Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Haley Barbour Bop

- When Haley Barbour was sworn in as governor of Mississippi in 2004, he set up a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest and said he had severed ties with the Washington lobbying firm he co-founded.

The blind trust document he signed about six weeks later says that on Jan. 13, 2004, the day he took office, Barbour still had a stake worth $786,666 in the publicly traded parent company of Barbour Griffith & Rogers Inc., as well as pension and profit-sharing plan benefits from the lobby firm.

A copy of the notarized trust agreement, obtained from an individual who requested anonymity, says Barbour receives $25,000 per month, or $300,000 a year, from it. He lists the trust in his annual Mississippi ethics filing as his only source of income outside his $122,160 salary as governor.

He lied in other words. Somebody broke the law and revealed it. Barbour was counting on the fact that nobody would have access to who he had investments with due to the fact that his portfolio was in a "blind trust".

After Hurricane Katrina, Barbour Griffith & Rogers started lobbying Mississippi for contracts. Even though Barbour's name was on the company, they were allowed to lobby the state since he had no idea *wink wink* if he was even financially going to benefit from the arrangement.

He also went on to claim that he was only vested in a pension plan that would generate him no more money with the firm no matter what the company made. This is highly unethical.

I am shocked, shocked that the former head of the Republican National Committee would do such a thing. His presidential medal of freedom should be bestowed any day now.