Bismarck Tribune Tries To Put Pomeroy’s Ethics Investigation Into Context

Earl Pomeroy

I can almost hear how the discussion leading to this article went down at the Tribune’s editorial office.

“Gee, Earl Pomeroy is sure getting beat up by this ethics thing. What can we do to help?”

“I know, let’s report about the other ethics scandals our delegation has found themselves in to put it into context!”

And so we get this. Which is all well and good, except that it seems to imply that these ethics investigations are just something that happens. No big deal.

Except, Conrad’s acceptance of VIP loans from Countrywide Financial was a serious ethical breech. One that we still don’t know all the details of given that Democrats have been blocking attempts to subpoena records on the VIP loan program from Bank of America (which bought out Countrywide). In fact, before Rep. Darrell Issa was able to get them to stop destroying the data, Bank of America actually destroyed a recording of Kent Conrad’s conversation with Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo (the originator of the VIP loan program).

Now remember, the Senate Ethics Committee exonerated Kent Conrad…despite not requesting subpoenaing any of the information bout the VIP loan program from Countrywide.

The $67,000 in contributions that Jack Abramoff directed his Indian tribe clients to give to Byron Dorgan was a big deal. And by the way, guess who was co-chairman of the Senate sub-committee that was charged with investigating Abramoff’s dealings? Why Senator Byron Dorgan who refused to step down from the committee.

If anything, the context the Tribune gives Pomeroy’s ethical problems shines more light on their softball, simpering, subservient coverage of these “three amigos.”

We wonder why North Dakota’s newspapers are dying. Maybe it’s because they don’t cover political scandals even when they drop right in their laps.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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