Thursday, April 28, 2005

Well SURE it can get sleazier...

Three weeks ago, after reading of Tom DeLay's Physician-of-the-Year (for the low, low price of $1250!) award scam, I asked the rhetorical question, "Could their fundraising actually get sleazier?"

The answer, of course, is that the low can always sink lower.

From The Telegraph Online:

A man convicted of stealing more than $600,000 in a business loan scam received an award from the National Republican Congressional Committee honoring his business leadership and party support.

Ira Stern, 56, of Milford was among hundreds of people nationally to receive the 2004 Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal award, Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Alex Burgos said Wednesday.Recipients were invited to be recognized at a dinner and tax reform workshop in Washington, D.C., on March 15, at which President Bush was the keynote speaker, Burgos said.The awards were given by NRCC, and announced by House Majority Leader Tom Delay and NRCC Chairman Rep. Tom Reynolds of New York, to honor business leaders who support the party, and honor President Reagan’s “vision for an entrepreneurial America.”

“Mr. Stern has served as Honorary Chairman of the Business Advisory Council and has provided much needed support. This award could not have gone to a more deserving candidate,” Reynolds was quoted as saying in the Amherst Citizen newspaper.The NRCC was not aware of Stern’s criminal history, Burgos said.“If that had turned up I can assure you this individual would not have received this award,” he said.Stern said Wednesday he didn’t do much to earn the award.“I believe the Congressional Committee gives that to people who support the Republican Party. I made a very small donation to them, and next thing I know, I was being nominated for businessman of the year,” he said.Public records show Stern gave $250 to the NRCC in 2004.

Let's review: Selling MD of the Year awards to ordinary docs for $1250? Sleazoid. Selling "Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal" awards for $250 to con artists convicted of stealing more than half a mil? Megasleazoid.

On the other hand, you have to admit that there is a certain internal logic to (a) Tom DeLay rewarding thievery and (b) naming the award after Ronald Reagan.


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