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August 13, 2008

Stephen Payne and Joe Biden

John Nichols argues that the crisis in Georgia makes Joe Biden a more attractive choice for VP. Biden chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Biden's also plugged in to Stephen "Cash for Access" Payne, the lobbyist who was caught on tape offering to arrange meetings with top Bush administration officials in exchange for donations to the George W. Bush Library:

Asked by an undercover reporter who the politician would be able to meet for that price, Payne said: “Cheney’s possible, definitely the national security adviser [Stephen Hadley], definitely either Dr Rice or . . . I think a meeting with Dr Rice or the deputy secretary [John Negroponte] is possible . . .

“The main thing is that he [the Asian politician] comes, and he’s well received, that he meets with high-level people . . . and we send positive statements made back from the administration about ‘This guy wasn’t such a bad guy, many people have done worse’.”

Payne went on to suggest that he could get Joe Biden to say that a certain Central Asian dictator isn't such a bad guy.

Payne's longtime business partner, Brian Ettinger, was Joe Biden's director of legislative affairs.

Until Biden's connections to Stephen Payne are fully elucidated, Obama should consider him radioactive.


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You really have been on a rampage lately. All these posts about corruption have been fantastic.

When people hire lobbyists, how do you think it works? Do you think they hire people who have no connection to elected officials? Seems there was alot missing in the video. Let's see...he tried to hire Payne for meetings, Payne seemed to be able to arrange some meetings and there was discussion of the costs. How else would it work?

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