verdicts finally being presented to Fremont County Court Judge Norman Cooling at 9:35 that evening.

The jury ultimately found Hinton guilty for the actions he took involving 15-year-old Riverside, Calif., boy who testified Tuesday that the defendant slammed his face into a stairwell wall and put him in a headlock as he carried him to his upstairs dorm room.

The guilty verdict came in spite of the defense’s attempt to paint the boy as a trouble maker. Defense testimony was provided that called into question the boy’s character, claiming he would draft racist writings and draw swastikas. He also was described as a “danger” to other students after it was learned the boy had stolen a knife from the school’s kitchen.

However, the boy said he only stole the knife for the purpose of using it to unscrew a window in his room in an attempt to run away from the school.

The jury also felt Hinton was criminally responsible for falsely imprisoning a 17-year-old Long Beach, Calif., boy who testified the same day that Hinton kept him face down on the floor for so long, he had to vomit. The boy also said the defendant would not allow him leave the room in order to vomit, even after complaining of stomach pains.

However, jurors did not feel the testimony of three other teenagers was compelling enough to sustain the charges against him relating to them.

Jurors dismissed one count each of third-degree assault and false imprisonment for Hinton’s actions against a 17-year-old Highlands Ranch girl who claimed the “arm lock” the defendant put her in on the night of Dec. 28, 2006, “was one of the most painful things” she went through.

The girl alleged Hinton would not let her change her pants after she had her period.

The girl admitted to hitting herself in the head with a stapler and attempting to run away from the school the second day she was there. The girl also admitted to contemplating drinking shampoo, “anything to get out of there.” Meanwhile, the girl was offered tampons, but said she rejected them, claiming they were uncomfortable.

Hinton’s attorney, Michael Gillick, described the girl as a “drama queen,” and someone who was used to getting her way at home.

“I didn’t know Gucci made tampons,” Gillick quipped to jurors in an effort to paint the girl as difficult.

Hinton was found not guilty of one count of third degree assault involving a 16-year-old Bloomington, Minn., boy who testified he and three other boys were forced to lay on top of a “red ant pile” after the defendant caught the boys near the hogback hills area following an attempted runaway attempt.

Another count of third-degree assault involving the Minnesota boy — who also alleged Hinton had forced him to stay still while ants bit him — also was dismissed by jurors.

Jurors never heard further testimony regarding potential “anti-Mormon resentment,” from a key prosecution witness and a Cañon City Police Department detective.

Gillick questioned the credibility of Patty Pacheco — a former Academy executive secretary and Hinton friend — who said one of the reasons it was difficult to come forward was because of potential repercussions and “the people in Utah.” Gillick took that as being a derogatory statement aimed at Hinton, who is Mormon.

Gillick also questioned why CCPD Det. Sgt. Jeff Worley — who led the police investigation into Hinton — never took the stand. Gillick said he and Pacheco were part of a group who protested the opening of the 2006 film, “The Da Vinci Code.”

In an effort to quell LeDoux’s stance that Hinton — who stands 6’2,” 270 pounds — was much larger than the alleged victims and didn’t need to use physical restraint against them, Gillick reminded jurors that Columbine High School Massacre shooter Dylan Klebold was “not a big guy either.”

However, Cooling would not allow the jury to consider either “anti-Mormon resentment” or parallels to Columbine.

During his closing argument, LeDoux attempted to remind the jury that “these kids are not on trial,” in an effort to dissuade them from accepting the defense’s efforts to paint the students as “troubled kids.”

“There’s no conspiracy here,” argued LeDoux. “These kids didn’t get together and say, ‘We’re gonna get this guy.’ They didn’t even know each other.”

Now, Hinton’s fate rests with Cooling. Third-degree assault is a Class I misdemeanor and carries with it a maximum penalty of two years in county jail.

The false imprisonment charge is a Class II misdemeanor; Hinton faces up to one year in jail for this charge.

Cooling will determine in a future sentencing hearing whether Hinton will receive jail time, probation or a combination of both.

Vic Vela can be reached at vvela@ccdailyrecord.com.
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