NOW Can We Dismiss the Notion that Toensing Is Independent?


As TPM has reported (and a number of you have emailed) Scooter Libby’s press flack, Barbara Comstock, is running for office. Honestly, given the Democratic tilt of Virginia of late, I had been inclined to keep just half an eye on Comstock. After all, so long as she looks likely to lose, why give her any attention?

But news like this makes me rethink that. After all, what better way to undercut Comstock’s network of purportedly independent resources than to establish that they were on the host committee for Comstock’s earliest fund-raisers?

A who’s who of conservative women showed up at the home of Mildred Webber to register their support. Among them: the Ashcroft Group’s Juleanna Glover, National Review’s Kate O’Bierne and former Homeland Security official Fran Townsend.

Also on the host committee: Victoria Toensing, Jeri Thompson, Cathy Gillespie, Maria Cino and Kellyanne Conway.

Now, I know that there has been no doubt since the Clinton wars that Toensing is a Republican hack. But Toensing was able to attempt jury nullification with articles like this during the Libby trial, all under the claim that she was an independent entity.

And here we come to "find out" she’s one of Comstock’s closest buddies.

27 replies
  1. allan says:

    Also on the host committee Fred Hiatt’s Rolodex: Victoria Toensing, Jeri Thompson, Cathy Gillespie, Maria Cino and Kellyanne Conway.

    There, fixed it for ya.

  2. BoxTurtle says:

    Reading the article, I actually find myself in agreement with her opening line:

    Could someone please explain to me why Scooter Libby is the only person on trial in the Valerie Plame leak investigation?

    Boxturtle (It’s a really good question. I wish she’d followed up on it)

  3. whitewidow says:

    OT- from previous threads linking to Murray at TPM, it would appear that he will be writing there regularly now? If so, that is excellent news and very smart move by Josh.

  4. LiberalHeart says:

    There are people who have actually thought that Victoria Toensing is independent? Really? Ever notice that she always looks constipated?

  5. plunger says:

    It’s Evil Harpie Time With Barbara Comstock

    When Digby sounded the warning about Barbara Comstock, head of Scooter Libby’s defense fund, I had no idea what a toxic waste dump the comments section would turn into as people went to work delving into the sewage pit that is her past.

    This is fucking heart of darkness stuff.
    A brief history of Barbara Comstock’s corrupt shenanigans:

    . Principal in Blank Rome LLP, major lobbying firm contracted to distribute all that Department of Homeland Security pork for huge corporate clients, who then turned around and made enormous contributions to GOP candidates. Shades of Jack Abramoff, she’s a key player in the Rethuglican money machine that rips off the taxpayers, lards its benefactors and keeps itself in the chips.

    . Assembled debate materials for GWB, helped prepare Ashcroft for his Senate confirmation. Headed up the media distortion team in Florida in 2000 that manipulated the press narrative to Bush’s benefit following the election.

    . Former head of research at the RNC, as Digby pointed out her specialty is combing through source material on Democrats, culling and twisting things to embarrass and humiliate Democratic candidates. Gave dictation to Steno Sue.

    . Author of many of the “Attack Kerry” memes, including accusations that he wanted to “gut intel” in the NRO. Employed emasculating language to make him appear weak and effeminate. Also wrote that vicious “John Kerry gave mouth-to-mouth to a rodent” story.

    . Lobbying clients are a rogues gallery of pork-fed crooks

    . Tried to steal Moynihan’s legacy and paste it on to John Bolton in promoting him for UN job

    . Best friends with the Ledeens, Barbara Olson and the O’Beirnes, dubbed part of the “Barbarellas” by Bill Bennett after their hatchet work on the Florida recount. Lauded for their “traditional virtue” by Michael Ledeen.

    . Played a huge part in the campaign to smear the Clintons — David Brock in “Blinded by the Right” described her passion to bring them down as “almost unhinged.” Served as “chief investigator” for Dan Burton.

    . Appointed by Ashcroft to the Justice Department’s Director of Public Affairs. According to Murray Waas, strongly suspected of cronyism and ultimate loyalty to the RNC during her tenure there. Waas quotes a question posed to James Comey during his confirmation hearings for his job at the DoJ:

    Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked Comey: “How could there not be an appearance of a conflict given the close nexus of relationships?”

    “I agree with you that it’’s an extremely important matter,” Comey said.

    . Close ties to Bush family bag man and child torturer Mel Sembler, whom she also brought on to the Libby Defense fund.

    The Barbarellas: Lauded for their ‘traditional virtue’ by Michael Ladeen

    Note the Ledeen/Sembler connection to the Niger forgery. What does Victoria know about that?

  6. dcblogger says:

    I can’t think of a worse state for Libby’s press flack than Virginia. This is the only state where the CIA and its contractors are a voting block. I will be surprised if she gets more than 10% of the vote in Fairfax.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I hope that you are correct.

      plunger, thanks for a comment that really does seem fact-based and focuses on the specific, documented history of Comstock. I read that item by Digby some years back, and it really jolted me.

      These women have been repudiated, they may be taking financial hits, and they probably have too much time on their hands. They remind me of a timber rattler in autumn: pissed off, hungry, and vicious.

  7. Loo Hoo. says:

    So we have a choice to make. We can once again let Washington’s bad habits stand in the way of progress. Or we can pull together and say that in America, our destiny isn’t written for us but by us. We can place good ideas ahead of old ideological battles, and a sense of purpose above the same narrow partisanship. We can act boldly to turn crisis into opportunity and, together, write the next great chapter in our history and meet the test of our time.

    Can I hear an AMEN?

    • katymine says:

      It is interesting to evaluate if there are more obese people living in the odor area….. specific food can generate hunger such as smelling fresh baked bread….

  8. kspena says:

    I think this quote from TPM is worth repeating:

    “In his 2002 book, Blinded By The Right, David Brock painted a vivid picture of Comstock’s obsessive zeal to bring down the Clintons:

    Late night calls from Barbara Comstock were not unusual. She often telephoned with the latest tidbit she had dug up in the thousands and thousands of pages of administration records she pored through frantically as if she were looking for a winning lottery ticket she had somehow mislaid … She once dropped by my house to watch the rerun of a dreadfully dull Whitewater hearing she had sat through all day. Comstock sat on the edge of her chair shaking, and screaming over and over again, “Liars!” As Constock’s leads failed to pan out, and she was unable to catch anyone in a lie, the Republican aide confided that the Clinton scandals were driving her to distraction, to the unfortunate point that she was ignoring the needs of her own family. A very smart lawyer by training and the main breadwinner for her charismatic, happy-go-lucky husband and kids, Comstock remarked that maybe she couldn’t get Hillary’s sins off her brain because “Hillary reminds me of me. I am Hillary.” In this admission, a vivid illustration of a much wider “Hillary” phenomenon can be seen. Comstock knew nothing about Hillary Clinton. Comstock’s “Hillary” was imaginary, a construction composed entirely of the negative points in her own life.”

    • RevBev says:

      Reminds me of a local story: A few years ago the city mayor* had lost quite a bit of weight after she had starting running/exercise with a new husband & switched parties! She made the observation that inside every fat Democrat there is a skinny Republican trying to get out. Well her weight has yo-yo’d dramatically over the years with another new marriage. Whenever I think of this remark, it is shockingly dumb in its impact…insult to almost all people.

      Like the Comstock story, it all makes me wonder what goes on in the brains of these people.

      *That would be Scott Mc’s mother.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:


      And she’s not Hillary.
      Hillary works on behalf of families and children.
      Wow, that is one interesting (sad) story about Comstock.

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