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January 05, 2005

Turkeygate, John Conyers style

Any time you mix a longtime Michigan Demo-swindler with a nice juicy scandal, and the word “turkey” is more than just figurative, it is (as the glitterati say) to die for.

Seems that Rep. John Conyers’ Detroit office was given 60 actual turkeys, two days before Thanksgiving, to give to needy people. Now the Gleaners Community Food Bank says they haven’t gotten any paperwork back, saying where the turkeys actually went to — and a federal court worker says he was offered free turkeys from a member of Conyers’ staff.

I was actually a bit surprised that the Dems’ official house organ, the Detroit Free Press, even bothered to report this story, until I read further down where it mentions one of the two people who actually picked up those turkeys from the Gleaners.

A Conyers staff member who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal told the Free Press that Grubbs and her cousin, Conyers’ Detroit deputy chief of staff Marion Brown, along with a former Conyers aide, DeWayne Boyd, picked up the turkeys and later gave contradictory accounts of what happened to the birds.

The unnamed staff member raised concerns in a memo sent to both the FBI and House ethics committee. Conyers was the target of an informal ethics committee inquiry last year following a Free Press investigation about use of staff members during work hours for political campaigns.

Boyd, who was fired from Conyers' Detroit office in 2002, was convicted on seven counts of fraud last month in U.S. District Court in connection with a scam he ran from Conyers' office in 1999. (Emphasis added.)

Okay, so why is Conyers’ deputy chief of staff running around with convicted felon Boyd? One would think that once-burned is twice-shy, yes? How little the outside world understands the utterly corrupt nature of Michigan Democratic Party politics.

So leave it to the blog world to gobble this story right up and let it take wing even better than Arthur Carlson's Thanksgiving gift on WKRP in Cincinnati. Now there’s a blog called Turkeygate, and they've pecked around for other blogs which have swooped in on this tale, including Instapundit, Bill Quick over at The Daily Pundit, and the intrepid Hubs and Spokes, which says, “This story may turn out to be the gift that keeps on giving...”

Over at The Captain’s Quarters, this was said:

Conyers has long held himself out as a hero of the downtrodden. Now it looks like the hero has a staff of knaves. They claim to have received a list of the needy from Michigan’s Family Independence Agency, but the FIA not only never heard of the Conyers giveaway, they almost never release names to anyone.

Gleaners CFB has asked multiple times for an accounting, as has the Detroit Free Press. None has been forthcoming from John Conyers or his staff. The DFP reports that an unnamed source says the fate of the turkeys is murky even in the office and that no one really knows what happened to the food for the hungry. It appears that Conyers’ staff took the holiday meals for the most vulnerable in Detroit and used them to spread a little influence among the more powerful. It’s detestable, and if Conyers can't provide an accounting for the food -- for which his staff never reimbursed Gleaners -- the House Ethics Committee should look into it, as well as the Detroit PD.

But the best line I've seen thus far was by Daily Pundit commentor "Jake," who says:

The crazy part of this story is that Conyer's campaign chest is so massive that he will never, ever spend all of that money.

Why couldn’t he use that money to pay off his political cronies? No, he has took take food out of the mouths of the poor.

Not only did Conyer's policies create the poor — he has to give the poor the finger every Thanksgiving.

Posted by Weaselteeth at January 5, 2005 09:05 PM