Morning News:

  • The federal government spent over $1.4 billion on fraudulent assistance to fake victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. One man spent 70 days at a hotel in Hawaii on taxpayer money.
  • [sw: Alan Mollohan] (D-WV), who resigned his seat on the House Ethics Committee after he became the subject of a federal inquiry, released corrections to his financial disclosure forms yesterday, according to the New York Times. Mollohan "filed some two dozen corrections to his past six annual financial disclosure forms, saying his accountant had uncovered ‘a relative handful of unintentional and immaterial mistakes.’" He had left out one major transaction in which in he took out a "$2.3 million ‘back-to-back loan’". Mollohan stated that he did not feel that he had to report this previously because the net value was zero.
  • The judge ruling in the David Safavian trial is weighing whether to toss a juror because she spoke to persons outside of the juror pool about the case. The prosecution wants her tossed, while the defense wants her to stay.
  • The Defense Appropriations bill for FY 07 contains $1 billion less in earmarks than the previous year’s bill did. Well, they did get rid of [sw: Duke Cunningham], so that’s about what I’d expect.
  • Yesterday Redstate reported that [sw: Jerry Lewis] (R-CA), under fire for earmarking and connections to lobbyists, inserted a $500,000 earmark to renovate the swimming pool in Banning, California. Today, the San Bernardino Sun picks up the story along with criticism of Lewis from his fellow caucus members. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): "It’s just ridiculous. Cities ought to pay for their own pools." Banning is represented by lobbyist David Turch, who has lost numerous county and municipal clients to the now-radioactive lobbying firm of Copeland Lowery Jacquez and White.