OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS - - “One More Pig at the Trough”

(01/29/2002)

By Tony Russell

I called in my report on the meeting of the Republican National Committee last night after I got back to the motel.

“Where’ve you been, Ace?” demanded Bob. “We’ve been holding the presses for your story.”

“They ran a little over schedule, Chief. I got back as quick as I could.”

“Okay, okay. Just give me the main details. Who did they elect as Chairman?”

“Well, that’s one of the funny things, Chief. They elected Mark Racicot. I thought that they wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole after news broke that he took a $50,000 bribe from Enron.”

Bob exploded. “Damn it, Ace!” he yelled, “That was NOT a bribe! It was a $50,000 consultant’s fee! Get your facts straight!”

“What exactly IS a bribe, Chief?” I asked. “I can’t seem to grasp the distinction.”

“A bribe is illegal, you dunce. A consultant’s fee is completely legitimate.”

“And the two million dollars Lay and Enron gave Bush?”

“Campaign contributions. Never to be construed as bribes.”

“Dick Cheney’s meetings with Kenneth Lay to find out what Lay wanted in the administration’s energy bill? And letting Lay handpick the head of the SEC, which is supposed to be regulating his company?”

“Just service to a constituent. Nothing to do with campaign contributions.”

“I think I’m getting it now, Chief. And the job Wendy Gramm got on Enron’s board after the government commission she headed gave Enron a special break that earned Enron millions and millions?”

“They were just tapping her expertise. Perfectly legitimate.”

“Larry Lindsey’s consulting fee?”

“Same as Racicot’s. Why even ask?”

“So as far as the Republican National Committee is concerned ….?”

“You’ve got it. Racicot’s not tainted. He was just one more pig at the trough.”


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