UPDATE: Stevens unmasks himself! Looks like there will be no surprises in the search for the "secret hold" Senator. A consensus is forming that the chief suspect, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), is blocking the "Google for government contracts" bill out of revenge for Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) successful campaign to defeat the "Bridge to Nowhere". The guys at TPM Muckraker, and a helpful reader, have pulled up a Fort Smith (Ark.) Times Record article from Aug. 18th which labels Stevens as the holder. Coburn also accuses Stevens of being the holder. Over at Redstate diarist Erick writes, "Last week, I called every senator's office," except for the five chief cosponsors, and "only one would not give me a definitive "no."" That office was Sen. Stevens' office.Continue reading
It’s Friday. There’s plenty of news in the air, but most of it on subjects – like the disintegrating Middle East – that don’t relate directly to money and politics. So it’s time for some end-of-the-week miscellany. Let’s start with polls.
Beware early polls – especially generic ones. The AP has a story today on an Associated Press-Ipsos Poll that shows that “Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule.”Continue reading
- The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the investigation into the bribery allegations against Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) is moving along as a Virginia court has subpoenaed records from “a law firm where one of the congressman's daughters once worked”. The judge also delayed the sentencing of Jefferson’s former aide Brent Pfeffer, who pleaded guilty to “aiding and abetting the solicitation of bribes” and implicated Jefferson as demanding bribes from technology firms.
- According to the Associated Press, Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and the Missouri House Democratic Congressional Committee are being fined for “various campaign finance violations.” The State Ethics commission found that the committee “failed to file proper financial reports and mixed money with another campaign committee” during the 2002 campaign and the Carnahan “signed checks for the committee that he wasn't authorized to.”
- Barbara Bush’s donation to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund was earmarked for her son Neil’s technology firm Ignite!, according to the Houston Chronicle.
- Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) is warning his constituents that earmarks are under attack and that Alaska risks losing its share of federal money, according to the Associated Press.
- Bloomberg reports on the attempt to attach 527-reform to the lobbying and ethics reform legislation.
- Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times goes down to the Duke Cunningham auction and exposes what Cunningham bought with all of that dirty money. Morrison is disappointed: “You sell out your career, your reputation and your freedom, and this is your asking price?”
In the middle of the reform push in Washington, where lawmakers are banning staff from accepting meals and treats from lobbyists and leadership PACs are releasing their lobbyist treasurers, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Ted Stevens (R-AK) is set to hold a lavish lobbyist fundraiser at the headquarters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for his leadership PAC. Of the 44 members of the host committee, one is not a lobbyist. Sen. John Ensign recently held his own fundraiser for his re-election campaign at the NRSC headquarters. As Robert Novak writes in the Arizona National Ledger, “This is money-raising season, with a lobbyist-run event nearly every day.”Continue reading