Did anyone see an indictment of former Speaker Denny Hastert coming? Does anyone even remember who he is? The answer to both questions is no.
Coach Speaker only became the figurehead (the real leader was the Bug Man, Tom Delay) of House Republicans because both Newt Gingrich and the Gret Stet’s own Bob Livingston had zipper problems. That was even more inconvenient for House GOPers back then because they were engaged in what Charlie Pierce calls “the pursuit of the President’s penis.”
The indictment is vague as to the why but we know the what: Hastert was being blackmailed and paid hush money to an unnamed party. We’re not sure why the seemingly boring and bland Hastert was thrust into an Erle Stanley Gardner plotline but it gives me a pretext to dub him Coach Hush Money. It may have something to do with some #duggary when he was a high school wrestling coach or some sort of bribery scheme. We simply do not know at this point. The indictment quite literally came out of the blue. All shall be revealed eventually.
I decided to post about the Coach Hush Money story because I remember some of the stupid shit he said right after Hurricane Katrina:
It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that’s 7 feet under sea level, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans.
“It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed,” the Illinois Republican said in an interview Wednesday with the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill.
Hastert, in a transcript supplied by the suburban Chicago newspaper, said there was no question that New Orleans residents would rebuild their city, but noted that federal insurance and other federal aid were involved. “We ought to take a second look at it. But you know we build Los Angeles and San Francisco on top of earthquake fissures and they rebuild, too. Stubbornness.”
Asked whether it made sense to spend billions rebuilding a city that lies below sea level, he replied, “I don’t know. That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Hastert later crawfished on these comments but fuck him anyway.
It’s been a schadenfreude packed week, hasn’t it? It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. It looks as if Coach Hush Money is in deep shit and sinking fast. There’s no Perry Mason in real life to get him out of this mess although the Bug Man’s mouthpiece, Dick DeGuerin, is pretty good. He’s busy defending Robert Durst right now, but the man never met a headline he didn’t like. Who would have thought Hastert was more likely to go to the slammer than Tom Delay?
Speaking of Out of the Blue, I’ll give Roxy Music the last word:
2 thoughts on “Coach Hush Money”
Yes, I remember Hastert’s ugly comment about bulldozing a major American city, and yeah, even if he did backtrack, well…he sure as hell should have. What a horrible thing to say, particularly at the time.
And now we find out when HE’S drowning, at least figuratively, he’ll move mountains…or at least boatloads of cash…to try to fix things. Pure conservatism in action: if it affects them personally…
I wonder if Denny Hastert approves of federal money to repair the Houston area after the floods, parts of which are 2-3 feet below sea level.
People tend to forget that his record in Congress on ethics is just a little scummy. There was the business of him likely using insider knowledge to buy land cheaply that would then be taken in eminent domain for a very high return for a federally-funded expressway he was pushing for all he was worth. Then there was the business of him sitting on his thumbs for months, certainly, and possibly years, while Mark Foley was accosting and abusing Congressional pages. On top of that, there was the FBI blocking further investigation of Sibel Edmonds’ claims of having heard conversations on wiretaps that implicated him in taking bribes from the Turkish government (which became his primary client, for $35K/mo, the moment he could legally lobby his cronies in Congress). And, of course, no one in Congress was going to question how his net worth on entering Congress of $250,000 could have ballooned to roughly $10 million upon departure, because, well, that just isn’t spoken of. Judging by his girth, it wasn’t because he subsisted on ramen noodles, lived frugally and invested wisely.
And, finally, even after he was gone, he was suspected of using his federally-funded transition staff in Illinois to work on his commercial lobbying/consulting business before he could officially begin lobbying.
So, I’m betting that this guy wouldn’t think twice about lying to the Feds and structuring cash withdrawals to evade banking law.
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