Thursday, July 12, 2007

DC Madam Records Lead to...Pat Moynihan?

Was Senator Pat Moynihan, the Democratic statesman from New York state who died in 2003, a client of the DC Madam?

Short answer: probably not. But some conservative bloggers are chortling over this possibility--or the possibility that a Moynihan aide was a client--because one of the two unidentified Senate phone numbers that I dug out of Deborah Jeane Palfrey's phone records (and posted yesterday) has been linked to Moynihan's office.

Several readers (and others) did a search of Google Groups for the number and came across a March 1999 New Jersey environmental newsletter that said:

The Ocean Dumping act states that dumping in the water is the last resort, all other alternatives must be exhausted. The bad precedent established by the actions of these New England agencies threatens all national waters. Senator Daniel Patrick Monyhian [sic] has joined the fight. In a scathing letter to Army Corps of Engineers' Chief of the Regulatory Branch, Joe Seebode, Monyhian [sic] wrote, "I believe that (the Corps) has violated the spirit of the law by combining the permits. The Senator has also asked for a detailed explanation from the Corps regarding the criteria used to dump material at a site not formally designated under the law. To commend Senator Moynihan call (202) 224-9557.

That's the second of the unidentified Senate numbers. But is this a smoking gun? According to Palfrey's phone records, a call was made to this number on October 1, 1999. So the dates are close. But there are other factors to consider. Usually when an advocacy group asks people to call a lawmaker to praise or decry his or her actions, it provides the main number of that person's office. At that time, Moynihan office number, according to the Almanac of American Politics, was 202-224-4451. Note that the author of this newsletter twice misspelled Moynihan's name. Moreover, my assistant and readers who have written me have attempted to find other references to the 224-9557 number (with or without a tie to Moynihan), and they have come up empty. (The Senate phone directory from that period lists very few numbers that begin 224-9.) If the 224-9557 number was associated with Moynihan in a public manner back then, it probably should have appeared elsewhere--not just in this newsletter. A fair-minded person would have to judge the research suggesting a Moynihan connection inconclusive.

This shows how tough it can be to pin a number to a person. As one Capitol Hill aide told me, "I work in an office pod with several other people. We all have access to the same phone lines. One of my fellow workers could be using one of these lines for who-knows-what, and such a call could technically be traced back to the phone on my desk." And the fact that a phone call occurred between Palfrey and a person in a Senate office does not prove what happened. According to Palfrey, standard operating procedure was for her clients to call her and ask for a woman. She would then call them back and confirm the appointment. So a quick call to a Senate office could have been confirmation of an appointment. Or she might have been talking to an employee. Or perhaps she was calling to complain about taxes. Obviously, these numbers are leads, not the full story.

One conservative blogger has had fun pointing out that a Google search of a 1994 phone number on Palfrey's bills led him to a reference to Bill Clinton and the White House. But that Clinton listing was dated July 2001--a time when Clinton was not in the White House. The same listing also noted that Edwin Meese was at the White House in 2000. (Meese, of course, was President Ronald Reagan counselor from 1981 to 1985.) More important, using a reverse-phone directory (which is probably more reliable than a Google search), I found the number in question was registered to a woman at Howard University in 1999. Now it belongs to a hotel. Bottom-line: who knows?

Researching the DC Madam's phone numbers can turn up unambiguous results. See David Vitter. But often more legwork is required. I hope people continue to dig.

Posted by David Corn at July 12, 2007 11:25 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

As much fun as one can get from the story it is all fluff and “who knows” is the most profound thing one can say.

We have the Coward from Crawford obstructing justice, wiretapping, warmongering, etc.

There are larger fish to fry.

Frankly, I don’t care about hooker hoppers - I believe in closed doors and mutual respect for all of our silly sexual insights and acts. I read somewhere that Vitter has a diaper fetish - for me - that is too much information.

Nail the hypocrites on their hypocrisy, challenge all of the liars on their lies and move on. There is no there there for most progressive thinkers. Like politicians being liars and hypocrites is news? HA!



Gerald said...

From the Sixth Sense movie, "I see dead people." Blame it on the dead people!

A psychologist said that Nazi Americans do not vote with their brain they vote with their emotions. The Nazi strategy is working and it will always work. KEEP NAZI AMERICANS SHITLESS OUT OF FEAR!!!!!

There is a saying, "Give a person enough rope and he or she will hang him or herself."

Maybe the Dems are giving Bush/Cheney and the Nazi Party enough rope to hang themselves. At least I hope that this will be the outcome.

Gerald said...

What Lies Beneath

Gerald said...

At present, George W. Bush is unpopular with the majority of the American public not because of the murderous mayhem he has unloosed in Iraq; rather, his standing has plummeted, due to the fact, he didn't deliver the goods. Americans are fine with fueling our republic of road rage using the blood of Iraqis (or any other distant and darker people) as long as "the mission" doesn't drag on too long or reveal too much about ourselves.

This first paragraph of the above article says much about Nazi Americans. We love death and destruction, the sight of blood, and vaporized human flesh on buildings and on the streets of all foreign countries. We are a selfish, greedy, and hypocritical people. This lust for seeing dead human beings is part of Nazi Americans heritage and psyche.

Gerald said...

We are a very, very stupid people

Gerald said...

If you're reading this while on vacation, great for you. If you're reading this at work, having recently finished a vacation or a five-day weekend cobbled together around last week's celebration of Independence Day, I hope the time off was as spectacular as the fireworks.

If you won't get another day off work until December's holiday season, you're not alone. Americans and vacations just don't mix.

Gerald said...

The Nazi Party's strategy is for a domestic terroist attack

The Nazis are trying to create a terrorist attack inside Nazi America. A terrorist attack will set the Nazis free.

Gerald said...

The New Drumbeat on Iran

Nazi America's foreign policy centers around death and destruction of human beings.

Gerald said...

Nobel Laureate Calls for the Removal of Hitler

Gerald said...

Health Care Terror

Gerald said...

The only things standing in the way of universal health care are the fear-mongering and influence-buying of interest groups. If we can't overcome those forces here, there's not much hope for America's future.


Gerald said...

Bush Justice Is a National Disgrace

Gerald said...

The sweeping, judicially unchecked powers granted under the Patriot Act should neither have been created in the first place nor permanently renewed thereafter, and the Act - which also contributed to the ongoing contretemps regarding the replacement of U.S. attorneys, by changing the appointment process to invite political abuse - should be substantially modified, if not scrapped outright. And real, rather than symbolic, responsibility should be assigned for the manifold abuses. The public trust has been flagrantly violated, and meaningful accountability is long overdue. Officials who have brought into disrepute both the Department of Justice and the administration of justice as a whole should finally have to answer for it - and the misdeeds at issue involve not merely garden-variety misconduct, but multiple "high crimes and misdemeanors," including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

I realize that this constitutionally protected statement subjects me to a substantial risk of unlawful reprisal from extremely ruthless people who have repeatedly taken such action in the past. But I am confident that I am speaking on behalf of countless thousands of honorable public servants, at Justice and elsewhere, who take their responsibilities seriously and share these views. And some things must be said, whatever the risk.


micki said...

Hey, Corn, how about the Iraq War, climate crisis, global warming, etc.??

Even though Fred Thompson isn't officially in the running, yet, I think David Corn's time would be better spent on this, if he doesn't want to spend it on the above mentioned issues:

From Paul Waldman, The American Prospect....

It appears that the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association hired Thompson in 1991 to lobby the Bush I White House to ease the "global gag rule," which prevents any organization that receives U.S. foreign aid from mentioning abortion in any way.

(The policy began under Ronald Reagan, continued under George H.W. Bush, and was suspended under Bill Clinton. George W. Bush reinstated it the moment he took office. He also initiated an attack on the U.N. Population Fund, essentially declaring war on the ability of women in the developing world to have access to both abortion and contraception.)

Despite the fact that people from both the NFPRHA and Thompson's old lobbying firm confirm that he did lobby for them, and that minutes of meetings the organization held at the time discuss his hiring, Thompson issued a flat denial that he did any such thing.

Oh, maybe if Thompson's phone number sowed up on "the list" investigative reporters would eventually get around to asking him about this lie?

micki said...

showed...not sowed

capt said...

The Second Treatise of Civil Government 1690

"That the aggressor, who puts himself into the state of war with another, and unjustly invades another man's right, can, by such an unjust war, never come to have a right over the conquered, will be easily agreed by all men, who will not think that robbers and pirates have a right of empire over whomsoever they have force enough to master, or that men are bound by promises which unlawful force extorts from them.

Should a robber break into my house, and, with a dagger at my throat, make me seal deeds to convey my estate to him, would this give him any title? Just such a title by his sword has an unjust conqueror who forces me into submission. The injury and the crime is equal, whether committed by the wearer of a crown or some petty villain.

The title of the offender and the number of his followers make no difference in the offence, unless it be to aggravate it. The only difference is, great robbers punish little ones to keep them in their obedience; but the great ones are rewarded with laurels and triumphs, because they are too big for the weak hands of justice in this world, and have the power in their own possession which should punish offenders." John Locke - 1632-1704 -


Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. Frederick Douglass


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

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