Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 27, 2009


St Louis Post Dispatch - As in other political scandals, it was not the original offense - it was the cover-up. Missouri Sen. Jeff Smith, Rep. Steve Brown and Smith's former campaign treasurer, Nick Adams, each pleaded guilty to federal felony conspiracy charges Tuesday and admitted their involvement in a years-long scheme to cover up campaign violations from 2004. The original violation - hiding their involvement in a campaign flier - may have earned only a fine, lawyers said.

But in their bid to avoid responsibility for the 25,000 negative fliers mailed to residents of Missouri's 3rd Congressional District, Smith and Adams lied to FBI agents and the Federal Election Commission. On tape recordings obtained by federal authorities, they discussed blaming it all on a dead former colleague. And they bought throwaway cell phones to avoid surveillance, at one point likening themselves to characters on the HBO crime drama "The Wire.". . .

The scheme the three defendants admitted hatching was wide-reaching, involving politicians on the local, state and national stage. . .

John Gillies, head of the local office of the FBI, called it "pure stupidity. . . You've got a Ph.D., you've got a J.D. from Washington University, another guy with a master's and all this - for what?" he said. "Just so they could get a little bit more power, feel a little bit better about themselves that they're big shots in town."

Each man also now faces 15 to 21 months in federal prison under sentencing guidelines


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Education does not make good people, just good students.

August 27, 2009 9:07 PM  

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