Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ethical Foul? Reid? Or McCain?

I haven't covered it here yet (I should have. I've been really slack here lately), so in case you aren't already familiar with the latest GOP shill reporting by John Solomon at the AP, I'll bring you up to speed.

Basically, the AP goes with a story with a ton of holes in it trying to make it appear Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) had done something wrong. It turns out that Reid broke no rules at all. As I will point out, there really isn't much of anything to this supposed scandal of Solomon's, but if there is any impropriety involved, using Solomon's convoluted reasoning I suppose, then McCain is every bit as deep in it, and even more so, than Reid.

In a series of progressively more rediculous fabrications for the AP, John Solomon criticized Reid for accepting tickets to the Oscar De La Hoya-Bernard Hopkins bout, only they weren't tickets. What "Reid and McCain got weren't tickets available to the general public but "credentials" the [Nevada Boxing] commission gives only to public officials hoping to observe the commission's activity."

Solomon repeatedly tries to fault Reid for even accepting the credentials, "only, there is an exception for gifts from governmental agencies (like the Nevada Athletic Commission) in the Senate ethics rules. So there is nothing untoward about Reid having accepted" the credentials, or for McCain having done so either.

Solomon's beef with Reid appears to be that he shouldn't have accepted the gift without paying for it like he claims McCain did, when the Senate had legislation pending that involved the commission. The thing is, it would have been illegal for the commission to accept payment for them.

Recap: There was "nothing untoward" about Reid and McCain accepting the seats because the "credentials are given out to governmental officials and others in order to observe the commission's activity", so, if anything it begs as to how Mrs. McCain was also entitled to such a seat. And since the commission is prevented by law from accepting any money for them at all in any case, McCain's attempted reimbursal, which Solomon apparently feels exhonorate's him completely, actually went to charity because they couldn't accept it...
McCain, who brought his wife to the fight, sent Arum a check for the price of two ringside seats [Bullshit. See below]. Arum said he didn't know what to do with the money.

"Those credentials cannot be sold," he said. "There's no price on them. (They are given to) governors, attorney generals, boxing commissioners of other states. ... It's illegal to accept money for a credential."

Arum said he couldn't accept McCain's money but McCain wouldn't take it back, so Arum donated it to Catholic Charities. ...(more)
Despite Solomon's claim that McCain tried to reimburse the commission for two ringside tickets above, it appears he only tried to reimburse the commission the cost of a single ticket.
Her ticket, but not his?

"Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., insisted on paying $1,400 for the tickets he shared with Reid for a 2004 championship fight," Solomon wrote. (...)

On the value of the tickets, both Ratner and Arum said the seats that Reid and McCain used for the Oscar De La Hoya fight were worth about $1,400 to $1,500 each. That's why McCain insisted on paying that amount. The commission arranged for McCain's check to be sent to Arum, who cashed it and donated the money to charity. ...(more)
For every reason Solomon is going after Reid, there is even more reason to fault McCain. Both Reid and McCain got their seats for free without reimbursing for them. McCain tried to reimburse for the price of one (his wife's) ticket. What's more, Reid went on later to vote against the interests of the commission on that pending legislation, so Solomon's whole story is a quid without a quo in any case.

How did McCain vote on that bill? I don't know yet, I'm just asking.

Also, as John Aravosis points out, Solomon has quite a history of just making shit up to smear Democrats for the Associated Press. ...

He's done it to Reid before...
and to Ambassador Joe Wilson,
and he's done it to Senator Dorgan.

Solomon appears to have a bad case of Gannon/Miller disease. The AP really needs to have this cyst excised before it spreads.

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