Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mahoney Mess: FBI Investigates Salacious Details, Local Democrats Bitter

As I suspected yesterday, the FBI is looking at whether federal funds were involved in the payoffs of Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) to keep two affairs out of sight. However, I wasn't thinking big enough. It's even juicier than I thought. The FBI is looking at two salacious lines of inquiry:
Federal agents also are examining whether a second affair Mahoney was having with a high-level official in his Florida district was the reason behind his decision to push for federal emergency funds for her county, the official said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

The FBI is looking into whether Mahoney hired the first mistress—and put her on the federal payroll—so she would not reveal their affair, the person said. The woman, Patricia Allen, has not returned calls for comment.

The agency also wants to know whether any sexual favors were exchanged for Mahoney helping Martin County secure a $3.4 million reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for hurricane damage there while having a second affair with a high-level county manager.
So, even with what would appear to be on its face a blatant abuse of federal funds, abuse of his position as Congressman, and the salaciousness of the scandal, it barely cracks the headlines.

This is the same district that saw Mark Foley, a Republican, have a sex scandal of his own - if you count salacious emails as a sex scandal. That scandal, and the subsequent bungling by GOP leaders, helped cost the GOP their majority in 2006. Of course, the media was more than happy to assist in that endeavor.

Now, we're watching as real federal funds were involved to buy silence, sexual favors exchanged for federal funds, and a federal job offered to keep silent.

The Democrat leadership knew, or had reason to know of the affairs and sat on it. The media isn't willing to dig deeper and find out just what the Democrat leaders knew - and I suspect it's because the media knows what they'll find out - that they knew and did nothing except hope that the issue blows past the election and that they did all they could to keep it from breaking in the news. ABC News broke both the Foley story and the Mahoney story - and should be commended for that fact. However, they and none of the other big media outlets are doing anyone any favors by avoiding the 800 pound gorilla of what the leadership knew and did to keep this story out of the press.

That this story isn't plastered in the headlines like the Foley story is a testament to the bias within the media to avoid running stories detrimental to Democrats, especially at election time.

After all, this story has everything - a compelling story line, sex, money, and power.

Some Democrats are questioning how the DCCC pushed Mahoney on the district because he was a multimillionaire, overlooking other candidates. That may be sour grapes from David Lutrin, but he's getting to say I told you so because the DCCC didn't bother to vet Mahoney nearly as well as they should; and Mahoney's more closely tied to Rahm Emanuel than the media is letting on. The Democrats were chasing the money and former GOPers to run for office over established Democrats. In more conservative leaning districts, the crossover appeal is definitely a plus, but it looks real bad for Emanuel for backing Mahoney without doing his due diligence.

I'll give the AP credit for their story above for including Mahoney's political affiliation up front. Mighty charitable of them. I can't say the same of other outlets.

And speaking of the subject of name that party and media bias, why exactly is the non-affair story involving John McCain back in the news? Someone decided that this was the only way to divert attention from the active and festering Mahoney mess?

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