Something Stinks on the Links


By all public estimations, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is a pretty good golfer.

He should be, given the $82,998 his political action committee has spent on golf outings so far this year, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Original DVD cover

(In the golf cart, left to right:  Joseph Bruno, Jack Abramoff, Steve Buyer, Salvatore DiMasi)

The golf events this year sponsored by Boehner’s Freedom Project political action committee have stretched from April until October, from Florida to Ohio. And the minority leader doesn’t hold his events at worn-out municipal courses.


The highest expenditure was a September event at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. The Freedom Project spent $29,501.20 for an event on the course, which hosts the annual PGA Memorial Tournament.


The FEC reports don’t list the attendees at these golf events, the cost per person or any other details. Don Seymour, a spokesman for the PAC, said the expenditures are “related to events that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the Freedom Project support Republican candidates for Congress.”

What is it about those dimpled balls? From The New York Times:

ALBANY — For Joseph L. Bruno, once one of the most powerful politicians in New York, the road to trouble was soft, grassy and green.

It was on the rolling fairways of his suburban country club that Mr. Bruno, the former State Senate majority leader, pitched labor officials on investing pension money with a firm called Wright Investors’ Service, usually without telling them that Wright was paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars for his efforts.

It was on a golf junket to Florida that Mr. Bruno first sold an Albany-area entrepreneur on the idea of paying him generous fees to help drum up investment, including earmarks that were arranged by the senator himself.

Golf was so central to Mr. Bruno’s intertwined business and political careers, in fact, that he ordered a Senate ethics lawyer to determine whether a lobbyist could pay his greens fee if the game was part of a charity tournament.


For Mr. Bruno, who federal prosecutors say improperly mixed his political and business interests and sought to deceive the public about it, golf provided more than just exercise and a chance to unwind. It also assured privacy, hours at a stretch to bond with clients, and the occasional vacation on someone else’s dime.

With hardly a day of Mr. Bruno’s corruption trial here passing without some mention of golf, his name can now be added to a list of politicians whose taste for the tees led them to trouble.

In June, Salvatore F. DiMasi, a former speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, was indicted on charges that during rounds of golf, he plotted to rig state computer software contracts. This fall, an Indiana congressman, Steve Buyer, came under scrutiny when it was revealed that a charity he established to help teenagers pay for college had spent nothing on scholarships but $260,000 on lavish golf junkets.

And the Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, now serving four years in prison for bribery, fraud and tax evasion, routinely flew members of Congress and other officials to exclusive golf resorts in Scotland, California or the Mariana Islands.

From TALKING POINTS MEMO (October 22, 2009):

Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) has long been a passionate golfer. Last year, Golf Digest ranked the lawmaker 32nd, with a handicap of 5.6, on its list of the top 200 golfers in Washington.

Like many members of Congress, Buyer has a history of mixing business and pleasure on the golf course. Now, it looks like the financial dealings of a questionable foundation created by Buyer were even more golf-driven than previously known.

It’s been reported that the Frontier Foundation, which has been criticized for raising hundreds of thousands from industry groups seeking to influence Buyer while giving out nothing for its stated purpose of helping Indiana students pay for college, raised virtually all of its money on posh golf junkets. Those included trips with Buyer and groups of lobbyists to deluxe courses at Disney World and the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

Buyer also found himself in trouble in the mid-1990s after he didn’t report a golfing trip to Lake Tahoe paid for by a telecom lobbying group.

He has claimed the Frontier golf trips are “not fun for me” because travel is a lot of work.


[…] it’s telling that $4,500 of the $10,500 given out by Frontier over six years may have been paying for the golf-enthusiast lawmaker to get his fix. (Remember, though, Buyer doesn’t even enjoy playing.) And all this while the foundation wasn’t giving out a cent in scholarships.


From TALKING POINTS MEMO (November 12, 2009):

Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) sat down for an interview with CBS Evening News about his charity, but struggled to answer basic questions about the Frontier Foundation, which collects big donations from industry sources trying to influence Buyer but gives out no money for its putative mission of supporting Indiana students.

Buyer abruptly ended the interview with CBS, which aired last night, literally rushing out of his seat to make a meeting.

Among the questions he couldn’t answer: why the foundation, which as recently as last month shared space with Buyer’s campaign office in Monticello, Indiana, no longer has a physical address.


Asked by reporter Sharyl Attkisson about legislation he has introduced or supported that helps donors to Frontier, Buyer says at one point: “Trying to match up legislation like that is erroneous. You shouldn’t do that Sharyl. I think that it’s, I think it’s wrong.”

Check out one key exchange, where CBS asks Buyer about the fact that all of the donations to the foundation come from lobbyists and corporate sources with interests that Buyer has supported:

    Attkisson: From what I can tell, all of the donors have interests before committees that you sit on in Congress.

    Buyer: Well, the committees in which were, uh, the committees, the corporations in which provided support, like I said, were those original companies. Please do not assume that if a company contributes to the foundation that that’s somehow some type of influence upon what I’m about to do.

CBS also uncovers the fact that the $25,000 in seed money that started the foundation came from PhRMA. We’ve previously noted that PhRMA is the single biggest donor to the foundation, giving at least $200,000 over the past several years. TPMmuckraker reported late last month that PhRMA also hired Buyer’s son — who is on the board of the foundation — to work at its Washington headquarters. Buyer is a member of the House Energy Subcommittee on Health, which regulates drugs.

(Video at TALKING POINTS MEMO link, and, seriously, you really have to watch it, kids! )


Filed under CBS, Congress, Corruption, Democrats, FEC, Federal Election Commission, humor, Jack Abramoff, John Boehner, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

22 responses to “Something Stinks on the Links

  1. Schweet!


    Thanks for your able reporting.

    When will his impeachment trial begin?


    • hi suzan!

      hope you had a nice thanksgiving. i thought i’d report on a few turkeys so raisinettes don’t start having turkey withdrawals.

      i’ve despised buyer ever since he was one of the clinton impeachment managers. sanctimonious asswipe.

  2. I was wondering when Abramoff would show up in an entry about golf and corruption. So, when he took people for golfing outings in the Marianas, did he also treat them to the prostitutes there?

  3. Hey Nonnie, thanks for dropping by our joint for the holiday , and gettin’ tight back to work on the golf gophers. Steve’s a pretty damned good liar, but for someone who claims he gets so focused on saving money that he “forgets” about the appearance of working for the contributors to his little incestuous foundation, he sure makes a lot of hard swallows ans speaking errors, which are really fun to watch.

    And if you believe him when he says he forgot whence the $25,000 came from to get his foundation started, do you wonder why he isn’t competent enough to prepare for the interview by knowing such essential information?

    Who do, Steve? Who do you think you’re foolin’?

    • no need for thanks, saitia. usojo is a daily stop for me, even if i don’t comment.

      i thought the interview with ol’ steve was hilarious. can you say fidget? i was waiting for the sweat to start dripping off him. i love how his answer was like madlibs. he just filled in the blank. “i don’t remember how ______ happened. i was so focused on _______ that i didn’t pay enough attention to ________. you oughta call _______ and ask ______ about it.” if i was an indiana voter, i’d think twice about voting for a guy who can apparently only handle one thing at a time. if he has to totally focus on something (like his golf game, for instance), how can they trust him to handle the other things a congresscritter is supposed to handle in a given day?

  4. How about Arrrggggh for a response?

    • that depends on the question! 😉

      • The Aaarrrggghh response is to the

        $82,998 his political action committee has spent on golf outings so far this year.

        He has the gaul to be one of the main people whining about how can we possibly afford healthcare for the underlings. …..
        I guess he ponders the question while spending $82 K @ the country club.

        • i think there should be a rule in congress that all governmental business has to be done in governmental offices, unless there is a very pressing reason (convenience doesn’t count) that it has to take place elsewhere. no more business done on golf courses or fancy restaurants or private jets. taxpayers pay for their offices, let them use them. plus, let’s get some real campaign finance laws passed so that congresscritters don’t have to go out and raise money. let them actually work instead. let the party raise the money, and let there be limits on what can be spent.

  5. now i know where boner gets his boners.

    • would you mind telling KARL THE DICKLESS TROLL POSING AS Helen Wheels AND FOOLING NOBODY, dcAp? maybe a boner will give him something to do other than spam the internets.

  6. Hey, ass wipe! Good news!

    “QUESTION: In the 2010 Congressional elections will you definitely vote, probably vote, not likely vote, or definitely will not vote? The results were, to put it mildly, shocking:

    Voter Intensity: Definitely + Probably Voting/Not Likely + Not Voting

    Republican Voters: 81/14
Independent Voters: 65/23

    Two in five Democratic voters either consider themselves unlikely to vote at this point in time, or have already made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool. Indeed, Democrats were three times more likely to say that they will “definitely not vote” in 2010 than are Republicans.” – Daily Kos, 11/27/09

    Enjoy, ass wipe.

  7. Psst. Somebody put Ed Begley Jr. on a suicide watch. He’s taking Climategate really hard.

  8. According to Kos’ own poll, liberals aren’t fooling anybody either. Helen Wheels or Jolly Jackass, didn’t even have the courage to post the bad news.

    For that you should be commended, ass wipe.

  9. Speaking of fishy golf stories, that “car wreck” Tiger Wood had exiting his driveway at 2:30 a.m. sounds to me like the wifey caught him putting into the wrong hole.

    • i doubt he was leaving home at 2:30 to buy some golf balls. i wonder if wifey gave him a smack upside his head and the bloody lip before he got into his car. maybe that’s why he had the accident in the first place.

  10. I wish Elin Woods would take her 9-iron to Boner’s next golf outing.

  11. A lump of moss would make a better leader than Boehner.

  12. Pingback: “Let them eat their own Payless Shoe Store bootstraps!” | ObamaPress