The WSJ Whitewashes A Cozy Cantor Caper

eric-cantorKimberly A. Strassel in the Murdoch Street Journal tells us today that those nasty Democrats are ganging up on poor House Repug Eric Cantor, on orders from “Obama’s Hit Squad,” of course (here)…

And then there’s the echo chamber. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is so obsessed with Mr. Cantor, he can barely find time to be indignant about anything else. Talking Points Memo, Huffington Post, Think Progress and other leading liberal blogs are today all-anti-Cantor-all-the-time.

Well, there has been a bit of talk about Cantor from those sites because he criticized Obama here for “distractions” such as lifting the Bush ban on government funding of embryonic stem cell research, though Cantor managed to find time to honor the American Dental Association (I guess one person’s “distraction” is another person’s last lifeline to cling to, as it were, while fighting a debilitating and possibly terminal illness).

And it’s true that Cantor has been discussed because he skipped an Obama budget press conference here to attend a Britney Spears’ concert. Also, Cantor has alleged here that Obama needs to come up with a strategy to defy “Code Pink,” a group that apparently holds sway among congressional Democrats as far as Cantor is concerned.

Oh, and did I note that the band Aerosmith told Cantor that he’d used the band’s tune “Back In The Saddle” for a campaign ad without their permission, and he should knock it off (here)?

So yes, there has been some talk about Cantor from these sites, but to allege that they are all-consumed with trying to take Cantor down is truly silly.

Back to Strassel…

But the real ugly was unleashed a few weeks ago, when the goon squad set on Mr. Cantor’s wife. An outfit called Working Families Win began running robocalls in five districts noting that Diana Cantor was a “top executive” at a bank that had received bailout funds — the clear implication being that Mr. Cantor’s vote for said bailout hinged on this fact. “In the middle of the AIG scandal, our congressman [fill in the blank] voted to make Virginia Republican, Eric Cantor, the conservative leader in Congress,” it droned (incoherently and incorrectly), before demanding voters oppose the “Cantor Family Bank bailout.”

Oh, yes, it’s so “not done” for the Journal to maliciously accuse the wife of a famous politician, right?

Well, here’s the issue; as noted here…

When (Cantor) was a (VA) delegate, he pushed hard for the Virginia Higher Education Tuition Trust Fund, which eventually became known as the Virginia College Savings Plan. It was a bill that, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he “shepherded” through the legislature. And who got rewarded as executive director of that trust, an $80,000 gig? One Diana Cantor. [Richmond Times-Dispatch, A1, 7/10/96]

She left that job to take a position with the New York Private Bank & Trust, which according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch “manages assets for clients with portfolios of $50 million or more.” At the same time she was taking the position, Eric Cantor was lobbying hard to kill a proposed increase in taxes on Wall Street players, and he flatly refused to discuss the possible impact on his wife, saying, “I’m not even going to go down there. It’s inappropriate.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, B-4, 6/30/07]

Also, Cantor voted for the 90-percent tax on the companies receiving bailout funds, which was a pretty canny move on his part I must admit, eliminating any charges of conflict of interest by supporting a measure Obama opposed anyway.

And on the matter of taxes, we have this (from here)…

At the House GOP retreat this weekend Minority Whip Eric Cantor made the following crack about (former) Health and Human Services designee, Tom Daschle.

“It’s easier for the other side to advocate for higher taxes because you know what?”… “They don’t pay ’em!”

In 2003, Representative Cantor failed to report or pay for the expense of a fundraiser that then “super lobbyist” Jack Abramoff held for him at his D.C. restaurant. Though it was a clear violation of the federal election law, Cantor’s spokesperson referred to his oversight as “a paperwork issue” and referred to the controversy as “chicken droppings.”

And I think that description fits the type of relationship Cantor has with the head of the Repug party, as noted here (Strassel is actually correct in pointing out that Cantor doesn’t call the shots – we know who does).

To conclude, I’d like to refer once more to my post about Cantor and “Code Pink” in which he says, “You know, Congressional Democrats are nowhere near where this president is right now in terms of public opinion.”

As noted here, Eric, neither are you.

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