In Bob Schaffer’s Defense …


We’ve hit pretty hard over recent months on Colorado GOP senate candidate Bob Schaffer. First there were his ties to Jack Abramoff and his sweat shop enslaving pals in the Mariana Islands. Then he was tied to a felony trial where one of his old political handlers was convicted of defrauding the government. And the last we heard from him he was cutting an oil deal with the Iraqi Kurds that the State Department said endangered America. So it’s been a solid campaign so far.

But today’s news that his son was found to have a series of arguably racist statements and images on his site as well as a photo of Obama doctored to look like he’s a member of the Taliban raises an interesting possibility (update: Jr.’s college is now apparently considering disciplinary action against him.)

The ‘joke’ on Schaffer’s Facebook site that got the most attention was a poster which reads “Slavery Gets Shit Done” against a backdrop of the Egyptian pyramids.

Now, as you remember, back in April, unprompted, Schaffer touted the guest worker program in the Mariana Islands as a great model and one we should emulate here on the mainland — notwithstanding the fact that the situation in the Marianas became notorious all over the world for sweat shop conditions, forced abortions, abusive workplace practices, sexual slavery and a whole bunch of other modern day workplace management best practices. He not only carried their water on Capitol Hill. He also went on one of Abramoff’s junkets to the Islands to investigate claims of abuses (which he concluded didn’t exist) and also parasail.

But here’s the key thing. Back when we were looking into this in April, there was one thing that didn’t quite compute. Unlike a lot of other Abramoff pals who stood up for the sex slavers on Capitol Hill, Schaffer didn’t seem to have gotten much money out of Abramoff. In fact, virtually none.

So Paul Kiel and I had to consider the possibility that rather than being corrupt stooge willing to gloss over manifest outrages in exchange for a seat on the Abramoff gravy train, Schaffer may just have been ideologically pro-sweat shop and pro-slavery. And now Schaffer’s son’s endorsement of slavery on his Facebook page lends some new credence to this theory.