Taylor fights for his political life

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.


Great Post

I've got to stay on top of this stuff!

This will soon be cross-posted at Scrutiny Hooligans as well.

Taylor is openly lying now - twisting in the political wind. It's time for us to start promoting Shuler. The honest choice for Congress.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

there's more, Screwy

I posted in a hurry. I haven't transcribed the tapes. He bumbled over "my staff, my campaign staff" setting up the meeting. he's never had a campaign staff. I went to his campaign "office" in 2004 repeatedly. No one was ever there. I got several campaign calls about him on my home phone (a new number, obviously a formerly republican number) and caller id was always traced to Buncombe County Republican HQ. You know, over by Sam's, near the Verizon store.

He doesn't have and never has had a "Campaign" staff and everyone knows it.

There's a lot of lies there to go over. And campaign finances issues to investigate.

I know ya'll are aware of this

but since I haven't been actually around that much I don't know if everyone else saw that TPM Muckraker has a file set up on old Chuck. I like Josh Marshall and I think Paul Kiel is doing a good job. Josh had a piece a day or so ago asking for volunteers to keep on top of information about districts. I volunteered for the 8th - though they might not deem it a worthy race to follow. We still aren't getting any respect for our NC races.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

thanks SD

that hadn't come up on my googling. I e-mailed him. He has a good post about the CAFTA vote. I think that needs to be on the Taylor page.

Maybe just with all the lying on the Forest land sale. When you get a chance could you let me know what's the best link for that stuff? No rush.

Which link?

Do you mean to my post? I'm sorry I'm being dense...b/t that and the cold meds....ugh.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well, I could be the dense one

. . . I've seen the post when you talked to the Macon reporter but I was under the impression you'd posted something 'splaining the whole story.

I'm helping Martha come up with a page that is an overview of the scandals and the forest service lie is just a classic Taylor move. I'd rather use your stuff than have to write a summary.

And even if I have to write a short summary, I still want to link to whatever you have . . .

sorry you have a cold. i hate a spring cold

this is awesome

thanks for posting this.

lance, you really should front-page this. :)

Thanks, syntax

I'll admit that I'm skimming the longer posts this week; thanks for flagging this.

syntax, how should I

Make out the check?

DQ, that's not funny

I hope you read the Terms of Use sections on "Graft" and "Commercial Transactions."

Basically, they say that I get a cut.


I'm easy.

Great post on Taylor

at muckraker. He zeroes on on the salient point that Chuckie can remember what the lunch with Abramoff's folk wasn't about (money and helping the Saginaw Chippewa) but he can't remember what it WAS about.

With all this attention, surely someone who has the power to act will pressure for more investigation?????

Thanks, SD for pointing out this website. It hadn't come up on my google searches for Taylor stuff.

Or do we all have to keep putting more and more and more pressure on.

Two Words: Hair. Piece.


Naaahhhh just a really

bad dye job. I don't understand why people have a problem with looking their age. (Coming from someone who refuses to act her age!)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Whatcha writin' about today?


Nothing yet

I'm sitting here trying to find something to inspire me. I may write how the new law limiting 527 groups will put a world of hurtin' on Art Pope's group. Wanna hayulp?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You bet, SD.

Art Pope is in very deep shit on this. They're trying to laugh it off, but it's going to stick. Morgan is already pushing for 'cease and desist,' but that's just the beginning of a full-fledged pissin' contest. The Puppetmaster has money, but this may be one case he can't buy his way out of.

Give me some assignments.

First and foremost

I know nothing about Art Pope except what I've learned from you and the one article in The Charlotte Observer. I know that his group could be seriously limited once the new law goes into effect...if it ever does. I understand what they are doing with the Morgan campaign, but what other campaigns have they meddled in? I was going to research the new law changes to see how they will impact the activities of the group.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Morgan's the only one I know about.

I'll do some background digging on the Puppetmaster and put together a compilation of his greatest hits.


Note to Art Himself: Are you up for a REAL interview, or do you prefer to have the puppets do all the talking for you? You know where to reach me.

Kiel's good

Let's disseminate this piece as much as we can.

I sent TPM an email yesterday with the AC-T link as well as links to BlueNC and ScruHoo. Kiel seems to have run with it.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

so did I!!!!

And I just sent him another e-mail tonight:

I enjoyed your Charles Taylor post today. I appreciate so much your paying attention to this story.

Here's some points about the fundraiser:

If you listen to the Joel Burgess audio, you'll hear him say his "staff" arranged the fundraiser and then quickly say, his "campaign staff."

I think there's a good chance he had no campaign staff on record then. I volunteered for his opponent, Patsy Keever. I visited his "campaign office" repeatedly that summer and fall. It was never unlocked. If you like, I know another Keever volunteer as a witness who visited far more often than I.

I had just moved (so I had a new phone number that was obviously a republican by all the Laura Bush and Rudy Guiliani robocalls). I got repeated calls from Taylor's "campaign" and, according to my caller ID (and by returning the call to inquire) they were phone lines out of the Buncombe County Republican headquarters.

Let's see what he can unearth for us!


Keep on pushing.

It's great to have this community to work together to push stories like Taylor's into bigger spotlights. Thanks.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

I saw Paul's post last night

but knew you folks had seen it. I wondered if your emails had provided motivation.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.