Clarence Thomas is falling into a deep, deep ethical hole, deeper even than the one he dropped into when he failed to disclose his wife's income for 20 years. As more facts come to light, it's obvious he failed to disclose quite a bit, including the $100,000 Citizens United spent on his behalf in 1991 to support his nomination. That would be an in-kind contribution which should have been disclosed as such.
A Time Magazine article from 1991 has the details:
Washington-area television viewers were startled last week to see three familiar senatorial faces pop up on their screens above the words WHO WILL JUDGE THE JUDGE? The follow-up question -- "How many of these liberal Democrats could themselves pass ethical scrutiny?" -- was hardly necessary, since the faces were those of Edward Kennedy, Joseph Biden and Alan Cranston, all scarred veterans of highly publicized scandals, from Chappaquiddick to plagiarized speeches to the Keating Five.
The ad, produced by two independent right-wing groups, was intended to bolster Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas' confirmation chances by pointing the finger at three liberal Democrats who seemed likely to oppose him. Not coincidentally, the ad was produced by the same people who launched the 1988 Willie Horton spot that branded Michael Dukakis soft on crime but left George Bush open to charges of racism. Anxious not to be associated with such negative campaigning this time around, Bush quickly labeled the attacks on the Senators "counterproductive." Thomas pronounced them "vicious." His chief Senate supporter, Missouri Republican John Danforth, called them "sleazy" and "scurrilous."
Although Bush and chief of staff John Sununu demanded that the ads be pulled, their right-wing sponsors -- L. Brent Bozell III, chairman of the Conservative Victory Committee, and Floyd Brown, chairman of Citizens United -- refused. Calling the campaign a "pre-emptive strike" to counter anticipated anti-Thomas commercials, as well as retaliation for the 1987 spots that helped defeat Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, they vowed to keep running the messages for at least two weeks "until the left agrees to discontinue all its efforts against Judge Thomas." Thus far, that has been a mostly fitful effort at best, but Brown and Bozell appeared to see the flag of revolution rising above it. "Unfortunately," the two men declared in a written statement, "the Administration has no desire to confront the radical left."
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