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From a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, against Congressman Vern Buchanan (R., Fl.):
Rep. Buchanan owns several car dealerships in Florida. In September 2005, dealership employees were pressured into contributing to Rep. Buchanan’s congressional campaign and some were reimbursed for making contributions. Former employee Carlo Bell was called into a manager’s office and told that if he was part of the “team” he would make a contribution. Fearing for his job, Bell agreed to make the donation and was handed $1,000 in cash.
Bell also saw two other employees, Jack Prater and Jason Martin take cash in return for promising to write checks and FEC reports confirm that both men made $1,000 contributions to the Buchanan campaign. Dealership employee D.J. Padilla was told that any employee who donated to the campaign committee would be repaid.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”