Monday, December 03, 2007

SCOTUS to Rep. Jim McDermott; "Bad Boy, Leaker"

Ten years ago Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA7), known in more recent years as Baghdad Jim for his unqualified support of that city's former tyrant, was serving on the House Ethics Committee. Two Democratic Party activists, who had illegally recorded a telephone conversation between Representative John Boehner and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, delivered the hot tape to McDermott.

McDermott made a the first of a series of truly bad choices. Rather than pursuing his passion for Gingrich through the channels of the Ethics Committee, he delivered the tape to a reporter in what the trial judge ruled was a malicious attempt to politically harm his colleagues through an invasion of their privacy.

Rep. Boehner offered to settle the case years ago for $10,000 and an apology. McDermott, caught up in what might in later years be called Gingrich Derangement Syndrome, refused.

Today's decision by the Supreme Court not to hear Jim's arguments means that McDermott will be paying Boehner something in the neighborhood of $1 million, money that McDermott doesn't have.

RELATED LINKS: McDermott (D-WA), Guilty (Again)!

UPDATE: McDermott's legal defense fund reportedly took in about $15,000 in the last reported quarter, while spending more than $10,000 in the same period. At that rate it will take about 50 years for Boehner to collect.

UPDATE II: In his 2005 financial disclosure report, McDermott reported a net worth between $10,000 and $15,000, not including real estate. Talk about judgment-proof, wow. McDermott's raw financial filing for 2006, filed in May 2007, shows a total asset range between $562 thousand and $1.131 million. It appears that most of the assets are held in various styles of retirement accounts.

UPDATE: At least one of the reported contributors to McDermott's legal defense fund can afford to help big-time. Jim Sinegal, of Costco fame, kicked in $5,000 last year. As did one William Gates a year earlier.

Anyone who makes a 100-1 judgment mistake by refusing to pay $10,000 in order to later cough up $1,000,000, is too risky to keep in D.C.

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