Of all the amateur-night, dingbat, whiz-bang things a United States congressman can do to really piss off his constituents, the most egregious is the apparent use of campaign funds for his personal aggrandizement.
In the case of Representative Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), it seems the aggrandizement may be both financial and corporeal.
The latter may be characterized as a “Chick-fil-A-ddiction” so intense that 137,000 calories later, he may need a belt with LEDs that flash “GOODYEAR” to preclude being listed in the Pentagon’s next UFO report.
Meanwhile, $49,000 in campaign fund dollars allegedly went bye-bye in places as diverse as Saint Zita’s Gift Shop at Saint James Catholic Church in Charles Town, and at the Chick-fil-A in adjacent Ranson, West Virginia.
So now that the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE, pronounced Oh-Sheet!) is investigating apparent missing or undocumented campaign funds, what does Mooney do? He hires another Maryland carpetbagger, in addition to his resident carpetbagger and featherbedding chief of staff Mike Hough—the Maryland state senator and Maryland GOP minority whip, whose job it is to keep the boss out of trouble in the first place.
The new guy is Dirk Haire, a D.C. big bucks lawyer who happens to be the chairman of the Maryland Republican Party and was counsel to the Maryland GOP when Mooney was a Maryland state senator and then-chairman of the Maryland Republican Party.
In doing so, the good congressman has managed to insult every single law firm, not only here in West Virginia’s 2nd congressional district but in the whole state, by silently stating there isn’t a legal team statewide good enough to defend him. Nice move.
The emphasis on Maryland, by the way, is due to its reputation as the home of the Spiro T. Agnew style of wholesale political corruption—not to mention being much bluer than red West Virginia.
Given that Haire apparently is not returning phone calls on this subject, it may be that an alternate lawyer will be hired: perhaps a generic Carpetbagging Lawyer Obscurer of Truth (CLOT) to answer the OCE’s questions.
If so, the tap dance might go like this:
OCE: How can you explain $19,000 in expenditures in Saint Zita’s Cupboard, a tiny,15-by-25-foot gift shop that sells coffee cups and religious items, in a Catholic church?
CLOT: It was mostly for holy water.
OCE: $19,000 for holy water?
CLOT: It was for 5,000 gallons.
OCE: You paid $4 a gallon for holy water?
CLOT: Well, there was the tanker truck rental.
OCE: Tanker truck?
CLOT: And the care and feeding of 100 campaign volunteers we needed to open the 20,000 Evian bottles to fill the tanker.
OCE: Evian water? Twenty thousand! Why?
CLOT: It has the right pH level. Kim Basinger had the idea back in ’93 for rinsing her hair.
OCE: What does pH have to do with holy water?
CLOT: It makes better communion wafers.
OCE: 5,000 gallons for communion wafers?
CLOT: We needed it to mix with the 5,000 pounds of special gluten-free Cavanagh communion wafer flour. In a rented, brand-new cement truck.
OCE: What were you going to do with all that . . . you’ll forgive the expression . . . dough?
CLOT: Set a world record with a 50-foot diameter communion wafer for the next campaign rally. And then sell 300 $1,000 tickets to help eat it.
OCE: You can’t sell Holy Communion!
CLOT: It wasn’t holy. It might have been . . . if the priest hadn’t fallen off the tanker truck.
CLOT: The campaign picked up his $2000 deductible. He had good insurance. He’s a Jesuit.
OCE: What’s a priest doing on top of a tanker truck?
CLOT: Getting ready to perform the Roman Catholic ritual for the extraordinary form of holy water by adding salt. But he was blinded by a flash of sunlight off the aluminum foil, and fell off before he could finish.
OCE: Aluminum foil?
CLOT: We needed 4,000 square feet for the solar oven to bake a 50-foot diameter wafer.
OCE: A solar oven. To bake the 50-foot diameter wafer.
OCE: So why is the $19,000 not back in the account after the rally?
CLOT: We lost the wafer.
OCE: You lost a 50-foot diameter communion wafer?
CLOT: Not exactly. The jets got it.
OCE: The jets? What jets?
CLOT: Well, when the hot wafer came out of the solar oven, it was really, really thin and light . . . . then the wind caught it and it sailed east toward Dulles airport, which would have been fine. Except that the dielectric coefficient . . .
CLOT: Yeah. It turns out that the combination of Evian and gluten-free mix made the damn thing radar reflective. So Dulles scrambled a couple of F-16s.
OCE: They shot down a 50-foot communion wafer?
CLOT: No, but they were supersonic at the time and the shock waves blew it into little pieces.
OCE: So you have no proof that you actually made it with the $19,000?
CLOT: No, but we now know where Manna comes from.
OCE: Manna? There were no F-16s in the Old Testament!
CLOT: That’s true, but there were the spaceships of Ezekiel…
OCE: (Stares in disbelief.)
CLOT: Can we have a continuance till January 2023?