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Go Fly A Kite

Tom Blumer, at Bizzy Blog, wonders why conservatives like James Dobson, Paul Weyrich, Jack Kemp, Ed Meese, Anthony Munoz, and numerous others are throwing there support behind Former Congressman Bob McEwen in a June 14th primary for the vacant 2nd Congressional District in Ohio.

McEwen who, in addition to parachuting into the district to run, was front and center during the House Check Kiting scandal, racking up 166 bounced checks.


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Comments (12)

I let your trackback throug... (Below threshold)

I let your trackback through. Thanks for reading. I notice you don't have any good anwswers either. Perhaps other commenters will.


I can't speak for that grou... (Below threshold)

I can't speak for that group but part of their motivation may be the fact that the curent front runner is Pat DeWine. He is the son of Senator DeWine and benefits from the instant name recognition. The knock on him besides his dad is he has twice been back by the local Republican party for jobs and then decide to run for another office before getting half way through the term of office he was elected to. Also, he left his wife and three kids for some other broad in a pretty messy divorce which doesn't go over too well.

Personally, I'm backing Tom Bemmes in this race.

The entire bounced check is... (Below threshold)

The entire bounced check issue remains a tad too cloudly for my comfort -- not that it didn't occure but as to the circumstances as to why it occured.

If only for the mere fact that Democrats have a proven track record of drumming up and then continuing to drum about "ethical violations" as to Republicans -- particularly highly popular Republicans in office -- and that the "banking scandal" could be due to many factors (among which it's not necessarily personal financial recklessness, just saying, there can be many factors involved) -- just saying, before someone's entire credibility and career accomplishments are thoroughly denigrated, there might be a closer examination as to accusations and circumstances.

I seem to recall that Senator Kennedy and others were also maligned by the 'check bouncing' fiasco. Although it's easy to jump to wrongful conclusions based upon initial information, what were the final conclusions on that issue? I mean, were those involved found to be intentionally writing bank drafts against funds that they did not have on deposit? Were they under some assumption that they COULD do that based upon some sort of automatated 'overdraft' or 'advance' financial arrangement (that failed in place when relied upon)?

I just read that there were "checks bounced" and that's about it. No other explanations. Even in that document (see page six) that is included in the bizzblog...

I'm just saying, that the "... (Below threshold)

I'm just saying, that the "scandal" seems to have stuck in the popular opinion to the derogation of Republicans, while Democrats also said to be involved just go on to "swill white wine" in the Northeast (close enough).

McEwen who, in addition ... (Below threshold)

McEwen who, in addition to parachuting into the district to run, was front and center during the House Check Kiting scandal, racking up 166 bounced checks.

I'm tempted to say: So what? One of the biggest check kiters in that whole scandal was Nancy Pelosi and nobody seems to have a problem with that.

But then I have to smack myself on the head and remember, oh yeah, there's that double-standard in operation here that says that Republicans have to be absolutely 100% squeaky-clean from birth and the least little thing gets them hounded from office (cf. Dan Ryan, Illinois) while Democrats mostly get a free pass (cf. Boxer, Pelosi, Clinton) and they practically have to kill someone in order for any sort of action against them to occur and even then sometimes that's not good enough (cf. Ted Kennedy).

At this point, I don't expe... (Below threshold)

At this point, I don't expect much from Republicans (conservatives or moderates) and even less from any Democrat. As far as I can tell, they've all got a good thing going for the "club" members and the heck with the rest of us. Note there are no middle income Representatives or Senators!

I tend to be pretty forgivi... (Below threshold)

I tend to be pretty forgiving, believe it or not, but McEwen should have known better, and I believe he was one of a VERY few Republicans tainted.

To answer a question above....

"I mean, were those involved found to be intentionally writing bank drafts against funds that they did not have on deposit?"

...the answer is YES! Finally, it was a scandal the average person could understand. I believe, but don't know, that many of the people who either lost in 1992 or resigned before they could be taken down were Democrats.

As to Ted K's involvement, he's a Senator, so I don't think he had anything to do with the scandal (a first).

As to the purity argument, I don't expect squeaky cleanliness, but my stanards are way higher that serial check-bouncing.

I still remain mystified why the so-called moral guardians of the GOP felt the need to support McEwen. Between the House Bank and the carpetbagging, if I were Dobson and the rest I'd be embarrassed to publicly support McEwen, even if I liked him as a person.

As to the rest of the candidates, Brinkman seems pretty good, as do a few of the others. Pat DeWine should be taken out to send a message to his RINO Senator filibuster-sellout father Mike.

Tom Blumer....Pelosi, not K... (Below threshold)

Tom Blumer....Pelosi, not Kennedy, my typo.

And, the check-thing wasn't some first as to most voters comprehending, just that it wasn't and still isn't clearly explained. Congress had a deposit process for their salaried payments from whence Congressmen/women could withdraw funds (there wasn't actually a "bank" involved so there weren't, technically, "bank drafts" that "bounced" from what I've read), and some of those "drafts" written against their salaries were unpaid, at least for a while.

But, I don't read that there were intentional access to funds that didn't exist WITHOUT protection or understanding of funds available. As in, that those in Congress looked at a bank balance of X dollars and no overdraft protections, to put this in consumer checking account terms, and then wrote with understanding that they were clearing "checks" in the amount of "X+10" (or whatever + quantity) that would not be otherwise paid by some protective measures in place prior to writing the "checks".

I'm not defending any one person but I do suspect, as with other issues similar, that a popular Republican (up to the point of this expose and/or scandal being made known to the public, in however limited terms) was discredited by Democrats who were later found to have committed the very same behaviors as did that popular Republican.

Such that, it's becoming a sort of giveaway about Demcrats: watch what they "expose" and then examine the Democrats as source of those same exposed behaviors and you'll inevitably find same. The Democrats use this tactic on opponent Republicans because they rely on the more liberal enthusiasm for to denigrate Republicans, counting on the rumor mill that most among liberals rely on rather than facts, and certainly rather than facts about Democrats in Congress (or the Senate, or the Executive, as we learned during Clinton's Presidency).

I'm just saying that there hasn't been a clear explanation of what process actually took place in this "banking scandal," because although there wasn't actually any "bank" involved, there were a few Republicans accused (and later popularly gossiped about by liberals, bringing about loss of voter confidence) of "bouncing checks" and although Democrats were later found to have done exactly the same thing, whatever it actually was: generally described as spending money via some written order debited against their salaried earnings that their earnings later proved to not cover.

It's quite possible that th... (Below threshold)

It's quite possible that they were also promised salaried funds with some understanding that there could be an advance on those funds, and then later when accessed, found to not be available, and not due to their understanding but by someone else's monkeying around or not doing what they'd indicated earlier they would do.

Just saying, that, unless and until there is a more clear story about who did what with specificity, it still reads to me like Congresspersons of both parties were just paying themselves as needed up to and through some limitations, without regard or even, perhaps, ability to reconcile what their ceiling was. Or even that their underlings were, I don't know, just saying, these things are possible but without the specifics, the "check kiting" tag has been allowed to remain in the public discourse while it may not be accurate.

S:The speech that ... (Below threshold)


The speech that mentioned the $10.8 mil was given by a Republican.

The Democrats were in charge of Congress at the time.

The HB scandal was clearly perceived by the public as a (primarily) Democratic scandal, and was used by term-limits supporters as another talking point.

As I recall, the McEwen thing was more of a relief valve for Democrats who were fingered, and whose party had been sullied. McEwen was a "see they do it too" example--one of only a very few, as I recall (but I could be wrong).

As to the mechanics of the scandal, I'll admit that the reference to "collective" account in the link I quoted from made me pause a little bit. But I think the point still remains that the offenders wrote checks against balances they (as individual members of the "collective") really didn't have. The House "Bank" (under its Democratic leadership) honored them, and took its sweet time collecting on them (and in some cases, may have even stopped trying). I suspect it started as small "courtesies," as many of these things do, and mushroomed into abuse as more Members learned they could live on the float. That doesn't change the fact that it was abuse. It also shouldn't surprise anyone that many more Democrats, with their sense of entitlement, privilege, and (at the time) invincibility, took advantage of the situation than did Republicans.

You'll also notice that I have avoided the term "kiting" myself, except to note Wiz's use of it. Kiting occurs with multiple accounts, and although some Members may have played that game by using HB checks to cover balances at other banks, that avenue was never explored.

The HB scandal can either be seen as an overdraft-protection or interest-free loan program gone haywire, or as an opportunity for Congresscritters to live on near-permanent advances and avoid dealing with the realities of living within their means. The public saw it as the latter, partly because it was during this time (early 1990s) that overdraft and other fees at banks were going from about $10 to $25 in the space of just a few years. So while the public was getting hammered by banks for small overdrafts, Congressmen were writing NSF checks routinely and escaping accountability.

Tom Blumer:Let me ... (Below threshold)

Tom Blumer:

Let me write this again...

What I wrote was that Democrats use these sort of processes (claiming they've unearthed unethical behavior by Republicans, behaviors that Democrats are later found to be also or either engaged in, while relying on the pro-liberal, preponderance of liberal enthusiasts in media and community to proliferate negative gossip about Republicans, and avoid examing equally if not moreso guilty Democrats as to whatever issue is in play).

It's a process that Democrats rely on to discredit Republicans, like Democrat 101 as a game plan on holding office. Based upon media sympathy for Democrats and Democrats' understanding that it exists (media sympathy for their perspectives), they go about denigrating via media helps Republicans on the appearance of misdeeds, that they themselves engage in or sometimes are more responsible for when comparing behaviors.

That's a general point I was making and I'd always perceived the "House banking scandal" issue as yet another episode of that, since there was never any concentrated media coverage on Democrast involved in that 'scandal' nor about the "scandal' itself, but there sure was and remains a lot of negative gossip about "Repbulicans bouncing checks in Congress" and such.

Even you, earlier, were eager to claim that this (the "House banking scandal") was "finally" an issue that the average voter could comprehend...bounced checks!

Which is demeaning to the average voter. Liberal hacks denigrating Republicans for the "scandal" of "bouncing checks" in a "banking scandal" when there wasn't even a bank involved and when Democrats were also involved in the problem is a great example, also, of these negative assumptions remaining without much challenge.

That the general public never read the specifics as to the issue and that a popular Republican's credibility was allowed to evaporate greatly based upon erratic and unfounded negative gossip is also a good example of that.

I read the specifics but most people seem to have relied on the public NOT reading the specifics, and have, instead, relied on the gleeful further denigration and inaccurate gossip of "Republicans bounced checks in the House banking scandal."

There are many inaccuracies in that...but it's worked to benefit Democrats. A lot of that same social process has been used with Tom DeLay and earlier with other Republicans, and Democrats seem to pull this sort of process whenever they can when they can't govern otherwise: go for ruining their competition's credibility and a willing and quite gullible media seems to continually fall into place.

But thanks otherwise for the other information, although you appear to insist on not considering what I've written.

I'm sorry I appeared to ign... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry I appeared to ignore your accurate take on the normal Dem position on scandals. I acknowledge that the way you described things is normally how they try to work it when a scandal occurs. They did it with the Newt ethics things in 1997 and almost took him out. They're trying it today with Delay and it's failing miserably. I took your explanation of how MSM and Dem-driven "scandals" unfold for conservatives as a given and worked from there to say why the HB Scandal was different.

The paper that really led the charge on the House Bank Scandal was the (not MSM) WSJ, which reserved most of its fire for the preponderance of Dems involved and of course the Dem majority leadership at the time. What we now call the MSM didn't jump in until much later. The WSJ made the "finally, a scandal the average person can understand" statement or something very close to it because many of the abuses of the Dem Congresses in the 1980s and early 1990s were more complex, difficult to follow, and required a lot of concentration as events would unfold. People with day jobs couldn't focus long enough or hard enough on the other goings-on.

McEwen called me today, and among other things, both he and a campaign worker say that he was "exonerated." I said fine, put it up on your web site. McEwen has initially refused, but I hope cooler heads prevail and that he puts whatever he thinks is exculpatory up and gets it out of the way. I hope he was exonerated (as, claims McEwen, was current Sen. Mike DeWine); as of now, it's one of the best-kept secrets in the land. Google "'Bob McEwen' exonerated" and you get three worthless hits. Of course it could be a secret because the MSM ruled the roost in 1992 and 1993, so let's see the exoneration evidence, so we can move on.

I still won't vote for McEwen because he essentially hasn't lived here, and there are plenty of good candidates who have.






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