Bob Ney, “Sideswiped”

Ex-Congressman Bob Ney's new book is an odd mix of self-help and Boehner hate.

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Jason Reed/ Reuters

Former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) at a federal courthouse in Washington October 13, 2006.

Wednesday night Bob Ney, the only Congressman convicted in the 2006 Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, spoke two blocks from the Capitol at the old politicos hangout, the Monocle. A C-SPAN duo and crowd of twenty to thirty gathered around the 5’8’’ 58 year-old to hear about his new book, Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill, which has recently attracted press from almost every major political media outlet for its portrait of Speaker of the House John Boehner.

In the handout given to those present, next to a bar with free drinks and across from the table with some juicy shrimp and delicious chicken quesadillas, was a list of quotes from the book, the first three on Boehner. There are around 5000 first-edition copies, according to Ney’s publisher, Changing Lives Press, and they must know why the book will sell.  Sideswiped calls Boehner’s life in Congress:

A maintenance job…he was considered a man that was all about winning and money. He was a chain-smoking, relentless wine drinker who was more interested in the high life- golf, woman, cigarettes, fun, and alcohol.

Ney spices up his depiction of Boehner with a few salacious stories of alleged misbehavior. Claims Ney: one night at the Capital Grille Boehner got drunk and took a female staffer home; Boehner regularly gave hand outs- free Barclay cigarettes from his lobbyist and campaign checks on the House floor; Boehner called one of his staffers a “fag;” Boehner broke out into “all-out wailing” after he was ousted from chairman of the House Republicans Conference in 1998.  In 2006, Ney dropped out of his reelection race after serving for 11 years, and he now says Boehner convinced him to go by promising him a well-paying private job and money to pay the lawyers defending him against the Justice Department’s Abramoff investigation. Neither the job or the money ever materialized, Ney says.

On Tuesday, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told the Washington Post, “This is a convicted felon with a history of failing to tell the truth making a lot of baseless accusations to try and sell books.” Ney responded to TIME, “If he wants to deny it, I can prove it.” “I’d be glad to sit down with him. I’d be glad to go on TV with him,” Ney says. Boehner, Ney must surely know, would only be hurt by appearing with the former Ohio Congressman in person.

Only about a quarter of the book involves Boehner, and Ney, a recovering alcoholic likened by GQ to Peter Russo of House of Cards, says the book is focused on self-help, not only for others but also for himself.  He takes full responsibility for eating and drinking free at Abramoff’s expense and for flying over to Scotland with him on a private jet for a golf outing.  After eleven months in jail (he was released in 2008), and over six years without having a drink, Ney says the book is “therapeutic” and is a “way to atone for my sins.”

There are a few interesting topics Ney mentions: prison reform, an Iranian student exchange (he speaks Farsi and lived in Iran in his early twenties), and how corporate fundraisers through Citizens United and loopholes “you could drive a Mack truck through” have filled “the swamp” back up with the unethical actions Nancy Pelosi so famously tried to drain.

But Sideswiped also contains an odd dichotomy between self-help and Boehner-hate. It contains earnest messages like “be mindful of what you ingest into your body, and what you feed your soul.” When mentioning that he is living with a roommate, but tempted to buy a house, he says he has “come to the realization that ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ are different things.”  The book ends with “keep in mind that it’s not the good and bad moments that count, but the moments that take your breath away.  May you have many!”

Ney tells TIME that there would be a “gaping hole in the truth” in his story if he didn’t mention Boehner. But at least some readers of Sideswiped in Washington will only want to see the hand that slaps Boehner, not the one that reaches out to help others.

23 comments
JeannetteRequilezDayCassity
JeannetteRequilezDayCassity

I have known Bob Ney all my life. He made a few mistakes, but he has always been a sincere person as long as I have have known him.I also had the pleasure of meeting John Boehner at the National Championship football game in Miami. We had a little chat, since we're both from Ohio. He was drunk and still smoking. So, like Bob said, I don't think much has changed!

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

I used to watch this guy's show all the time! "Bill Ney, the Science Gay" is a big family favorite!

retiredvet
retiredvet

Good grief! These drunks and crooks are running our government.

sacredh
sacredh

"Boehner broke out into “all-out wailing” after he was ousted from chairman of the House Republicans Conference in 1998."

That's a flat out lie. Boehner broke out into all-out wailing because he saw a puppy. 

sacredh
sacredh

Bob Ney represented my district until he had to go to prison where he served in a different way.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Ney says the book is “therapeutic” and is a “way to atone for my sins.”


What an odd slip of the tongue. Certainly he meant "cash in for my sins". 

gysgt213
gysgt213

In other news.  The good guys with the guns need to get a little better at having guns.


HIGHLAND, N.Y. (AP) — A New York town that began assigning an armed police officer to guard a high school in the wake of the Connecticut massacre has suspended the program after an officer accidentally discharged his pistol in a hallway while classes were in session.

Lt. James Janso of the Lloyd police department tells media outlets Officer Sean McCutcheon will be suspended while an investigation continues.

McCutcheon was assigned to the high school in the Hudson Valley town of Highland in January. Janso says the program has been suspended for now.

There were no staff members or students nearby when the weapon went off just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Nobody was hurt.

A message was left at a phone number listed in McCutcheon’s name.

Lloyd is in Ulster County, 65 miles south of Albany.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/sean-mccutcheon-officer-gun-suspended.php?ref=fpblg

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

"In 2006, Ney dropped out of his reelection race after serving for 11 years, and he now says Boehner convinced him to go by promising him a well-paying private job and money to pay the lawyers defending him against the Justice Department’s Abramoff investigation. Neither the job or the money ever materialized, Ney says."

This I believe.  I don't know about the rest of it, but this I believe.  You don't do a hit job of this scale on somebody who could help you like Boehner unless you've got one gigantic axe to grind.

gysgt213
gysgt213

And why should we care WHAT Bob Ney has to say about anything or anyone Alex?  He wrote a book.  Who the hell hasn't. 

sacredh
sacredh

 I met Ney a couple of times. I still have a bunch of memo pads with his picture on them that I got from his office

sacredh
sacredh

Actually, he saw two. He was pretty drunk. It was 4 in the afternoon for gosh sakes.



gysgt213
gysgt213

@Paul,nnto I thought there was a law that prevented criminals from profiting from their crimes?

BobJan
BobJan

@gysgt213 read the book by Jack Abramoff and find out what really goes on. Our Congress "is the best money can buy".

PhilGrove
PhilGrove

@gysgt213  You might care if you read the book until them you don't know $hit. How people can criticize  without first hand knowledge of the subject being the book is beyond me.. Keep your emotions out of it.

retiredvet
retiredvet

Were they pink? In the shape of little elephants?

gysgt213
gysgt213

@Paul,nnto @Ivy_B @gysgt213 Yes there were bad laws.  There are other ways to handle this type of thing though. No media attention.  I don;'t care what is being served for free.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@Ivy_B @gysgt213 @Paul,nnto Actually, after a bit of reading, it seems all the "Son of Sam" laws have been struck down and/or restricted over well argued first amendment issues. 

Doesn't make it less off-putting, just more legal.