- House Republicans stripped 527-reform out of a proposed lobbying reform bill, according to The Hill.
- In a sign of the seriousness of the case against him, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), under investigation for alleged bribery in an African telecommunications deal, is selling his Capitol Hill house, according to Roll Call.
- Speaking of selling houses, the Washington Post reports that Rep. Jim Ryun is denying that he got a sweetheart deal when the U.S. Family Network sold him their Capitol Hill house at well below market value.
- Knight Ridder reports that the Pentagon has investigated itself for spending money “like Paris Hilton at a shoe sale” and found its “prime vendor” purchasing program “sound, even though it overpaid millions of dollars for common kitchen items.” The program “paid $20 a piece for plastic ice cube trays that previously had cost 89 cents and $81 each for coffee makers that it bought for years for $29.”
Rep. Jim Ryun (R-KS) received a sweetheart real estate deal when he purchased the “safe house” owned by the Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Abramoff connected U.S. Family Network, according to TPM Muckraker’s Paul Kiel. The house located in Capitol Hill was purchased by the U.S. Family Network for $429,000 in 1999. It was sold in 2000 to Ryun for $410,000, a $19,000 loss for the USFN. Zillow.com, a real estate search engine, lists the current tax assessed value of the house at $660,850. Kiel writes, “Naomi Seligman of CREW told TPMmuckraker.com that Ryun's house deal should prompt a House Ethics Committee investigation. ‘Who else in America has lost money on a real estate transaction except [Cunningham contractor felon] Mitchell Wade?’” The U.S. Family Network is currently under investigation for illegal activities related to the investigation of Jack Abramoff.Continue reading