Afternoon News:

  • I’m confused. First, Duke Cunningham is said to not be cooperating with the federal investigation into bribery by defense contractors. Now he states, through his lawyer, that he will cooperate fully with a House Ethics Committee investigation and has been cooperating all along with the federal investigation. So, what’s the deal here?
  • We do know that Mitchell Wade, the contractor convicted of bribing Duke Cunningham, is talking to prosecutors. The Boston Globe looks into who he might be talking about. Two lawmakers, who both received illegal campaign contributions from Wade and tried, one successfully and the other unsuccessfully, to secure federally earmarked funds for his MZM, Inc., look like ready targets for this expanding investigation. They are Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA), who successfully earmarked funds for an MZM office in his district, and Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), who, after dining with Wade to the tune of $2,800, attempted to insert an earmark that would established an MZM site in her district.
  • That loophole is so big I could fit a few hundred million dollars through it. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Torch is back! Former Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) is back in the news, and as you would expect it’s bad news for the Torch. The Financial Times reports that Torricelli is now being connected to the UN oil for food scandal. Just recently I read a piece about how Torricelli was still a player and was doling out advice to Democratic Senators and consultants. That will probably stop if this report proves true. I think the guy might become even more radioactive than he used to be.
  • TPM Muckraker reports on the Democrats’ choice to have Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) as the top Dem on the House Intelligence Committee. "That’s right: Pelosi wants to replace House Intel Committee Ranking Member Jane Harman (CA) with Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), who "was forced to surrender his job as a federal judge after being indicted in 1981 on bribery charges," as the LA Times reports it. He beat the rap, but "was impeached in 1988 by the House for conspiracy and making false statement" in connection to the case."
  • On the emergency supplemental front Mark Tapscott reports that there may be a victory at hand with the Senate agreeing to "cap spending in the emergency spending bill for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Gulf Coast hurricane recovery to $94.5 billion."