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Culture of corruption

By mmguestblogger  •  August 15, 2006 05:32 PM

Harry Reid had to return a contribution of $3000, with interest, to one Ben Barnes because Barnes is a lobbyist and accepting money from lobbyists is a no-no:

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., last year refunded a $3,000 check he got in 1999 from a Texas friend, Ben Barnes, after a public interest group revealed it was improper. Now he’s paid Barnes more than $1,600 in interest, according to recent filings with the Secretary of the Senate.

The filings were disclosed Monday by PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign spending.

Barnes, a lobbyist and former Texas lieutenant governor, made the donation in question to a legal defense fund Reid had established to cover costs of his 1998 Senate race recount, which he won by 428 votes over Republican John Ensign.

Other than a lobbyist, who is Ben Barnes? Ah, yes:

In 1999, Barnes claimed that while Speaker of the House he had “personally interceded” with Texas Air National Guard officials to get George W. Bush into the Guard [3]. Barnes repeated the claim in the U.S. presidential election, 2004. He stated that he had assisted Bush while Barnes was lieutenant governor. The charge met heavy criticism over its inconsistency (Barnes did not become lieutenant governor until 1969 – after Bush joined the guard) and after his daughter Amy publicly challenged the veracity of his story.

Pants on fire.

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