Friday, March 31, 2006

Tony Rudy ♥s Former FEC Chairman Brad Smith

Tony Rudy, a former staffer for Tom DeLay and lobbying colleague of Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty today in federal court to conspiracy. While working for DeLay in 2000, Rudy took cash from Abramoff in exchange for defeating an internet gambling bill opposed by Abramoff's clients.

But Rudy's work on behalf of financially powerful interests did not stop at conspiracy and corruption. He was also a man of letters, as demonstrated by his review on Amazon.com of a book by former FEC Chairman Brad Smith titled Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform.

Rudy penned his review in 2001, just a few months after leaving the payroll of DeLay, who is currently under indictment for violating Texas campaign finance law. At the time, he was working at Greenberg Traurig, where Jack Abramoff was turning the practice of giving money to politicians into an art form, albeit an illegal one.

Rudy's review begins thus: "Freedom!"

In the review, which is positively glowing, Rudy takes the media and reformers to task for their hypocrisy. Channeling the founding fathers, Rudy proffers a solution for problems dealing with political speech: more political speech.

Rudy does not offer any solutions to bribery, corruption, conspiracy, or the current erosion of democracy under the steady onslaught of campaign contributions from the nation's upper crust. Perhaps Mr. Smith will find the erudition and will to write a book about the Abramoff scandal, and Rudy can take on those problems in another review. Or maybe even the foreword.

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