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  • Who knew??

    http://www.investors.com/editorial/I...issue=20051003

    Schumer's Plumbers

    Posted 10/3/2005

    Politics: Staff members for a champion of the right to privacy and a leading critic of identity theft fraudulently obtained the credit report of a rising black political star. Your turn for tough questions, Sen. Schumer.

    While the media focus on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's alleged skirting of campaign laws to get Republicans elected, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett's alleged racially insensitive hypothetical regarding blacks, crime and abortion, and Sen. Bill Frist's recent sale of stock, a real crime against a black politician has been committed in virtual silence.

    Sen. Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, is chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and it's his job to get Democrats elected in hopes of wresting Senate control from the GOP. Michael Steele is lieutenant governor of Maryland, and the DSCC, and along with most everyone else, expects Steele to run for the open seat of retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes.

    Steele, an African American, is a rising star in a Republican party regularly accused of racial insensitivity if not outright racism, a party that thought so highly of him and his political future that it chose him to be the deputy permanent chairman of the 2004 Republican Convention.

    Steele, a Catholic who once trained for the priesthood, was inspired to join the Republican Party by Ronald Reagan's failed 1976 presidential bid. He demonstrated in his appearance at the 2004 convention that he has charisma, warmth and a keen grasp of public policy. He has already won statewide in Maryland.

    Apparently nothing frightens the DSCC more than an articulate and charismatic black American who also happens to be a Reagan conservative. How else to explain the behavior of two of Schumer's campaign committee members research director Katie Barge and junior staffer Lauren Weiner who dug for dirt using Steele's Social Security number, reportedly culled from court records, to fraudulently and illegally obtain his credit report?

    Columnist Michelle Malkin has reported that as of Sept. 30, according to Steele staffers, Schumer, who is a longtime crusader against identity theft and denies any knowledge of the scheme, had offered no apology for the invasion of Steele's privacy by people in his employ or given any hint as to what they were after or why they did it.

    These were no naive, overzealous interns. Barge is a longtime Democratic operative who led the research unit for a liberal media watchdog group run by journalist David Brock. She led the opposition research team for failed Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards. She knew the ropes and the rules.

    So what motivated her and Weiner to knowingly and willingly break the law and put their freedom and future at risk? Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, knowingly and willfully obtaining a credit report under false pretenses is a felony punishable with a fine and a maximum two years in prison.

    Reportedly, the two women confessed to the act in July, were suspended with pay until Aug. 31 and finally resigned in mid-September. One would think a potential felony by staffers for a top Democrat a case being investigated by the U.S. attorney's office in D.C. as well as the FBI would at least get a paragraph of coverage somewhere between the grocery coupons and the obituaries.

    Can you imagine the media firestorm if staffers for, say, Frist, had used Barack Obama's Social Security number to fraudulently obtain his credit report looking for stuff to derail his Senate campaign? Frist would have been before a media firing squad faster than you can say Bill Bennett.
    Talk about the patriot act being an invasion of privacy. And where's the press?

  • #2
    Re: Who knew??

    Originally posted by leejo
    Talk about the patriot act being an invasion of privacy. And where's the press?
    Can you imagine the media firestorm if staffers for, say, Frist, had used Barack Obama's Social Security number to fraudulently obtain his credit report looking for stuff to derail his Senate campaign? Frist would have been before a media firing squad faster than you can say Bill Bennett.

    ....exactly
    New to TG?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Who knew??

      I knew. It made headlines, just not nationally, apparently.

      I see two stupid staffers (both sides have them :)) who should be prosecuted, not a grand conspiracy.
      [volun2]
      NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
      Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
      <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
      <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

      Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Who knew??

        Sure, but if the staffer was, say, Karl Rove, would you think it was just a stupid staffer matter?

        Also, there was another incident in which the NJ dems got caught pulling the same stunt: http://www.nj.com/newsflash/politics...ylist=politics

        I'd heard about that one but not about the Schumer incident.

        Amazing how many stupid democratic staffers are getting caught doing the same thing, ain't it? Maybe Dean should circulate a memo. FYI: It is illegal to obtain fraudulently another's credit report.

        Reminds me of when George Costanza got caught banging the maid on his desk: "Was that wrong?"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Who knew??

          Originally posted by leejo
          Sure, but if the staffer was, say, Karl Rove, would you think it was just a stupid staffer matter?

          Also, there was another incident in which the NJ dems got caught pulling the same stunt: http://www.nj.com/newsflash/politics...ylist=politics

          I'd heard about that one but not about the Schumer incident.

          Amazing how many stupid democratic staffers are getting caught doing the same thing, ain't it? Maybe Dean should circulate a memo. FYI: It is illegal to obtain fraudulently another's credit report.

          Reminds me of when George Costanza got caught banging the maid on his desk: "Was that wrong?"
          If the staffer were the assistant and best buddy of the Senate Minority leader, I'd understand the parallel you're trying to draw. But two wet-behind-the-ears nobodies?

          I still don't know what qualifies as "false pretenses" for obtaining a credit report. Obviously this, of course, but it seems like everyone who can lend me money at 29% interest is able to get my report so they can send me junk mail till I retch. :P

          I'd say at the very least that this "false pretenses" line in the sand is fuzzier than the "breaking and entering" one Republicans are most famous for overstepping. :)

          Like I said, pin the staffers to the wall. I'm OK with that. If they name bosses, go after them too. I've not seen anything that says that they have yet, though.

          http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/ele...,3828954.story
          [volun2]
          NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
          Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
          <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
          <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

          Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Who knew??

            Originally posted by Pokerface
            If the staffer were the assistant and best buddy of the Senate Minority leader, I'd understand the parallel you're trying to draw. But two wet-behind-the-ears nobodies?...
            ...Like I said, pin the staffers to the wall. I'm OK with that. If they name bosses, go after them too. I've not seen anything that says that they have yet, though.

            http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/ele...,3828954.story
            I don't think the issue is whether or not the elected official did anything wrong... The issue is why has the media virtually ignored this story, when we all know that would not be the case if it involved the staff of a Republican.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Who knew??

              Originally posted by IceCold
              I don't think the issue is whether or not the elected official did anything wrong... The issue is why has the media virtually ignored this story, when we all know that would not be the case if it involved the staff of a Republican.
              The media hasn't, at least not where I am. It's a rather local issue (MD Lt. Gov. and the possible vie for a MD US Senator spot); for you to hear about it in Texas as it happened would be impressive, I think.
              [volun2]
              NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
              Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
              <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
              <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

              Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Who knew??

                Originally posted by Pokerface
                If the staffer were the assistant and best buddy of the Senate Minority leader, I'd understand the parallel you're trying to draw. But two wet-behind-the-ears nobodies?
                Did you read the article? These were not wet-behind the ears people. They knew better.

                I still don't know what qualifies as "false pretenses" for obtaining a credit report. Obviously this, of course, but it seems like everyone who can lend me money at 29% interest is able to get my report so they can send me junk mail till I retch. :P

                I'd say at the very least that this "false pretenses" line in the sand is fuzzier than the "breaking and entering" one Republicans are most famous for overstepping. :)
                Holy crap you're dragging THAT up? Everyone in the Senate, House, White House was what...20 when that happened? McCain was sitting in Hanoi getting beaten but you're associating him with Watergate? Would you like a mulligan on that one? ;)

                Like I said, pin the staffers to the wall. I'm OK with that. If they name bosses, go after them too. I've not seen anything that says that they have yet, though.
                Agreed. The other than the obvious law-breaking, the behavior that bothers me most in this instance is the press giving this story a pass.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Who knew??

                  For what it's worth, it wasn't given a pass locally.
                  [volun2]
                  NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                  Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
                  <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
                  <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

                  Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Who knew??

                    Well that's good. I would like to see some national coverage from one of the big boys like the WaPo or NYT.

                    The gun nuts are now weighing in: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/viewstor...20051005a.html

                    Katie Barge, Schumer's now-departed research director at the DSCC, formerly served as research director at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America, a liberal advocacy group that seeks to discredit leading conservatives.
                    There is no way she didn't know this was illegal. Schumer picked her. Makes you wonder how long she's been playing the game this way and how many others are doing the same thing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Who knew??

                      An update.

                      Executive summary: Researcher pleads guilty, gets community service. There's plenty of background in the link though, so I recommend reading it.
                      [volun2]
                      NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                      Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
                      <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
                      <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

                      Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Who knew??

                        I saw this story yesterday. Thanks for posting.

                        Weiner processed through a series of screens with the heading "We need to ensure you are really (Michael Steele)" by entering additional personal information, including his employer, revolving account numbers or installment account numbers and personal address history. She then received a copy of his credit history.

                        Later that day, Barge notified her supervisors of what Weiner had done. The report was destroyed, and the next day the matter was reported to the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia, court filings show.
                        That would certainly be my story in that situation. First, call my lawyer. Then, call my boss (assuming that's the advice I'd received).

                        Comment

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