Thursday, March 09, 2006

What Is It With Republican Women?

Or maybe the emphasis should just be on "Republican"?
'Amateur' filing dents image of latest Hil foe


WASHINGTON - The election filings of Sen. Hillary Clinton's latest opponent certainly aren't par for the course, revealing a political novice claiming golf outings as campaign costs, in apparent violation of the law.
Papers examined by the Daily News revealed that GOP society matron Kathleen Troia (K.T.) McFarland has spent $844 in campaign money to take ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani golfing at least twice at the exclusive Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, L.I. That cash also paid for Giuliani to bring his wife along once and for caddies.

"It would seem that under the regulations, this is not allowed," said Larry Noble, head of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Those regulations specify that campaign funds can't be spent for entertainment or club fees - with a reference expressly barring caddies - unless it is part of a fund-raising event.

Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel said neither outing was a fund-raiser. "They talked politics," Mindel said. "That was it."

McFarland admitted she did not know of the rules, and insisted she would stay out of the rough in the future. "That is ignorance on our part," she said.

Besides the apparent violations, the filings betray an unfamiliarity with campaign finance, listing in unneeded detail McFarland's dozens of meals at the tony Union, Sky and Brook clubs in Manhattan, costing about $2,800.

Veteran political hands chuckled over the filing.

"This screams amateur," said one Republican, joking that the party may be wishing Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro hadn't quit the race.

See, I think at the national level, Republicans have a mechanism that automatically kicks in when things go awry, a Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe if you will, that comes in to clean up the bloody messes. Here in New York, the "mob bosses" have decided it's only small potatoes, nothing larger is at stake, so there's no need to send in a clean-up crew when the jackasses screw it up.

Another possible scenario is...well, New York politics has an history of back room dealings, like when Mario Cuomo and Alfonse D'Amato cut a deal not to impede on each other's turf, which held up for nearly twelve years until D'Amato ran his gloryhole boy, George Pataki for governor. But the half-hearted campaign that Cuomo ran that year told me that the fix was in; like a Bret Hart wrestling match, Cuomo was going to go down in an humiliating defeat.

Bill Clinton has not been visible in Hillary's re-election campaign, but he has made some quiet inroads into influencing her campaign opponent (altho this particular blogger draws a different conclusion than I do.) It would stand to reason that a political animal like Bill Clinton could not stand idly by in a deeply political environment and not do something.