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Why is Daniel Inouye Raising Money For Senator Toobz?

Editor’s Note: we’ve received updated information that Inouye is hosting the fundraiser in DC.

So Daniel Inouye is traveling to Alaska to headline a fundraiser for Republican Ted Stevens. Delightful. Who needs a supermajority anyway?

After having backed Slummy Joe before he didn’t, you’d think Inouye would learn. But I guess he has his reasons:

Ignoring party rules, Inouye and Stevens have contributed money to each other’s campaigns. Alaska donors also have given money to Inouye, and a few Hawai’i donors have given money to Stevens, but mostly as tokens acknowledging the friendship, since neither Inouye nor Stevens has faced any serious political challenge.

In the 2004 election cycle, Inouye received $34,700 from Alaska donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which follows campaign spending. The donations include $13,000 from executives or family members from VECO Corp., the Alaska energy services company whose executives were caught up in the federal corruption probe. Bill Allen and Richard Smith, former VECO executives who pleaded guilty to bribery, each donated $2,000 to Inouye.

A VECO Corp. assistant told The Associated Press in a 2004 statement about the contributions that they were made because Inouye "is a friend of Ted Stevens and a friend of Alaska."

Another Anchorage businessman who donated money to Inouye, Ed Rasmuson, was more pointed, telling the AP: "You can’t be dumb about it, this is Stevens’ best friend in the Senate."

This ain’t your country club, pal. Elected office is a public trust, and aside from the whole Republican thing, Senator Toobz has a host of corruption scandals on the front burner. Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich is running against Stevens (and Matt Browner-Hamlin, late of the Lamont and Dodd campaigns, is working for him).

Inouye finally had a "come to Jesus" moment on Lieberman. He’s desperately in need of another.

You can contribute to Begich here.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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