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Thursday, July 15, 2004
Is this so different from (former) Governor Rowland?

So as y’all know, I now reside in Connecticut – which is either New England frontier land or New Yawk suburb. Politically speaking, either way it’s pretty tough. Well recently the Governor of Connecticut, John Rowland (who in the spirit of full disclosure I did vote for over former Clinton pup Bill Curry), was forced to resign when facing impeachment for accepting various gifts from state employees and state contractors. He stepped down, and he should have. Most Republicans in the state agreed that was the right thing to do and were calling on him to do so for weeks and months prior to the event.

My questions is how different is this story from what I believe is a similar one over in neighboring Massachusetts? There, it seems one of the states Senators was given numerous gifts from “supporters,” including expensive meals, a car he was able to “lease” for 16 months without ever making a payment, a lavish condo he somehow rented for $200 a month from a friendly real estate developer, another gratis $8,000 per month waterfront apartment being rented by a local lobbyist, and a no-risk $21,000 real estate windfall arranged by one of his top fund-raisers. When queried on the numerous questionable gifts – worth far more than the cigars and home renovations Governor Rowland reportedly accepted – Senator Kerry (yes the “presumptive nominee”) said “my friends never got political favors for their generous gifts.” Governor Rowland said much the same thing and was basically shown the door; whereas Senator Kerry has been nominated to be our next President.

You can read all about, not in The National Review, or on the DrudgeReport, or even at Fox News; no, read about it here, at the left wing mag The New Republic. To wit:

First, it came out that his supporters had treated him to meals and more lucrative freebies in the '80s: a car he "leased" for 16 months without any payments, a ritzy condo he rented for $200 per month from a friendly developer, a no-risk $21,000 real estate windfall arranged by a top fund-raiser, a lobbyist's $8,000-per-month waterfront apartment where he crashed without paying. Then it came out that Kerry had given less than 1 percent of his earnings to charity before marrying Teresa Heinz. And, when Kerry claimed he had been strapped for cash because his kids were in private school, it came out that he had bought a handmade, ruby red, $8,600 Ducati motorcycle the same year he had given only $175 to charity. "What is he doing with all his money?" Weld asked. "I mean, he's making one hundred thirty thousand dollars a year. He's got free meals, free cars, and free housing. And he can't throw a few bucks to the United Way? Come on!"

It wasn't Watergate, but the scandal did suggest a political version of the entitlement mentality, a kind of Ducati liberalism. "That's the beautiful thing about campaigns," Meehan says. "You learn lessons. He said, 'You know what, I didn't do so well with contributions. I'm going to do better in the future.'" And he has done better. Of course, when he made that vow to do better, he had just married a ketchup heiress worth half a billion dollars.

Nice huh? Of course, that was back when The New Republic was stumping for Dean. I’m sure they’re now fully on board the Kerry-Edwards train.

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