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Friday, February 24, 2006


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Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up:

Congressman Mad that Poor People Don't Freeze

Texas Joe Barton (R-TX) is down right mad at Citgo. He's mad because while oil prices are at an all time high, Citgo had the gaul to start a program that offered heating oil to the poor in the Northeast at rates up to 60% below market price. That's right, Citgo, and only Citgo, started an oil-for-the-poor program so those less fortunate than others could heat their home this winter.

And he's is so mad that he's demanding, according to the New York Daily News, that the company produce by tomorrow all "all records, minutes, logs, e-mails and even desk calendars related to Citgo's novel program of supplying discounted heating oil to low-income communities in the United States."

Barton want this information and anwsers to these questions:

"'how and why were the particular beneficiaries of this program selected' and whether the program 'runs afoul of any U.S. laws, including but not limited to, antitrust laws.'"

It's no surprise to learn that Barton is second only to Tom DeLay in receiving oil industry money.

So while all the other oil companies are raking in record profits and consumers are wondering if they are price gouging us, Barton goes after the one company that offered discounted oil to those who needed help the most this winter.


This is so unfair of the press. I mean, dude, who hasn’t bought a house below market value and almost doubled your money a few years later? Yeah, yeah, yeah, so you bought it from a convicted felon, a guy known to have bribed congressmen, but come on. Who here hasn’t done that?

Congressman Denies He Got Deal on House
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press Writer March 29, 2006

WASHINGTON - Rep. Jim Ryun on Wednesday denied allegations by Democrats that he received a "sweet real estate deal" when he purchased a town house from a nonprofit group with connections to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The Kansas Republican bought the historic Capitol Hill town house for $410,000 on Dec. 15, 2000. That was $19,000 less than the U.S. Family Network paid for the home about two years earlier, in January 1999, despite a sharp rise in local real estate values during that time.

He denies receiving any favorable treatment in the purchase. He declined to be interviewed but said in a written statement that he paid "fair market value" for the home.

Ryun said he negotiated the sale price after a housing inspector found a structural problem that would require up to $20,000 to repair. He said the seller also saved money on the deal by not having to pay a real estate agent's commission.

The home is currently assessed at $764,310 for tax year 2007, according to the city's Office of Tax and Revenue.

Mike Gaughan, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, called it a "sweet real estate deal" and questioned how Ryun found a house that lost value over two years in one of the nation's hottest housing markets.

The U.S. Family Network is a now-disbanded nonprofit advocacy group for conservative ideas that was founded by Ed Buckham, a former chief of staff to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. Buckham's lobbying firm rented office space in the town house from the group.

The group was funded almost entirely by corporations linked to Abramoff. Federal investigators are now exploring whether DeLay offered favorable treatment to Abramoff clients that made payments to U.S. Family Network, the Washington Post reported this week.

DeLay stepped down from his leadership post last fall after he was indicted in Texas on charges of laundering campaign money.

Meanwhile, Abramoff was sentenced Wednesday in Miami to nearly six years in prison for committing fraud in the purchase of a fleet of gambling boats. He will remain free while helping prosecutors with a vast bribery investigation involving members of Congress.

Abramoff, 47, and former business partner Adam Kidan, 41, received the minimum sentence under federal guidelines: five years and 10 months.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

In case you’re wondering just how it is that oil companies, say, in the midst of their most profitable run of years ever get handed seven billion dollars of our damn money for…well, for no good reason that any sane person could possibly come up with, maybe, just maybe, this here story’s one little clue.

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