Isn’t there some way we can get money out of politics? Let’s ask Harry Reid.
A Utah businessman is rocking both state and national politics after claiming Utah Attorney General John Swallow helped him broker a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a federal investigation into his company quietly disappear, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Jeremy Johnson was allegedly told that the price would be $600,000, and claims to have made an initial payment of $250,000 when he was slapped with a federal lawsuit. Now he says he wants his money back.
The Salt Lake Tribune points out that Johnson has no way of knowing whether the funds actually made it to Reid, even if he did make a massive payment to Reid’s alleged intermediary.
Then, with the FTC investigation continuing, Johnson said Swallow suggested Reid could make problems with regulators go away — for a price.
“I said, ‘OK, what do I need to do?’ He’s like, ‘OK, it costs money,’ ” Johnson said, who claimed Swallow was adamant he make a deal.
“I think he told me, ‘Richard Rawle has a connection with Harry Reid,’ ” Johnson said.
He said Swallow at first wanted $2 million to enlist Reid’s help. But [his company] I Works was no longer profitable and he did not have the money, Johnson said, so they eventually agreed on $300,000 upfront and $300,000 later.
So did the money ever make it into Harry Reid’s grubby little hands? There’s no way to know, but it’s not exactly the first time this has come up.
On Monday, Harry Reid’s close friend and donor, Harvey Whittemore was sentenced to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election committee in 2007. He received three felony convictions, his sentence includes $100,00 in fines and 100 community service hours. Whittemore was a former Nevada power broker and named the most powerful lobbyist in Nevada who worked for gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries. His nickname was the “64th legislator”.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Reid and Whittemore go way back; four of Reid’s sons were hired by the law firm in which Harvey Whittemore was a senior partner. Sen. Reid and Whittemore were involved in very big land deals, including federal legislation to help the development of Coyote Springs.
But again, supposedly Reid knew nothing.
The Nevada Democrat also defended his role in fighting Republican attempts to water down Obamacare as a condition to keeping the government open, responding directly to a National Review piece that called him the “villain of villains.”
“When I read this yesterday, I thought, no one likes to be called a villain,” Reid said, reading aloud definitions of the word that mean “uncouth,” “scoundrel” or “criminal.” “I am not a criminal. I am not a scoundrel. So they better get a different definition of me.”
See, he’s not a crook. He even said so.