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Just another entirely unique incident. March 2, 2006

Posted by ultor in Uncategorized.

Tom Lyons of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune isn’t a happy camper. Why? Let him say it:

Let’s not make this fuzzy: U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris lied.

Rep. Harris took $34K in campaign contributions from MZM, Inc. Mitchell Wade was its CEO. That would be the same Mitchell Wade who has pled guilty to bribing one Congressman and making illegal contributions to two others, helpfully identified in the plea agreement as “Representative A” and “Representative B”. Kind of gives it that Seussian feel, doesn’t it? Harris is “Representative B”.

Apparently she told Mr. Lyons that she had “no idea” what MZM expected to get for the bundles (literally – stacks of $2,000 checks ostensibly from MZM employees) of money being handed to her from a company that has no operations in the whole state of Florida, let alone in her district. Well, it turns out there’s a wee bit of a problem with that. Here’s Lyons with the scoop:

MZM CEO Wade’s plea agreement tells us that he eventually told Harris — referred to only as “Representative B” in the court document — exactly what MZM wanted from her.

Wade, the man who handed her a bundle of $2,000 checks, within the year took our Representative B to dinner at a Washington, D.C., restaurant, Citronelle, and asked her to help the company get a defense contract. It involved work in Navy counterintelligence.

Harris dutifully carried his funding proposal to colleagues in Congress, no matter that she knew little about the proposal or whether MZM could deliver anything of value to the nation.

Let’s be clear: Harris says she didn’t know that the contributions were illegal, and it’s unlikely that could be proven false in a court of law. Though she does have a record of, shall we say, a pronounced ability to believe in the unbridled generosity of people who want to give her money. And, of course, we must remember that this is completely unlike any of the other Republican scandals, each one a complete departure from the norm. Certainly there’s no pattern of misbehavior on the part of Republican officials. It’s just that the majority of them make the few honest ones look bad.



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