Sen. Ted Stevens testified that he and his wife had "lots of things in our house that don't belong to us" in his trial on charges that he'd failed to report tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from an Alaskan company that sought his favor; he was found guilty, but charged prosecutorial misconduct (claims that seemed to have merit). Now NPR reports that the Justice Department it will drop all charges against Stevens:
Holder's decision is said to be based on Stevens' age " he's 85 " and because Stevens is no longer in the Senate ...Continue reading
"History teaches us that an outlay of so much money in such a short period of time will inevitably attract those seeking to profit criminally," the Hill quotes Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, saying.
It will also attract lobbyists, the members of Congress they enlist in their causes, special interests and others seeking to profit legally from the funds.
Via Instapundit.Continue reading
Put another way, Main Street's gloom has been K Street's boon," write Ellen Nakashima and Brady Dennis. The first quarter ends tomorrow; lobbyists don't have to disclose how much of a boom it's been until April 20.Continue reading
Jennifer Haberkorn reports in the Washington Times:
The message in the Nov. 17, 2006, e-mail from Joseph Cassano, AIG Financial Products chief executive, was unmistakable: Mr. Dodd was "next in line" to be chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees the insurance industry, and he would "have the opportunity to set the committee's agenda on issues critical to the financial services industry.
"Given his seniority in the Senate, he will also play a key role in the Democratic Majority's leadership," Mr. Cassano wrote in the message, obtained by The Washington Times.
Mr. Dodd ...Continue reading
The New York Times reports:
...many on Capitol Hill, recalling the scandal that mushroomed around the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, are wondering who else will be ensnared in the investigation as prosecutors pore over the financial records and computer files of one of K Street's most influential lobbyists, known both for the billions of dollars in earmarks he obtained for his clients and for his open hand toward those he sought to influence.
Former PMA staff members familiar with the inquiry say prosecutors' initial questions have focused on the possibility that Mr. Magliocchetti used straw campaign contributors " a Florida sommelier ...Continue reading
I like the concept behind what appears to be a new Washington Examiner feature called "Dirty Money" (you can see the latest installment here; I can't seem to find a page where previous installments are archived). I'm not a hundred percent certain though of their methodology of determining why certain contributions are dirty--if it's merely a company or organization that had employees or members who've committed crimes (embezzlement is one listed), that doesn't necessarily seem to taint the organization's donations. I think a little more context is needed to determine whether the employees were ...Continue reading
Yesterday, we learned from the Chicago Tribune that Freddie Mac documents are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act because they contain or might compromise commercial information--that is, the proprietary insider information of a private company. Today, in the Washington Post, we learn that that private company was pressured to withhold negative information it was obligated to disclose under SEC rules. It seems that following government policy will adversely affect its bottom line, and the firm wanted to tell its remaining shareholders that.
Federal officials who took over Freddie Mac stopped short of nationalizing the company, leaving it partly ...Continue reading
Bob Secter and Andrew Zajac of the Chicago Tribune report that, while researching what went at Freddie Mac during the period White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac, they were unable to get minutes of board meetings and other information:
The Obama administration rejected a Tribune request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel's time as a director. The documents, obtained by Falcon for his investigation, were "commercial information" exempt from disclosure, according to a lawyer for the Federal Housing Finance ...Continue reading
How did I miss this?
Discovery should be pretty interesting.
I don't seem to be able to post the document, but this quote is interesting:
Since the 1980s, United Guaranty has used a delegated model for underwriting. Underwriting is the process whereby an insurer determines the risk associated with a loan and decides whether to offer insurance. Under the delegated model, United Guaranty does not underwrite each loan itself. Instead, it relies on the lender to accurately represent information on the loans to be insured. For example, the lender may represent that the loans satisfy certain underwriting guidelines such ...Continue reading
A colleague emailed this link with a subject line reading "Crazy! Non-profit papers?"
I wonder if AIG bonus recipients would care to advise newspapers of how calm and dispassionate members of Congress can be when they are legitimately criticized for their own actions. I wonder what the first newspaper whose specially conferred tax exempt status would be revoked, or threatened to be revoked. How many editors would be called on the carpet at congressional hearings and asked whether their columnists weren't intervening in political campaigns by criticizing incumbents?
Don't get me wrong--I think non-profit journalism is part of ...Continue reading