What the Heck!?
Why did the Saudis hire a disgraced Tennessee State Senator?
What is Bob Corker’s role in siding with the Saudis — and against 9/11 victims and families?
Denizens, lounge lizards and hangers-on at Legislative Plaza surely remember former state senator Paul Stanley, whose political career was demolished by his affair with a hot 22-year “legislative intern” (sound familiar?). The scandal had everything: power politics, blackmail, sex, you name it. When Stanley got caught, Speaker Ron Ramsey immediately stepped in and lanced the boil, telling Stanley to leave immediately. Contrast that with the drama created by Speaker Beth Harwell, who let her own intern/sex scandal play out in full, agonizing public view.
Stanley then retired from the public scene. But yesterday, he re-emerged when The Daily Caller ran a story that apparently named him as one of three operatives who were hired by an international PR firm on a project paid for by the Saudi government. RTP has yet to confirm this is the same Paul Stanley, but the age (54-55) and the hometown (Collierville) are the same as the former politician. If there is a case of mistaken identity, RTP will correct the record. But we are pretty sure it’s the same guy. If so, he is now a registered foreign agent for the Saudis in a highly questionable lobbying effort. Among other things, the lobbyists have been accused of misleading veterans to convince them to come to DC in exchange for expensive hotel rooms and dinners. The Daily Caller story told of one of the veterans who grew suspicious and blew the whistle,
It seems the Saudis are scared to death of a new law allowing them to be sued out the ying-yang by families and others who were harmed by the 9-11 attacks. The bill was vetoed last fall by President Obama, but Congress over-rode his veto. Interestingly, Sen. Bob Corker joined with Sen. Lindsey Graham in an attempt to water down the JASTA legislation, making it harder for 9-11 victims and their families to sue the Saudis and to delay the eventual veto of the bill by at least two months:
A group of 9/11 family members lobbying for the bill blasted Corker and Graham in no uncertain terms.“After a visit to the halls of Congress by an army of Saudi lobbyists led by the Saudi Foreign Minister, JASTA supporters Senator Bob Corker and Senator Lindsey Graham called today for the JASTA veto override vote to be delayed for two months,” the families said. “All it took — apparently — was a visit by the Saudi foreign minister to get these senators to forsake the families and seek a two-month delay in a vote to override the president’s imminent veto.”
But Corker and Graham were humiliated when their attempts were rejected by the Senate, who then slam-dunked Obama’s veto. Corker then “bravely” voted for the override (which passed 97-1). But now, Graham and John McCain are back again trying to gut the the law, presumably with Corker’s continued support.
So what are Sen. Corker’s ties to the Saudis? Why was he so vehement in trying to limit 9-11 victims from compensation? And what the hell is Paul Stanley of Collierville, TN doing in the middle of all this?
We’ve got a feeling this story is just getting started.