Happy Trails, Bob

Okay, so perhaps it’s a bit soon to actually bury the Bob Schaffer for Senate campaign. After all, the parties haven’t even formally nominated their candidates. However, it’s by no stretch of the imagination too early to start digging a grave. That will save valuable time when the final meltdown comes.

Here we discussed Schaffer’s recent statement that the Marianas Islands should serve as some sort of “model” for immigration policy. The Marianas textile manufacturing consortium was a devoted client of criminal/lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and through that connection made BFFs in Congress such as Tom DeLay. Such friendships were important to the manufacturers, who had a penchant for importing young Chinese women to work in their factories and virtually enslaving them. Employer control extended to compulsory abortions for workers who dared get pregnant.

It’s the free market, you see, and all right-thinking people know that the free market cures all ills. Friends in Congress would help by keeping those miserable nanny-statist American labor laws from messing with the libertopian wet dream.

Friends like former Republican Congressman and current Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer.

The good folks at SquareState are all over recent developments in the story of Sweatshop Bob’s 1999 “fact-finding” trip to Saipan. Check out yesterday’s Denver Post report on Bob’s Abramoff-funded, $13,000 junket. The Post even unearthed this lovely image of then-Congressman Schaffer finding facts:

We at Subject to Complete Defeasance are confident that the parasailing depicted in the above photograph had nothing to do with “fun” or “vacationing.” Bob simply wanted a bird’s eye view of certain textile factories to make sure their roofs were in good repair. Yeah, that’s it.

It remains to be seen just how long this story’s legs will get. For now, though, the Schaffer campaign appears thoroughly flummoxed. The campaign spokesmodel interviewed for the Post article would have done better saying “No comment” than he did with the plethora of implausibilities that he actually horked up.

On a final note, TPM gives us a glimpse at what the attack ad might look like.

More: Talking Points Memo loves this story very, very much. Seems that — surprise, surprise — Abramoff’s scumbag clients were in fact able to purchase a certain amount of influence with Sweatshop Bob. There’s more on the Schaffer-Benigno Fital connection here in today’s Denver Post.

Update (04/14/08): Sweatshop Bob’s tit is still firmly lodged in the proverbial wringer, although he’s finally talking publicly about the Abramoff/Marianas affair. SquareState has all the latest in a chockful-‘o’-links story right here. Still needed: a complete expose on the role that the uber right wing Traditional Values Coalition played in this mess. Stay Tuned!

For those who enjoy videotape of a politician running like a scalded dog from reporters — and who doesn’t — check out this from KREX-TV in Grand Junction.

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