A couple of stories surrounding Bob Schaffer have really caught people’s attention, both in the blogosphere and in other media circles. Here’s a smattering:
I wrote a piece about Bob Schaffer, Jack Abramoff and the Mariana Islands the other day. That story has been picked up and expanded on by the Denver Post:
‘Abramoff ties cloud Schaffer’s ’99 fact-finding trip’
A lot of heavy lifting on this scandal has been done by ProgressNow: Marianas questions dog Bob Schaffer. Thanks to Alan and company!
Steam Powered Opinions offered their advice about Bob Schaffer’s (Mr. Sweatshop) and his wife (Mrs. Sweatshop) little trip. Turns out, they did some fact-finding on parasailing also. Oh, the trip was entirely paid for: they went for free. That’s the kind of free market Republicans like.
A heavy-weight has joined in: John Marshall over at Talking Points Memo previously thought Bob Schaffer had a casual acquaintance in the Islands. The tie to Abramoff came as a shock. Good read at the link.
Update: Oooh. Talk about heavyweights: The story has been front-paged at DailyKos. ‘CO-Sen: Schaffer/Abramoff/Marianas scandal explodes’.
The Huffington Post link to the Denver Post’s Bob Schaffer story.
Not an obvious source, but California Greening joins in the Bob Schaffer fray. They used the Mariana Islands story to help unseat Richard Pombo in 2006. They effectively point out that the corruption of Abramoff hasn’t gone away. It won’t either: the webs Abramoff laid were too wide and thick for his simple departure to collapse the corrupt industry Republicans built up after retaking the U.S. Congress in 1994.
Also, udallvschaffer gets in on the action: “Bob Schaffer and his parasailing moment”.
The Islands trip isn’t the only issue the Bob Schaffer will have to face, however. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that the non-profit group U.S. Term Limits violated election law by running a television ad advocating the election of Bob Schaffer. The ad depicted children thanking Bob Schaffer by name for supporting charter schools. They posted the video to YouTube with the title, “Bob Schaffer for Senate video”. That’s about as direct a relationship as you can get. They knowingly and purposefully posted the video as an ad to help get Bob Schaffer elected. Once the complaint was filed, the group removed the video and all references to Bob Schaffer on their website. As Republicans love to tell the rest of us: if you haven’t done anything wrong, why are you worried about it? Too bad Google caches of the youtube post remain.
Haha. As I was writing this, John Marshall boils Bob Schaffer’s trip down beautifully: Marianas: I’m Loving It!
Meanwhile, what are Schaffer supporters talking about?
An imaginary Anti-Ukraine Bias (Bob Schaffer said he did more for Ukrainians while not trying than he did for his Congressional District while trying). I’m not sure how that works out to an anti-Ukrainian bias. Bob Schaffer was paid to represent Americans and by his peers’ judgement, wasn’t too engaged in that job.
Bob Schaffer should be applauded for keeping his term-limits pledge. Except he’s running for office again. And his supporters are criticizing Mark Udall for being a career politician? They’re also criticizing Mark Udall for holding a subcommittee meeting in Colorado Springs to determine if wildland firefighters can use satellite technology while doing their jobs protecting our communities, calling it a campaign event. So according to Republicans, it’s better for a lobbyist firm to pay for Bob Schaffer to take a trip to the Mariana Islands and go parasailing and report nothing is wrong in factories he’s supposed to be investigating than it is for Mark Udall to go to his home state and hold a community-related hearing.
His supporters have also brought up the 2nd amendment more than once. You know why? They practice the politics of distraction, something Republicans learned to excel at. What they haven’t figured out is how to do the job they’re trying to get elected to. They think free junkets to the Mariana Islands are good for elected politicians. They think corrupt networks like Jack Abramoff’s are the way to go. But most of all, they don’t want the public to know these are the things Bob Schaffer wants.