Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Talented Mr. Walsh

If the tone of the following seems overly snide, it's because the bills in question were filed in 2006 & 2007 (the article doesn't say what month), but the story was reported in 2008 -- an election year.

Compare two front page stories by Bill Walsh of the Picayune's Washington Bureau*. In October 2005, he wrote about the inability of local firms to win Katrina reconstruction contracts from the federal government. In the entire article -- the linked version seems shorter than I remember the original running -- there wasn't a single question about the political connections or campaign contributions of the out-of-state firms that landed the contracts. Not a single question, no mention whatsoever in that front page story, but this story by an AP reporter appeared on page A5 ten days later.

In today's paper, Bill Walsh writes about Mary Landrieu's filing of a private bill on behalf of a constituent with immigration problems and gives the impression that crooked dealings are involved:
Unlike many immigrants, Hurley had political connections. His brother-in-law, Lafayette attorney James "Kirk" Piccione, is a Landrieu supporter, having given $4,250 to her campaigns over the years including a $1,000 contribution six weeks after the first bill was filed, according to a review of the data by the Center for Responsible Politics.

Landrieu must have intervened because, "over the years" Hurley's brother-in-law contributed &4,250 to Landrieu campaigns. That's less than the legal maximum for one year and Republican Orrin Hatch had previously intervened on Hurley's behalf.

Give this man a Pulitzer.

BTW: It might seem like I'm employing a double standard toward Landrieu and Nagin, but there's a huge difference between helping a private citizen with an immigration problem and awarding multi-million dollar contracts. Also, Ray Nagin implied that his opponent would improperly steer government contracts toward his campaign contributors, I took that as an invitation.

*I've observed before that Washington Bureau reporters all have email addresses ending in, while other T/P reporters are emailed at, which makes me wonder whether Washington Bureau reporters work directly for Newhouse.

You've seen the website, right? Do you think they could get an email account set up out of state?

But seriously, doesn't everyone at the Picayune work directly for Newhouse?
I guess it is just a matter of being based out of Washington. But I've often wondered if the local and capital bureau reporters answer to somebody on Howard Ave. and the Washington bureau reporters answer directly to the head of Newhouse's Washington operations. At any rate, I've detected a Republican bias in the Picayune's Washington reporting for as long as i can remember.
But yeah, it probably was just a case of me reading too much into an insignificant detail. I'll admit to ignorance about most technical matters.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Old Favorites
  • Political Boxing (untitled)
  • Did Bush Take His Ball and Go Home
  • Teratogens and Plan B
  • Foghorn Leghorn Republicans
  • Quote of the Day
  • October's News(Dec.1)
  • untitled, Nov.19 (offshore revenue)
  • Remember Upton Sinclair
  • Oct. Liar of thr month
  • Jindal's True Colors
  • No bid contracts