Saturday, March 07, 2009


Graft and corruption grew into a national problem in administrations that followed Lincoln's assassination. Washington was so full of appointees who used their appointments to rob the public that it became famous for the criminality of it. Decades later the need for legislation became obvious: in 1939, the Hatch Act, to curb the use of public office to rob the public.

The maladministration just past had a lot in common with the post-Lincoln era. We have often commented on the need to root out the office holders who acted like Monica Goodling, who used political tests to determine if an applicant should be given a job at the Department of Justice. This was illegal, of course. In the past eight years, the law was held as no long applicable, as the DOJ had been turned over to politicization, and no longer carried out the law.

Another rotten apple turned up yesterday, another appointee of the former cretin in chief who frankly used his office for personal gain.

A former top NASA official was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury for allegedly using a temporary NASA post to steer millions of dollars to one of the clients of his consulting business.

Courtney Stadd, 54, of Bethesda, worked on George W. Bush's 2000 campaign and on the post-election transition at NASA. He went on to serve as NASA's chief of staff and as its White House liaison. Stadd left NASA in 2003 to become a private consultant, but in April 2005, he returned to the agency for a two-month stint as a "special government employee" to help with the transition to a new administrator, Michael Griffin.

Stadd is charged with using his government position to serve his own financial interest, as well as two counts of making false statements. If convicted on all counts, he could face 15 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
The indictment also states that although Stadd informed his NASA superiors in writing that he was recusing himself from any agency activities that might affect his clients, he met in his office with a NASA official, Mary Cleave, and told her that the previous NASA administrator and the Mississippi congressional delegation had agreed to spend the $15 million in Mississippi.

"Following some discussion, [Stadd] ultimately directed Cleave to spend $12 million of the 'earmarked funds' in Mississippi," the indictment states.

Dickens, his attorney, disputed that: "Couldn't have happened, because a special government employee doesn't have that authority."

According to the indictment, Stadd sent an e-mail to a Mississippi State University official saying, "If I intervene anymore then all sorts of red flags will go up and I fear getting MSU and me in trouble."

Stadd left NASA again in late June 2005. In October, the indictment alleges, Stadd asked Mississippi State to raise his compensation from $7,000 a month to $10,000 a month, citing the "revectoring of the outstanding NASA contract to MSU/GRI, and the recovery of the earmarked NASA procurement."

There were obviously any number of potential thieves available in the ranks of campaign workers for the Party of Nope. From the amazingly blatant nature of their criminal activities, it appears that they either believed it was legal to steal from the public, or that they were sure the Rule of Law was over.

From the mad-hatter nature of the present operations of the right wing, it would seem that those balanced and honest individuals that might once have belonged to the party were eliminated by its behavior and/or by its members over the course of the past maladministration. It would certainly be no recommendation to future employers that any applicant had been part of the criminal behavior of this cabal.

The predominant feature of appointees of the maladministration has shown itself to be the absence of ethics. This is handy; anyone associated with the occupied White House is obviously unfit for public office.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

All very true. But there has been just as much corruption among the Democrats, every inch of the way. If you want to see evidence of massive corruption and corporate theft, take off the rose-colored glasses and take a close look at the finances of people like the Clintons, Gore, Kennedy, Kerry, et al. In all case, you'll find that they have received hundreds of millions from corporate interests. Yes, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. It'd be very, very difficult for anyone to be more corrupt than them. And, mind you, these people are ALL lawyers, and are quite aware of the law. But it doesn't seem to bother them much. Personally, I think people should focus on the people who are currently in charge, rather than those that used to be in charge.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, if you were any more full of crap, it would leak out of your ears. There's a huge difference between allegations and indictments or convictions. The right made all sorts of unsubstantiated allegations against Clinton (and other Democrats). But the only convictions they got were for one guy defrauding his own law firm, one guy not telling how much money he gave his mistress, and one guy denying an affair (these would be Hubbell, Cisneros, and Clinton). For the Republicans to have used the courts to nail people on such petty offenses was a greater crime than the offenses themselves.

And I can't think of a single Democratic Congressman or Senator convicted of anything since Dan Rostenkowski 15 years ago, though perhaps William Jefferson will be.

By contrast, the past Administration has already seen numerous people indicted and convicted for serious financial crimes. These included Steven Griles, Dusty Foggo, and David Safavian. And out of Congress-- hooboyz. Ney, Cunningham, Stevens, for a start... and a raft more indicted or in serious danger of it.

For whatever reason, people think it's ok to spread rumors and libels and smears about Democrats-- very often anonymously-- but they can't back up anything they say because they don't know what the ^%$# they're talking about.

--Charles of MercuryRising

6:54 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Thanks Charles, it's amazing that the wingers will make any amount of unsubstantiated allegations and consider that is an answer for the corruption of their reps. I got a kick out of news yesterday that some one actually filed suit to demand that President Obama produce his birth certificate, and the judge fined the lawyer for frivolous litigation. These people don't know about the difference between facts and fantasy.

1:24 AM  
Blogger Michael J. Bernard said...

Looks like we are on the way to another Church Committee!


11:02 AM  

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