Last week at Sunlight, we exposed House Speaker Dennis Hastert's use of a secret, undisclosed trust to make a $2 million profit selling land located near the proposed route of the Prairie Parkway, a project Hastert has backed with $207 million in earmarks.
There are still 539 congress members and delegates whose disclosure forms haven't been scrutinized. Want to investigate them, I'll explain below, and then you can email me if you're interested (email@example.com).
- Yet another city is subpoenaed in the investigation into Appropriations Chairman [sw: Jerry Lewis]' (R-Calif.) earmarking practices. The San Bernardino Sun reports that Highland, California has become the eighth city, county, or university to receive a subpoena in the federal investigation. The Sun also notes the debate over earmarks that took place on the floor of the House yesterday as [sw: Jeff Flake] (R-Ariz.) forced members to defend their earmarks. Unfortunately, the House voted by 6 to 1 margins to maintain all of the earmarks, which included a $500,000 earmark placed by Lewis to renovate a swimming pool in Banning, California. The Banning swimming pool had previously received a combined $500,000 in earmarks from Lewis.
- Not only did Majority Leader [sw: John Boehner] (R-Ohio) return to the House leadership in an unexpected victory last year, but he also won $2,700 at the slots. Boehner was waiting for an aide at a "pit stop" in northern Michigan and "decided to play the slots ... and won."
- Jeffrey Shockey, revolving door poster boy and central figure to the [sw: Jerry Lewis] scandal, revised his 2004 financial disclosure forms to show that he made $500,000 more from his former lobbying clients while he was working in Lewis' office.
- Roll Call reports that the Senate' millionaires club has expanded by one to 46 Senators. [sw: John Kerry] (D-Mass.) and [sw: Jay Rockefeller] (D-W. Va.) still sit atop the list while presidential aspirant Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) reported $19,000 in negative net worth. That makes for a total of $2 million.
- The GOP is trying to find a balance on spending restraint and earmark reform, according to The Hill. Republicans in the Senate are "trying to salvage a spending-reform provision empowering individual senators to strip new earmarks out of conference reports without handing the rank and file unlimited power to wage wars of attrition to defeat bills they do not like."
- The Hill has a run-down on the personal finances of members that were released yesterday.
Today the personal financial disclosure forms of members of Congress were released to a public eager to know that they elected people who make vastly more than the average American to rule this country. Who flew your member to some exotic locale? How much property or stock does your member own? Check it out for yourself at Political Money Line. And remember, Duke Cunningham went to jail because of one enterprising journalist who was searching through his financial disclosure and found a real estate deal that just didn't look right. Have at it!Continue reading