This is crossposted at MyDD
Great fun! In the Asheville Citizen-Times website, you can see video of our dear Congressman Charles Taylor (R-11) fighting for his political life. After being accused of strong ties to convicted felon Jack Abramoff, he came out of his dark hole of non-communication with his constituents to admit to $10,000 in contributions from Saginaw Chippewa, denials he's ever met Abramoff, and generally bumbling about his "fundraising" history.
In several repetitive audio and video clips you can see and hear him call his April 11 fundraiser that netted $30,000 "unrelated" to Abramoff or his lobbying efforts. Good try. He can't stop mentioning he's never meeting Abramoff. I guess, in Chuckie-world, personal e-mails don't count as "meeting."
He replied when asked about former (i.e., GE lobbyist Roger France) and current staff meeting Jacko:
I don't know. I mean, I don't know if they have or haven't. I haven't gone around and asked 'em. I would doubt it but you would have to ask them.
I love how, once one of your buddies becomes a convicted felon, you just don't ask your staff about meeting him. I mean, I wouldn't ask, either dear congressman Taylor, if I wanted to be able to say I didn't know.
And memo to whomever was asking the questions? Failure to follow-up. That's what it's called in journalism circles. Failure to follow up. let me give you some suggestions:
Why haven't you asked your staff? After all, you've been tied to convicted felon through press reports and e-mails and you sit here a tell me to my face, you never asked your staff if they had had any contact with him? Why? You must know it makes you look pretty bad.
He describes the April 11th fundraiser that has been publicly linked to Jack Abramoff:
It would be a handful of people. It would have been less than 50 . . . it would be $500 and up . . . It was a reception. They get finger food.
Donated but wasn't there? he was asked. "And that's not uncommon," Taylor was quick to reply.
Was Abramoff in attendance?
We're almost certain -- but you never can tell. Someone sticks a head in and out.
Interesting turn of phrase. Must be worried about witnesses and unknown photos.
Was Abramoff invited? he was asked. He bumbled on and on
Along with probably a thousand other people. I don't know that he was invited . . . I'd have to go back and see if we sent him an individual [invitation]. . . I don't think. I'd have to go back and see. We usually send out hundreds of invitations. If anybody ever contributed to use, he would get invitations in the future.
His campaign strategy is always to play up that his opponents get more money from out of the district than he does. The reason is that he is so unpopular, he has to self-finance. So, of course, most of his money is from in the district. It's from HIM!
So, I very much enjoyed watching Chuckie-boy act like on the one hand, $30,000 DC fundraisers are no big deal, but on the other hand, he holds most of his fundraisers in the district but doesn't get much money from them.
60-70% of our funds are raised in this district at small fundraisers anywhere up to $10,000 . . . we have a lot of fundraisers for $2500 to $10,000.
My favorite is when he realizes that he rarely appears in public (and even then with no public notice) that it makes him soudn inaccessabile. You've really got to listen to him trying to make up for the feel of the $30,000 DC schmooze by describing a typical Western North Carolina event:
Some times we do without any charge . . . if it's a new neighborhood, tea will be served and we go speak.
Ha ha ha. Just the open-handed friendly hospitable guy, our Chuck.
People meetin' and greetin' the congressman at a fundraiser and they don't even have to pay to get in. I bet. Tell that to the person who arranged the event.
What does "new neighborhood" mean? Not newly-built, I am sure! Probably a neighborhood they haven't yet trolled for funds. Let him visit the folk the first time for free. Then, the next time, after they think they're "friends" with a congressman, hit 'em up for the bucks. "If you really want us to give you some love, folks, you have to pony up to the bar. If you thought we were your friends just because we met with you at no charge once? Well, you're an idiot. Now, pony up or forget it."
In the audio tape, spewed that same 'don't have to pay' line about the DC event when asked about who was there:
They're invited. They wouldn't be there if they wouldn't give . . . . but we wouldn't throw them out there if they came and didn't pay.
I guess it's ingrained on his brain to keep mentioning that you don't have to pay for access when, if you look at his record, yeah, maybe you don't pay for access but you surely have to pay if you want his vote.
And as to the 60-70% -- I wonder just how many of these events he has in the district versus the DC schmoozy-do's. I wonder.
Time to do some research . . .
And, did you notice, our friend from the Hendersonville Times News, Joel Burgess, has moved to Asheville. Maybe the Asheville paper will now actually do some real reporting.