As part of the news media's campaign to win back the House for Democrats in 2006, as they have shamelessly tried to do since 1994, we have two new flimsy entries.
Harpers Magazine writer Ken Silverstein, also of Mother Jones, has written two accusative titles about NH Congressman Jeb Bradley. But is there any point to them?
I tried, believe me I tried to ferret out some usable piece of information beyond the titles in both of his articles but come up empty-handed. Check www.politicsnh.com for the easiest place to see both Harpers articles, and the Bradley response.
Example of some of the lurid and mercilessly specific details found in the Harpers story about Congressman Bradley's investments:
“Bradley also did well by investing in Halliburton. When he was sworn into office on January 3, 2003, Bradley owned 231 shares in Halliburton, valued at $18.71 per share, making his holdings worth $4,322......................... (wow)
In October of 2003, soon after casting those votes, Bradley acquired an additional 72 shares of Halliburton stock at $23.88. The following July he sold all of his shares in the company, at $29.15, for a total of $8,832.54. Between the day Bradley took office and the day he sold his shares, Halliburton stock climbed by 56 percent, netting Bradley $2,791.08.” (check this out again, the number is in thousands - not millions)
So Silverstein managed to get the Democrat talking point word Halliburton into the story and he has some numbers, dollars signs, and decimal points in the story as well but decimal points are the only points he makes. He starts his article out by stating Bradley is a millionaire then tries to connect the dots that he sells his votes congressional votes for less than three grand? I would think the Congressman would have bought more stock in a sure fire winner than that. In any case, Bradley sold the evil Halliburton stock in 2004.
Then there is the really, really big scandal Silverstein uncovered about Cong. Jeb Bradley hiring his sons to work on his campaign. (Silverstein must believe all those jobs should go to out of state “campaign experts” like former Mayor Baines's Geoff Wetrosky and hapless Burt Cohen's Jessie Burchfield.)
The Harpers article harps (sorry couldn't help it) about all the money Bradley paid his two sons for helping him campaign. Here is the meat of the once again “well researched” story:
“As I reported yesterday, U.S. Representative Jeb Bradley is a very rich man who sometimes treads a fine line between “elected representative” and “stockholder.” Now it turns out that he's a truly dedicated family man, if you define dedicated as paying out almost $27,000 in salary and expenses to two of his children, Sebastian and Noel, who served as field coordinators for his run for Congress in 2004. Not bad for five months' work by a couple of recent high school graduates.”
As you can see, Silverstein in this second non-article refers back his first non-article regarding the $2,700 stock profit Jeb Bradley picked up in 2003 by cleverly working his way up the political ladder from being a member on a local planning board, budget committee, then 12 years in the New Hampshire legislature, to Congress so he could leverage the $8,800 he had in Halliburton stock into a profit. (It doesn't pay as much as cattle futures but every dollar counts when you are raising two boys.)
Back to the boys. The Harpers hit piece suggests that $27,000 for two campaign helpers is “Not bad for five months' work by a couple of recent high school graduates.”
But Silverstein's scandalous payola was for salary and EXPENCES. Salary alone would have been about $17.00 per hour for a 40 hour week. You would think an investigative journalist for a magazine as influential as Harpers would have asked for receipts to take this investigation right to the top. Maybe they went to Dairy Queen!
Now for some interesting points Harpers missed.
One Democrat candidate for Bradley's seat responded with a press release responding to the Harpers hit piece, that was Jim Craig. (But then that was whole point of the pointless stories wasn't it?) Here is how shocked Jim Craig was about the scandal:
“We are pleased to know that we are not the only people holding Jeb Bradley accountable. Today's revelations affirm my detailed criticism of Jeb’s voting record in favor of big special interests and underscore the urgent need to bring new leadership to Washington.”
“Holding Jeb Bradley accountable” you say. “New Leadership?”
But Democrat Jim Craig would be PROUD to represent us in Washington with his pal Louisiana Democrat Rep. William Jefferson, a House Ways and Means Committee member who took a $90,000 bribe from and FBI informant ands still sits in office.
MoveOn.nuts and now Harpers Magazine are doing hit material in their respective venues for liberal NH Democrats to use in their campaigns. It is transparent and infantile.
If I were Charlie Bass or Jeb Bradley I would call the liberal media on this “culture of corruption” chanting parade of baseless, bogus news and urge my liberal Democrat opponents to ask Congressman William “I took $90,000 cash” Jefferson to step down from the Ways and Means Committee – for starters.