The latest iteration of USASpending.gov, which combines all the virtues of clunky design with the frustrations of diminished functionality, is a reminder for this writer of the early days of the Sunlight Foundation.Continue reading
NPR: Charges against Stevens dropped
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
Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Stevens Trial?
The Washington Post reports that defense attorneys for Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, have accused prosecutors of withholding potentially exculpatory information. It appears that the judge hearing the case agrees:
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the powerful 40-year senator "would not be getting a fair trial if it were up to the government." He halted trial testimony so lawyers could prepare for a 4:30 p.m. hearing on motions to end the case or impose sanctions on the government.
The indictment against Stevens seemed weak -- arguing that Stevens had failed to disclose information about his residence on ...Continue reading
Lack of residential disclosure a problem for another member of Congress
Another reason why we need members of Congress to disclose information on their residences:
Rep. Robert Wexler is renting a home in his congressional district to quell criticism that his main residence is in the Washington suburbs.
Wexler said in a statement Tuesday that he knew some constituents were concerned after he said last week he hadn't had a South Florida home in 11 years. Wexler, his wife and three children have a home in Potomac, Md. Wexler uses his in-laws' house in a Florida retirement community to meet residency requirements.
Not quite as dramatic as the Stevens case ...Continue reading
More on Stevens’ earmarks
The Washington Post notes that Alaskans are fretting the potential fallout of the indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, for not disclosing more than $250,000 in gifts from VECO Corp. Taxpayers for Common Sense sums it up more succinctly:
Taxpayers for Common Sense has released the last four years of earmark data for Alaska to help create an understanding of how powerful Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) has remained as an appropriator. The new research has found that Senator Stevens has secured or played a significant role in securing more than 891 earmarks worth $3.2 billion, which comes to ...Continue reading