Friday, October 21, 2005

It may be too late for damage control for the Miers nomination [link]

I am very proud to be acquainted with John Fund. I met him at Grover's Wednesday morning strategy sessions and he always has time to talk with me when I see him. You will not find a more polite and friendly pundit!

Fund's column today, linked to above, points out that there is more trouble brewing for the Administration with respect to the Harriet Miers nomination. Apparently there were shenanigans at the Texas Lottery Commission when Ms. Miers was its head. This will give the Dems a chance to make mischief and throw mud at the President:

Since President Bush passed over many legal stars to appoint his Texas friend, the battle over the Miers nomination will largely be fought over side issues--among them whether the Judiciary Committee will attempt to resurrect old Bush scandals from Texas by subpoenaing the director of the Texas Lottery Commission whom Ms. Miers fired. A spokesman for Sen. Pat Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, says he plans to explore all aspects of Ms. Miers's career, including her tenure at the Lottery Commission from 1995 to 2000.

The New York Sun has reported that Lawrence Littwin, a former executive director of the Lottery Commission, is eager to testify should the Senate subpoena him. Mr. Littwin claims that in 1997 Ms. Miers fired him after five months on the job because she was protecting GTECH, the controversial Rhode Island firm managing the lottery. GTECH had been mired in controversy for years, and in 1996 David Smith, its national sales director, was convicted in New Jersey in a kickback scheme involving a lobbyist.

Mr. Littwin has alleged that aides to then-Gov. Bush were worried that should GTECH lose its lottery contract, its top lobbyist, Mr. Barnes, would discuss efforts he claimed to have made to push a young George W. Bush to the top of the coveted waiting list for a pilot's slot in the Texas Air National Guard. (Mr. Barnes went public with those claims last year in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes.") Lottery Commission officials, including Ms. Miers, never detailed the reasons for the Littwin firing. Last week, when the Houston Chronicle asked about it, the White House replied, "Harriet Miers has never commented and will not now on what was a personnel matter."

So now the Dems will get to throw mud at Miers AND the President because of alleged misdoings at the Texas Lottery Commission. And the Dems get to re-visit Bush's tenure at the Texas Air National Guard...maybe they think they can even restore Dan Rather's reputation.

Yes, yes, Megalon...I know you read every day. But you are not my ONLY reader any more. We need to give the other readers a chance to see our daily sources of info.

Ok...time for coffee and oatmeal.


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