The Last Honest Republican Isn't.

The New York Times is running a story explaining how my former Senator, Arlen Specter, is busy doing the Republican Rumba. "Didn't know him, nine-eleven - cha, cha, cha!"

Senator Arlen Specter defended himself and a member of his staff on Thursday after the disclosure that clients of a lobbyist married to the staff member had received money through the senator's actions.

Vicki Siegel Herson, who until recently was Mr. Specter's legislative assistant on the Appropriations Committee, is married to Michael Herson, a top executive of the lobbying firm American Defense International.

Mr. Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, and his staff confirmed that six of Mr. Herson's clients received a total of about $50 million over the last four years through items Mr. Specter inserted into military appropriations bills in a process known as "earmarking."

Â…Mr. Specter said he would conduct a further inquiry into the possibility that Ms. Siegel might have knowingly played a role in allocating federal money to one of her husband's clients.

"That would be a blatant conflict of interest," Mr. Specter said. "I don't think that happened, but I am going to go back and take a look at the specifics of it."

By the end of the day, a spokesman for Mr. Specter said he had decided "voluntarily" to refer the case to the Senate Ethics Committee as well.

Oh, and here comes the trade mark, Karl Rove issued fix-it-all!
"The allocations in issue went to Pennsylvania companies for items which were important to national defense," Mr. Specter said in a statement.

And there you have it. The final proof that one of the last Republicans in government that I thought was still honest is just like the rest of the scum on his side of the aisle. When he was promoted to head of the Judiciary Committeee, he warned President Bush that any radical appointments would be irresponsible. Oops, Pro-Choice Specter voted to confirm both Roberts (ok, he said Roe was settled law) and Alito. Specter caved on the warrantless wiretapping hearings. This was the guy I used to point to and say "Pennsylvania Republicans are different. They're old-school Rockefeller Republicans." ("Santorum is an aboration and will be replaced " was part of that speech, too.) Turns out he's as slimy as they come. Damn.

And the talking heads keep saying "lobbying is a bipartisan scandal." Bullshit.

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