The former General Services Administration chief of staff was found guilty Tuesday on four counts of obstructing justice, concealing his assistance to Abramoff in a proposed land deal and making false statements to a Senate committee that investigated Abramoff's activities.
i was thinking about blogging the story, so i browsed google news. the top link to the story happened to be the new philadelphia times-reporter, so that's the one i clicked. i didn't realize at first that this paper is not based out of philadelphia, pennsylvania; it hails from the town of new philadelphia, ohio, a bit south of cleveland, in ohio's 18th district. ohio's 18th is currently represented by bob ney.
the times-reporter article is not the best source of information on the safavian conviction (this link is better, for example), but bear with me for a minute:
Safavian is the first official to be tried in the wide-ranging investigation of Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to corruption charges. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Heath, is under investigation as part of the federal probe.
Safavian's trial featured testimony about a lavish golf trip to Scotland that Ney took part in and that was funded by Abramoff. Ney insists he has done nothing wrong or illegal and says he was duped by Abramoff.
Safavian was among nine people who went on the August 2002 trip, which included Ney, Ney's former aide-turned-lobbyist Neil Volz, two other Ney congressional aides, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed and another lobbyist.
Testifying in Safavian's trial, Volz called Ney a "champion" of lobbyists and said the Scotland trip was among the "things of value" that he and Abramoff offered to lawmakers and their staffs to secure favorable legislative action for their clients.
it's only natural that the times-reporter would focus on the ney angle of the story, since the paper is in ney's district. but here's my favorite part: smack dab in the middle of the article, virtually bracketed by the ney allegations, is a big fat flash ad championing "ney for congress".
i just had to take a screenshot to share, and i even marked it up bag-style. i also had to wonder about the times-reporter's bob ney ad buy (try saying that ten times fast). was this a prank by a zack space supporter, surreptitiously placing ney ads in the most embarrassing spots possible? or was it some kind of coincidence?
after taking my screenshot, i clicked refresh 5x and while some of the other ads on the page rotate, the ney ad appeared every time. i tried some other stories on the times-reporter site, and the ney ad appeared in the same place on every one. so it would appear that the ney campaign simply bought enough ad space so that their ad is on every page of the site, and the fact that i first stumbled there to read the safavian piece is happenstance. that's the danger of blanket ad buys, i guess: you never know what your ad will be juxtaposed with. ¶