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Tag Archive: Jerry Lewis

Congressional office spending by district

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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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DCCC accuses McCain of flouting election laws he helped create

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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 ...

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More Investigations, Congressmen Aim for Less Transparency

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Maybe the HBO show The Wire should have focused on congressional wheeling and dealing in Washington rather than the inner city drug trade in Baltimore. Just after I wrote a post about corruption and scandal tilting over a dozen congressional races yet another congressman, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., finds himself the subject of an FBI investigation with a grand jury already impaneled, wiretaps monitoring cellphones, and raids on six locations in Pennsylvania and Florida. Bill Allison has already discussed some interesting tidbits of the case and Weldon's page at Congresspedia covers the details and history of the investigation and Weldon's connections to the Russian energy giant Itera and the Serbian brothers who previously were tight with mass murderer Slobodan Milosovic. But just today we got a taste of how Weldon has been trying to suppress discussion of this whole matter by being, um, less than transparent.

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Earmark Reform Faltering

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Members of the House Appropriations Committee appear to be balking at the prospect of change in House rules that would attach the names of lawmakers to the earmarks they've inserted into spending bills. As the Times article notes, this rather modest change would apply only to the House (not the Senate), and would exempt defense earmarks (where the real money is) from scrutiny. I've noted before that there are ways around the disclosure provisions proposed in the rules change, which potentially could make it harder to identify who's getting earmarks, because lawmakers could use obscure descriptions--any company incorporated in Harrison, N.Y., in 1923--to avoid the rule's requirement that they take credit for their earmarks. Still, with all it's limitations, this measure would shine a little light on spending bills already drafted but not yet passed--even a modest disclosure measure is better than none.

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Rep. Jerry Lewis and the Inadequacy of Disclosure

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I've heard this defense somewhere before, and that time too it seemed to be both off-point and inaccurate: a spokeswoman for Rep. Jerry Lewis' team of defense attorneys said that the chair of the Appropriations Committee "complied with all legal disclosure requirements." Lewis was invited to get into the initial public offering of a new bank (an invitation that was not sent out to the general public); his initial investment of $22,000 is now worth almost $60,000, according to the Associated Press, which adds this interesting information:

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Scandals Continue to Take Toll

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If Jack Abramoff were a horror movie monster I would not want to be Rep. Robert Ney (R-Ohio), AKA Bob Ney. Last night, the former wonderboy of the Right Ralph Reed lost convincingly in the Georgia Lt. Governor Republican primary to Casey Cagle, 54%-46%. Reed saw his stock plummet as the lobbying and grassroots work he did with his buddy Jack Abramoff poured out of Senate hearings and court documents into the newspapers. The former head of the Christian Coalition, his eyes set on the Presidency, felled himself by showing his true colors. Mike Crowley at TNR’s The Plank writes that “Jack Abramoff can so far be officially credited with destroying three careers (Reed, Tom DeLay, and David Safavian).” Despite what some have said the money-in-politics scandals are taking their toll on Washington.

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