RUSH: Matt in Los Olivos, California. You’re next, sir. Welcome. Glad to have you with us.
CALLER: Rush, a pleasure to talk to you. I’ve listener since 1988. So I consider myself a charter member.
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: The program has been a big part of our lives. Rush, yesterday, or actually I think it was Tuesday where you indicated that McCain-Feingold actually indirectly created the likes of Jack Abramoff and its my contention it is absolutely is responsible for creating him because it was my recollection — you might need to give me a history lesson here — that McCain-Feingold expressly exempted Indian tribes from the constraints of the legislation, and that was done strictly because of the demands by Dorgan and Daschle and McCain and other senators.
RUSH: I would have to look that up. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, and the larger issue… You know what’s funny? There’s a Washington Post column by left-wing sycophant Richard Cohen, and he just waxing eloquent! He’s just singing the praises of John McCain and Feingold. Why, if it weren’t for McCain and Feingold, we’d have never caught this rat, Abramoff. Why, if it weren’t for McCain and Feingold, this Abramoff guy would still be getting away with the bloody murder he’s been getting away with! The truth of the matter is, uh, ladies and gentlemen, that campaign finance reform changed the way that you can donate money. You just couldn’t give it to the people you wanted to give it to. You had to find circuitous ways around it. It gave rise to people like Abramoff who could figure out ways to get money to members of Congress that could not alternately get there after campaign finance reform. If Indian tribes were exempt from campaign finance reform…
We’re checking on that right now, but if that’s true (laughing) then the symbiotic relationship between Abramoff and the campaign finance reformers is going to be profound. (interruption) Okay, they’re not exempt from McCain-Feingold. They’re not exempt from McCain-Feingold, but they are exempt from several FEC rules, federal (interruption). Oh, oh, oh. Oh, oh, oh. I’m sorry. I misunderstood Mr. Snerdley. They are exempt from campaign finance reform by virtue of Federal Election Commission rulings! So you’re exactly right, Matt. The Indian tribes are totally immune, and yet here’s McCain getting all this credit today for helping to nail Abramoff, and Abramoff simply gamed the system, said, “Okay, my guys are exempt. I’m not even subject to this stupidity, and so he went to town with it.” I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. It has already started.
Just as we had campaign finance reform when a bunch of congressman were about to be nailed, we’re going to get lobbyist reform. We’re going to have people up on Capitol Hill going on and on. “We need lobbyist reform!” Newt Gingrich is out there saying, “We need lobby reform. There’s too much lobbying going on out there. Too many circuitous routes are happening out there. We need more lobbying reform. We’re gonna get a lobby reform bill,” and I don’t know who’s going to end up authoring it, but you wait. The same thing is going to happen. We get a lobby reform bill. There’s going to be more screwed up lobbying than ever before. We get campaign finance reform. We got more screwed up campaign finance than ever. McCain’s passed his anti-torture bill; we’re going to get more torture than we ever dreamed possible.
RUSH: Lobby reform bill. Newt’s out there talking. “We need lobby reform,” and I don’t know that a lobby reform bill has been proposed, but Newt is toying with the idea of running for president. I guarantee you a bunch of other presidential perspirants — not aspirants, “perspirants” — are going to jump on the bandwagon and will start talking about lobby reform, and some of them are in the Congress; some of them are in the Senate. So if it happens, here’s what we’re going to end up with. Congress, which may be engulfed in a lobbying scandal, wants to pass a law to tighten up Congress’ behavior. This is like the old joke about, you know, putting Colonel Sanders in charge of the chickens to save ’em. The solution to this, folks, is real simple. You just elect people to graduates who don’t take bribes. Of course, McCain says you can’t do that because money corrupts good people. Well, then nobody should be paid anything! If money corrupts, we should all just work for free and let the government feed us, clothe us, house us, what have you.
Lobby reform, genuine lobby reform, would simply be defeating members of Congress who sell their offices. It’s called elections. The real powerful form of term limits. By the way, we had a drive-by caller. A drive-by caller is a caller with a good point but couldn’t hang on to go on the air. There’s a story in a New Zealand newspaper . I found it on the website here. “Three American senators will pass through New Zealand this week on a visit to Antarctica. It’s not known yet if they will meet any local politicians. The trio include…” I’m just reading this from the New Zealand website. “The trio include the independent-minded Republican Senator John McCain.” (laughing) Independent? I guess “maverick” is not enough in New Zealand. The independent minded Republican Senator McCain who won a skirmish with President Bush last month over a bill to ban torture,” and so forth. “He’s traveling with two other Republican senators, Susan Collins and John Sununu.
The drive-by caller said, “What is this, March of the RINOs?” They’re going down to Antarctica? What for? What do you bet it’s got something to do with global warming? I also found from… Where is this? This is Cato Institute website, a Libertarian bunch. This is a column, January 12th, by Pat Basham, Patrick Basham, and John Samples at Cato. “Campaign Finance Folly,” and let me just pick this up about, oh, 75% of the way in: “Campaign regulations must be applied consistently across political parties and their respective committees. Hence, the [Democratic National Commmittee]’s request was rejected. The DNC isn’t the only culprit when it comes to favoring one kind of campaign reform for itself and another for everyone else. Arizona Sen. [the maverick] John McCain (R) is a skilled practitioner of this approach to campaign regulation. McCain, the principal backer of campaign finance reform, is also a loyal backer of Indian political causes. As a result, McCain is the number one recipient of the political donations provided to candidates by the nation’s 550 Indian tribes.
“In fact, McCain receives twice the amount given to the second-highest recipient. Under current law,” this is 2002 now, “a person may donate a maximum of $1,000 to a specific candidate up to an annual limit of $25,000. This is known as ‘hard money.’ The candidate may use it directly for his own campaign. In May 2000, the FEC ruled that an Indian tribe may make the current maximum hard money donation of $1,000 per candidate to each of the more than 500 candidates running for federal office, i.e., Indian tribes can make aggregate annual hard money contributions in excess of $500,000.” Everybody else’s limit is $25,000. “In April, McCain’s campaign finance bill passed the Senate and remains in legislative limbo in the House. However, if a McCain-style campaign finance bill is eventually passed, thereby banning soft money, McCain’s favored tribes will possess a huge advantage over other Americans in exercising their right to political speech,” free speech. Here it is. Patrick Basham, John Samples, Cato Institute, January 12, 2002, almost four years ago.
So the caller was right. Indian tribes are exempt from campaign finance reform and they give en masse to John McCain who sits on the Indian affairs committee? Hello, Jack Abramoff? Hello, Jack Abramoff? Folks, I tell you, in the meantime we’ve got this reputation for Senator McCain as a tireless worker for fairness and for purity and cleanliness of the electoral system and so forth, gotta get the money out of politics except when it comes it his donors then there are no limits placed on his donors. They are exempt from his own law. Ha-ha, and I have a list here, and I’m sure many of you people have been able to find this. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has put out a little story here: “Democrats Don’t Know Jack?” A little dual meaning there, double entendre here, are 40 of the 45 members of the Senate Democrat caucus who have received “at least” this much money from Abramoff or his clients:
Max Baucus: $22,500
Evan Bayh: $6,500
Joe Biden: $1,250
Jeff Bingaman $2,000
Barbara Boxer: $20,000
Maria Cantwell: $21,765
Tom Carper (He’s from Delaware): $7,500
Hillary Clinton: $12,950.
Christopher Dodd: $14,792
Byron “Helmet Head” Dorgan: $79,300
Dick Durbin: (at least) $14,000
Russ Feingold: $1,250
Tom “Dung Heap” Harkin: $45,750
Oh! By the way, you know what happened the week between Christmas and New Year’s? Harkin sent back the Club Gitmo stuff that we sent him. He sent it back. Cookie sent me a note. I was out in Los Angeles; she sent me an e-mail, “We got this thing from Harkin’s office. Do you want me to open it or do you want me to send it to you?” I said, “No, no, no. Go ahead and open it,” and she opened it up and it was all the Club Gitmo stuff. They said it exceeded the gift limit. Ha! My foot it exceeded the gift limit. We have Harkin here, took $45,750 at least from Abramoff or his clients.
Senator “In No Way” from Hawaii: $9,000.
There are some other big amounts here.
Tim Johnson: $14,250
John Kerry, $98,550
Barbara Mikulski: $10,000.
Blanche Lincoln: $14,891
Patty Murray, Washington: $78,991
At least that much money! Who’s the other big one? Dingy Harry!
“Dingy” Harry Reid: at least $68,940.
We know that Rangel has received 36 grand, and he’s not giving it back. The Republicans have made a mad dash to give all this money back. The Democrats aren’t. Dingy Harry is keeping the money. “I don’t know Abramoff. I never met Abramoff.” That’s what all the Democrats say: “I never met Abramoff. I never went and played golf with him. I never flew in a private jet.” My rear end! Besides, when is that a crime? How many congressman have been ferried around in private jets since you and I have been kids? The idea that that’s some sort of a crime. They’re laying that at the feet of DeLay — or golf trips?
Debbie Stabenow: $6,250
Chuck Schumer: $29,550
Jay Rockefeller: $4,000.
These are the minimal amount. They received at least this much from Abramoff or his clients, according to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
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