Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It’s Hypocrisy or It’s a Crime

Friday the Times Union published an interesting story about self-styled reformer congressional candidate Kirsten Gillibrand (D) running in the Lake Placid-Saratoga area. Gillibrand has tried to make hay crusading against the evil influence of lobbyists, but what should arrive in the mail, but an invitation to a Gillibrand fundraiser at the lobbying firm Patton Boggs. As the Times Union reports:

“At the bottom of the invitation read a box: ‘Paid for by Gillibrand for Congress.’

"Gillibrand's campaign manager, Bill Hyers, insisted the event hadn't been officially set up by the campaign, and when he caught wind of it, it was promptly canceled.

‘I have no idea what that is; I don't remember even hearing about it,’ Hyers said. ‘I think friends wanted to set it up, and I didn't see it. There was no way we were going to do it.’ Hyers said anyone could make an invitation with ‘Paid for by Gillibrand for Congress’ printed on it, so it doesn't necessarily prove anything.”

If people were fraudulently representing themselves as part of Gillibrand’s campaign, falsely labeling mail as paid for by the campaign, that’s a crime. Since invitations were sent through the mail, federal mail fraud statutes should apply. Patton Boggs and RSVP contact Kate Boyce should be asked to explain their involvement. If no crime was actually committed, than Gillibrand was hypocritically accepting help from the sinister lobbyists she has been campaigning against.