Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bush Library Part of Influence Peddling By Stephen Payne, Fundraiser

These sleeze balls don't deserve the time it takes to write this blog posting, so I'll let UPI tell the story. Warning, you might need a shower after watching the video.

A GOP lobbyist and fundraiser with close ties to the White House has quit a Homeland Security Department advisory committee following allegations of influence peddling and quid pro quo donations to the Bush presidential library. congressional investigators began to probe the charges, first made in the London Sunday Times last weekend, that Stephen Payne offered to arrange meetings with Vice President Richard Cheney, national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in exchange for the donation.

Payne believed he was meeting with an intermediary for the exiled former President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev, ousted in a people power-type revolution three years ago, but in fact, he had been set up by the middleman, Yerzhan Dosmukhamedov, known as Eric Dos, a Kazakh politician with whom he had worked before, and was secretly taped by an undercover reporter.

"If true, this report raises serious concerns about the ways in which foreign interests might be secretly influencing our government through large donations to the library," House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., wrote to Payne. Current law places little restriction on the solicitation of funds for presidential libraries and imposes no disclosure requirements. "

As a result," wrote Waxman, "a presidential library can solicit secret donations from companies and foreign interests that seek to surreptitiously influence government action."

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