The Scientific Activist

Geez, Congressman Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) sure is a busy guy.

Since I mentioned his fundraising scam for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)–the “Congressional Order of Merit”–last month, myriad new reports of Cole’s activities have emerged. For proof, just check out the comments on the earlier post. If that’s not enough, though, there’s plenty more from around the blogosphere:

This one, though, is my favorite. From John Baer of Philadelphia Daily News:

I DON’T WANT to suggest the national Republicans are desperate for money.

No, wait, that’s exactly what I want to suggest.

How else to explain the National Republican Congressional Committee looking for cash by hitting up a former (and famed in political history) Democratic member of Congress?

Well, that’s what happened.

Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, a suburban Philly congresswoman from 1993 to 1995, won national attention by casting the tie-breaking vote to pass President Clinton’s first budget, which increased taxes and set the agenda for his tenure in office.

Hardly unknown, she also had been an NBC-TV Washington correspondent.


But now the GOP wants her back. Or at least her dough.

MMM, as she’s known, got a call from the committee raising funds to return House control to Republicans.

She was told committee chairman U.S. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma wants to give her “the Congressional Order of Merit” and maybe an “honorary chairman’s gavel,” maybe even dinner at the White House.

MMM, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government and is a founder and director of Women’s Campaign International, which trains women seeking office in emerging democracies, says she followed up on the contact “just for fun.”

Though she’s never given a nickel to a Republican candidate at any level, she was told the committee wants to put her on its “Business Advisory Council” and put her name in an upcoming Wall Street Journal ad calling for President Bush’s tax cuts to be permanent.

She was told cash isn’t required but $500 would be nice, in a lump sum or installments.

Yeah, I bet.


  1. #1 Aspen Morrow
    October 6, 2007

    I received this same call, and can’t believe that as an ID theft specialist I almost fell for this scam. From a PR standpoint it is ingenious, so they deserve some credit for the idea, however, it is pretty disingenuous. Thankfully there are tru postings regarding this supposed “Congressional Order of Merit” award, so that with minimal homework the truth can be brought to light.

    Boise, ID

  2. #2 Scott Williams
    January 17, 2008

    I to recieved four calls from Mr. Coles office for the COOM, telling me that based on my “committment to the business community” they wished to award it. I had just within a couple of weeks filed my articles of incorporation, so I am sure that is where my name popped up. As a life long independent and sometimes democrat (but never republican) I was suprised at the “honor” myself.

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