Wednesday, August 09, 2006

* john laesch's brother writes a letter from baghdad:
Dear Dennis Hastert

My name is Peter Laesch and you are my Congressman. It might seem strange to you to be writing to you on an internet website. I first moved to your district in 1986. I was 10 years old then. I have since then left several times, but have always called your congressional district home. The first time I left was in 1994 when I served in the active duty Army for four years. I later left home again to attend college. I finally graduated from Eastern Illinois University this past spring. Unfortunately, I received my diploma in the mail and had it posted to me in this lovely town Baghdad. I am sure you have heard of Baghdad Mr. Congressman. It is the town that impressed you with all the lights. I must agree the lights are very impressive in Baghdad.
I am not writing to you though to talk about the lights in Baghdad. I am writing to you Dennis Hastert to ask you to resign. I think you will, once you have heard my case agree with me. Deciding to retire right now will feel good in your conscience. I know you must be struggling with quite a bit Dennis, feeling you owe loyalty to President Bush and thinking Karl Rove has some tremendous amount of dirt to blackmail you. No matter what you've done, I think you will just feel so much better about yourself if you just come clean with the voters and do the patriotic thing and resign.

Here is my case:

1. There are persistent rumors that you did not want to run for re-election this year. If this is true then you are doing something that your heart is not in. This is something I cannot encourage you to do Dennis. If you don't want to be Congressman than you should retire now, and give the local Republican party time to find a suitable candidate who can think on his own two feet and hasn't had his brain hijacked by Karl Rove. You are in essence being dishonest with the voters if this is true.

2. I have heard that you are not well. I am not sure what precisely the case is, but if you are having health problems that are keeping you from doing your job then you ought to look after yourself first. No preconceived political loyalty is worth cashing in your chips to see the man upstairs. You can have a nice retirement. If you agree to cooperate with next year's congressional investigations we might even offer you immunity from prosecution and let you keep your millions. I know the thought of fleeing to Canada has occurred to me as well, but were gonna let you stay in the USA.

3. You really don't have any political issues working for you this year. You can't claim to be pro-family after supporting this war that has ripped apart so many families, and separated so many loved ones sometimes for 2-4 years at a time. Tying the minimum wage to an inheritance tax for your children was also a bit cheeky on your part. That doesn't look good in the pro-family department either. Really, all that proved is that you and your Republican buddies You might even have a little trouble convincing people that your pro-life anymore too. I can't imagine anyone who supports a war to embrace life.

Before you Retire Denny-I think you should tell Dear Old George and donny Rumsfeld to up Humvee production oh just a tad! Someone's life might depend on it. Sleep Well!

Don't forget to say a special hello to Mr. Brad hahn and that smiley guy you see on John's website "

from the comments:

Consider the possibility that Hastert was more concerned about using such money to leverage political power than he was in lining his own pockets. (He has found other ways, after all, to maximize the potential for accumulating what Plunkett of Tammany Hall used to refer to as "legal graft." Even a big man's pockets can only hold so much.)

Then consider the possibility that the alleged bribes were made in the form of sub-$200 contributions elsewhere, where nobody's looking. Not to Hastert's own campaign committee, not even to his Keep Our Majority PAC, or it's non-federal affiliate, the KOMPAC State Victory Fund, now known as FOXPAC. And not even to KENPAC, aka the Kendall County (IL) Republican Central Committee PAC, or the Lincoln Fund that some of Denny's friends set up years ago to weigh in whenever it came time for another round of redistricting.

What if hard to trace donations like that were made, oh, I don't know, say upsteam to the NRCC? And then what if the NRCC transfers some of that money back into, say Hastert's leadership PAC, or a dozen, two dozen, who knows how many other PACs downstream to continue bankrolling the Republican Revolution? All freshly scrubbed, with nary a trace of a Turkish fingerprint left to be seen with the naked eye.

That would mean that Hastert & Co. could truthfully say that they saw nothing unusual about all those small donations that were coming in. It would mean that those particular donations probably were the result of fundraisers, like the one he always has at the Sandwich Fair back home, where large quantites of supporters get a shot at mingling with Denny for a fairly small contribution. Just like Team Hastert has claimed.

That would not, however, mean that the alleged Turkish bribes are nothing more than somebody blowing smoke to impress somebody else. It just means we haven't dug deep enough to know what to conclude about that story, yet.

That's the possibility I'm considering these days. I hope it's a possibility the FBI is considering, too."

a commenter there who is familiar with a lot of the goings on in the laesch campaign re hastert and sibel says that the FBI will soon get involved re the bribery. fwiw.

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