So Long Steve Buyer we won’t miss you
I see where you are leaving Congress to spend more time with your family. A noble reason, I am sure that she will appreciate having you home 24/7 unless thats not what you are really doing.
The timing of this is suspect as I am sure you know, what with C.R.E.W having filed the complaints witthe IRS about your “scholarship fund: which has NOT granted even one scholarship since it’s founding in 2003. It has however paid for a lot of rounds of gold at some pretty fancy golf courses for you and people from companies that have business with the committees you serve on in Congress (conflict of interest, anyone)? Your fund shared office space with your congressional office, which I am pretty sure is illegal.
At the same time that CREW asked the IRS to investigate you they also asked the Congressional ethics committee to look into your shenagins. So your announcement http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100129/NEWS07/100129474 fromyesterday is not exactly surprising.
Earlier this week a government watchdog group asked for an IRS and House ethics investigation into Buyer, claiming he “used the charity to foot golf fundraisers at exclusive resorts where he hobnobs with corporate donors … who have business before him.”
Buyer helped found the Frontier Foundation in 2003 and is its honorary chairman. The non-profit organization says its main purpose is to raise money for scholarships for Hoosier students but has not awarded any. Buyer entered Congress in 1993 after defeating a liberal Democrat. Buyer, who had been in the first Gulf War as a legal adviser in a prisoner of war camp, campaigned with combat boots strung around his neck.
One of the early issues he championed after being sworn in was an investigation into medical problems Gulf veterans – including himself – were experiencing. At the time, the Pentagon denied the existence of Gulf War Syndrome.
To me Steve Buyer has always been an opportunist, he ran on the fact he was a decorated combat veteran from Gulf War One, excuse me, I don’t remember seeing to many lawyers with rifles in hand doing much “combat” yes he was in Saudi, and yes he got all of the “I was there awards” which for Officers included the Bronze Star, but his medal is missing one very important device, the V that is normally put on it for Valor, which indicates someone put their life in danger to save someone else. Otherwise is is just another “ticket punched”, I know supply sergenats that got Bronze stars for having toilet paper, Mess Sergeanst that got Bronze stars for having “hot coffee” so a Bronze Star does not impress me, they threw medals at everyone for anything during GW1, one of the shortest wars in this nations history, yet probably awarded more medals per capita than any other wat ever.
He got the Chairmanship of the House VA Committee because he would not do as his predecessor Chris Smith did, which was DEMAND more money for veterans, and for health care at the VA hospitals. Bush and Cheney and Hastert and delay wanted Smith out, and they found the puppet they wanted in Steve “Booyer” his pronunciation, not mine, I would call him “buyer” but he insists on the french pronunciation Booyer.
But that’s exactly what Buyer’s critics suggest. Consider that he sits on Committees that oversee drugs, tobacco and telecommunications. All of his Foundation donors are from those industries.
After his Foundation received hundreds of thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical interests, Buyer took up a number of pharmaceutical industry priorities and sponsored bills they supported.
After tobacco interests gave generously, Buyer opposed a bill giving the FDA authority to regulate tobacco.
Attkisson: You instead sponsored an RJ Reynolds supported alternative. And RJ Reynolds is a donor to your foundation.
Buyer: I created this. RJ Reynolds didn’t create that. Steve Buyer created that.
And then there’s his controversial support of smokeless tobacco.
He says it nothing to do with donations from US Smokeless Tobacco Company.
“Trying to match up legislation like that is erroneous,” Buyer said. “You should do that Sharyl. I think that it’s, I think it’s wrong.”
As evidence that donors aren’t buying his favor, Buyer points out he’s against health care reform, which the pharmaceutical industry supports.
But he says he wants to clear up any misunderstanding.
“If any process mistakes were made, I am sorry and I will correct them,” Buyer said.
We would have asked more questions but Buyer had to rush out to a Congressional meeting.
After our interview, a Foundation spokesman emailed us to fill in the blank on where the $25,000 to start Buyer’s Foundation came from: the pharmaceutical lobby PhRMA.
As for awarding scholarships–the whole point of Foundation– they say they’re waiting until they raise a million dollars and are self-sustaining.
On the CBS web page on the upper left hand page is the CBS interview where he acts like a “deer in the headlights” claiming he doesn’t remember where the seed money came from for the foundation. I bet.
Larry Scott of VA Watchdog.org wrote this article in August 09 :
Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), outgoing Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has long pushed for centralized Information Technology (IT) at the VA.
This would put the $2+ billion budget, all IT personnel, hardware, software, assets and development in the hands of ONE person.
That person is a political appointee with ties to big business, the VA’s CIO, Robert Howard. Howard’s bio here…
Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), now Ranking Member on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, pushed hard for a “strong” CIO, and got his wish.
Now, Buyer is backing away from Howard. In a press release Buyer said:
“It is deeply disappointing that any governmental official would abuse authority entrusted to them by the public.” and “VA must appoint honorable individuals to these critical positions…”
But, a strong CIO is what Buyer wanted and got … someone who had complete control over every aspect of VA’s info tech.
There’s an old saying about absolute power … now we know exactly what that can do.
So, Rep. Buyer … about that “strong” VA CIO … how did that turn out, anyway?
So, in closing, I am glad to see this man depart in the time honored tradition of so many crooked elected officials: I need to spend more time with my family” cya and don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you.
Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=12858