- Bob Ney (R-Ohio) told Senate Indian Affairs Investigators that he could not remember meeting with the Tigua Tribe of Texas, a client of Jack Abramoff, when he was interviewed by the committee. Unfortunately for Ney cameras do not forget. The Cleveland Plain Dealer blog has posted a picture of a smiling Ney posing with the Lt. Governor and a governing council member of the Tigua Tribe.
- Ney's buddy Jack Abramoff is such a nice guy. Roll Call reports that he called Gabon, a small African nation, a "monkey coloney" [sic]. Abramoff also liked to call Indians "troglodytes" and "morons". He sounds like such a caring man.
- The Press-Enterprise reports on the details of the subpoena issued to San Bernardino County in the ongoing investigation into the ties between Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) and the lobbying firm of Lewis' friend Bill Lowery.
- Earmark reformers are concerned that the exclusion of joint resolutions from restrictions imposed by earmark reforms would cause the resolutions to be a new place to seed pet projects. Meanwhile, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) plans on going back to the floor of the House to challenge more earmarks, this time inserted into the Science-State-Justice-Commerce Appropriations bill.
- The New York Times tallies the amount of fraud in relief spending after Hurricane Katrina and determine that 6 percent of the total money "obligated" was wasted. Continue reading
Rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region is proving especially costly thanks to a dysfunctional contracting system. To understand how taxpayer money is wasted Reuters asks the key question, “How many contractors does it take to haul a pile of tree branches?” The answer: “at least four: a contractor, his subcontractor, the subcontractor's subcontractor, and finally, the local man with a truck and chainsaw.” If you want to get a roof patched you are going to need to get six contractors: “At the bottom tier is a Spanish-speaking crew making less than 10 cents for every square foot of tarpaulin installed. At the top, the prime contractor bills the government 15 times as much for the same job.” Watchdog groups and the Government Accountability Office have criticized the process claiming that it has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars while the smaller subcontractors are being cheated by the large contractors.Continue reading