Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A loyal Bushie lies for Tom Davis

Brian McNicoll, Director of Communications, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform accuses Dan Catalano of making up facts on whether Tom Davis can “measure up” should he decide to run for the U.S. Senate ["The man who would be king," The Odd Dominion, May 1, 2007]. In his retort, McNicoll is certainly guilty of making up his own facts to save his boss’s face. (Was this distortion written on government time?)

To say that Davis's name is on some bills during a time when lobbyists paid for the privilege to write them is no compliment. Davis, in fact, collected more money from lobbyists than 428 of the 435 members of Congress. After Tom Delay resigned in disgrace, he moved up from #8 to #7. He worked closely with Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff at the Republican National Congressional Committee. Disgraced Mark Foley was a member of his $100,000 club that Davis called “The Business Leadership Trust.” Foley said he was being pressured by "the White House and Rove gang," who insisted that Foley run. If he didn't, Foley was told, it might impact his lobbying career.

As to Davis's wife’s job at ICG, it's true they weren’t married when he got that job for her. At that time, he was her "mentor" and campaign manager and they were divorcing their spouses with children. She had lost three elections and Davis was setting her up with a position with no federal campaign limits so that after donating to him up to the limit, bidders on government contractors could substitute money for competence. ICG did register as a lobbyist after they got caught by the Post. Again McNicoll gets his facts wrong: Andrew Hurst brought it up on his website and in debates, calling for Davis’s resignation, for example at here, here, and here.

The ethics committee letter on her job and the money she receives from clients testifying before Davis's Reform Committee, a letter written by a new crop of ethics members after Party leader Dennis Hastert fired the members who censured DeLay, did not give Davis a clean bill of health. In fact it clearly told him to avoid an appearance and an actual conflict of interest. ICG and Davis have yet to reveal which ICG clients were prepared for Davis’s hearing by his wife, but the sham hearings with obviously prepared questions include the Carnival Cruise Katrina contract and public health hearings including tobacco use and needle sharing.

As to the work he did on the Reform Committee, yes, he and Waxman didn’t call each other names. But it didn’t take a genius to conclude that the response to Katrina was “A Failure of Initiative.” And the tragedy was foreseeable and in fact was foreseen and Davis did nothing to prevent it while agencies responsible for response were dismantled and sold to contractors under Davis’s watch while he collected their campaign contributions. Tom Davis knew about Walter Reed conditions in 2004, but did not want to hold hearings because it would “embarrass” his Party or his President. See Congressional Quarterly March 7, 2007. Davis accepted campaign contributions from the Halliburton-connected contractor for Walter Reed during the decline of the staff and facility. Davis held a half-day hearing on Abu Gharib while Democrats had to meet in the basement.

At the recently-revealed GSA scandal, Tom Davis knew Lurita Doan was firing auditors, giving GSA contracts to friends. Davis had forced out previous GSA manager Angela Styles who had been pushing for audits of incompetent contractors, replaced her with David Safavian, a felon who sold access to contracts to Jack Abramoff. See more on Ms. Styles here. Tom Davis’s name appears on the slides of Republicans that federal employees were supposed to help on taxpayer time.

This is just the tip of the iceburg. I appreciate that Mr. McNicoll’s boss may have asked him to respond to the May 1 article, but the inaccuracies of a loyal Bushie should not go uncorrected.


El Foolero said...

While I am firmly in your camp, I have to take exception to your characterization of Brian McNicoll as a "Loyal Bushie." I've know Brian for a long time and I can assure you that he is NOT a loyal Bushie.
It's one thing to pick apart his arguments, but calling him a loyal Bushie is worse than calling him a flaming asshole or a right-wing scumbag.
I don't agree with most of his politics, but he's too decent a human being and not stupid enough to be called a loyal Bushie.

Beltway Progressive said...

In the interest of fairness, el foolero, I post your comment. But if McNicoll's not a Loyal Bushie, why the untruths about the Ethics letter--which doesn't clear Davis, his wife--who got her job from Davis while he was her "mentor" and biggest donor (he still is), and Andrew Hurst--who clearly raised the issue on tape and in writing?

El Foolero said...

I don't have an argument with you regarding what you've written about Tom Davis - none at all.
And I'm not defending Brian's letter.
But you still haven't made clear how working for Tom Davis makes one a loyal Bushie.
Tom Davis, like it or not, is a moderate not cut from the same cloth as idealogues such as dubya, Dick Cheney, et al. To lump everyone from a political party into one category is a little short-sighted, don't you think?
If someone works for a Blue Dog democrat, you don't assume he or she supports Ted Kennedy, do you?
I would hope not.
The point I'm trying to make is that Brian's not a loyal Bushie just because he works for Tom Davis. If you have a problem with his employment choice, then fine. I had a problem when he went to work for the wrong side, and I still do, so I understand. It's difficult when a close friend flacks for someone I would vote against.
But I would never call him a loyal Bushie because it simply isn't true or fair, and it's a massive insult.

Beltway Progressive said...

He's not a loyal Bushie because he works for Tom Davis. There should not be a litmus test for working for the Govt Reform and versight Committee. He is a loyal Bushie because he would put his name on a letter filled with lies in support of Tom Davis, who is the real loyal Bushie.

You say Davis is a moderate, but I have studied the Davis voting record carefully and except for his "signature moderate issue," stem cells he is a liar when he says he is moderate. Davis has voted with Bush 95% of the time, and especially when it counted for the middle class, preventing predatory bank reform, education improvements, and minimum wage increases. He has held sham hearings to protect Bush and produce campaign contributions, he has said failure to support the Iraq War is treason. And of course he signed the Schiavo petition. Davis is a corrupt Republican's dream politician and the whole country needs to work to get him out. Like Tom DeLay and Randall Cunnigham, he is a stain on the Congress

Beltway Progressive said...

Brian McNicoll revealed!