This is one of those ‘sock drawer’ items, where there are so many possible angles to a pithy little blog post that, well, we don’t know which sock we’re going to pull out of the drawer. Huntington Beach congressman Dana Rohrabacher turns out to have accepted a $23,000 option payment for a screenplay he wrote from indicted fake Hollywood producer Joseph Medawar, who faces a possible life sentence on twenty-three fraud-related counts.
The issue isn’t whether it was appropriate for Rohrabacher to sell a piece of creative intellectual labor as a congressman but whether the assistance he provided to Medawar (which in turn, aided Medawar in his fraudulent activities) after making the deal was quid pro quo, or if Rohrabacher was just helping out a constituent.
Another issue is how awful the screenplay sounds. From the LAT:
Before the option deal in late 2003, Rohrabacher’s script, “Baja,” had kicked around Hollywood for so many years that its conservative protagonist had morphed from a Vietnam veteran to a soldier who had served in the Persian Gulf War.
The action-adventure tale, penned by the conservative Orange County congressman almost 30 years ago, revolved around an archeological expedition to Mexico by the vet and his antagonist, a liberal graduate student.
Anyway, is Rohrabacher going to give back the money now that Medawar’s allegedly massive fraud (in which various middle-income people lost large sums of money) has been uncovered? Well, it depends:
“If he is found guilty of fraud I will seriously think of giving that option money back to some of the people who were defrauded,” Rohrabacher said. “But if he was only someone who was flamboyant and incompetent… I will not feel compelled to take a strong look at giving back the money.”