Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Will McGavick denounce Ted Stevens?

Last Thursday, Republican candidate Mike McGavick, who longs to be George W. Bush's next rubber stamp in the U.S. Senate, registered his unhappiness with a certain, unknown Senator who used a Senate parliamentary maneuver to block government transparency legislation from coming up for vote.

Here's a backgrounder on the story:
In an ironic twist, legislation that would open up the murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver.

An unidentified senator placed a "secret hold" on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., that would create a searchable database of government contracts, grants, insurance, loans and financial assistance, worth $2.5 trillion last year. The database would bring transparency to federal spending and be as simple to use as conducting a Google search.

The measure had been unanimously passed in a voice vote last month by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and had support from heavy hitters such as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. It was on the fast track for floor action before Congress recessed on Aug. 4 when someone put a hold on the measure.

Now the bill is in political limbo. Under Senate rules, unless the senator who placed the hold decides to lift it, the bill will not be brought up for a vote.
And now, here's what Mike McGavick had to say on his blog last week in response to the article:
McGavick: This is a sad state of affairs when a senator (or senators) secretly prevent legislation to remove secrecy. The American people have a right to know how their money is being spent. We need senators who are willing to hold their colleagues accountable for this sort of thing, regardless of party.
Well today, we found out who that Senator is. From TPM Muckraker:
A spokesman for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) just confirmed his boss was the man behind the secret hold on the Coburn/Obama spending database bill, which has captivated a segment of the political blogging community in recent days.

"Sen. Stevens does have a hold on the bill," said the spokesman, who would only speak on the condition he not be named. He added that Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) office was notified of the hold after it was placed
Well, now, isn't that interesting! We now have Mike McGavick on the record condemning this kind of behavior.

Is Mike McGavick going to come out and condemn Ted Stevens as well - or will he try to beat a retreat from his earlier comments?

Stevens and McGavick have deep ties. The Alaska Senator has held a lavish fundraiser up north for McGavick and cut a personal check to Mike's campaign for $2,000, according to the most recent FEC reports. It's pretty rare for a Senator to contribute heavily to the challenger of a colleague.

Stevens also has claimed that he pulled legislation he introduced in the U.S. Senate at McGavick's bequest. And the Seattle Times even ran a front page story by reporter Alicia Mundy back in June detailing Stevens' involvement in Washington State's U.S. Senate race.

Mike McGavick is once again trying to have it both ways. He desperately wants to become part of the Republican establishment in Washington D.C. and support his buddies George W. Bush and Ted Stevens, but he knows he can't win if he reveals that. So he's trying to run as the anti-establishment candidate. It's Orwellian deception at its finest.

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