Friday, February 26, 2010

Former Abramoff Lobbyist Convicted

OK, it’s just for a DWI. But, if there had ever been a chance that John Sweeney would ever be my congressman again, I think it’s gone out the window. Being the wussy liberal that I am, I generally am sympathetic toward those who have fallen victim to their vices.

Sweeney was one of Jack Abramoff’s lobbyists giving sweatshop owners free rein in the Marianas. I’ll make an exception for him and feel just a bit of schadenfreude.

American officials and human rights advocates testified before congress that workers, 91 percent of whom were immigrants from China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, were working below the CMNI minimum wage ($3.05), often seven days a week and up to 12 hours a day, and living in shacks behind barbed wire and without plumbing. Many workers also paid $5,000 to $7,000 in "recruitment fees" to gain employment, often with money borrowed from loan sharks who took all of their wages until the fees were paid back.

Congressman Kickass in happier days:

And here are some of his greatest hits:

In addition to his two DWI arrests, in September it was revealed that federal investigators are exploring Sweeney’s dealings with an Albany lobbying firm after the four-term congressman was appointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee in 2001.

A 2005 domestic dispute led to a 911 call and seven years ago Sweeney crashed his car and knocked out power to a Washington County ski area, which resulted in no tickets.

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