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Accountability 101

By People for the American Way  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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From Gonzales to the immigration debate, it seems that Republican lawmakers are either living in fantasy land, lying through their teeth or ignoring the real issues in favor of divisive scapegoating. They must be held accountable.

In this issue:

1. No Wrongdoing at the DOJ??? WHAT!?

2. Divisive Scapegoating Has No Place in Immigration Debate

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No Wrongdoing at the DOJ??? WHAT!?

Last Wednesday, former Gonzales aide Monica Goodling testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the U.S. attorney firing scandal. Her testimony confirmed that a political litmus test was applied in the hiring and firing of even nonpolitical positions at the Justice Department, implied instances of possible perjury by other DOJ officials and revealed inappropriate conduct by Attorney General Gonzales. But Committee Republicans seemed not to even be listening -- they skipped like a broken record, delivering softball questions to Ms. Goodling and spouting known-to-be-untrue party talking points, seemingly unfazed by any information that emerged.

Here are some examples (quotes taken from transcript of 5/23/07 House Judiciary Committee hearing):

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Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21): "Finally, with regard to this investigation itself, we and our investigators see ever more clearly that the accusations of wrongdoing in these eight U.S. attorney dismissals don't seem to have legs."

Former Committee Chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (WI-5):

  • "It seems to me that with this fishing expedition there ain't no fish in the water, and we've spent an awful lot of time and an awful lot of money finding that out."
  • "Isn't this an exercise of legitimate executive power which practically every president up to, including the current one, exercises all the time with officials within the executive branch subject to his appointment?"

Rep. Mike Pence (IN-6): "I -- again, I just would say to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in this committee, I'm troubled about the fact that we seem to be moving ever further down the road of the criminalization of politics."

Rep. Randy Forbes (VA-4): "So far throughout this hearing, there not only is no evidence of wrongdoing but there is no allegation of any wrongdoing on your part."

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Rep. Steve King (IA-5): "And I will say that this is a circus without a cause, and it's time to drop this issue."

Rep. Tom Feeney (FL-24): "But in all the time I've spent listening to witnesses and reading materials, I haven't seen one shred of evidence to justify the time that we've taken on this."

Some of these representatives must believe that if you repeat a falsehood enough times, it will magically become the truth. The American people are not fooled.

1. Read a newspaper (any major news publication in the country).
2. Read a history book.

Divisive Scapegoating Has No Place in Immigration Debate

Debate on immigration reform has been heated in the Senate. A flawed yet hopefully salvageable bill (S. 1348) is on the floor -- at this point, it needs some serious fixes, but it contains the basic legislative architecture to recognize the contributions of hard working immigrants in our society and bring them out of the shadows.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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