Thursday, April 28, 2005


Jonny on the ball?

Jonny Riskind that is. Nearly a week after the story broke about Bob Ney "forgetting" to report an in-kind contribution of a luxury skybox at the MCI Center, the Dispatch's DC bureau chief finally gets around to acknowledging it even happened with this cookie cutter lede:
A few months after using an American Indian tribe’s arena luxury suite for a campaign fundraiser, Rep. Bob Ney co-sponsored a bill seeking to make it easier for tribal governments to issue tax exempt bonds.
The only thing Riskind adds to this story is that he gets Steven Weiss from the Center for Responsive Politics to criticize Ney. But before any attaboys are given to Riskind, its worth noting that you could fire a gun in any direction in DC and hit five public interest group spokespeople willing to go on the record against what Ney did.

The milk-spurter line in the story is Riskind letting Ney aid Brian Walsh get away with this:
Ney’s support for the tax-exempt bonds bill "was exactly in line with his long-standing belief that Indian tribal governments are sovereign governments who should enjoy the same rights as state and local governments."
Puhleeze . . . We tried googling "Bob Ney" and "Indian tribal governments" and, excluding stories on this current controversy, we got bupkis. Jon - do you know something about "his long-standing belief that no one else does?

Now, rumor has it that there's maybe more to this story. The folks over at The Next Hurrah ask what the number was of the skybox Ney used. If it's #204, then Ney's got some more explaining to do because that's not just the Morongo box - it's also Jack Abramoff's box - and Ney has been doing backflips on this to say that Abramoff wasn't involved in this caper.

So, Jonny, how about you call up Brian Walsh and ask him to show you what box at the MCI Center was used, and maybe ask him to bring some pictures from the fundraiser to verify the location? That's the kind of stuff they pay you for.


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