Why No Interest In Mike Castle’s Corrupt Lobbyist Problems?
I recall the Standard's John McCormack getting pushed into the gutter once, shame he hasn't had the wherewithal to lift himself out of it, yet. It strikes me as odd that some are so willing to assist Mike Castle in what amounts to the politics of personal destruction against his challenger, Christine O'Donnell, yet none of these supposedly Right-side publications have any interest at all in exposing Mike Castle's alleged corruption during his many years in Congress.
In 2006, the Washington Post pointed out the cost to taxpayers of sweetheart deals struck between elected officials like Castle and lobbying firms who offer what amount to kick backs in campaign donations. People have asked how Castle became a millionaire on such a relatively small salary. This may have something to do with it.
Each legislative season, corporate executives and lobbyists quietly draft hundreds of bills to suspend tariffs. Over time, the changes cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue, a Washington Post analysis of U.S. trade data found. Most of the tariff suspensions involve obscure chemicals and dyes, but many other products show up, including boilers for nuclear reactors, green peanuts, child potty seats, unicycles — even chocolate coatings for laxatives.
Yet, Castle has gone without scrutiny despite an established pattern of doing this very thing. He must really be courting friends in the press, or something. But for years, a Delaware blog has been pointing out Castle's habit of allegedly doing lobbyists favors that cost taxpayer's big dollars in exchange for campaign donations.
Since 1993, Mike Castle has been the sole sponsor of 103 bills which apparently were intended to provide relief to certain chemical and agribusiness companies from customs duties imposed by the federal government on the importation of certain chemicals. During the same period of Mike Castle’s congressional career, the chemical industry, including some (if not all) of the companies directly benefiting from these Castle-sponsored bills, contributed over $106,000 to his campaign committee.
Here's a look at just one year. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, it would seem. It's all there in a series of posts beginning here. Moving on to here … here … here … here and here. McCormack can look through the archive himself. Or, maybe he can only see stories handed to him by GOP operatives supporting Mike Castle from down in the gutter where he looks to live.
Let’s focus on the current Congress, the 109th. Since the beginning of this Congress in January 2005, Mike Castle has been the main sponsor of 63 bills. Of those 63 bills, 29 are pieces of legislation which, if passed, would suspend a tariff on a specific chemical, or extend a pre-existing tariff suspension on a chemical. You can review Mike Castle’s most recent legislation here.
Apparently, as part of the process for this type of legislation, the United States International Trade Commission reviews these proposed tariff suspensions to determine the cost imposed on the US Treasury if the tariff is suspended. Of the 29 tariff suspension bills, Mike Castle sponsored, I was able to locate 18 memos on-line from the Commission, each of which discussed the effect of suspension of a particular tariff.
$120,000,000 to the chemcial industry. CHA-CHING!!
Based on our own government’s estimates, just these 18 of Mike Castle’s tariff suspension bills would cost the US Treasury over $21,000,000 in lost tariff revenue. I know this is a rough extrapolation, but if you take the average lost tariff revenue of these 18 ($1,166,666) and multiply that by the 103 bills like this Mike Castle has sponsored, it appears Mike Castle has provided over $120,000,000 of benefit to his chemical industry contributors. To see one of these Commission memos on one of Mike Castle’s bills, click here.
These bills are, in essence, earmarks to Mike Castle’s contributors. Isn’t that the same kind of pay-for-favors activities that is behind the Abramoff scandal? Shouldn’t someone in the main stream media be digging into this? Don’t any of the News Journal reporters aspire to win a Pulitzer Prize? Drew Volturo, you seemed hungry. What about our sassy bloggers?
(….the sound of crickets chirping in the distance…)
Okay forget about the papers and the bloggers – What about us? Shouldn’t we have a problem with having a Congressman who is basically on the payroll of DuPont and Syngenta?
Don’t we have any better uses for the $120 million Michael Castle saw fit to give away to the drug companies? Isn't America still a Democracy?