Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nothing Whatsover To Do With Sam Adams In This Item

Two words for you: Wes Cooley. I'd thought we'd been done with him but, as most things Republican in Oregon, it keeps coming back like a drug-resistant staph infection.

Ah, yes, Wes Cooley. Our very own, Contract-with-America generation, conservative-ranchin M.C. from the traditionally dry 2nd Congressional District. Take Wes's views and throw a sweater on 'em, and you have Greg Walden (which is fortunate for Greg, as he went on to succeed him).

Wes Cooley kind of represented the up-and-coming of the current generation of Oregon Republicans, only he was, evolutionarily-speaking, sort of a way-station. Before this group, your average (electable) Oregon Republican was a bit uptight and was maybe like your best friend's pipe-smoking, respectable, country-club Dad, but he was straight with you.

If, for instance, you came upon a fresh dog doot on the street, he wouldn't huff an puff about how that it was really a Baby Ruth but the liberals and the liberal media were telling you it was dog poop. He'd tell you it was dog poop and expect you to deal with it.

Post-Wes, your average Oregon Republican would not stop there, but would continue to build it up; not only was it a Baby Ruth, it was in fact a whole supply-side candy store that would keep out illegal immigrants and generate more jobs than the economy would tolerate while at the same time cutting taxes and helping the poor–and when caught lying about it, cry foul that they were misunderstood.

In the breach between then and now stood Wes. Wes loved the dryside, and the drysiders loved him back. He was a rugged individualist on everything, from ranching to business the government ... and, of course, also with respect to the truth, which, to him, was something like an onion. It had layers:

  1. He told a story about being in the Korean War
  2. When the story didn't hold up, he claimed he was a member of a Special Forces unit sworn to secrecy.
  3. He claimed the records were destroyed in a fire, but Sergeant Major Poppy could back him up
  4. Sadly, Sergeant Major Poppy was KIA.
  5. Unfortunately, Sergeant Major Poppy was actually in a state doctors call "Still Alive".
  6. And Sergeant Poppy didn't actually command him in a secret Special Forces unit.
  7. And Sergeant Poppy wasn't in a SF unit at all, actually–he was Wes' D.I. in Basic.
  8. And three other veterans backed him up on that.
  9. Wes claimed Poppy must have Alzheimers, and quit lying about his service.
  10. Wes then claimed he had a Phi Beta Kappa key.
  11. When it turned out he hadn't, he claimed it was some other honor society he could not recall.
  12. And then he claimed motorcycle championship honors he didn't have.
  13. And then, to just put the whipped cream on top, he claimed it was character assassination by the Media (it does sound like Sam Adams, after all ... )
  14. And, for a while, it looked like his wife was recieving Vet's widows benefits that she wasn't entitled to
  15. Until it seemed to turn out that he was apparently lying about the date of his marriage too.

I realize a lot of Republican officeholders would look at that list and say "I don't see the problem here." And that's why sane people don't vote Republican. It's interesting to note that Judge Albin Norblad, in Marion County (if this were the 1800's, they'd have called Norblad a "hanging judge" ... he didn't take crap from anyone) sentenced him to two years probation, making Our Wes the only politician we know who has actually been legally punished for lying to voters.

Anyway, that's actually beside the point here. What caught our attention is something The Oregonian reported this last week (credit the very good Jeff "Shadout" Mapes):

Cooley, 76, who represented eastern Oregon in the U.S. House for one term in the 1990s, was charged with six counts of money laundering and one count of filing a false income tax return in 2002 to conceal more than $1.1 million in illicit income. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 38 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, the investment scheme centered on the sale
of shares in, a startup Internet auction firm, and several
related shell companies. The indictment alleges that investors were
lured by false statements, including a claim that BidBay was about to
be acquired by eBay, the established and hugely successful Internet
auction company.

Wes! You're 76 and you're setting yourself up for a life sentence in Club Fed? What the hell were you thinking?

It must be noted, to create a clearer picture of the character of the man in question, he tried a comeback in 1998.

In his Voter's Pamphlet statement ... he still claimed that he was in the Special Forces:

U.S. Army: Company L, 63rd Infantry; Basic Airborne, Fort Benning, GA; 25th Special Forces Operation Detachment; 10th Special Forces Group;
HQ & HQ Company, Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, NC," and "U.S.
Army, Special Forces; Veteran, Korean Conflict; Military Specialty of
Demolition Specialist (MOS33533 — prefix "3" indicates completion of
Special Combat Training).

This, even though he was gigged for it in a Circuit Courtroom some years before.

Republican ethics and morals. It's the gift that just keeps. on. giving!

Thanks for stopping by in the news stream, Wes. It's been a while.

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