- Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) likes to spend his campaign cash on himself, according to Harpers.org. Over the past eight years Weldon has spent $80,000 of his campaign funds on meals, $30,000 on hotels, purchased a personal computer, and went to a number of spas, to name just a few of Weldon's indulgences.
- Ken Silverstein also has more (see updates) at Harpers.org on Shirlington Limousines, the limousine company that allegedly delivered members of Congress, defense and CIA officials, and prostitutes to "hospitality suites". TPM Muckraker has more updates on this "play for pay" scandal. You can read it here, here, and here. Josh Marshall also has more here.
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) after a second associate of Jefferson's pled guilty yesterday, according to MyDD. Of course, a member of Congress has to refer Jefferson to the ethics committee since outside complaints are not allowed to be considered anymore. Somebody? Anybody? (crickets chirping)
- Out of touch Representative of the day: Mary Bono (R-CA). (from Raw Story)
Ken Silverstein at Harpers.org provides more info on Shirlington Limousine and their government contracts. Shirlington received a number of government contracts that total $25 million. Also, Silverstein reports that, "The limo company does business under at least four different names; in addition, the office addresses listed on its business filings regularly change. A number of those office addresses are actually at residential buildings or business suites, and calls to the listed phone numbers are taken by an answering service." This sounds a lot like how Brent Wilkes' operated - the creation of shell companies, front companies with no address and voice recordings.Continue reading
- Josh Marshall looks into how Shirlington Limousines came to be connected to alleged-briber Brent Wilkes. The "missing link" appears to be former Rep. Bill Lowery (R-CA), who is now a lobbyist with close ties to Appropriations chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA).
- Following the money doesn't have to be limited to politics and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has shown how to follow the money in the religious arena.
- Captain Ed is disheartened by the failure of Coburn's amendments to strip pork from the emergency supplemental. When talking about the Northrop Grumman earmark he asks the question that we all have in our head when thinking this, "Why does a corporation that made $2.4 billion in profit need another $200 million from American taxpayers to cover a loss they've absorbed in that same year?" Amen.
- citizen dc at Daily Kos writes about Karl Rove's "unexplained personal wealth". It is quite strange that a man who doesn't make so much money happens to own million dollar homes. Continue reading
Matt Yglesias at TAPPED makes a simple but important point:
One of the quirks of American society is that this is the kind of country where an intelligence official can admit to having partied with defense contractors known to bribe public officials in exchange for defense and intelligence contracts while simultaneously insisting that any allegations that prostitutes were involved is "false, outrageous and irresponsible." But though the hooker angle obviously sexes the story up for media consumption, what does it matter? Commercial sex hardly seems more wrongful than public corruption. And yet, all anyone wants to do is beat the hooker rap.Continue reading
CIA Number 3 Involved in Play-for-Pay Scandal?:
The Wall Street Journal reports today that the CIA has confirmed that K. Dusty Foggo, Executive Director of the CIA, attended "poker games in Washington, D.C., hotel hospitality suites, the use of which is the focus of a federal criminal investigation." Foggo admits to being at the poker games but denies that anything else took place. Allegations have swirled over the past week that lawmakers and CIA and Defense Department officials were using the "hospitality suites" - paid for by defense contractor Brent Wilkes - to rendevous with prostitutes. The allegations come out of a plea deal in the Duke Cunningham bribery case. Foggo stated that any accusation levied at him that involved prostitutes would be "false, outrageous and irresponsible." Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker points out that Foggo has "ties to Wilkes that go back more than 30 years, and have stretched as far as Central America and the Middle East."Continue reading
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