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Immediately Oppose the Outrageous Nomination of Harriet Miers

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Dear Senator Spector

I hope you are feeling the same level of outrage as I am. You have been handed a nomination that smacks of pure cronyism, an instant replay of the vice presidential nomination --where the person delegated to help select the nominee selected herself.

We have a nominee who accepted a plum partisan appointee job as Lottery director for six years. This is not in itself, bad, but it is not good enough for a member of the supreme court. A person who takes a job like this is allowing herself to coast, unchallenged by growth opportunities, accepting an easy path to comfortable income. This is not the character we want in a member of the supreme court.

Based on this nomination, president Bush must believe we must have zero good judges who have enough experience and competence.

This woman is a purely partisan player who promises to make Michael Brown look good.

Even Chris Matthews says that this is patronage.


How partisan is she? David Frum, White house speechwriter, reports, "In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met,"

As an attorney, as someone who respects the law, you must find this nomination an obscene abomination --a total disregard for the sanctity and integrity of the supreme court.

Will Bunch, columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, reports on his blog
"But she does know better than just about anyone else where the bodies are buried (relax, it's a just a metaphor...we hope) in President Bush's National Guard scandal. In fact, Bush's Texas gubenatorial campaign in 1998 (when he was starting to eye the White House) actually paid Miers $19,000 to run an internal pre-emptive probe of the potential scandal. Not long after, a since-settled lawsuit alleged that the Texas Lottery Commission -- while chaired by Bush appointee Miers -- played a role in a multi-million dollar cover-up of the scandal."
And it gets much worse. Bunch reports how Michael Isakoff describes Miers' "initial foray in the morass of Bush's Guard service:"

The Bushies' concern began while he was running for a second term as governor. A hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers was retained to investigate the issue; state records show Miers was paid $19,000 by the Bush gubernatorial campaign. She and other aides quickly identified a problem--rumors that Bush had help from his father in getting into the National Guard back in 1968. Ben Barnes, a prominent Texas Democrat and a former speaker of the House in the state legislature, told friends he used his influence to get George W a guard slot after receiving a request from Houston oilman Sid Adger. Barnes said Adger told him he was calling on behalf of the elder George Bush, then a Texas congressman. Both Bushes deny seeking any help from Barnes or Adger, who has since passed away. Concerned that Barnes might go public with his allegations, the Bush campaign sent Don Evans, a friend of W's, to hear Barnes's story. Barnes acknowledged that he hadn't actually spoken directly to Bush Sr. and had no documents to back up his story. As the Bush campaign saw it, that let both Bushes off the hook. And the National Guard question seemed under control.

The Bushies' concern began while he was running for a second term as governor. A hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers was retained to investigate the issue; state records show Miers was paid $19,000 by the Bush gubernatorial campaign. She and other aides quickly identified a problem--rumors that Bush had help from his father in getting into the National Guard back in 1968. Ben Barnes, a prominent Texas Democrat and a former speaker of the House in the state legislature, told friends he used his influence to get George W a guard slot after receiving a request from Houston oilman Sid Adger. Barnes said Adger told him he was calling on behalf of the elder George Bush, then a Texas congressman. Both Bushes deny seeking any help from Barnes or Adger, who has since passed away. Concerned that Barnes might go public with his allegations, the Bush campaign sent Don Evans, a friend of W's, to hear Barnes's story. Barnes acknowledged that he hadn't actually spoken directly to Bush Sr. and had no documents to back up his story. As the Bush campaign saw it, that let both Bushes off the hook. And the National Guard question seemed under control.

Will Bunch comments, "So far, intriguing...but it gets better, and more complicated. At roughly the same time all of this was happening, Miers was also the Bush-named chair of the scandal-plagued Texas Lottery Commission. The biggest issue before Miers and the commission was whether to retain lottery operator Gtech, which had been implicated in a bribery scandal. Gtech's main lobbyist in Texas in the mid-1990s? None other than that same Ben Barnes who had the goods on how Bush got into the Guard and avoided Vietnam.

"In 1997, Barnes was abruptly fired by Gtech. That's a bad thing, right? Well, on the other hand, they also gave him a $23 million severance payment. A short time later, Gtech -- despite the ongoing scandals -- got its contract renewed over two lower bidders. A former executive director thought the whole thing stunk:

The suit involving Barnes was brought by former Texas lottery director Lawrence Littwin, who was fired by the state lottery commission, headed by Bush appointee Harriet Miers, in October 1997 after five months on the job. It contends that Gtech Corp., which runs the state lottery and until February 1997 employed Barnes as a lobbyist for more than $3 million a year, was responsible for Littwin's dismissal.

Littwin's lawyers have suggested in court filings that Gtech was allowed to keep the lottery contract, which Littwin wanted to open up to competitive bidding, in return for Barnes's silence about Bush's entry into the Guard.

Barnes and his lawyers have denounced this "favor-repaid" theory in court pleadings as "preposterous . . . fantastic [and] fanciful." Littwin was fired after ordering a review of the campaign finance reports of various Texas politicians for any links to Gtech or other lottery contractors. But Littwin wasn't hired, or fired, until months after Barnes had severed his relationship with Gtech.

I see no good reasons why Harriet Miers should be approved. Perhaps she has been nominated to ease the passage for a more noxious nominee. Regardless, it is clear that you have a responsibility to the people of your state, to the nation, to your legacy as a legislator and to the integrity of the Judiciary system to speak out and let it be known that this nomination is not acceptable.

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Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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Rob Arlen Specter was the Junior member of the... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Oct 3, 2005 at 10:06:54 AM
If David Frum is to be believed - something not al... by mhenriday on Monday, Oct 3, 2005 at 2:29:03 PM
"George w. Bush is the most brilliant man I've eve... by Roy Murtishaw on Monday, Oct 3, 2005 at 5:01:57 PM
So, the next step is done. First we had a judge w... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Oct 3, 2005 at 5:29:10 PM
Below we find, outlined in yesterday's Boston Glob... by mhenriday on Wednesday, Oct 19, 2005 at 3:01:44 PM