Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Our Guy Is Clean – And That’s Not in the Joe Biden Sense

With Howard Dean coming for lunch with Miami-Dade Democrats soon, it’s good to reflect on the contrast between our national chair and the Republicans’. The Miami Herald doesn’t like to inform us about bad news concerning local Republicans but they didn’t have much choice last Friday. Mel Martinez is scrambling to give back money that the Federal Election Commission says is too much – even for a Republican.

You may remember the ’04 campaign. Mel Martinez, awash in money, could afford all those vicious ads implying that Betty Castor was weak on terrorism. Seems some of that money was over the top, so to speak. Well, too bad. Mel Martinez now is U.S. Senator from Florida. Too bad, indeed. It was Bob Graham's seat. Now Martinez will just give back some of the money, pay what the Herald thinks will be “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in fines – with other donations, we suppose, and he’ll go on being the Republican Party’s chief national fund-raiser. Introduce the president here and there. Chatter on the radio in English and Spanish. An honorable man.

What does he say now? “Mistakes were made,” the Herald quotes him as saying, employing the usual passive voice trotted out when an honorable man avoids responsibility.

Howard Dean will perhaps have a word or two of comment at the May 1 lunch (at Parrot Jungle – just announced), or DEC Chairman Joe Garcia may bring it up to contrast the Republican cash machine against the forthright and honest way the Democratic Party is trying to conduct its political campaigns.

And the Herald, eager to mend its fence with the senator, published an article Monday with the headline “GOP leadership job is on track.” This is called fair and balanced in some circles. Well, it’s quoting the senator, and he’s an honorable man.

Links to the two Herald articles:
Mel Martinez to be fined -- April 20.
Mel Martinez a fine leader -- April 23.

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