Earlier we reported on Congressional office spending. It's one thing to see a list of the top spenders, but it's something else to see that spending mapped according to congressional districts. So that's just what we've done here. Below is a map of 434 congressional districts (we have no data for New Mexico's 3rd district), color coded according to spending. Take a look for yourself (the darker the color, the more the member spent):
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More than $400 million in outside money was spent in the general elections for House and Senate this year. Here's a look at the top outside spenders and how much they spent in races where each party won.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is the only member of Congress that is using his campaign committee to make independent expenditures for other federal candidates which the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) claims is a violation of the McCain-Feingold Act because it exceeds the value of non-cash contributions.
The DCCC argues that either the ad was created in coordination with the candidates or, it was an independent expenditure. The complaint casts doubts that the ads were independent expenditures saying, “It is utterly implausible that the state's most senior Republican, who appeared at a Tea Party rally for these two candidates ...Continue reading
I tried to interfere with a U.S. Attorney's investigation, failed, got the Attorney fired, and all I got was this lousy letter of "qualified admonition."
The Senate Ethics Committee, yesterday, admonished Sen. Pete Domenici for creating an "appearance of impropriety" when he telephoned David Iglesias, the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, prior to the 2006 election to ask when he was going to bring indictments against Democrats for voter fraud. After not receiving the answer he wanted, Sen. Domenici pushed the White House to fire Iglesias, as they did along with other Attorneys.
This is said qualified letter of admonition. While an admonition seems like pretty weak tea for what Domenici did, it's at least good to know that they actually do police themselves in the Senate, as opposed to the House.Continue reading
When the House Judiciary Committee put all of the Justice Department e-mails relating to the Attorney purge they received online they started an immense distributed research project that led hundreds of citizens to pour over documents hoping to find the needle in the haystack that would become a story the next day. The only problem with these online document dumps was that they were just that, dumps, as in the pouring of documents online in no particular order and without a search function. Those days are over thanks to a cadre of committed online researchers at Daily Kos. DKos poster drational posted today about the DOJ Documents database created by 20 kossacks and spearheaded by nuketeacher. Check out the database here.Continue reading
If you've got some time on your hands go and help TPM Muckraker comb through the 3,000 Justice Department and White House documents dumped on the Judiciary Committees last night. Head to TPM Muckraker's website to follow these instructions:
So here's what we're going to do. This comment thread will be our HQ for sorting through tonight's document dump.
And to make it efficient and comprehensible, we'll have a system. As you can see on the House Judiciary Committee's website, they've begun reproducing 50-page pdfs of the documents with a simple numbering system, 3-19-2007 DOJ-Released Documents 1-1, then 1-2, then 1-3, etc. So pick a pdf, any pdf and give it a look. If you find something interesting (or damning), then tell us about it in the comment thread below.Continue reading
Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez claims that mistakes were made, he knew nothing about the actions of his chief of staff, and that he will “assess accountability” at Justice. So far this looks like really poorly orchestrated damage control. That’s the new news. Earlier today the Justice Department released the old news, a document dump of e-mails between Gonzalez’s now ex-chief of staff Kyle Sampson and White House officials including then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers. We know from the Washington Post story, and from McClatchy’s reporting over the weekend, that Sen. Pete Domenici and other New Mexico Republicans were instrumental in getting U.S. Attorney David Iglesias canned. The question is whether this was determined after Iglesias says that Domenici pressured him over indictments.Continue reading
With two stories out today, one from the New York Times and the other from the Washington Post, we learn that everything the Justice Department told Congress was factually-impaired. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez claimed that there was nothing political about the firings, except that the President's Counsel Harriet Miers and the President's chief political operative created the list of Attorney's to axe and Justice was in discussions all along. In the beginning the White House wanted to fire all 93 Attorneys only to scale back this plan when it was deemed by Rove to be politically impossible. (For those paying attention that would have included U.S. Attorney for the District of Illinois (Northern) Patrick Fitzgerald, the guy prosecuting a case against the Vice President's right-hand man.)Continue reading
Another Update: "Hacked" isn't right. Apparently they screwed up at U.S. News and Bonnie Erbe's post got Barone's name on it. The Internets strike again.
In my last blog post I quoted from a post from Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Report. Barone's post, which I excerpted, stated his outrage at the attorney firings and at Sen. Pete Domenici's ethics in calling Attorney David Iglesias. The only thing about the post is that Barone didn't write it. You see, his site was hacked and the post, sensibly explaining the outrage over the Attorney firings, was not his work at all. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)Continue reading
The Washington Post reports that the Senate ethics committee is investigating Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-NM) role in the alleged pressuring and subsequent firing of Attorney David Iglesias. Domenici announced that he has hired K. Lee Blalack, the former defense attorney for Randy "Duke" Cunningham, to represent him. The revelations in the committee hearings on Tuesday clearly have pushed this story further as it appears that, despite constantly changing excuses, two Members of Congress put unprecedented pressure on a U.S. Attorney to bring down indictments to help the re-election campaign of Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM).Continue reading