Sunday, February 12, 2006

hastert, bribes

another thing that i wanted to mention is that there is some discrepancy in the Rose article regarding the 'price' of the bribe.

there is some confusion about this.

Rose claims (separately) that:
a) "According to some of the wiretaps, the F.B.I.’s targets had arranged for tens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."
b) " a senior official at the Turkish Consulate is said to have claimed in one recording that the price for Hastert to withdraw the resolution would have been at least $500,000. "
c) "The targets reportedly discussed giving Hastert tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."
d) "Nevertheless, an examination of Hastert’s federal filings shows that the level of un-itemized payments his campaigns received over many years was relatively high. Between April 1996 and December 2002, un-itemized personal donations to the Hastert for Congress Committee amounted to $483,000."
Without any evidence - it's my guess that b) is nonsense (see below) - and that misunderstanding leads to a lot of misinformed speculation. It's my guess that we are only looking for "tens of thousands" - not half a million. My best guess is that the fact that the $483k approximates the $500k (in b)) is just a coincidence.

Miguel asked earlier why the Turks were financing Hastert at such an early stage (before he was Speaker) - but I'm not sure that we can presume that was the case. I haven't really looked into the data - but we needn't be constrained by the time-frames suggested by Rose. If we assume for a minute that the Turkish lobby only paid Hastert "tens of thousands" then the calculations - and the time frames, and the magnitude - kinda get portrayed in a different light.

Update 1: Miguel in the comments: "Yes, lukery, but remember Sibel wrote in her response to Evans letter: "The article correctly establishes the timeline (Hastert receiving illegal donations) as 1996 to 2002."
Noticed she put in the word "correctly"."

Update 2: Oldschool in the comments rightly notes that the whole thing screams cash bribes, not piddly donations to the campaign fund - we 'know' that Hastert was collecting brown bags full o' cash. The reason that we are currently focusing on the sub$200 donations is that there is literally a paper trail which could prove Sibel's claims. But Oldschool is correct to note that the difference between the "tens of thousands" and the $500k is undoubtedly of the stuffed envelope variety.

cross-posted at Disclose, Denny


Miguel said...

Yes, lukery, but remember Sibel wrote in her response to Evans letter:
"The article correctly establishes the timeline (Hastert receiving illegal donations) as 1996 to 2002."

Noticed she put in the word "correctly".

Hastert became House Deputy Majority Whip sometime in 1994. Perhaps the Turkish Nationals figured Hastert was someone they wanted to foster while he could still be bought off relatively cheap.

Also, Sibel wrote this:"Why doesn’t Hastert disclose all the contributions (those under $200), to all his PACs (he has several) for the years between 1997 and 2001? Many congressman do just that; why not come clean & show us yours Mr. Hastert?

Every leader in Congress has their own PAC- these PACs are established to dole out money for various Congressional races across the country. This link shows one of Hastert's PACs from 1998. Note that 90% of the contributions are under $200.

Miguel said...

Sibel is scheduled for Feb. 21 for an interview with Maria Heller. Here's the link:

Topic appears to be more about NSA spying than Sibel's own case. However, wouldn't it be good to alert Maria to your web site to prep? Just a thought.

oldschool said...

What am I missing here? Why is so much attention being paid to the regulated, must-be-reported, by-the-book contributions?

Doesn't the whole operation seem to scream one word - CASH!!!

Maybe three words - GREEN CASH MONEY!!

I'm obviously missing something....

lukery said...

thanks guys.

i've updated the post as per your comments.