Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mr T: Were The Gloves Ever On?

This week, the fool Bob Tiernan is out of pity for his bete noir, Peter Courtney, Oregon State Senate president. The Shadout Mapes:

Bob Tiernan, who was elected Oregon Republican chairman just last
month, is already taking a tough line with the state's Democratic

Tiernan has filed an ethics complaint against Senate President Peter
Courtney, D-Salem, and says that he thinks there should be an
investigation of Courtney's handling of a $175 million public works package.
That bill, which calls for the state to borrow money to quickly begin
work on a series of job-producing maintenance and repair projects,
includes $30 million for Courtney's employer, Western Oregon University.

Actually, that doesn't look all that good. But let's go on down:

Courtney has repeatedly said that he did not try to steer projects
to Western Oregon or to state government facilities in his district.
The school will primarily receive money for a $12 million health and
wellness center, $12.6 million to renovate the physical education
building and $3 million for a classroom and office building.

He also said that legislative counsel told him over the weekend that
he didn't actually need to declare a potential conflict because Western
Oregon is not a business and Courtney is just one of a large number of
university employees who could potentially benefit from the additional

At best, Peter was sloppy. Embarrassing, yes. Criminal? Hardly. And maybe Mr T has a point. But one of our cardinal rules around here is not giving Republican the benefit of the doubt (the ship with our credulousness sailed long, long ago). So, if I may dip into the Shadout's well one more time for what I think is the tell here:

On Tuesday, Tiernan said he wants the committee to look at more than
just whether Courtney properly followed the law requiring legislators
to declare a potential conflict of interest under certain conditions.

He said he wanted the committee to scrutinize whether there was any
favoritism shown in including the projects for Western and for other
facilities in Courtney's district (which includes a lot of state
government buildings since it is the state Capital).

If it were just a matter of concern, wouldn't it be enough just to send in an ethics complaint? No, not for Bob "I pity the fool who works as a public employee" Tiernan. Here is a man who thinks that no public employee ever had a pure thought or, indeed, ever thought of anything else than fleecing the public. How dare them expect to get paid for thier work!

No, what Mr T has in mind is to prevent, if possible, Peter Courtney from doing the public's business.

Make no mistake about this.

If this were about a Republican, we wouldn't even be talking about this.

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