To Your Heart's Content

Sunday, January 08, 2006

seamy abuse of the legislative process

Though this site is dedicated to my experiences in Asia, following American politics is also a most important part of my experience. Click the read more link at the bottom for a little somethin' about the intricacies of Republican cronyism.

Hurwitz, a Texas billionaire who owned a 25% stake in Texas savings and loan bank when it collapsed in 1988 costing taxpayers $1.6 billion, was pursued by the FDIC, seeking $300 billion from him, in order to compensate taxpayers for his role in its collapse. Turns out that DeLay (Rep. Texas) sided with two congressmen from California, both Reps, in order to help Hurwitz, a generous campaign financer. What they did is a blatant abuse of political powers that should be dealt with harshly. The two CA congressmen, according to the LA Times, "used their power as members of the House Resources Committee to subpoena the agency's (FDIC's) confidential records on the case, including details of the evidence FDIC investigators had compiled on Hurwitz." William F. Kroener III, general counsel at the FDIC, warned the committee that Hurwitz and his lawyers were not entitled to see many of the documents for fear that, "should the material end up in their (Hurwitz's lawyers') hands, it "could significantly injure our ability to litigate this matter and reduce damages otherwise recoverable to reimburse taxpayers."

What did the two CA Reps do? Within a year they filled the Congressional Record with 115 pages of the subpoenaed documents, costing an additional $20,000, taken from their congressional accounts (taxpayers' money) to cover extra printing costs. Hurwitz's lawyers now had legal access to the documents. Not long afterward, the FDIC dismissed its case, and the Office of Thrift Supervision settled with Hurwitz for about $200,000 in administrative costs. FDIC's chief spokesman, Phil Battey, said in a statement to the Sacramento Bee at the time that the publication of the materials was a "subordination … and a seamy abuse of the legislative process."
For the full article, go

This is just one recent example of how insidious corruption can take place in our American system. The Republicans continue to defend only themselves, keeping only themselves in mind and not giving a hoot about the average American, about how our tax money is spent, about the health of our nation and people, and so on. I hope we all can remain vigilant in being aware about the abuses the Republicans continue to commit against the average, middle-class American people, which are now slowly but surely coming to the surface.


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