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Sep 12, 2013 11:46 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

House Ethics Committee Says Reason To Believe Bishop Violated Law With Campaign Donation

Sep 15, 2013 7:37 AM

UPDATE, FRIDAY, 2 P.M.:

According to the OCE's report, Mr. Bishop was contacted to help Mr. Semler get approval from the Southampton Town Trustees to hold Mr. Semler's fireworks show because the area is protected for its Piping Plover population.

After Mr. Bishop, who said he has a "very good relationship" with the trustee he approached, secured approval on Mr. Semler's behalf, he sent an email to his campaign’s finance chair, Bob Sillerman, that said:

"Ok, so just call me the friggin mailman-we are all set with [the Constituent]," the email in the report states. "Hey, would you be willing to reach out to him to ask for a contribution? If he donates before June 26, he and his wife can each do 5 large-if it is after June 26, they can each do a max of 2500."

Five minutes later, Mr. Sillerman emailed Mr. Semler an email inquiring whether Mr. Semler and his wife wanted to donate $5,000 each, and Mr. Semler responded positively.

In an email from Mr. Bishop to Mr. Sillerman, Mr. Bishop praised his finance chair's success: "Maybe we should be calling you the mailman."

It was at this point that Molly Bishop, Mr. Bishop's daughter and campaign fundraiser, reached out to Mr. Semler about campaign donations.

According to a 12-page response, Brian Svoboda, Mr. Bishop's attorney, said Mr. Semler would later "candidly, consistently and appropriately deny that he was obliged or pressured to give."

"The testimony and documents provide the Committee with all of the information it needs to close this matter," he said. "They show that Representative Bishop solicited no contribution in connection with an official act, and that the allegations that triggered this matter were politically motivated and untrue."



ORIGINAL STORY:

As expected, the Office of Congressional Ethics released the results of its investigation of U.S. Representative Tim Bishop on Wednesday. The 177-page report delves into allegations that Mr. Bishop solicited a donation from a hedge fund investor and Sagaponack resident after helping him get state permits for a fireworks show in 2012, with no decent interval of time between the two acts.

The report states that there is “a substantial reason to believe that a violation of House rules, standards of conduct and federal law occurred,” and that Mr. Bishop misreported the date and source of the constituent’s $5,000 donation, which allowed him to accept funds over the legal limit of $2,500 per election.

The House Ethics Committee, which makes the decision whether to pursue the office’s findings, didn’t make a ruling, but said it would continue to review the complaint.

The probe stems from a complaint filed in August 2012 about a possible violation of ethics rules and the law after Mr. Bishop had helped Eric Semler, a Sagaponack resident who wanted to throw a bar mitzvah party for his son in Southampton, by securing required environmental permits for a show by Fireworks by Grucci. The company is partially run by Felix J. Grucci Jr., a former congressman whom Mr. Bishop ousted from office in 2002; Diana Weir, Mr. Altschuler’s campaign manager, was formerly Mr. Grucci’s finance director.

Three days before the party, Mr. Bishop’s daughter and then campaign fundraiser, Molly Bishop, sent Mr. Semler an email saying that the campaign’s finance chair, Bob Sillerman, said Mr. Semler was interested in contributing to the campaign.

Federal Election Commission records showed that Eric and Tracy Semler donated a combined total of $5,000—$2,500 each—on June 26, but the report states that Mr. Bishop reported the donation on July 15 and that Mr. Semler actually used his company’s credit card to pay for the $5,000 donation on July 9.

The report states that there is a substantial reason to believe that Mr. Bishop “did not take reasonable steps to ensure that his congressional campaign committee operated in compliance with federal campaign finance laws.”

The congressman, however, maintained that he did nothing wrong.

“The report released today confirms that the allegations made against me last summer were politically orchestrated and I am confident that the ongoing review of this matter will show that I acted in good faith to assist a constituent in need,” Mr. Bishop said in a prepared statement.

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This is a very unfortunate turn of events. Coupled with reports that the FBI of investigating Mr. Bishop I am very concerned. One has to wonder if there may be more going on here than meets the eye, perhaps additional malfeasance the public is yet aware of. I do hope the media keeps a close eye on this story and any additional information that may come to light.
By Conservative Undeground (4), East Hampton on Sep 12, 13 12:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Oops
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Sep 12, 13 1:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
So, essentially, what Congressman Bishop has done in his 11 years in office (since giving that GOP hack Grucci the boot) is follow Nancy Pelosi's direction on how to vote on an issue, figure out how to maximize his questionable campaign contributions, and find jobs for his family members.

If I'm overlooking something of substance the man has accomplished for his District, please enlighten me -- but not you, George Lynch, in ant of your pseudonyms du jour.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 12, 13 2:24 PM
This is a new one. In all my years of reading comments on this site, I've never seen a poster seek to ban replies pre-emptively from a specific individual -- not that it would work, anyway.

I guess it's sort of a write-your-own-constitution thing, as in: "Free Speech For All, But Not You, TB."

That's not how we do it in America, Mr. Wheeler. I think I've shown you a decent respect over the years. Apparently, you're not prepared to do the same for me.

BTW, you don't ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 12, 13 3:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
If this guy was a Republican I would say throw him out also. There has to be zero tolerance for people who are in politics that break public trust. No wonder no one ever returns your call from his office. You will need your credit card for that.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 12, 13 4:31 PM
It was a convergence of petty interest.

Get over it.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 12, 13 3:04 PM
of course it is political what other explanation can he have? should have returned the "donation"
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 12, 13 5:42 PM
Randy Altschuler has already moved off Long Island.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Sep 12, 13 6:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yes, we like out corrupt politicians to be locals. Keeps the dirty money in the community, right?
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Sep 12, 13 9:08 PM
our
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Sep 12, 13 9:08 PM
Please have some compassion. If Tim had to get a real job (i.e., one where he has to produce) then his family would starve. This is what congress is for!
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Sep 12, 13 9:31 PM
Until you remove political contributions from the public tot he candidates, you will continue to have this problem across the board. Tim got caught, maybe innocently, but Im sure there isnt a pol anywhere that hasnt done something for a contributor. Thats just how it works in this country.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Sep 13, 13 6:34 AM
Well, it seems John Boehner is under investigation by the FEC.

The muddling of our democracy with monied interests has given us nothing but corruption, malfeasance, and too many people who have fulfilled the words of George Carlin:

"How much soft money can I expect for my core values?"
Sep 13, 13 9:28 AM appended by Mr. Z
Michele Bachmann and her husband, Marcus Bachmann are also being investigated.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 13, 13 9:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
The Golden Rule.

She/he who has the gold makes the rule.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 13, 13 10:33 AM
As usual you can't stick to the subject. If these other congressman are dirty throw them out too. If you were in the mafia and shook down someone for "5 latge" you would be hit with the RICO ACT and spend 10 years in a federal prison. They should charge Bishop with the RICO Act because he violated it. What he did is known as a crime.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 14, 13 7:36 AM
You really have not got a broad mind, do you?

The story is about CORRUPTION. I learned how to share in kindergarten. Seems you don't understand the concept. At least there's one other constant kin to physics in the universe...
Sep 14, 13 4:52 PM appended by Mr. Z
And, you're blowing this out of proportion. The guy was allowed to say "no". He didn't. Whoopty freakin' doo...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 14, 13 4:52 PM
Sadly, this shows we are going to have "crooks" elected and reelected term after term because we DO NOT have TERM LIMITS ! Mr. Bishop is just another democrat who is clearly ethically challenged!As with Mr. Obama, who if he were a Republican, would be in the midst of IMPEACHMENT, the msm COVERS-UP!That includes the newspapers here on the East End one BUYS!Let's see if mr. bishop survives another Congressional race! Only HOPE the Republicans candidate isn't going to be deep 6'd by the East End msm's!
By carsrus (65), Hampton Bays on Sep 13, 13 8:10 AM
He HAD a real job, Provost of the now defunct Southampton College, of which he helped go bankkupt! Of course he had a GOOD friend get him THAT job, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A friend in High Places at SH College!
By carsrus (65), Hampton Bays on Sep 13, 13 8:16 AM
3 members liked this comment
That update isn't going to help the congressman. At all.
Sep 14, 13 6:47 AM appended by KevinLuss
If nobody was concerned that the "mailman" shouldn't have asked for "5 large" why would official documents submitted to report the contributions be falsified?
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 14, 13 6:47 AM
Kevin, am I missing something here? It seems as if the update actually clarifies the timeline:

1. official act of helping a constituent get a permit
2. finance chair and campaign fundraiser seek donation
3. donation made

The possibly unethical Quid Pro Quo is not really there, is it, at least according to this timeline?

The language is a bit puerile and embarrassing IMO, but probably pretty typical for today's world.

Thank you, and have a good weekend.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 14, 13 10:47 AM
2 members liked this comment
Just to clarify, add item 1.1 under 1:

1.1 permit granted before 2. occured.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 14, 13 10:49 AM
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After multiple re-reads I cannot understand your logic in the two posts subsequent to mine. You may have missed something, I'm not sure. The Office of Congressional Ethics, however, didn't miss anything and they are body officially charged with not missing anything. I'll defer to them.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 14, 13 3:36 PM
Just read the last update to the story, and consider no other facts. That was what my comments focused on as I meant to make clear.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 14, 13 4:41 PM
So let's get this straight. A constituent asked for some help in a pinch. The permit was secured. Ex post facto, a rather well to do constituent was asked if he would like to help with the campaign.

Said constituent obliged graciously, though he could have chosen not to considering he already had what he needed. Constituent also testified he was simply requested of, and was not "obliged or pressured to give."

More mountains, from mole hills. There are FAR worse cases of palms ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 14, 13 5:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
Z timeline was thus it would appear.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 14, 13 5:31 PM
I often wonder how stupid people can be and read something that's not there. Did you see the part of the story where Bishop tells Silverman that he just did a favor for someone? Did you see the part where he said to reach out and see if he wants to give a contribution? Did you realize that the trustees were contacted and not interested in issuing a permit for fireworks? Since when does a US congressman who is supposed to be working on federal issues get in touch with a town trustee for a fireworks ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 14, 13 6:40 PM
According to a 12-page response, Brian Svoboda, Mr. Bishop's attorney, said Mr. Semler would later "candidly, consistently and appropriately deny that he was obliged or pressured to give."


What part of that is too obtuse to grasp? What do you think, Bishop would threaten to have him whacked? Stop filling in, in between the lines and try to get over your bias blind spot.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 14, 13 7:50 PM
ok Semler doesn't vote in Bishops district but feels the need to contribute 10k? Bishop has been in office for 10years and Semler never contributes till now? Are you kidding me? Oh wait Bishops atty says he is innocent so it must be true. Your truly clueless. I remember last year you told me Bishop doesn't take contributions from the financial industry. Until I showed you his biggest contributor is a controversial hedge fund. Stop clicking and pasting and use your head your not that smart.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 15, 13 12:21 AM
Chief, your load of crap is astounding. Only 5k was donated, the reason for any of this was time constraints because it was too late for the Coast Guard to permit a barge, and here's some rotten tomatoes for your piehole:

Mr. Semler responded: “I spoke to the reporter and defended you the best I could. I told him the bald truth that you did nothing wrong, that you are an outstanding congressman who gets things done in an era of gridlock and that you never asked me for a donation ...more
Sep 15, 13 2:41 AM appended by Mr. Z
And as far as my mistake about the financial sector donations, mistakes don't make someone stupid. Repeating them does. My mistake was listening to the Fourth Estate, instead of doing the research myself and finding Goldman-Sachs in 2010, and J.P. Morgan in 2012. Have a nice day...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 15, 13 2:41 AM
"Bishop has been in office for 10years and Semler never contributes till now?"

Maybe because Providence forbid he was extremely grateful?

On May 28, 2012, the Constituent emailed Representative Bishop again, thanking him for 'going out of [his] way to help...' and stating that 'it never would have happened without you. You give me renewed hope that convoluted political Bureaucracy can be surmounted. Your relentless focus on the task was so impressive.' "
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 15, 13 3:24 AM
No actually his biggest contributer has been Rennaisance Technology which is a hedge fund.
Mr Semler seems to be lying since they hsve proof Mr Sillerman reched out to Semler 5 minutes after the favor was done. Why would a congressman be so worried about a local issue? MONEY! Semler has changed his whole story from the original one.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 15, 13 9:37 AM
Semler had the choice NOT to donate. He was full of it when trying to score a refund from Grucci due to his dissatisfaction with the event, and Altschuler's in-law thought he could win the election for him by leaking correspondence. No donation was made until July, about a month and a half after the process began.

Bottom line, Semler had the choice NOT to donate. You should read the Office of Congressional ethics report. Semler basically gushed with his gratitude, just like he did in ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 15, 13 11:53 AM
chief1, you may find it unbelievable, but Mr. Bishop has helped local people with problems all the time, in part because he grew up in Southampton, and in part because he is a nice guy.

Can you process this simple truth?

And thank you for acknowledging that "Mr. Sillerman reched [sic] out to Semler . . . after the favor was done."

Case closed.

Not Guilty!

Next case . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 15, 13 12:58 PM
KevinLuss, any thoughts on this timeline issue, and your post above?

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 15, 13 1:18 PM
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No.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 15, 13 1:57 PM
Has the recent discussion changed your understanding of the basic timeline here?

Does not the update to the story "help" the congressman?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 15, 13 2:03 PM
No. It's clear as day what happened year. It's not difficult at all to see right through the agenda driven comments, the attorneys, the sudden amnesia and all of the other white noise. The bigger problem is that what happened hear happens 1000s of times a day at all levels of politics and the only reason this is in the headlines now is because a feisty neighbor got ticked off because he was looking to get a Bentley repaired. The only one who loses at the end of the day is the Piping Plover.
Sep 16, 13 6:58 AM appended by KevinLuss
type= s/b "here".
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 16, 13 6:58 AM
Funny, we have been down this road before. You seem to have a problem discussing a given set of facts, and insist on painting with a very broad brush -- rant rant rant.

Rants are fine, but your previous posts about specific issues serve better IMO. (e. g., your research on the mosquito control pesticide this spring/summer -- BTW did you notice that the County switched to another pesticide recently? )

Sorry that you have declined an adult discussion on the set of facts above.

Rant ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 7:23 AM
I think the issue is you want to have a discussion and I'm not interested in the context of the comments section of a newspaper sight. It's not a real adult discussion if I have no clue who you even are. This is a ''comment'' section not a ''discussion'' section. You are getting what's going on here confused with an actual real adult conversation.
Sep 16, 13 8:09 AM appended by KevinLuss
see what I mean? if this were an actual real discussion I would haven't to go back and correct a type i.e. ''site''.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 16, 13 8:09 AM
I'm confused?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 8:20 AM
PS Kevin, if this is not a "real" discussion, why do you keep participating?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 8:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just like they have with President Obama, the right wing hates Bishop and tries to discredit him at every turn. If it is proven that he did someting wrong, I will be among the first to call for him to face the consequences. Conservatives, however, are the first to find someone guilty based on political affiliation.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Sep 16, 13 9:08 AM
2 members liked this comment
Point well taken.

The Party Pavlovians froth forth with foment and fortitude!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 2:44 PM
Pbr's idea of an adult discussion is one in which you agree with him. If you have a different point of view it's classified as a "rant"
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 16, 13 8:16 PM
See posts below. What sequence of facts constitutes an ethical breach here?

Facts please.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 8:30 PM
L'il Tim has more important things to do than twist arms on the local level to get a permit for a damn fireworks barge! The request for a campaign donation after the fact reeks of impropriety . But he's a liberal Demokrat, a loyal follower of the Party Line , that makes it all OK for our resident leftists, disgusting.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 15, 13 4:29 PM
And of course no Republican has ever done such a distasteful thing . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 15, 13 4:49 PM
2 members liked this comment
Not defending any crooked politician republican or democrat. L'il Tim is our representative , he looks to be a scammer when it comes to campaign finances and the investigation is warranted . What bothers me is that the leftists here are ready to give him a pass because of the D next to his name.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 16, 13 6:23 AM
Most politicians are "scammers" [using your word] because the system is set up for the rich to get richer.

It is, however, misplaced to single out Mr. Bishop, when we are really talking about a system which is whacked, and which turns most stomachs ad nauseam.

Yeah, it sucks . . .

However,

"The devil you know may be better than the devil you don't know?"
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 6:57 AM
PS -- To be clear, under the updated facts discussed recently, it appears that Mr. Bishop did not cross any ethical boundaries IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 7:46 AM
Thank God you're not on any ethics committee because you can't tell the difference between right and wrong. Has the office of Congress turned into something where mafia terms are used when talking about constituents
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 16, 13 7:49 PM
No, the problem is that YOU do not have the facts straight !!!

The donation came AFTER Mr. Bishop helped the constituent get the fireworks permit.

AFTER AFTER AFTER !!!

There is nothing unethical about this.

Nothing.

(Assuming the facts as reported in the story update)
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 7:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well folks you heard it straight from PBR. Please tell the ethics committee to leave poor Tim alone.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 16, 13 8:19 PM
Have you missed the update to the story too?

YOU tell us a sequence of facts that constitute a breach of the ethical code.

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 16, 13 8:28 PM
Ill leave it for the committee to decide......not you.

Thank you
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 17, 13 1:26 AM
I do not presume to decide, just to discuss the newly reported facts, and to reason logically based on them.

The updated story makes it fairly clear, in my personal opinion, that there is no clear cut ethical violation here, and I was simply inviting you to discuss this, based on the new information.

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 17, 13 2:15 AM
And chief1, you have already acknowledged that "Mr. Sillerman reched [sic] out to Semler . . . after the favor was done."

Did you forget that you had stated this above?

[By chief1 (843), southampton on Sep 15, 13 9:37 AM]

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 17, 13 2:45 AM
This is the timeline from the updated article, as posted above:

1. official act of helping a constituent get a permit
1.1 permit granted before 2. occurred

2. finance chair and campaign fundraiser seek donation

3. donation made


razza5350 and chief1 -- what is unethical in your minds about this sequence of events, each separate and distinct from each other?

Note, the question was NOT about what might be distasteful, disgusting, etc., but solely ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 17, 13 7:19 AM
Ok its just a coincidence. A private fireworks display is something a congressman should be concerned about? I can't even get the congressman's office to return one of my phone calls about health care.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 17, 13 7:41 AM
Do you even read the other posts?

I told you above he is from Southampton and probably does these kinds of favors quite often, especially for wealthy people (which is not unethical under the rules, nor illegal).

Blame the political system, but please stick to the facts here.

Thank you..
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 17, 13 8:34 AM
It sets a bad precedence. Wealthy guy obtains a favor from Bishop and after the favor has been granted he comes calling for a donation. In east hampton the whole town must have the fireworks on main beach on Labor Day due to the piping plovers but this guy gets a free pass? Why does Timmy have the authority to issue a permit anyway? Aren't piping plovers endangered?
Maybe authorities should be talking to the southampton trustees as well
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 17, 13 11:39 PM
Are you brain dead?

Try reading the article again, and then post an intelligent comment. The following quote from you above is hilariously off-base:

"Why does Timmy have the authority to issue a permit anyway?"

Give us all a break!

PS -- "precedent"
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 18, 13 5:55 AM
Brain dead? Have you ever read abot the ethics rules that a congressman should possess? If a congressman solicits a donation from a constituent for one of his official acts that is a legal and unethical.PERIOD! You should get your head out of the sand and actually read the report or the book of ethics for congressman and politicians instead of believing everything you read on this blog. If you can see he solicited money from someone he did a official act for you should have your head examined. the ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 18, 13 7:35 AM
My previous comments were based on the facts presented in the updated article, as was made clear. Until additional facts are made clear, or clarified, no further conclusions can be made.

Rant on each day without discussing specific facts, but know it is just a rant rant rant.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 18, 13 7:58 AM
PBR. I'll go back to my orginal comment. Your idea of an "adult conversation" is if I agree with you. If not I'm brain dead, I'm ranting and I'm an idiot.
So PBR to put an end to this your lame defense of Bishop Ill say you are correct. He was voted in by the people of this district. Let him do whatever he wants. Who cares if some rich guy bought him off. Piping Plover tastes like chicken anyway.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 18, 13 12:49 PM
Your comments speak for themselves . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 18, 13 1:40 PM
PS razza, if you would take the time to read the article carefully, you would see that Mr. Bishop had NO authority to issue the permit. Perhaps you could tell us which government body had that authority?

[your comment: ""Why does Timmy have the authority to issue a permit anyway?"]
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 18, 13 1:43 PM
1. Timmy was approached by a constituent asking for a favor
2. Timmy approached a "friend" who was a southampton town trustee
3. The trustee issued the permit as a favor to Timmy
4. Timmy asked for a donation of 5,000 from the constituent .
5. Piping Plovers are on the endangered species list.
6. East Hampton Town is not permited to have its firewoks at main beach on the 4th due to the piping plovers nesting season.

You see nothing wrong with all of this? Yes the Trustee ...more
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 19, 13 9:04 AM
You are getting closer to posting accurate information.

There is a more detailed article in the Press today, which will probably be posted online in the next day or two. Let's resume this conversation over the weekend. There are a number of problems with your points 1-6, but the new article will probably change the landscape.

It would help IMO if we could refer to all participants by their formal names, not by a derogatory nickname. "Mr. Bishop" would be a good start . . .

Thank ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 19, 13 12:50 PM
I read the new article. It makes Timmy look even worse. A report by the office of congressional ethics stated that there was "substantial reason to believe that a violation of house rules, standards of conduct and federal law occurred."
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 20, 13 8:53 AM
Same old conclusary language from an investigative agency. Standard stuff.

When the new article is posted here and you want to discuss very specific FACTS set forth therein, we can proceed, but not if you insist on using the same childish name for Mr. Bishop.

Your choice.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 20, 13 9:02 AM
What are you Timmy's PR man?
The FACTS are found in the 177 page report listed last week by the office of congessional ethics. It highlights
1. There is a subtantial reason to believe Mr Bishop broke federal campaign finance rules
2. Mr Bishop helped a constituent get permits to hold a fireworks show then had his staff ask the man for a campaign contribution as a quid pro quo
3. There is substantial reason to believe represenative Bishop sought campaign contribution because of ...more
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 20, 13 10:14 AM
Thank you for the more civil tone, razza5350.

While we are waiting for Shaye Weaver's new article to be posted online, it is helpful to recognize that the OCE report is dated May 31st, and that it is basically a one-sided recitation of the alleged facts by a prosecutorial agency, similar to a criminal indictment. It sets forth reasonable grounds for the House to proceed to the next step of inquiry. Its allegations are not "facts," and it is important to keep this in mind.

Since ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 21, 13 4:43 AM
I agree with your very last paragraph. Its not isolated to Bishop but two wrongs don't make a right.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 21, 13 7:19 AM
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Another local publication mentions that L'il Tim has spent over 40k in legal fees so far, also the FBI and an attorney from the House Ethic Committee both spoke at length with the Southampton Town Trustees regarding Tim's part in Plovergate. Seems as if the Press is trying to protect Tim and has left out some very salient facts,eg. FBI investigation.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 18, 13 6:49 AM
A complete and thorough investigation by all authorities of ALL facts would be welcome. Until the FBI actually reports something, it is likely that the Press will go with the FBI's "no comment" for now.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 18, 13 8:03 AM
The Press has a good editorial on this today on p. A12.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 19, 13 8:26 AM
Most idiots I know that are on food stamps keep pumping out kids. You would think they have the brains to say wow I cant afford my life as it is I better not have more kids. Its the new America no accountability no questions asked.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 20, 13 5:05 PM
to Captn America;

I see that your prismatic extremist Republican spectacles are still doing their job.

Bush explodes the economy, House Republicans torpedo economic recovery at every turn, predatory employers lay off workers and reduce hours (blaming it on Obamacare requirements that won't take effect for 15 months[!!] at least) and your peculiar perspective sees those as DEMOCRATIC party responsibilities.

Now, although there is absolutely no evidence that the SNAP program ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 20, 13 5:24 PM
3 members liked this comment
Ha, ha . Love it . Still blaming Bush? Lack common sense? Trillions down the drain and Bush is still the scapegoat? Very funny.


By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Sep 20, 13 8:08 PM
Bush 2.0 is no scapegoat.

He's the genius who took us through not only an unfunded war, but slashed tax revenues during a state of war which was unprecedented in American history. I find you rather uninformed.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 20, 13 9:17 PM
2 members liked this comment
Medical debt is the primary driver of our debt. Hospital care has become far more than a prohibitive cost.

Don't blame the people who are get sick or injured. Blame the people who are robbing them blind.

As far as percentage of GDP, it is a couple trillion less in "real" dollars adjusted for inflation. It has also skyrocketed since 1980, just like the estimated 10 trillion dollars which has been printed out of thin air in the last thirty odd years. Alot of the seemingly astronomical ...more
Sep 21, 13 11:28 AM appended by Mr. Z
It's also very interesting how the debt accumulation is rather flat until 1985. It takes a VERY sharp upward curve as soon as Reagan's second term kicked off, and Greenspan took over the Fed. There's much more at work than just spending and tax revenues.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 21, 13 11:28 AM
2 members liked this comment
Glad to see Phil likes the comment. It's true that health care ENTITLEMENTS are the primary driver of US debt. With the obamacare this is sure to get worse.
More money has been printed under Obamas tenure than any other previous administration.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 22, 13 6:03 AM
razza5350: "More money has been printed under Obamas tenure than any other previous administration."


There's one serious hole in your theory. The President doesn't create or implement Fed policy. You're also wrong as the day is long. There was an estimated 3 trillion added to the supply of M2 currency under Bush 2.0, more than any other two term administration as of the present day. The spike in 2007-2008 was the "cherry on top" not too long after Greespan left office. If the ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 22, 13 1:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
come on Z You are smarter than that. I never said Obama or any president printed money however its not black or white. The Fed reacts to economic conditions. Economic conditions are strongly influenced by a political parties agenda.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 22, 13 9:25 PM
Don't you find it extremely interesting how the debt accumulation is rather flat until 1985? It takes a VERY sharp upward curve as soon as Reagan's second term kicked off, and Greenspan took over the Fed. There's much more at work than just spending and tax revenues.

You talked some smack, and got called on it. It happens to the best of us...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 22, 13 9:46 PM
1. debt to GDP was at its worst during WW II
2.Reagan was unable to accomplish his goal of entitlement reform this the increase in debt.
3. The national debt has soared under Bush 2 and Obama
4 CBO just released a report that states the national debt will rise to 23 trillion by 2022 if we continue with obamas policies.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 23, 13 7:14 AM
to Captn America:

Gasp! Surely you don't mean to suggest that the wealthy run the Democrats just like they run the Republicans! Truly, the scales have fallen from my eyes!

Nevertheless, when presented with a choice between the ethically compromised and the slavishly idolatrous, a prudent citizen chooses the former.

A 2% error rate is better than that seen in any other federal social welfare program. Moreover, it isn't evidence of "abuse" (i.e. avaricious poor people ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 21, 13 12:21 PM
Be careful who you call a "freeloader":

My name is Jason. I turned 35 less than a week ago. My first job was maintenance work at a public pool when I was 17. I worked 40-hours a week while I was in college. I’ve never gone longer than six months without employment in my life and I just spent the last three years in the military, one of which consisted of a combat tour of Afghanistan.

Oh, and I’m now on food stamps. Since June, as a matter of fact.

Why ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 22, 13 10:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
What we are saddled with as a nation is massive debt. The only way out of said debt is to stop spending significantly more than we take in and start to pay back our creditors. What is so difficult to comprehend people? Leaving ideology and partisanship out of the equation (not easy with the crowd hear) logic would dictate reigning in spending as the most prudent and expeditious first step.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 22, 13 7:56 AM
And to increase revenue.....
Leaving ideology and partisanship out of it....lower spending (including the military) and raise revenue.
Its the only way.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Sep 22, 13 9:10 AM
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SH Native has a very valid point.

The national debt has taken a skyrocketing trend since 1985 and the inception of "trickle down economics", or "Reaganomics". Coincidence? Every knowledgeable academic will tell you absolutely not. The debt was pretty much flat since WWII, up until Reagan was elected to office and the "free marketeers" took over our economic policy. They are making the same mistakes over, and over again. They fail to learn from history, the economic disaster unencumbered ...more
Sep 22, 13 1:43 PM appended by Mr. Z
Thanks to Jesse Colombo for the example of wild, out of control speculation in Greenspan's cult of "an economy of ideas": The Dot-com Bubble was a speculative bubble in the shares of early internet companies called “Dot-coms.” From the mid to late-1990s, technology company stocks in the Nasdaq stock index soared to incredible heights, Dot-com Bubble Chart (Nasdaq Bubble)making scores of investors and technology company founders extremely wealthy. At this time, many people began to believe that technology had led to the creation of a “New Economy” where the traditional business cycle and recessions were a thing of the past. These “New Economy” beliefs led to excessive risk-taking in business and investments as Dot-com companies went public (such as the infamous Pets.com and Webvan) even though they had negative earnings or astronomically high business valuations. In early 2000, the technology stock bubble crashed spectacularly as the Nasdaq plunged from 5,000 to nearly 1,000 by 2002 and the U.S. economy was hurled into a recession.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 22, 13 1:43 PM
to Captn America:

So, your argument is that since grocery store owners (the folks arrested in your cited Detroit case) defraud SNAP, we should tighten the eligibility rules for RECIPIENTS? You then make a case for recipient fraud by citing the unrelated case of a woman who MAY have received SNAP benefits under an assumed name? Finally, as the cap of your presentation, you proffer statistics showing that 1.3%[!!] of SNAP benefits are sold for cash annually, a total of $13M/yr!

I'm ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 22, 13 12:32 PM
to Captn America:

No matter how many instances of SNAP fraud you cite, it is still but 1.3% of program expenditures. Just as no matter how you couch your assertion, you still argue that Americans should go hungry for the sake of their "character".

Your cold-blooded eagerness to inflict suffering on your impoverished countrymen (and children) for the sake of your ideology is definitive.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 23, 13 2:24 PM
to Captn America:

Quote: "[T]he republican proposal does not affect families with childeren."

Completely false.

"Specifically, the amendment would let states end benefits for people — including parents with children as young as 1 — if they are not working at least half-time or in a work or job training program at least half-time. States are already allowed to cut people off SNAP if they quit a job, turn down a job offer, or refuse to search for a job. The ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 23, 13 3:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
Bishop is da man

Let the ruling classes tremble at the Obama revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!



By local 84 (353), riverhead on Sep 23, 13 7:09 PM
to Captn America:

Quote: "I broke one of my cardinal rules to make any statement all inclusive, or all exclusionary."
------------------------------
Yes, I thought that that was uncharacteristically sloppy.

Thank you.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Sep 24, 13 1:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery."

(Mr Micawber, in David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens)
By loading... (601), quiogue on Sep 22, 13 1:01 PM
Edwin Meese.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 24, 13 12:05 AM