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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Offering jobs to affect elections (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Offering jobs to affect elections
Pyrtolin
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There is a substantial difference- the first is quid pro quo, the second is just quid with no "pro quo". The offer wasn't in any way contingent on him dropping out of the race; it was made without any preconditions. He didn't have to drop out of the race to get it, the offer was made up front. There was no favor for favor here, just basic political maneuvering. Most important in that is that, absent the various primaries, there wouldn't be anything exceptional or undeserving about the offers. Romanoff actually applied for the position that he was offered, Sestak is well qulaified for the (unpaid) advisory position that he was offered. While the administration might have wanted the incidental effects that would have been a result of taking the offers, those don't fall into the purview of any of the laws because they weren't conditions on the offers themselves.
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G2
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Just read an interesting theory about Sestak and Bill Clinton. First, a few factoids:
  • Bill and Sestak are tight. Sestak has a pretty serious man crush on Bill. Bill likes Sestak enough and is invested in him enough that he met with Sestak to help him plan his campaign in the general election (how many presidents do that?). They're buds, fo rizzle.
  • Bill does not like Obama. Remember, "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee”?
  • It's pretty well know that Bill is loyal to his friends. Seriously loyal to them.
  • The flip side of that, he absolutely holds a grudge forever. For example, Bill blames Carter for Bill's losing the Arkansas governor race in 1980. Bill hates the guy to this day for that.
  • Something similar, that very same day Bill and Sestak met to plan the campaign against Arlen Spector (R) was the same exact day he became Arlen Spector (D). Bill had no idea it was coming. How do you think that went over? Yeah, you can envision it.

So Bill is embarrassed in front of his good bud Sestak by a guy he really doesn't like to begin with and already has a grudge against for playing the race card against Hillary. Bill just might do what the Clinton's do best - get even. So when Bill goes out to Sestak (sent by Obama because O knows they're best buds) Bill floats the idea to Sestak and tells him to pass on it. The Clinton's have owned PA every time they've run there, Bill knew Spector was dead in the water and Sestak would kick his ass (hell, everyone knew that, it's why the bribe had to be made) so he tells Sestak to stay in there and run.

Later, they leak it out that The One is doing Chicago style politics by bribing people to leave elections and doing it so poorly that whoever they try it with is ignoring them. It really does make the Obama administration look like the bastard child of Richard Daley and Barney Fife. Bill Clinton has made Obama look about as weak and ineffectual as a president has looked since, well, since Jimmy Carter.

Add into this that Carville has given the de facto green light for Democrats to peel off from Obama. You know who Carville works for? Bill Clinton. Always has.

The theory has some merit. If this really is the case, Barry better watch out. Nobody plays this game like the Clintons and Barry is liable to get his ass handed to him over and over again and appear weaker and weaker every time. G2 hopes it's true. [LOL]

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TCB
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sfallman said:
quote:
Because it's not the same thing. Donors getting ambassadorships doesn't equal bribing someone to drop out of a primary.
They both appear to violate the law being cited here: "Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment...to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."

From this wording it was probably also illegal for Reagan to offer Bush I the vice presidency. Shock! Scandal! [Smile]

edit: formatting

[ June 04, 2010, 05:28 PM: Message edited by: TCB ]

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Michelle
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The title of the thread is bothering me. Should it be affect or effect?

This just seems like politics as usual. I thought when Obama appointed republican Governor John Huntsman of Utah, to be ambassador to China something fishy was going on. It's true Huntsman was probably the most qualified for the position but he also was rumored to be a strong rival for a presidential run in 2012.

I really hope that we don't divert attention from all the serious crisis's we are currently facing because Rahm Emanuel happens to be a beast at his job.

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Al Wessex
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The usage is correct. Both affect/effect can be nouns or verbs, so it can be confusing.

It *is* politics as usual, but things aren't always as bad as they smell. Sometimes the fuzzy gray line covers everything.

If you woke Nixon or Reagan from their slumber and told them what they did was illegal, they'd say "So?"

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edgmatt
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quote:
I thought when Obama appointed republican Governor John Huntsman of Utah
Appointing someone to ambassador ( or anything ) when they are already Governor, and not currently in a race for anything I think is ok, as far as what the law says. It's when they are in the race that the law addresses:

quote:
Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position, compensation, contract....for any political activity or for the support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in connection with any general or special election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office...
That's guys running for office, or in the middle of an election. I don't think it applies to guys who are in the middle of a term.
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Michelle
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quote:
The usage is correct. Both affect/effect can be nouns or verbs, so it can be confusing.
Thank-you. The rule is slipping my memory. I need to go relearn it.
quote:
Appointing someone to ambassador ( or anything ) when they are already Governor, and not currently in a race for anything I think is ok, as far as what the law says. It's when they are in the race that the law addresses:

That's just it. That's what bugged me about the situation at the time. When the announcement was made Obama would be offering the job to Governor John Huntsman, the turn-around of Huntsman acceptance was hours -- not days, not weeks, not months. I would think if you are asking someone who has a family of..(I think seven?) to take a post outside of the country -- after they had committed to serve in a state as a governor, you would expect them to need time to mull it over, right? [Confused]

[ June 05, 2010, 01:10 AM: Message edited by: Michelle ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Appointing someone to ambassador ( or anything ) when they are already Governor, and not currently in a race for anything I think is ok, as far as what the law says.
Except the contention was that it was given to prevent him from entering the upcoming presidential race.

People running for office are prevented from making such offers and offers can't be made that are explicitly in exchange for political favors. But it says nothing about offers that are simply given to them; only things that are offered as after the fact awards for political action.

There's a difference here between affecting and influencing- there is no prohibition from doing anything that might incidentally affect a race (or else there would effectively be a prohibition against doing anything, ever)

It's also worth noting that campaigns aren't mentioned in the law at all, only elections and caucuses; the actual process of voting- and that's where the difference comes into play; it doesn't try to actually change the minds of the people voting in any way. They're affected but not influenced.

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