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Leonard Shapiro, confined to the Washington Post website after decades in the home-deliverable version, weighed in on last week’s steroid circus on Capitol Hill yesterday afternoon.
Perhaps a bit late, but Shapiro’s piece is redeemed by how many words he devotes to trashing Rep. Dan Burton.
The Indiana Republican, remember, so fawned over Roger Clemens that the disgraced pitcher probably left the Rayburn Building with a “palpable mass on his buttocks” like that discussed in the hearing, only this one was from Burton’s lips.
The performance inspired Shapiro:
“Maybe it takes one slime-bucket to know another one.
After all, according to published reports, [Burton] is the same man who, while married to his first wife in the 1980s, fathered an illegitimate child after an affair with an employee of an Indiana state agency. He’s also been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace, including the alleged groping of a lobbyist from Planned Parentood in the mid-1990s when she visited his office.
Salon, the internet magazine, reported in a 1995 profile on Burton that several sources indicated the Congressman “has also maintained sexual relationships with women on his Congressional and campaign payrolls.”
This is the same Dan Burton widely criticized by his home town Indianapolis Star newspaper for missing countless votes on the House floor while playing in a number of charity golf tournaments on the PGA Tour.
In 1997, he was the guest of the AT&T chairman and CEO in a practice round before the PGA Tour’s annual Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Three weeks earlier, he had assumed chairmanship of a House committee that had approval over a legislative agency soon to award $5 billion in government contracts for long distance and local telecommunication services, with AT&T one of the companies trying to get a large piece of that action. AT&T reportedly also hosted a campaign fundraiser for him that week at a local restaurant.
This is the same Dan Burton who has been accused for many years of unethical campaign fundraising practices, a bullying, seemingly buffoonish Congressman, the Chicago Tribune once editorialized was a “crude, crass man who is a disgrace to his district, his state, his party and the House.”
Now THAT’s sportswriting!