September 08, 2006
More on Maria and Ron

David Postman has the most concise coverage regarding the news today of the ongoing web between Maria Cantwell and Ron Dotzauer, including links to today's AP story and the original story in the Seattle Times. My thoughts on that first Times story here. Clearly, today's revelations detailing actual examples of Cantwell helping clients of the man who owes her money seems to change this whole affair from simply the appearance of impropriety, to a situation where reasonable ethical standards have been violated by a sitting US Senator.

Posted by Eric Earling at September 08, 2006 08:00 AM | Email This
Comments
1. I was suprised to see the story in the AP. I assumed the Democratic party would protest the release and threaten legal action just like with
ABC.

Posted by: Smokie on September 8, 2006 08:14 AM
2. I just don't get it. Normally, when you see a case of influence peddling, it's the lobbyist who gives the lawmaker something of value in the expectation of said lawmaker doing something on behalf of the lobbyist or his clients. Usually, the gift/bribe and legislative action occur near enough together that some argument of cause and effect can be made -- a gift from many years past just doesn't cut it when you are trying to bribe someone.

But that's not the case here. Cantwell gave something to Dotzauer six years ago before he was a lobbyist. It's completely the opposite of the conditions you would expect to find in a bribery or influence peddling case. I don't know about you, but if someone were to stiff me on a loan, the last thing I would be doing is looking for other favors I could do for that person.

Your attempts to spin this into something seem desperate to me. It'll be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.

Posted by: scottd on September 8, 2006 08:33 AM
3. scottd try actually reading the linked story. You might be surprised to find your answer. Here it is so you do not have to work too hard:

"At the end of the day, there is a private lobbyist who is making a lot of money off her public actions. And it certainly appears, with the loan, to give her a stake in his financial success," she said.

Posted by: TrueSoldier on September 8, 2006 08:57 AM
4. All juicy stuff, but even if true, I don't like the timing. I look to SP to get the stuff MSM won't report.

The timing smells like character assassination to align with campaign season. It's not as though these actions all revolve around elections- unless SP is going to be a campaign outlet for the GOP.

If you're going to scrutinize Cantwell- do it in non election periods too. Patti-cakes needs the heat too.

Posted by: Andy on September 8, 2006 09:02 AM
5. TrueSoldier: I did read the story -- twice, thank you.

Ellen Miller makes an interesting argument, but it just doesn't hold up when you try to apply it in the real world.

Imagine someone owed you ten or twenty grand and wasn't paying up. Would you be looking for possibly illegal ways to work against your interests in the hope that he might pay up? In other words, would you go deeper in the hole for someone who had already stiffed you?

The scenario Eric keeps trying to promote just seems like an odd and backward way to try to influence someone. It sounds like a stretch to me -- sort of like Eric's earlier attempt to suggest that Cantwell was leaning pro-Intelligent Design. I guess you see it differently.

Posted by: scottd on September 8, 2006 09:15 AM
6. scottd - are you really so dense? Dotzauer owes Cantwell many thousands of dollars. She generates income for him by funneling federal projects to his lobbying clients. Now he has the money to pay her back.

The AP and Seattle Times reported this, SP is just posting it.

Sounds like some dems are either in denial or trying to spin.

Posted by: Janet S on September 8, 2006 09:27 AM
7. Read Postmans "Too Authentic To Soon" peice......its bull crap

Posted by: andre on September 8, 2006 09:34 AM
8. So Mr. Dotzauer "can't recall" why Senator Cantwell loaned him up to $50,000???
Isn't that a bit strange? An earlier article suggested that Dotzauer was going through some "personal problems" at the time. Does he recall those personal problems? What did he do with the money, pay off bills, by a Certificate of Deposit, purchase lottery tickets, what?
Did he declare it as a gift or income for IRS purposes? Just wondering here...

Posted by: Banshee on September 8, 2006 09:56 AM
9. No dem will ever believe her guilty of even a teensy tiny unethical action -- even if her freezer is found to be full of frozen cash . . .

Posted by: starboardhelm on September 8, 2006 09:57 AM
10. All, see my web challenge here. The best ad/script will win a special prize!!! Come one, come all, to the dirty laundry ball!!!

Posted by: Patrick on September 8, 2006 10:36 AM
11. Good post on this subject over at The Captains Quarter blog:

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/

Posted by: Dan S. on September 8, 2006 12:01 PM
12. What else can you expect from a democart who got elected by voter fraud in King County. As a recent arrival (Oct 04) this is one of the most corrupt states both fiscal and politcal that I have ever seen.

Posted by: Allan Rothlisberg on September 8, 2006 12:39 PM
13. So...is Cantwell diddling Dotzauer or vice-versa?

All this time I thought she was a dyke.

Posted by: John425 on September 8, 2006 01:11 PM
14. I'll second what Allan had to say. I came back to the NW at the beginning of 2004. I grew up here, but lived for many years in CA. I thought I was moving to a much more congenial and conservative state, afterall, how much worse can it get than CA? Right? Boy was I naive. This state is an embarassment. If it were not for family, I would already be gone. I've never seen a place where there are more misguided and irrational people. And Puget Sound traffic is the worst example of long term transportation mismanagement that I have ever seen. But WA politicians take the cake. Save for a few national embarassments that are even worse, the political scene here is just pathetic. Even for Democrats, one has to look at Cantwell and Murray and just laugh. Absolutely pathetic. I can't believe I actually now think Boxer and Feinstein don't look quite so bad.

To be fair, the geography and natural beauty are stunning here, and there are some nice people here too, but there are a lot better places to live if you've got nothing tying you down.

Posted by: Jeff B. on September 8, 2006 01:24 PM
15. OK, assume for the sake of argument that the Mud Mountain Dam earmark is a Rube Goldberg device Cantwell cooked up to get repaid by Dotzauer. (Has that repayment occurred?)

If that accounts for Cantwell's motive ... what was REICHERT's motive?

Posted by: RonK, Seattle on September 8, 2006 01:36 PM
16. She doesn't need to get repaid by Dotzauer, his clients have already given/ donated more money to her then he will ever owe her.

Still when speaking to motive, you've got to wonder how Ronnies wife feels about his long hours of uncompensated consulting with his former girlfriend.

Heck had the situation been reversed I am sure the Goldstiens and the RonK's of the world would have merely shrugged it off and moved on. Right?

Posted by: Huh? on September 8, 2006 03:27 PM
17. John425: Hang up! You don't belong here!

Posted by: katomar on September 8, 2006 03:38 PM
18. I just read the AP story on this subject and I've had the same reaction as 'scottd.' I think the concept of 'conflict of interest' has been totally destroyed. I don't see it here.

There is, no doubt, some really weird explanation for why she loaned the money and why he hasn't paid it back, but from the facts alleged, I don't see any ethical lapse here. If I lived in Washington, I would never vote for her, but still ...

This could be a deep, deep double-reverse double-cross of somebody by somebody else. I think we've entered silly season!

Posted by: mac on September 8, 2006 05:28 PM
19. http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=cantwell&srchst=nyt

From the above link

" Senate ethics rules require lawmakers to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest when making official acts that benefit people in whom they have a personal financial relationship"

Now does that clear up the obvious spin from the Dems...

Posted by: chris on September 8, 2006 06:12 PM
20. This is a good story to run with - Cantwell is ethically challenged (in PC speak). OK, that does it - I'm voting for McGavick !

Posted by: KS on September 8, 2006 07:58 PM
21. Saturdays paper reveals that Dotzauers first ex wife got paid off sometime after the loan was recieved, even though he had been in default and had his wages attached prior to that. Hmm, why not come clean Ron and Maria? Was it to pay off Ron's first ex? Why would that be a problem? It wouldn't be because Maria had something to do with the reason they broke up was it?

Posted by: Smokie on September 9, 2006 07:54 AM
22. This makes Dotzauer look stupid, not so much Cantwell, who doesn't need his money, which everybody knows.

Watching the TV news last night on this story it seemed like a big old backfire fir Diane Tebiiious and the GOP - trying to make a big deal out of a minor deal and more politics as usual.

Things are looking grim - the lastest poll has McGavick down by 17% following the DUI dust-up (he was down by 6% in the last version of his poll). He has probably peaked. His latest ads on the TV and radio fall flat. He might have been able to win with a perfect campaign, but this one is deeply flawed and its time we move on to other races we can win.

The latest poll in the 8th show Reichert just 3% behind Darcy Burner: Burner 49% Riechert 46%. Dave can overcome that easy with our help. It sounds like a far better bet to send money and resources to Dave than Mike at this stage.

Posted by: redflag on September 9, 2006 07:57 AM
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