He attacked his opponent in the press for taking money from an organization he said “had ties to organized crime.”
An Associated Press article (pasted below the fold) from ’96 quoted Hill as saying:
“The fact that he took this contribution is arrogant, insensitive to our Montana values and insulting to Montana voters.”
As it turns out, Congressman Hill has himself taken large sums of money from well-known convicted felons.
Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Former Congressman Tom Delay, and former Montana Businessman Dick Dasen have exactly two things in common.
1. They’re convicted felons.
2. They finance Congressman Rick Hill’s campaigns.
Tom Delay is the former U.S. House Majority Leader. Delay is also a convicted felon who contributed $5000 from his Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC) – as well as $1,000 from his Congressional Committee PAC – to Congressman Hill’s campaigns. Delay earned his felony conviction after he was found guilty of conspiring to circumvent a state law against corporate contributions to political campaigns. Specifically, that meant conviction for one charge of money laundering, and one charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Dick Dasen – a felon and former Montana businessman – contributed $500 to Congressman Hill. He later was convicted in Montana on five counts of sex charges related to a major prostitution scandal. Dasen spent an estimated $1 million to $5 million for women to have sex with him, usually in hotels.
Jack Abramoff is a convicted felon and former lobbyist who amassed a fortune by bilking Indian tribes of millions of dollars. His fortune allowed him to contribute $250 to Congressman Hill. He later plead guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials in a wide-ranging, D.C. corruption scandal. Furthermore, he plead guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges related to the casino boats he bought.
And so, it looks like Congressman Hill’s hypocrisy is coming back to haunt him. Besides treating his staff like dog crap and being a terrible boss, this former congressman has a seedy crowd of convicts who have funded his political endeavors.
Here’s Full-Text of Associated Press piece referenced above:
The Associated Press
October 23, 1996
Hill: Yellowtail Takes Money From Union With Mob Ties
By BOB ANEZ
HELENA (AP) – Republican U.S. House candidate Rick Hill has attacked Democratic opponent Bill Yellowtail for accepting a campaign contribution from a labor union with alleged ties to organized crime.
Hill said Yellowtail should return the $2,500 donation from the Laborers’ Political League, which is an arm of the Laborers’ International Union.
He called Yellowtail’s acceptance of the money “an insult to Montanans and further proof that the Yellowtail campaign is devoid of standards when it comes to winning this election.”
Yellowtail responded Wednesday, saying the contribution was made at the request of the union’s Montana members. “I’m pleased to be supported by the more than 2,000 Montana working folks who happen to be members of the Laborers’ union,” he said.
Yellowtail played down U.S. Justice Department accusations of connections between the union and the Mafia.
“We can allege all kinds of things, but until such time as there are convictions and there is proof, it’s a different matter,” he said. “I’m focused on the fact that unions use a democratic process to request endorsement and contributions. It’s the Montana roots of this support that’s valuable to me.”
Hill’s criticism stems from a 212-page draft racketeering complaint that the Justice Department used to force the Laborers’ general executive board to begin reforming the union in February 1995.
The complaint alleged Arthur Coia, who became union president in 1993, and three previous presidents dating back to 1926, “have associated with, and been controlled and influenced by, organized crime figures.”
It listed former Laborers’ officials and associates who have been convicted of Mafia-related crimes, including killings and kickback schemes.
“The enterprise has been, and continues to be, a captive labor organization which has been continuously and systematically controlled, exploited, and dominated in the conduct of its affairs by La Cosa Nostra,” the complaint said.
Rather than take the union to court, the Justice Department negotiated a deal that left Coia in charge while former Justice attorneys and investigators were hired to root out corruption.
“It is intolerable,” Hill said, “that Mr. Yellowtail would not only allow this union to support his candidacy, but that by doing so, he basically invited their involvement in Montana politics.
“The fact that he took this contribution is arrogant, insensitive to our Montana values and insulting to Montana voters,” he said.
Yellowtail said the money he received from the Laborers’ Union represents about $1.50 for every member of the union in Montana and that’s not a very large amount.
“The reason I received this contribution is because these Montana workers endorsed me and requested the contribution from their international,” he said. “They appreciate the work I have done over the years” in supporting a higher minimum wage and opposing right-to- work proposals.
“They know they don’t support Rick Hill because he has advocated a sales tax and they resent his balancing the work comp system on the backs of working people by means of $40 million tax imposed on them,” he added.
Yellowtail was referring to Hill’s work in lobbying the 1993 Legislature for passage of a sales tax referendum and his role as a director of the state workers’ compensation program which relies on an employee payroll tax to help pay off a large deficit.