The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Missouri Congressman had his own Armstrong Williams

Missouri's gerrymander is not quite as egregious as, say, Georgia's, or California's, or Texas'. The 5th District won by the Rev Emanuel Cleaver includes Kansas City and Harry Truman's Independence, but its extension east along US 56 and south along US 71 suggest tailoring at work.

Cleaver, elected for the first time to the 109th Congress, had hired a hack for the campaign, one Eric Wesson, whose day job is reporter for the Kansas City Call, a black newspaper. According to a piece in The Pitch (a KC alternative mag, I surmise) by one Tony Ortega, the Cleaver/Wesson arrangement came to the notice of a disgruntled resident of the 5th District, who tipped off newsmen at the Kansas City Star and KCTV.

Ortega's claim is that the story was left alone because the Star turns a blind eye to questionable behaviour by those of duskier hue (KCTV ran the story on October 20, it seems). And the paper was only pushed into writing about it by a Howie Kurtz column on February 14!

Wesson, Kurtz revealed on February 21, is also a convicted felon, having been sentenced to a ten year term - for what? - in 1991.

How many other Congressional candidates hire journos as 'consultants'? There are a myriad ways to launder the cash - some friendly social group might have paid Wesson for a speech on his prison experiences, for instance...

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