Does Alito Have The Upper Hand Over Senator Schumer Or Did Chuck Have Time To Prepare?
New York's Junior Senator Chuck Schumer can be expected to pull out the liberal Democrat's thin book of plays this week for the game we call “Borking A Supreme Court Nominee.”
As a purely partisan liberal voice on the Senate Judicial Committee, Schumer can make as big a hypocrite of himself as time will allow since he has a safe seat in NY. But he has the ability to do even more damage if he pulls one of his typical ace cards.
Recently it was exposed in some scattered media outlets that two of Schumer's paid “researchers,” Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner were caught going through the private credit reports of the Lt. Governor of Maryland, Michael Steele, a black Republican and up and coming force in Maryland politics. Naturally, Schumer needed to have some dirt on Steele so as to destroy him early on. And it looks like these two campaign professionals had the experience to get the job done.... until they got caught.
Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, knowingly and willfully obtaining a credit report under false pretenses is a felony punishable with a fine and a maximum two years in prison but don't count on it in this case.
Lauren Weiner has in the past worked for US Senator John Kyle of Arizona and as recently as 2004, the DNC. In April 2000, as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, Weiner published an article about Web access to personal records. Lauren is no political novice when it comes to opponents private records.
Katie Barge has been a researcher for Clintonite Erskine Bowles during his failed senate bid. She has worked for David Brooks, the liberal journalist who ran Media Matters for America. Katie even worked for Democrat Presidential hopeful Sen. John Edwards. Katie is another political worker who knows the ropes of hardball campaigning.
Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner have, according to news reports, pleaded guilty to accessing Lt. Governor Steele's private credit reports and have retained Attorney William Lawler III, the ex-president of the Washington, D.C., bar association. The Democrat Senate Campaign Committee is picking up the $400.00 per hour tab for Katie and Lauren's attorney. A wise move if you don't want them to talk.
Schumer's need for private financial information on political opponents must be one of his top priorities. Digging into the private personal records of someone as important as a Supreme Court judicial nominee would have to be a top priority for Sen. Schumer if this recent history is any example.
But who is left on Schumer's staff to pry into Alito's private financial records now that two of his best “researchers” are gone? Could this give the upper hand to Alito or did Sen. Schumer find some replacement researchers in time for this hearing? It will be interesting to see what Sen. Schumer asks Judge Alito about his personal finances, if that is, Sen. Schumer has had time to get new “researchers” for the task.
Sen. Schumer doesn't need much private info on Samuel Alito. Just something to smear him with. That's the new gold standard of liberal politics in Washington.