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Mike Leonard admits fabricating a congressional vote

By Scott Tibbs, October 5, 2006

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fwd: RE: Your statement today on Sodrel's vote
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 18:19:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Scott Tibbs <tibbs1973@yahoo.com>
To: Bob Zaltsberg <rzaltsberg@heraldt.com>, schurz@heraldt.com, mmaloney@heraldt.com
CC: Kurt Van der Dussen <kvanderdussen@heraldt.com>

Mr. Zaltsberg,

I thought it was important for you to see this e-mail from your columnist, Mike Leonard, regarding his column earlier this week. Mr. Leonard basically admitted that he fabricated a vote by U.S. Representative Mike Sodrel.

This is a major and serious breach of journalistic ethics, and I urge you to take corrective action on this matter. You should apologize to Mike Sodrel and make a very high-profile retraction. Mr. Leonard's intentional fabrication is far worse than the error made by Kurt Van der Dussen in August.

Thank you for your time,

Scott Tibbs

Michael Leonard <mleonard@heraldt.com> wrote:

From: Michael Leonard <mleonard@heraldt.com>
To: 'Scott Tibbs' <tibbs1973@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: Your statement today on Sodrel's vote
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 16:05:40 -0400

When I go back and read that I'd rephrase it. It would pass for campaign rhetoric but I should have been clearer.

In my view, Sodrel played it both ways when he said he voted to pass the investigation to the justice department but that wasn't nearly enough.

Well, Pelosi's motion would have launched an immediate investigation with a report in 10 days.

So he didn't stand up and support Pelosi and instead voted for the justice department investigation which pre-empted her motion.

In effect he voted against an immediate investigation by voting for the investigation that won't deliver results until after the election. But you're right. He didn't literally vote against Pelosi. But in terms of practical effect, he did.

As I said, it would pass muster in the political rhetoric world. Say when Sodrel says Hill voted against body armor for the troops, it was no doubt what Brent Steele calls a "shit sandwich" bill - Christmas Tree legislation that has items you can't abide mixed in with things you do support. So when you vote against the bill because of the undesirable provisions, you're vulnerable to "voted against better body armor" charges.

This is similar - voting for the justice department investigation shot down the Pelosi initiative. But, again, I should have been more clear.

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Tibbs [mailto:tibbs1973@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 7:04 PM
To: mleonard@heraldt.com
Subject: Your statement today on Sodrel's vote

Mr. Leonard:

I am interested in knowing the source for the following statement in your column today:
And when the worst smoking-gun instant messages became public, and Democrat Nancy Pelosi called for an immediate preliminary investigation, as provided for in House rules, Republican Congress members voted against the investigation, effectively delaying the matter until after the November elections.

Worse still is how they can't divorce themselves from partisan politics. Does anyone believe that, had Foley been a Democrat, the majority Republicans wouldn't have approved the motion made by Pelosi, which would have required a preliminary report in 10 days?
You referenced a september 30 statement by Mike Sodrel on a vote that took place "last night", meaning September 29.

I looked on the House Clerk web site, and the only votes on September 29 not tied to legislation were roll call votes 513 and 514, both of which passed with no dissent, 409-0 and 410-0.

Could you please explain exctly what motion that Mr. Sodrel voted against?