Since I see a continuum in the nature of abuse, I thought this might be an interesting addition to the board:
Corporate Abuses Giving Democrats a Campaign Issue
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
OISE, Idaho, July 13 — From scouring the voting records and business backgrounds of Republican opponents to preparing television advertisements promising to "hold corporate executives accountable," Democrats are moving to turn the battle over corporate governance to their advantage this fall. The focus on Wall Street has given a jolt of energy to a party that just a month ago was casting around for issues to emphasize in the midterm elections.
At the same time, the White House is confronting what is apparently the end of the lock-step support it has enjoyed from Congressional Republicans for the last two years. Republicans are moving sharply to distance themselves from Wall Street and President Bush, embracing Democratic proposals concerning corporate abuse and offering tough words against corporate malfeasance.
"To corporate C.E.O.'s, and the accounting firms that audit their companies, let me be very clear," Representative Mike Ferguson, Republican of New Jersey, said this week, "if you violate the public trust, if you flush down the drain the retirement security of millions of Americans, you will — and you deserve to — go to jail." Mr. Ferguson, a freshman whose seat is being challenged by Democrats, and who voted against legislation proposing criminal penalties for corporate malfeasance, made the remarks at a Congressional hearing, then shared them with constituents in a newsletter he mailed the next day.
Democrats, particularly, are rushing to seize the issue by staging forums, news conferences and town hall meetings intended to spotlight corporate abuses, and they are raising the topic as governors of both parties are gathered here this weekend for their annual meeting.
In Clinton, Miss., Representative Ronnie Shows, a Democrat, held an "accountability town hall" today at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum — near the headquarters of WorldCom, which has been under investigation since it disclosed that it improperly accounted for $3.8 billion in expenses.
In Minneapolis on Thursday, at the very moment that Mr. Bush was speaking on behalf of the Republican challenger to Senator Paul Wellstone, Mr. Wellstone was distributing a statement noting the "turmoil caused by the ongoing accounting scandals and concern over the president's ability to respond to them" and asking, "Who will Minnesotans trust to be a watchdog for investors and consumers?"
Democrats are inspecting the backgrounds of Republican candidates for links to discredited corporations and examining the records of incumbents for votes that can be portrayed as lax on corporate abuse. They are preparing>