A Tale of Two States

Impeached Ex- Federal Judge and Congressman Alcee Hastings’ recent attack on Congressman Burgess and the state of Texas in a House Rules Committee hearing on Obamacare, illustrates the difference in heritage between Texas and Florida. When Tapley Holland became the first brave patriot to cross the line in the sand drawn by Colonel Travis at the Alamo, he embodied the courage, resiliency, independence, and pride that resonate in Texans to this day. Conversely Florida, although laying claim the oldest city in the U.S., was a refuge for murderers and outlaws. The Everglades of south Florida, infested by mosquitos, snakes and alligators, were uninhabitable to most; stymying the pursuit of the law enforcement. After Congressman Burgess had given a very cogent explanation on why 36 states did not set up exchanges in January 2013 for Obamacare subsidies, Hastings libeled Texas as a “crazy state” that he “would not live in for all the tea in China.” When Congressman Burgess challenged Hastings’ remarks, he condescendingly said that Congressman Burgess could leave if he wanted to. Upon Dr. Burgess’ demand for an apology, his retort was that “hell would have to freeze over“, before he would apologize.

Rules for Radicals Exposed

Hastings’ retorts were straight from Obama’s playbook, “Rules for Radicals,” which utilizes ridicule as man’s most potent weapon. The theory states that it is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule and that it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage. Since Hastings had no logical argument, ridicule became his ally. Congressman Burgess was undeterred by Hastings’ cheap theatrics.

Congressman Hastings also used the left’s “go to play” of accusing Republicans of being the party of “no” and not having a plan to replace Obamacare. In reality, any amendments that passed the House were dead on arrival on Senate Majority Leader Reid’s desk. Republicans were shut out of the original crafting of Obamacare.  His accusation that there are no Republican alternate plans is blatantly false. “Doctor in The House” authored by Dr. Michael Burgess, gives specific practical, market based solutions on insurance reform, tax fairness, medical liability reform, Medicare payment reform, and price transparency; as well as preventive care and wellness programs. By creating products that people want, the critical doctor patient relationship is preserved.  Under Obamacare, these reforms are rejected because the Left wants the government to supplant the role of the doctor in the doctor- patient relationship.

Hastings’ incorrect concept of the Rule of Law was revealed on 3/21/2010, when he explained the Democrats approach to crafting Obamacare. “There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something … All this talk about rules …. When the deal goes down … we make ‘em up as we go along.”

Hastings’ Impeachment

 Hastings has the dishonorable distinction of being only the sixth Federal Judge to ever be impeached. In 1981, Hastings was indicted by a federal grand jury, along with his co-conspirator William Borders for accepting $150,000 in bribes for reducing the sentence for a case tried in his court. Although, Frank and Thomas Romano were charged with 21 counts of racketeering, Hastings also ruled to return seized assets previously ordered in Hastings’ court. William Borders was convicted but Hastings was acquitted and returned to his post.

Because of suspicions that Hastings had lied during his trial, a special committee of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals began a three year investigation that concluded that Hastings had committed perjury, tampered with evidence, and had conspired to accept bribes for financial gain.  On March 17, 1987, the U.S Judiciary Conference advised the House of Representatives that Judge Alcee Hastings should be impeached. On August 3, 1988, the House of Representatives approved 17 articles of impeachment for bribery, perjury, falsifying documents, and undermining the public confidence “in the integrity of the judiciary”. On March 16, 1989, the Senate rejected Hastings’ request to dismiss the case and created a 12 member trial committee to report full evidence on the case to the full Senate. The trial committee presented its report on October 2, 1989 to the Senate.

On October 20, 1989, the Senate convicted Hastings on 8 of 11 articles of impeachment concerning false statements Hastings had made during his trial.  Article 3 confirmed his lies about never agreeing with William Borders of Washington, D.C. to modify the sentences of the defendants in United States v. Romano, from a term in the Federal penitentiary to probation. Article 4 concluded that Hastings perjured himself when he denied having any connection with William Borders, a Washington attorney and a close friend in connection with the Romano case. The Senate found that Hastings arranged for Borders to solicit a bribe from the Romano Brothers in order to have Hastings reduce their sentence from prison to probation and to return $845,000 in seized property. The man posing as one of the Romano brothers regarding the bribe turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. Hastings was ordered removed from office.

Unfortunately, the Senate did not vote to disqualify him from holding further office. In 1992 voters in Florida elected Hastings to the U.S. House and in 2002, Texans elected Dr. Burgess.  So which state is the crazy one?

 Side note – In 1998 when the House of Representatives voted on four articles of impeachment on the impeachment of President Clinton, Hastings voted against all four. On Clinton’s last day in office he gave a full pardon to Hastings’ co- conspirator William Borders.

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