Dicking Democracy, Down South American Way

Dick, on Fox. News, that is. He and Rob Allyn "worked in Mexico under false identities and stayed in cheap hotels so as not to be discovered."

Dick Morris: Injerencia impune (Dick Morris meddles with impunity)

Proceso magazine of Mexico reports that the veteran political trickster did what James Carville’s office wrote me urgently to say emphatically the hatchet-faced ragin’ Cajun star of Our Brand is Crisis and CNN’s putrid Crossfire program pointedly did not do this year: He advised a Latin American political campaign.

The political campaign of Felipe Calderón, to be exact. Morris’s Wikipedia profile even registers the factoid, though as usual without sourcing it, in a revision apparently contributed, if I am not misreading, in June 2006:

More recently, Morris has emerged as a harsh critic of the Clintons and has written several books that criticize them, including Rewriting History, a rebuttal to Senator Hillary Clinton‘s Living History. Morris once joked he will leave the United States if Hillary Clinton were to be elected president in 2008. Most recently he was a consultant for Mexican President Felipe Calderón. He lives in Redding, Connecticut.

I have been wondering about this kind of thing. See also my The Consultants, on the wheelings and dealings of Rob Allyn down in the land of the Tequila Sunrise.

I translate pra inglês ver.

Especialista en guerra sucia electoral, el consultor estadunidense Dick Morris confesó haber participado en la campaña de Felipe Calderón, lo que el exconsejero del Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) Jaime Cárdenas considera como una prueba clara para sancionar al PAN por la intervención de extranjeros en la actividad política nacional. Morris hizo su confesión el pasado 9 de marzo en un foro realizado en Miami y al que asistieron legisladores mexicanos.

A specialist in electoral dirty wars, the U.S. consult Dick Morris has confessed to having participated in the 2006 presidential campaign of Felipe Calderón, which former federal elections commissioners (IFE) Jaime Cárdenas considers an unambiguous reason to punish PAN for the intervention of foreigners in Mexican political activity. Morris made his confession on March 9 in a forum held in Miami and attended by Mexcian legislators.

Yes, it is illegal.

But hey, what the hell, it’s Mexico, where, as Jimi sings in “Hey, Joe,”

… a man can be free.

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Para el representante del Partido de la Revolución Democrática en el IFE, Horacio Duarte, el hecho constituye una prueba más de las violaciones a la ley que cometieron Calderón y el PAN durante la campaña presidencial de 2006.

According to PRD representative to IFE, Horacio Duarte, the fact is proof of more violations of the law committed by Calderón and PAN during the presidential campaign of 2006.

Duarte sostiene que la participación del especialista estadunidense en la campaña de Calderón muestra cómo el Estado mexicano está sujeto a intereses extranjeros y a las decisiones de personajes como Dick Morris, quien es conocido en todo el mundo por generar encono social con métodos de campaña sucia, los cuales ha utilizado en países como Argentina, donde colaboró con el expresidente Fernando de la Rúa.

Duarte maintains that the participation of the U.S. specialist in the Calderón campaign shows that the Mexican state is subordinated to foreign interests and to the decisions of people lik Morris, who is known internationally for stirring up social turmoil through dirty campaigning methods, which he has used in places like Argentina, where he worked with former president Fernando de la Rúa.

En ese hecho, dice Duarte, se basa su exigencia al IFE para que en la queja que los perredistas interpusieron contra el PAN por la injerencia de extranjeros en la campaña, y que aún está pendiente de resolver, se tome en cuenta la revelación de Morris.

On this fact, says Duarte, is based his demand to IFE that the complaint filed by the PRD against PAN for the interference of foreign national in the campaign, which is still pending, take into account Morris’s revelation.

Al planteárseles, tanto a Horacio Duarte como a Jaime Cárdenas, que el PAN puede alegar que el caso Morris implica tan sólo la suscripción de un contrato de servicios profesionales, ambos coinciden en que el artículo 33 de la Constitución es muy claro al prohibir la intervención de cualquier extranjero en asuntos de política interna.

When we asked both Duarte and Cárdenas whether PAN could not alleged that the Morris case merely involves the signing of a contract for professional services, both point out that Article 33 of the Constitution is very explicit in prohibiting the interference of any foreigner in internal political matters.

Viejo conocido

Auld acquaintance

La del año pasado no fue la primera campaña presidencial mexicana en la que intervino Dick Morris; lo hizo también en 2000 como asesor de Vicente Fox. Aquella vez se encargó, junto con Rob Allyn, de articular la guerra sucia contra Francisco Labastida. Con la victoria del panista en las manos, los dos estrategas estadunidenses no tuvieron empacho en festejarlo y públicamente reconocieron su participación en la elección.

Last year’s was not the first Mexican political campaign in which Dick Morris has taken part; he did in 2000 as well, as an advisor to Vicente Fox. At that time, together with Rob Allyn, he organized the dirty war against Francisco Labastida. With the victory of the PAN candidate to their credit, the two U.S. strategists made no bones about celebrating that fact, and publicly acknowledged their role in the election.

Al igual que entonces, la injerencia del exasesor de Bill Clinton en esta ocasión no ha sido sancionada por el IFE, pese a que hay pruebas claras de su intervención.

Like then, the interference of the former Clinton advisor on this occasion has not been sanctioned by IFE, though there is clear evidence that he took part.

El pasado 9 de marzo, en el hotel Intercontinental West Miami, Morris se negó a hablar de la campaña presidencial mexicana del año pasado. Según publicó el periódico Reforma, el día 10 una mujer le reclamó al consultor su silencio sobre el tema, no obstante que en el programa del foro se anunció que se referiría a las elecciones mexicanas. “Tiene razón, pero discúlpeme. No puedo hablar de las recientes elecciones en México. Un compromiso me obliga a la confidencialidad”, respondió.

On March 9, at the Intercontinenal West hotel in Miami, Morris declined to comment on the Mexican presidential elections of last year. According to report by Reforma, on March 10 a woman complained to the advisor about his silence, even though the program of the event announced that it would deal with the Mexican elections. “You are right, but excuse me. I cannot speak about the recent elections in Mexico. A commitment obliges me to keep the matter confidential,” he responded.

Momentos después, el especialista en campañas sucias les dijo a algunos de los asistentes, ya sin micrófonos, que tenía un contrato de confidencialidad con la Presidencia de la República Mexicana.

Moments later, the specialist in dirty campaigns said to some in attendance, off microphone, that he had a confidentiality agreement with the President of Mexico.

Well, now.

Does mentioning the existence of the contract put him in breach of it? Will Dick spend the night in the Tijuana jail next time he pops across the border for some over-the-counter tranquilizers?

La participación de Morris en la campaña de Calderón fue dada a conocer por Proceso en abril (edición 1539) y en septiembre (1558) del año pasado, cuando se detectó su mano experta en la guerra sucia contra el entonces candidato perredista Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Morris’s participation was reported by Proceso in April (Edition 1539) and September (1558) of last year, when his expert hand was detected guiding the dirty war against then-PRD candidate López Obrador.

De acuerdo con información recabada con diversos encuestadores y estrategas electorales, Dick Morris comenzó a participar en la vida política mexicana desde finales de 1999, cuando se puso en contacto con el equipo de la campaña foxista. Junto con Rob Allyn formó parte del equipo de Fox, pero se mantuvieron en la clandestinidad, pues, según confesó el propio Allyn, trabajaron en México con identidades falsas y se hospedaban en hoteles baratos para que no los descubrieran.

According to information gathered from various pollsters and election strategists, Dick Morris began participating in Mexican political life at the end of 1999, when he got in touch with the Fox campaign. Together with Rob Allyn, he became part of Fox’s team, but kept his participation secret, since, as Allyn himself confesses, they worked in Mexico under false identities and stayed in cheap hotels so as not to be discovered.

Tras la victoria de Fox en 2000, Morris regresó a sus oficinas en Florida, desde donde colaboraba para revistas y un canal de televisión. Años después reapareció en México y, a finales de octubre de 2005, participó en un foro internacional.

After Fox’s victory in 2000 Morris returned to his office in Florida, where he contributed to magazines and a TV channel. Years later he showed up again in Mexico and, at the end of October 2005 participated in an international forum.

Entrevistado en aquel entonces por el reportero Raúl Tortolero (La Revista, 7 de noviembre), Morris delineó la estrategia de campaña negativa que utilizaría contra el PRD y López Obrador: “El PRD sería un desastre para México, el país iría en el sentido que Chávez o Castro…”. Es decir, López Obrador sería “un peligro para México”, dijo después el propio Allyn en un artículo publicado el 3 de abril de 2006 en The New York Post titulado Menace in Mexico (Amenaza en México).

Interviewed at the time by reporter Raúl Tortolero (La Revista, Nov. 7, 2005), Morris outlined the strategy of the negative campaign that would be used against the PRD and AMLO: “The PRD would be a disaster for Mexico, the country would go in the same direction as Chávez and Castro.” That is to say, López Obrador would be “a danger to Mexico,” as Allyn said in an article published on April 3, 2006, published in the New York Post.

TV ads with that precise phrase — “López Obrador: A Danger to Mexico” — ran in heavy rotation on Televisa and TV Azteca for weeks … before being disallowed by IFE.

La debilidad del IFE

The weakness of IFE

El exconsejero electoral federal Jaime Cárdenas señala que el IFE debería investigar de oficio el caso de Morris, sobre todo si se toma como precedente que el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación determinó que el instituto debe abrir nuevamente la investigación sobre la desviación de recursos de Caminos y Puentes Federales (Capufe) a la campaña presidencial de Francisco Labastida en 2000, asunto al que ya le habían dado carpetazo.

Former IFE commissioner Cárdenas says that IFE ought to officially investigate the Morris case, based, above all, on the precedent set by TRIFE, the federal elections court, in finding that the institute should reopen its investigation into the misappropriation of funds from the Capufe (federal roads and bridges) program by the campaign of Labastida in 2000 a matter they had swept under the carpet.

–¿Qué tendría que investigar el IFE?

“What should IFE investigate?”

–Bueno, lo que está en juego es una posible violación al artículo 33 de la Constitución, por la intervención de un extranjero en la política nacional. Si el PAN ha negado que Morris haya apoyado la campaña de Calderón, eso puede implicar que se investigue cómo se reportaron los gastos de campaña. Si el PAN no informó nada al respecto y Dick Morris mantiene que ha celebrado este acuerdo con Felipe Calderón, pues (el PAN) estaría siendo acreedor de una sanción por no dar una información completa de sus gastos de campaña.

“Well, what is in play here is a potential violation of Article 33 of the Constitution, the interference by a foreign national in national politics. If PAN has denied that Morris supported the Calderón campaign, this would imply how they reported their campaign expenses. If PAN told no one about it and Dick Morris says he has this deal with Calderón, then PAN might be liable for not giving complete information about its campaign expenditures.”

For our friends, everything. For our enemies, the law.

Explica que el IFE tendría que revisar cómo el PAN ha considerado en sus reportes los pagos para asesores extranjeros en la campaña de 2006. Además, el instituto podría requerir información a la Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores para saber si algún funcionario o el Comité Ejecutivo Nacional del PAN expidió cheques a favor de Dick Morris. Incluso, dice Cárdenas, se podría solicitar a las autoridades bancarias estadunidenses los movimientos financieros de Morris, a fin de conocer si alguno involucra a Calderón o a su partido.

He explains that IFE would have to review how PAN had responded in its reports on payments to foreign consultants during the 2006 campaign. Further, it could request information from the banking and capital markets regulator to learn whether any PAN official had written checks to Dick Morris. It might even, he says, ask U.S. banking officials about Morris’s financial transaction, to see whether any involve Calderón or his party.

What if he took his salary in cash, China White, or shipments of AR-15s?

Morris no se puede cubrir en un supuesto contrato de confidencialidad, sostiene el exconsejero, pues el PAN utilizó recursos públicos en la campaña y está obligado a rendir cuentas por la Ley de Transparencia.

Morris cannot hide behind his alleged confidentiality agreement, says the ex-IFE commissioner, because PAN used public money in the campaign and is obliged to account for it under the Transparency Law.

“Esta confidencialidad resulta absurda porque en materia electoral todos los ingresos y egresos de los partidos deben informarse y ser públicos ante la autoridad electoral. Creo que ese acuerdo de confidencialidad riñe con las propias leyes de transparencia del IFE. Hay un reglamento que aprobó el Consejo General, que es el de transparencia y acceso a la información pública, y este acuerdo de confidencialidad puede implicar una violación a dicho reglamento. No se trata de asuntos privados, sino de asuntos públicos”, precisa Cárdenas.

“This confidentiality would be absurd, because in election matters all income and expenditures must be reported and made public to the elections authority. I think this confidentiality agreement clashes with IFE’s own transparency rules. The executive council approved a regulation on transparency and access to public information, and this confidentiality agreement could imply a violation of that regulation. These are not private matters, but public ones,” Cárdenas says.

IFE commissioners are on the public record calling efforts to get it to follow its own transparency rules “a use of the rules for the purposes of political persecution.”

Y señala que también hubo violaciones al artículo 49 del Código Federal de Instituciones y Procedimientos Electorales (Cofipe) porque el PAN no reportó de manera completa los gastos de campaña.

He points out that there were also violations of Article 49 of COFIPE, the federal administrative code, because PAN did not fully report its campaign expenses.

–Lo paradójico es que Morris lo reconozca abiertamente y no pase nada –se le plantea.

“What is paradoxical is that Morris acknowledges this publicly, and nothing happens,” he says.

–No pasa nada porque muchos de los consejeros y de la estructura del instituto están con el PAN. Creo que el PAN está muy confiado por esto, pero se trata de un asunto muy grave.

“Nothing happens because many of the commissioners, and the IFE bureaucracy, are on PAN’s side. I think PAN has placed a great deal of faith in this fact, but we are talking about a very serious matter here.”

Ugalde is Gordillo’s poodle.

–¿Qué refleja esta intervención de Dick Morris y la falta de disposición de la autoridades para investigarla?

“What does this interference by Morris mean, and the reluctance of the authorities to investigate it?”

–Que hay intereses de intervención extranjera en las elecciones de México. Refleja que las autoridades electorales no tienen capacidad para detener a tiempo este tipo de intervención y que el tema de los contratos de prestación de servicios profesionales de extranjeros en las campañas debe ser valorado debidamente, ya sea por medio de una reglamentación o algún procedimiento de información, si es que se considera legal. Este hecho habla de lo débil que es el IFE, de la autonomía que ha perdido y de que no es capaz de realizar investigaciones exhaustivas sobre temas de relevancia.

“It means that there are people interested in foreign intervention in Mexico’s elections. It means that the elections authorities lack the ability to prevent this kind of intervention in time, and the subject of profesional services contrcts in campaigns needs to be duly taken into account, whether by regulating it or through some informational proceeding, if it is the case that they consider it legal. This speaks of how ineffective IFE is, of the autonomy that it has lost. It means that it is not capable of thoroughly investigating relevant issues.”

“El PAN y el gobierno federal, desde los tiempos de Fox, están montados en el cinismo. Recordemos que a Fox se le sancionó por traer dinero del extranjero para su campaña. Después, el Tribunal Electoral reconoció que Fox intervino en la campaña de 2006 y él mismo dijo cínicamente que se había desquitado de Andrés Manuel López Obrador. El Tribunal también admitió que los empresarios intervinieron y ahora Dick Morris reconoce que asesoró la campaña de Calderón generando una campaña sucia. Pero no pasa nada.

“PAN and the federal government, since the arrival of Fox, have gotten more and more cynical. Let us recall that Fox was sanctioned for taking foreign campaign contributions. Afterwards, the TRIFE recognized that Fox had improperly intervened in the 2006 campaign, and Fox even said, cynically, that he had gotten even with López Obrador. The TRIFE also found that businesses had improperly interfered. And now Morris acknowledges that he advised Calderón’s campaign, devising a dirty war strategy. But nothing happens.”

“Esto demuestra que las instituciones están montadas en el gran cinismo, es decir, mentir, decir verdades a medias sin que haya una respuesta jurídica. Creo que es la vieja técnica de mentir con impunidad a la nación. Es claro que el PAN está reproduciendo los viejos esquemas de la impunidad desde el poder que impuso el PRI.”

“This shows that these institutions are mired in vast cynicism, that is to say, they lie, they tell half-truths to which their is no legal response. I believe this is just the same old method for lying to the public with impunity. It is clear that since it got into power PAN is merely repeating the same old schemes of impunity that the PRI imposed.”

I am starting to get that impression myself.

And was noticing a PFL politician down there in Brazil, quoting Dick Morris the other day. The PT down there is already suing the PSDB-PFL “Coalition for a Decent Brazil” for using resources laundered through an NGO linked to the National Endowment for Democracy.

Brazil, as it happens, has similar laws. In theory.

Fortunately for Alckmin, his lawyer — his brother, I think — is also an ex-federal elections judge. His uncle, of course, having been a cabinet minister under one of the president-generals, and Brazil’s first Opus Dei supernumerary.

It may sound like paranoid spy-novel type of shit, but holy freaking cow, it’s true.

Banana-republicanism walks the earth, undead, and it wants to Gonazalez — I think we need to invent a new term, parallel with the idiom “to bork” — your brain.


Click to zoom.

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