Daylight AM:

  • According to the San Bernardino Sun, the top technology firm ESRI has received a subpoena in the ongoing investigation into Appropriations Chairman [sw: Jerry Lewis] (R-Calif.) and his ties to Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White, the lobbying firm representing ESRI and numerous municipalities that have received subpoenas. From 2001 to 2006 Lewis "earmarked more than $90 million for ESRI projects that included defense intelligence systems such as database mapping to assist in rebuilding war-torn Iraq." From 2000 to 2005 ESRI paid the Lowery firm $360,000 in fees to lobby Congress.
  • TPM Muckraker reports that Bernard Kerik, the first choice to head the Department of Homeland Security for President Bush’s second term, will plead guilty to accepting "improper gifts totaling tens of thousands of dollars while he was a city official in the late 1990’s".
  • The Wall Street Journal profiles the Han Solo of the Congressional Pork Wars, [sw: Jeff Flake] (R-Ariz.). Flake is "a ringer for actor Owen Wilson who crashes not weddings but his own Republican Party" by asking "colleagues to come to the House floor and explain why taxpayers should pay for pet projects in their districts." He has twice targeted Appropriations Chairman [sw: Jerry Lewis] (R-Calif.) — the Sith Lord if we are to keep with the Star Wars theme — and even targeted an earmark inserted by none other than the Speaker of the House [sw: Dennis Hastert] (R-Ill.). Flake questions the culture that underlies much of the corrupt behavior in Congress, "What’s just mystifying is the sense of entitlement now: You have the right to have your projects and to ask for it through the process without anyone else knowing about it or being able to challenge it. That’s your inherent right as a member of Congress."