November 1, 2006
GOP House Candidate Endorses Democrat Gillibrand
Warren Redlich Says John Sweeney Is Symbol of Washington Corruption
Albany, NY: Republican congressional candidate Warren Redlich (21st District) announced today he is endorsing the Democrat congressional candidate in his neighboring district, Kirsten Gillibrand (20th District), as an
“Congressman John Sweeney (R-20th District) is the classic illustration of what happens over time when incumbents feel secure,” said Redlich. “His corrupt, big spending ways are far too frequent byproducts of a failed electoral process that is producing self-serving career politicians from both parties.”
Redlich endorsed Gillibrand, Sweeney’s opponent, because “Gillibrand has been able to do what few candidates can do — offer a competitive challenge to an entrenched incumbent.”
Redlich released “The Sweeney File,” a compilation of Congressman Sweeney’s corrupt behavior and his big spending record in the House of Representatives. The corruption includes funneling campaign cash to his wife and junkets with lobbyists to Pacific islands and a posh ski resort.
“Republicans were once thought of as fiscal conservatives,” said Redlich. “Congressman Sweeney’s zero score on pork spending (see attachment) demonstrates he no longer feels accountable to anyone except the special interests that furnish his lavish junkets.”
Redlich’s campaign theme has been Stop Wasting Money. His campaign website is www.wredlich.com
“In good conscience, I cannot keep silent for the sake of party unity,” Redlich said.
Redlich, a Guilderland attorney and small business owner, is the Republican candidate for Congress in the 21st district that includes all of Albany, Schenectady, Montgomery and Schoharie counties, and parts of Fulton, Rensselaer, and Saratoga counties. The 20th district includes all or parts of 10 counties: Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, Otsego, Delaware, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren, Washington, and Essex.
Warren Redlich, (518) 225-3710 or 1-888-733-5299
(Attachment: The Sweeney File – see below)
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington lists Sweeney on its “20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress” list.
1 – Wife Gets Campaign Funds
Congressman Sweeney’s campaign fund paid $42,570 to Creative Consulting, a firm owned by his wife, Gayle Ford, between April 2003 and January 2004 (see T-U, May 8, 2005). Despite the revelation, Sweeney’s campaign gave $5,500 to his wife in August (see FEC website). Ford’s company received its first payment from Sweeney’s campaign on April 11, 2003, just one day after papers were filed with the Albany County Clerk’s office establishing Creative Consulting as a business under the name “Gaia Mashanta Ford.” It used a Cohoes address. It is violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act and House rules to convert campaign funds to personal use.
2 – Pacific Trip With Infamous Lobbyist Connection
In 2001, Sweeney took an all expenses paid trip to a Pacific island (Northern Mariana Islands) with an associate of infamous convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The U.S. territory was a major client of Abramoff. Abramoff pleaded guilty in January to mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion charges.
3 – Utah Ski Weekend With Drug Lobbyist
In January, Sweeney held a ski-weekend fundraiser in Park City, Utah, including a dinner at the home of a drug industry lobbyist (Jeff Kimbell). The “Skiing with Sweeney” weekend involved $2,000 per-person contributions and room rates were $349/night.
4 – Boat Bill and Campaign Contributions
In May, Sweeney introduced the Boating Safety Tax Incentive Act (H.R. 5274) providing tax breaks to boat manufacturers. In July, The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) gave Sweeney a $3,500 campaign contribution. NMMA’s contributions make Sweeney the third highest recipient of contributions from NMMA’s PAC. Also, NMMA has hosted fundraisers for Sweeney on its yacht, raising more than $12,000.
5 – Lake Placid Junket
In January, Sweeney invited more than 50 people to a “Congressional Winter Challenge” in Lake Placid where they used the Olympic facilities for their leisure, financed by taxpayers.
Big Spender Sweeney
Zero Score on Pork
“Hostility to Taxpayers”
1-Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake’s 19 anti-pork amendments have placed every House member on record regarding his or her positions on earmarks. In the list of 19 pork items, Sweeney voted for pork on every one of them, scoring a zero (0 for 19)
(www.clubforgrowth.com has list). The group calls a zero score “hostility to taxpayers.”
2- The National Taxpayer Union gave Sweeney a score of just 50 in its analysis of 201 roll call votes on federal spending in Congress in 2005. That is 10 points below the Republican average in the House.
3- Taxpayers for Common Sense, an independent taxpayer group devoted to cutting wasteful government spending, gave Sweeney a score of just 12 percent for 2004.
4- Effective January 1, Sweeney’s pay will have risen 23% since coming to Congress.
He has never voted to deny himself the raises.
5- As a majority member on the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Sweeney has played a significant role in the vast increase in federal spending.