Sunday, February 08, 2009

New RNC chairman may already be under investigation

Michael S. Steele, the new leader of the Republican Party, may be under investigation for misusing campaign funds, according to The Washington Post:
The recent allegations outlined four specific transactions. In addition to the payment to Steele's sister, Fabian said that the candidate used money from his state campaign improperly; that Steele paid $75,000 from the state campaign to a law firm for work that was never performed; and that he or an aide transferred more than $500,000 in campaign cash from one bank to another without authorization.
It's a big article with lots of interesting details, so I urge you to read it. A couple of issues occurred to me as I read this article and some of the Republican reaction to it.

First is the fact that the actions giving rise to these accusations happened under the Bush administration. The Bush administration has a long record of refusing to prosecute political allies. Did the Bush DOJ give Steele, a rising star in the GOP, a free pass?

Second, there is the defense being raised against the charges by Republicans, namely that the person making the accusations is a convicted felon--Alan B. Fabian--trying to strike a bargain for a more lenient sentence in connection with his conviction on unrelated fraud charges. What does it say about Steele that he chose a swindler like Alan B. Fabian to serve as the finance chairman of his 2006 senate race? Why did Michael S. Steele pal around with a soon-to-be convicted fraudster?

Some of you may remember Alan B. Fabian from this story about how Fabian used $100,000 worth of stolen money to help pay for George W. Bush's second inaugural. Republican corruption can be a pretty incestuous business.

1 comment:

James Young said...

"Steele paid $75,000 from the state campaign to a law firm for work that was never performed"?

I don't know why this would be a misuse of funds by Steele, unless there's some illicit purpose not even implied. It would be an ethical violation --- if not a crime --- for an attorney accept funds for work not performed, but I can't see how it's a problem for the attorney's victim. On the other hand, it could be a transaction as simple as a retainer.