The former aide to Senate Minority Leader Craig Varoga and Mike Rice, are working for NARAL to perform opposition research into 30 potential judges, including all of the people they think that have the potential to be Supreme Court candidates. Rice who is coordinating the searches calls him a public records researcher in the filed documents, but is acting as a paid agent for NARAL, the abortion rights group.
Jones was not alone as a target, and Rice is not just a nosy citizen. He and Craig Varoga, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, are partners in a California political consulting firm. Their May 5 petition requested financial information on 30 appellate judges in all but one of the country’s judicial circuits, including nine widely mentioned Supreme Court possibilities. Varoga & Rice’s client: NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Nobody can recall any previous mass request for such disclosures by federal judges. This intelligence raid is financed by the abortion lobby, but it looks to Republicans like a front for Reid and other senators who will consider President Bush’s appointments for Supreme Court nominations. But Reid told me that he had heard nothing about this, adding: “It’s ridiculous. What do we have [Senate] committees for?” However, the material is certain to be given to Democratic senators well in advance of senatorial deliberations.
Varoga, a former communications director for Sen. Reid, was national field director for Gen. Wesley Clark’s 2004 presidential campaign. While Rice bills himself as an “expert” on “state public-records laws,” his special field has been negative research probing the background of political foes. Varoga & Rice promises “public records research” that “can help you win elections, contracts and lawsuits.” But compiling financial profiles of judicial nominees plows new ground.
The abortion advocacy group surely was not asking the judges’ views on abortion. Nancy Keenan, who has been NARAL’s president some five months, told this column her organization is concerned about “out of touch theological activists” becoming judges. Why seek financial information from them? She said the disclosure information might help identify the “character” of judicial nominees.
This information coming on the heals of Reid’s unethical disclosure over judges records , a sordid event where Reid brought up on the confidential FBI raw reports that are never to be discussed in public of Henry Saad. These reports are raw, meaning that there has been no coaberation on the facts and every possible accusation made without verification is in there. These are the same types of files the Clinton’s stole back in the 90’s.
Now NARAL is trying to build their own to defame and destroy the candidates and do opposition research for the Democratic Senators.
Isn’t that special?