Rep. Anthony Weiner has been working since February to hold Clarence Thomas accountable for hiding his wife's income to avoid the appearance of a conflict, and his campaign was finally getting some traction. So what do the wingnuts do? They quickly create a diversion:
Rep. Anthony Weiner says Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from any health reform cases cases that come before the high court, and he and 73 other Congress members have formally asked him to in a letter.
Their problem is that Thomas' wife, Virginia, has reportedly earmed money lobbying against the health insurance reform law.
"As an Associate Justice, you are entrusted with the responsibility to exercise the highest degree of discretion and impartiality when deciding a case," Weiner and Co. wrote.
"As Members of Congress, we were surprised by recent revelations of your financial ties to leading organizations dedicated to lobbying against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," they wrote. "We write today to respectfully ask that you maintain the integrity of this court and recuse yourself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of this act."
They point to her touting her connections to clients who want the health reform law tossed. One of those connections might be considered to be her husband, they argue, and say Thomas should duck any cases that raise the appearance of a conlict of interest.
They also note that Thomas had failed to disclose the $686,589 that Virginia Thomas earned from the health reform-opposing Heritage Foundation from 2003 to 2007, and that his wife stood to gain from his decision in the Citizens United case.
Does anyone remember hearing that Justice Thomas released his financial disclosures on May 27th? Here's a little tidbit for you: His disclosures indicate a direct cash investment of between $15,000 and $25,000 into Ginni Thomas' Liberty Consulting lobby firm...the one that she started after resigning from the Liberty Central Tea Party astroturf group. The disclosures also indicate payment from Liberty Central and Liberty Consulting to Ginni Thomas in 2010, post Citizens United.
And Anthony Weiner was pushing hard on Thomas to recuse himself from any ACA-related lawsuits before Andrew Breitbart sprung into action.
This timeline is interesting:
Sept 9, 2009: Citizens United argued.
Nov 6, 2009: Virginia Thomas launches her new Liberty Central 501(c)(4) organization, which raises 550K in 2009.
Jan 21, 2010: Citizens United decided.
Virginia Thomas announces that Liberty Central would "accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court."
November 14, 2010: Liberty Central announces that Virginia Thomas would be leaving the organization.
November 16, 2010: Liberty Consulting incorporated in the state of Virginia.
February 4, 2011: Politico reports that Virginia Thomas had launched Liberty Consulting.