Jury deliberations continue in the Stevens ethics case. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart faces questions about an earmark to a company doing business with Venezuela. Today's news:
Yesterday, the Stevens jury deliberated for the first time and decided to call it a day after 4 hours of what they termed "stressful" negotiations. Today, the jury has already sent three notes to the presiding judge. One note asked for the specifics in the law requiring the reporting of liabilities on financial disclosures. The judge wanted to tell the jury that liabilities with a value of more than $10,000 must be disclosed, but the defense team said that was too specific and asked the jury simply be handed a copy of the requirements. Another note was more serious and could lead to a juror's removal from the trial. A female juror is identified as "being rude, disrespectful and unreasonable” and engaging in "violent outbursts with other jurors". If the juror is removed she will be replaced by an alternate, likely a man in his 20s. The Alaska Daily News covers another aspect of the trial: what happens if Sen. Stevens is found guilty and then wins reelection? I have another question, what does the Senate Ethics Committee do if Sen. Stevens is acquitted?
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart earmarked funds to a defense firm that previously shipped surveillance equipment to Venezuela, not exactly the best friend of the United States. Phoenix Worldwide Industries President Esquivel Shuler called the pursuit of the earmark, "a shot in the dark for us." Diaz-Balart has faced a number of questions regarding earmarks he sought for large campaign contributors.