- James Tobin, a former Republican National Committee official, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for his role in jamming the phones of the New Hampshire Democratic Party on election day of 2002, according to the Associated Press.
- The Hill reports that Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is being accused of forcing his staff to do volunteer work for his son, Joe Baca Jr., in a local California race. Baca previously caused a split in the CHC - six members quit the group's PAC - after he used the caucus' PAC money to fund the campaigns of two sons, Joe Jr. and Jeremy Baca.
- The Senate Indian Affairs Committee report on Jack Abramoff's bilking of Indian tribes is due out "sometime in June at the earliest", according to Roll Call. The report will not have any new relevations but will focus on "the money trail out of the tribes and into Abramoff and Scanlon’s complicated web of lobbying, consulting and PR firms, along with numerous nonprofits." The report will also make a number of suggested reforms and policies to keep a future Washington go-getter with the cupidity of a Jack Abramoff or Michael Scanlon from so easily gaming the system.
When Tom DeLay (R-TX) stated that he would file an ethics complaint against Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) I thought that this was probably one of the more absurd moments in the history of this recent Congress. But now Roll Call reports on something that is even more absurd:
In the irony-on-steroids category, guess who was defending his graduate thesis on Congressional ethics Monday? Cover your eyes and guess, then sit down for the answer. It was Michael Scanlon. Yes, that Michael Scanlon, the one who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His topic, as Scanlon himself confirmed, was an “evaluative history of the House ethics process.” ... Our source says Scanlon got up and gave a roughly one-sentence introduction of his thesis before taking questions from the four faculty members and nine other students in the room. He says Scanlon talked about the House ethics committee and argued that the “system now is not broken, but functioning in the same manner it has since its creation.” Scanlon essentially argued that the House ethics process is “political in nature” and that Members were never expected to do a very good job at policing each other, the source says.Scanlon, when asked why he was getting his master's at such a "precarious" time in his life, responded that he finished his master's six years ago but didn't get around to arguing his thesis until now. Hmmm...six years ago. What happened to Michael Scanlon almost exactly six years ago? Oh yeah, Scanlon left Tom DeLay's office in April 2000 to work for Jack Abramoff. Bad idea. Continue reading