AN OFFER YOU CAN’T REFUSE?….With the Medicare bill headed for defeat in the House last Saturday, Republican House leaders kept voting open for an unprecedented three hours beyond the normal 15-minute time limit in order to give themselves time to twist a few additional arms and put them over the top. This has become an increasingly common practice in the last couple of years, despite the fact that it caused a near revolt among Republicans when Jim Wright did this once for about 20 minutes back in 1987.

However, as Republican ur-gossip columnist Robert Novak tells us, it’s even worse than that:

[Michigan congressman Nick] Smith, self term-limited, is leaving Congress. His lawyer son Brad is one of five Republicans seeking to replace him from a GOP district in Michigan’s southern tier. On the House floor, Nick Smith was told business interests would give his son $100,000 in return for his father’s vote. When he still declined, fellow Republican House members told him they would make sure Brad Smith never came to Congress. After Nick Smith voted no and the bill passed, Duke Cunningham of California and other Republicans taunted him that his son was dead meat.

Nice kid you’ve got there, Nick. Be a shame if anything happened to him….

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