How much does it cost to rent Congressman Castle?
Like I said in an earlier post, I'm not the right person to be doing this. However, the more I look into Michael Newbold Castle's record, the more serious questions are raised, and the more I feel compelled to keep digging.
For readers joining the program in progress here is a quick recap:I found 29 bills introduced by Michael Castle
that benefited a very narrow constituency. Each if the 29 bills dealt with the suspension of tariffs for various chemical compounds that I thought were related big pharma. As it turned out the bills are designed to benefit of the bio-ag-chemical industry. So, I must have missed the press conference, but Michael "Straight Arrow" Castle seems to have taken the poor downtrodden bio-ag-chemical industry under his wing. What $100,000 dollars gets you
Check me on this, but using www.opensecrets.org
, I have so far found that Mike Castle has collected over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the chemical industry during his congressional career alone.
I'm ready to say that Castle actually traded these legislative favors, the tariff suspension bills, for contributions. Could I convict him for it? Probably not. Not yet anyway. But tell me if you don't smell something fishy. Well-timed contributions
To me, this smells funny. Castle introduced one of these bills (H.R.2913) on June 15, 2005. The bill's purpose was "To suspend temporarily the duty on Thiamethoxam,
a pesticide promoted by Syngenta
. About five weeks later, on July 25, 2005, Castle received a $1,000 contribution to his campaign from the Syngenta
That's one piece of evidence. Is that timing just a coincidence? Well, if one set of circumstances is just a coincidence, do two make a pattern?
Can Castle explain the timing between his $5,000 contribution from the DuPont PAC on June 20, 2005 and his introduction two days later, on June 22, 2005, of a bill (H.R.3025) "To extend the suspension of duty on Esfenvalerate,
a pesticide manufactured by DuPont.
The timing of these contributions and our Congressman's action don't prove an illegal quid pro quo but do raise some questions that someone (with more standing than me)should be looking into.
I mean, I don't Castle just woke up one morning and said "I think the tariff's on Esfenvalerate are too darn high, and by golly I'm going to do something about it."
What would St. Ferris Wharton say?
Clearly, someone had to ask the Congressman to propose these pieces of legislation. Who at DuPont and Syngenta contacted Castle about the legislation? Did the companies volunteer the campaign contributions or were they shaken down? Did Castle solicit these contributions directly? Or did someone on Castle's staff do the dirty work?
Perhaps, our Congressman and the companies involved would be willing to voluntarily disclose all of the e-mails and other communications regarding those bills and contributions, so we can understand how Castle came to sponsor these measures. (HA!!! I kill myself.)
No. I don't think Castle and the chemical companies are going to come clean voluntarily. Maybe our crusading U.S. Attorney, Colm Connolly
always concerned about public corruption could issue a subpoena and get to the bottom of this.
Or how about this...maybe this could be a debate question posed to Ferris Wharton
and Beau Biden
: "Do you think a federal investigation of Congressman Castle's relationship with big donors and the possibility of an illegal quid pro quo for his introduction of tariff relief legislation should be opened?" I think the AG candidates response to that question would help me make my voting decision.
Now seem like a good time to see if Wharton is "above politics" as they say he is.
Either way, I am nowhere near the bottom of this. The research continues. I'll let you know what I find.
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