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Katherine Harris Took Illegal Donations - Senate Run in Doubt

Old 03-06-06, 04:15 PM
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Katherine Harris Took Illegal Donations - Senate Run in Doubt

Looks like Katherine Harris took illegal donations from the same guy that sunk Duke Cunningham. It looks bad for Harris.


Harris Requested Funds At Behest of Contractor
By Charles R. Babcock
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 4, 2006; A06

Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) has acknowledged that she requested last year that $10 million in federal funds be set aside for a Navy intelligence program in her district at the request of Washington contractor Mitchell J. Wade, who pleaded guilty last week to bribing another House member.

Harris, who gained notoriety as secretary of state in Florida during the contested Bush-Gore presidential race in 2000, is running for the Senate this year. News media in her home state have been focusing on her dealings with Wade since prosecutors disclosed last week that she was the unwitting recipient of $32,000 in illegal campaign donations from Wade in 2004.

In a statement Thursday, Harris said: "I never requested funding for this project in exchange for any contributions, but rather to bring more high-skill, high-wage jobs to the region."

In court filings as part of Wade's plea for bribing convicted former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), prosecutors said Wade had had dinner with Harris early last year and discussed another fundraising event and possible funding for an unnamed Navy counterintelligence program. The court filing said the project was not funded but did not address whether Harris sought funding. She did not respond to questions about such a request last week.

On Thursday, she released copies of letters she sent to appropriations subcommittee chairmen in 2004 and 2005 requesting funding for more than 80 specific projects. She said she was doing so to bring transparency to the appropriations process, and that she supports identifying the individuals and organizations making the requests.

Last year, she first requested five defense projects totaling $15.8 million. A month later, she wrote another letter to Reps. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), the senior members of the panel, adding the Wade project. It was for Naval Criminal Investigative Service airborne capability, which she placed third on her list of funding priorities. She said it was "to support counterintelligence and combating terrorism missions."

Harris said she has not been contacted by any officials regarding the incident.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:17 PM
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Since the other thread was inexplicably closed, I'll start another without any talk of the 2000 role of Harris. I don't expect any of those questions. The other thread was a legitimate issue in the news. Lets stay on subject.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:17 PM
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any idea what makes the donations illegal?


seems like she was just porking up the defense budget for her district. they really need to do some kind of lobbying reform and pork reform.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:19 PM
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Okay.....once again, where does it say she did anything illegal? Where does it say her Senate run is in doubt?
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Old 03-06-06, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
any idea what makes the donations illegal?


seems like she was just porking up the defense budget for her district. they really need to do some kind of lobbying reform and pork reform.
They were donations from the employees of Wade's company. They were donated in name only and reimbursed by Wade. He's singing like a robin in the spring time.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jhagler
Okay.....once again, where does it say she did anything illegal? Where does it say her Senate run is in doubt?
your post is the first one that says she did anything illegal. the subject and original post and article says she took illegal donations:

prosecutors disclosed last week that she was the unwitting recipient of $32,000 in illegal campaign donations from Wade in 2004.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
They were donations from the employees of Wade's company. They were donated in name only and reimbursed by Wade. He's singing like a robin in the spring time.
ah. i haven't kept up with the wade dealings. was cunningham aware of this?
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Old 03-06-06, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
your post is the first one that says she did anything illegal. the subject and original post and article says she took illegal donations:

prosecutors disclosed last week that she was the unwitting recipient of $32,000 in illegal campaign donations from Wade in 2004.
The subject line says she took illegal donations and her senate run is in doubt. I was responding to that.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jhagler
Okay.....once again, where does it say she did anything illegal? Where does it say her Senate run is in doubt?
It doesn't. Since the revelations just came about last week, lets give Wade some more time. She accepted illegal donations - that much is known. She also tried to procure what Wade wanted. The quid pro quo is the only thing that needs to be determined.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:26 PM
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It says she was an unwitting recipient... which is saying she didn't even know about it. This happens all the time to politicians and when it does they give the money back unless it is too late. You're going to have to go a long way to prove that she did anything illegal. I think it's mostly wishful thinking because of bad blood from 2000. In fact, based on the previous thread title, I know it However, I digress and won't go into those details at your request. Good luck on your witch hunt.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
It says she was an unwitting recipient... which is saying she didn't even know about it. This happens all the time to politicians and when it does they give the money back unless it is too late. You're going to have to go a long way to prove that she did anything illegal. I think it's mostly wishful thinking because of bad blood from 2000. In fact, based on the previous thread title, I know it However, I digress and won't go into those details at your request. Good luck on your witch hunt.
So Wade orchestrated $32,000 in illegal donations at his own personal risk just because he wanted to see Katherine Harris go far in politics? Do you really believe this General Zod?
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Old 03-06-06, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
It says she was an unwitting recipient... which is saying she didn't even know about it. This happens all the time to politicians and when it does they give the money back unless it is too late. You're going to have to go a long way to prove that she did anything illegal. I think it's mostly wishful thinking because of bad blood from 2000. In fact, based on the previous thread title, I know it However, I digress and won't go into those details at your request. Good luck on your witch hunt.
"At his request" clearly becuase he was completely unable to answer the simple question:

What was it, exactly, that Katherine Harris actually did WRONG in 2000 to generate such ire from the left?

Still awaiting a specifice answer... from anybody on the Left that thinks Harris did something wrong. It doesn't have to be CRM.

I've never gotten a clear answer from this question from anybody in 5 years.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:48 PM
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In answer to the Senate run questions.
----------


Harris 'circling the wagons,' consultant says
Senate hopeful cancels weekend appearance


By Jeremy Wallace

PORT CHARLOTTE -- Already trying to avoid the media, Longboat Key Republican Katherine Harris is now canceling campaign stops in Southwest Florida as questions swirl about her ties to a Washington, D.C., defense contractor at the center of an ongoing national bribery scandal.

Harris, who is running for the U.S. Senate, abruptly canceled a stop in Charlotte County on Saturday, and four other events planned for Lee and Collier counties were removed from her campaign Web site.

It's another sign that Harris' struggling campaign is now in full crisis mode. Political consultants say that shying away from the public right now is also a bad strategy.


"She can't hide and expect this to go away," said David Johnson, a Republican political consultant. "It looks like her campaign is circling the wagons."

Brandon-based political consultant Mark Proctor said he advises clients to hold court early with the media to avoid a story dragging on for a week, as it has with Harris. The longer the story goes on, the more likely it is for voters to remember the issue come Election Day, he said.

Harris may not be talking to the media and staying away from some events, but she is trying to control the damage in other ways. And she recently told her backers that she is making a fund-raising push over the next few months.

Harris organized a conference call on Friday with her most loyal supporters in which she downplayed her connections to MZM Inc., saying, "There is nothing to it except for the press trying to be negative."

The company's owner admitted in federal court that he gave $32,000 in illegal campaign donations to Harris.

Continuing with the conference call, Harris described a campaign on a roll and gaining momentum daily. She said prominent national politicians, like U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., hosted a fund-raising event for her in Washington last week, proof that all is well.

"Now there is a buzz in Washington," Harris said on the call.

Harris' ties to defense contractor MZM Inc. have been under the microscope since Feb. 24.

That's the day when MZM founder Mitchell Wade admitted to bribing one member of Congress and giving Harris illegal contributions in March 2004.

Over a private dinner in Washington, D.C., Wade and Harris talked about "obtaining funding and approval" for a Navy counterintelligence program that Wade wanted to open in Sarasota, Justice Department records show.

After that dinner meeting, Harris put in a $10 million budget request to the Defense Appropriations subcommittee to fund the project. Days later, an employee in Harris' congressional office went to work for Wade at MZM.


The funding for the project never was approved.

Justice Department officials have refused to comment on Harris' role in the investigation, saying the probe is ongoing.

Harris still hasn't granted any interviews about the issue, but told supporters on the telephone that she did nothing wrong.

"It was a legitimate project in our district for high-skilled, high-wage jobs," Harris said.

Federal investigators have said that Wade never told Harris that the 16 checks of $2,000 each in the name of MZM employees and their spouses were obtained illegally.

Harris told her supporters on Friday's conference call that federal investigators have never asked her any questions about Wade or MZM.

While Harris spoke to some of her supporters by phone a day earlier, others waiting for her in Port Charlotte on Saturday were upset that Harris canceled her trip to that county.

"I'm really disappointed," said Charlotte County Republican Party Chairman Bob Starr.

Harris' staff confirmed two days earlier that she would be at a ribbon-cutting to open a new party headquarters in Charlotte.

But Starr said Harris' staff called back to cancel after he had already sent notices promoting the event.

Harris' campaign staff declined to comment, and have offered no explanation for why Harris canceled the Charlotte trip. They also did not say how many other events were taken off her schedule.


Prominent Republicans continue to back her campaign.

"Katherine Harris is going to make a great U.S. senator," U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., said in video greeting to the Manatee County Republican Party last week.

Also in Manatee County, Florida Republican Party Chairman Carol Jean Jordan called Harris the hardest-working campaigner she knows and said she would beat Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, in November.

Even U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., who has been cool to Harris' candidacy, invited Harris to a weekly Republican caucus meeting, usually reserved only for Republican senators. The next day, Harris attended a Washington fund-raiser.

"It says the Republican leadership has accepted the political reality that Katherine Harris will be the GOP candidate for the United States Senate," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

The best thing going for Harris, said Sabato, is that most Americans already believe Washington is so corrupt that Harris hasn't done anything abnormal.

Most people already believe everyone in Congress takes bundles of cash from contractors, he said, and may see nothing new or outrageous about a scenario in which a contractor asks Harris for favors over dinner.

Others caution against reading too much into the public support for Harris during her latest crisis.

Johnson said he isn't surprised at the public support for Harris, but it doesn't mean much.

While top Republicans are sticking by her, Harris can expect fund-raising to get a lot harder, particularly in Florida, Johnson said.

Harris has struggled to raise money, and has put $250,000 of her own money into her campaign. Nelson has $8 million.

"It's going to get worse," Johnson said. "Nobody is going to want to give her money."


In the conference call, Harris told her supporters she is planning fund-raisers in California, Texas, New York and Illinois. And she said television talk show host Sean Hannity is planning a bus tour with her through Florida.

"The campaign is really off to the races," Harris said.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
So Wade orchestrated $32,000 in illegal donations at his own personal risk just because he wanted to see Katherine Harris go far in politics? Do you really believe this General Zod?
Not a chance, i'm not that gullable I'm just repeating what was said in the article, which is that she didn't even know about the donation. It would be incredibly hard to prove that she knew about it and pushed this program because of it - especially with all the other programs she pushed. I just think your making an assumption based on nothing but your dislike for her. Possible?
By the way she denied knowing about the donation and when she found out about it she donated it all to charity. Unless Wade specifically makes a claim that she knowingly took the cash in exchange for getting his program passed this is all about nothing - and even if he did there would need to be a shred of proof - then you'd have a story instead of complete conjecture.
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Old 03-06-06, 04:50 PM
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Does it really matter, since she wasn't going to win anyway?
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Old 03-06-06, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Does it really matter, since she wasn't going to win anyway?
But what about the Hannity bus tour?!!?
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Old 03-06-06, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Does it really matter, since she wasn't going to win anyway?
Not really. Like I noted, its merely poetic justice for me. She's tainted.
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Old 03-06-06, 07:05 PM
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Why do you care? You don't live in her district. Isn't it up to the people of her district to deal with her?
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Old 03-06-06, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tcoursen
Why do you care? You don't live in her district. Isn't it up to the people of her district to deal with her?
She's running for the U. S. Senate from the State of Florida.
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Old 03-06-06, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tcoursen
Why do you care? You don't live in her district. Isn't it up to the people of her district to deal with her?


I care. She is a self-absorbed bitch who refuses to listen to anybody. She soon will not have the opportunity to represent any citizens of Florida. If only she would do the right thing.
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Old 03-06-06, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tcoursen
Why do you care? You don't live in her district. Isn't it up to the people of her district to deal with her?
(*cough*) Hillary (*cough*)
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Old 03-06-06, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tcoursen
Why do you care? You don't live in her district. Isn't it up to the people of her district to deal with her?
That's not a well thought out argument. One can extrapolate that to pretty much any politician. Who cares what crappy decisions Hilter made? Saddam? Bah, let the people of Iraq take care of him.

A better argument would be, "I think the reasons you dislike her are not good reasons because..." and then support your argument.
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Old 03-06-06, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tcoursen
Why do you care? You don't live in her district. Isn't it up to the people of her district to deal with her?
Judging by the voting habits of her district, if she's not indicted or steps down, she will be soundly reelected. She's in the overwhelmingly Republican District, Sarasota. That's the same district Bush was hanging out in when the towers got hit on 9/11. I'm not implying anything, just throwing out a little history. She could probably stay a Representitive for life if she wants the districts are so gerrymandered here. For example, in my district Mike Bilirakis (R) runs unopposed every election. He's now passing the reigns over to his son who is running unopposed this year. Very royal of him.

Thankfully, I believe this latest episode Harris's Senatorial bid. Even the Conservtive Tampa talk shows don't think she can beat Bill Nelson.
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Old 03-06-06, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bwvanh114
That's not a well thought out argument. One can extrapolate that to pretty much any politician. Who cares what crappy decisions Hilter made? Saddam? Bah, let the people of Iraq take care of him.

A better argument would be, "I think the reasons you dislike her are not good reasons because..." and then support your argument.
I was just curious, because he used that argument against me when I complained about John Kerry and him not showing up for his Senate job. CRM doesn't live in Florida, so using his argument, he shouldn't care.
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Old 03-06-06, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tcoursen
I was just curious, because he used that argument against me when I complained about John Kerry and him not showing up for his Senate job. CRM doesn't live in Florida, so using his argument, he shouldn't care.
Don't you believe everyone should care about corruption in government?

There's a rather larger difference between bribery - I'm not saying she committed bribery - than missing senate votes.
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