Friday, April 21, 2006

Blackburn Goes Back-to-Back on Enclave

Rarely do I have the opportunity to write consecutive posts on the same subject, but my little survey of sources on Marsha Blackburn has yielded some remarkable results beyond that of the telecom bill. Back in March John Nichols over at The Nation blog addressed a vote on what is usually a "perfunctory measure": authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to designate a presidential birthplace home as a "National Historic Site."

The problem with Ms. Blackburn is that she was one of a small group of Republican members that forced a rare roll-call vote on designating a presidential birthplace, and then she went on record as voting "no" on designation. Why? Because the designee was Hope, Arkansas, the birthplace of former President William Jefferson Clinton. As Nichols notes, "at a time when Republicans are banging away on critics of the Bush administration for not respecting the office of the presidency," Blackburn et al have the nerve to politicize an issue strictly concerning presidential history.

Nichols also points to the irony of someone like Marsha Blackburn opposing the designation on principle, when her ethics problems indicate that principle is not exactly her forte. According to Nichols:
Blackburn [is a] ... major recipient of [former House Majority Leader Tom] DeLay's largesse and a loyal ally of the indicted ex-leader, having contributed $5,000 to DeLay's legal defense fund.
That's not the only thing checkering Ms. Blackburn's ethics. There's also the little matter of her PAC overfunding her congressional campaign. But wait, there's more checkers: The Hill reports that Ms. Blackburn accepted a $500 campaign contribution in 2005 from Jack Abramhoff-chum and lobbyist Tony Rudy, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy last week. Ms. Blackburn also joined her collaborator Tom Delay in not returning The Hill's phone calls concerning the matter.

Tennessee's divine Ms. Blackburn does not seem to be flying right enough herself to judge others.

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