Thursday, July 03, 2008

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter attempting to use campaign donations to pay for legal fees related to Palfrey case


Washington D.C./Metarie, Louisiana--Is it redundant to refer to the donors of Sen. Vitter's campaign as suckers? Never mind, the Advocate is reporting today that the senator from Louisiana has sent a letter to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) trying to recoup over $70,000 in legal fees he incurred, assessing and watching the Palfrey scandal through counsel.

This pleases myself--the editor of this site--to no end. The total amount is somewhere in the neighborhood of $137,000, a tidy sum for someone who never set-foot in a courtroom. Why just $70,000? Perhaps the senator doesn't want the public to know what all of the money was spent on, but much of it was probably expended on private investigators and legal research.

Vitter's present counsel, Jan Witold Baran--whom he's now incurring even more legal debts with--has made some striking admissions to the Advocate, but the message is coming from Vitter. Will anyone notice? The Advocate missed spelling-out who Baran is: one of the "top elections and campaign lawyers who was an "Executive Assistant" to the FEC, 1977-79, according to his own firm profile. He's an insider who even represented the RNC and the Bush Sr. campaign in 1988. (
http://www.wileyrein.com/directory.cfm?attorney_id=399)

Vitter has paid $70,000 of the legal fees personally and is asking that the money be re-imbursed through the campaign funds, the letter says.

FEC officials could not be reached late Wednesday afternoon for comment. Through his spokesman, Vitter declined to comment on the letter. The latest FEC campaign contributions report for Vitter, filed March 31, shows he has $1.6 million in his campaign coffers.

Baran, in the letter, says Vitter had been monitoring the Palfrey case three months before the senator acknowledged what he called a serious sin in his past. A review of the Palfrey records shows Vitter’s number on the list five times between 1999 and 2001 when he was in the House. ("Vitter to seek help with fees," The Advocate, 07.03.2008)

Why should the campaign contributors have to pay for Vitter's continual lies and obfuscations? Baran conveying Vitter's acknowledgment that he was "monitoring" the case from as early as late-March makes it plain that the senator was well aware of his guilt, and moved heaven and earth to avoid responsibility.

But now, a woman is dead by her own hand, and for some perverse reason, he's still holding office, though not if Louisiana state Republicans can help it. Eight GOP incumbents in the Senate still appear to support the errant-genitals of Sen. Vitter and Larry Craig--and the rest of their bodies--when they co-sponsored yet another round in the feeble-attempt at a gay marriage amendment to the Constitution, banning it.

Will the FEC reimburse the senator for his legal expenses? It depends on how much of a liability he's become to the national GOP, how much control the party itself exerts over the bureaucracy, and whether Louisianans have any self-respect left. After Katrina, it's time to muster some.

Yet, it appears that some of them still do, particularly Nate Monroe of The Daily Reveille, and he's hardly alone in the Southern state. Monroe's observations on Vitter's proposal of another stab at a national ban on gay marriage and his behavior related to the Palfrey case are astute:

The self-righteous hubris that Vitter revealed during his scandal - that it happened a long time ago, that he was "sorry," that he allegedly apologized to God and that, finally, he will not resign because he is still the best man to save Louisiana from itself - is the same hubris that motivated him to cosponsor this ridiculous piece of legislation. And of course, this bill is coming at a time when Congress ought to be paying attention to more dire events. ("Senator Vitter is married to arrogance," The Daily Reveille, 07.03.2008)

Technically, he's married to Wendy...for now. It should go without saying that the FEC would vote "no" to Vitter's absurd request, particularly with the April 15th conviction of the deceased Deborah Jeane Palfrey. This means that Vitter committed at least five criminal acts of soliciting prostitutes, and that he did likewise in his own home state. There is a possibility that he violated federal white slave laws and the Traveling Act, since Palfrey's service crossed state lines in the D.C. region.

At-minimum, it would be a grotesque act of favoritism and injustice for him to be reimbursed even a penny. Taking responsibility means just that, and Vitter's just illustrating that he's never going to unless he's forced to by society, by the courts. It sounds familiar doesn't it? It sounds a lot like the Bush administration, but then, it should. We're talking about the national GOP here.

This story and the career of the senator should have ended when Vitter's name was found in Palfrey's escort service records on July 9th of last year by researcher Dan Moldea. But up is down and down is up when the Republicans control the bureaucracy in Washington. They're right: government doesn't work...when they're in power.

It's the hope of this writer that Sen. Vitter's private investigators and attorneys were paid very well indeed when they came to J-7, as they most assuredly did. Several high powered law firms visited this site during the period before Vitter's semi-admission of guilt in July of 2007, and afterwards. There's another thing he's wrong about: others in the phone records were retaining counsel, just as he did, and they certainly incurred legal expenses of several thousand dollars.

How do I know this? Because many of them came through this site, leaving a record of it on the third party site meter. It's all about David, naturally. The other Johns are their own concern, they don't even exist to Vitter--and cannot, if he's going to succeed in painting himself as some kind of martyr. Absurd, and he's failing.

Sen. Vitter's attempt at evading even more responsibility for his actions, 07.03.2008: http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/22850554.html

The day after we learned Sen. David Vitter was a sinner, 07.10.2007: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/09/AR2007070902030.html

"Senator Vitter is married to arrogance," The Daily Reveille, 07.03.2008: http://media.www.lsureveille.com/media/storage/paper868/news/2008/07/03/Opinion/Senator.Vitter.Is.Married.To.Arrogance-3387766.shtml