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    13 January 2006

    Lindsey Graham and his loose view of Senate Ethics

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    The local paper here in Charleston ran a story front page on Lindsey Graham and his performance during the confirmation hearings of Sam Alito. In the story, it offered a weak counter to my claim here that he may have violated Senate Ethics. In one way it said that the 'meeting' was not held at the White house, but rather at in a nearby building. That matters very little in my opinion. The article continues
    In a CNN appearance Thursday, Graham said he hoped his conversation with Alito helped the judge prepare but that it was not coaching.

    "It would be like coaching Michael Jordan on basketball to suggest I could tell him how to interpret the law," he said.

    The issue first came up after The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reported Sunday that Graham had helped prep Alito by participating in a "so-called moot court session at the White House."

    I still have problems with this, and it is an act that should be stopped.

    Here is my next LTTE:
    I am a 'blogger' who called Lindsey Graham's actions surrounding Judge Alito and the Senators 'coaching' questionable; to say the least. Can you indicate why meeting with a judge prior to a nomination hearing in private without bi-partisan attendance is not a violation of Senate ethics rule #37? Even if it wasn't coaching but preparation (as stated by Graham himself) this act still seems to be a conflict of interests for this Senator in this case. Had it been a GOP Senator that wasn't on the Senate Judiciary Committee, this would be less of a story, if a story at all. Furthermore, the whole 'wife-crying' thing that happened during the Senators questioning is highly suspect, almost planned, is it not?

    Now, I don't care if this was a Republican or a Democrat, this behavior is new to me, because I'm so young maybe, and it seems it should be looked at and forbidden. This is especially necessary when he, Senator Graham, holds a seat on such an important committee; one that is supposed to project fairness and balance at a level higher than most other committees; one that has a say in how the Supreme Court of the United States will look long past their term in office. Given the current and empirical evidence of politicians not being very honorable and truthful indicates to me that the official whose actions are being called into question will say anything to get him/her-self out of hot water. Then the traditional media eats it up, the public forgets, and our elected representatives proceed like everything is OK.

    I think it is a problem and it is a disgrace.

    We're waiting Mr. Graham...

    Posted by Geoff

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