GOP Leaders Boost Pressure on Ney
"With three weeks still left before Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) officially pleads guilty to a pair of federal charges, House Republican leaders on Wednesday stepped up their public calls for the embattled lawmaker to resign from the chamber immediately.
"While House Majority Leader John Boehner (R) remained reluctant to pressure his fellow Ohioan to step down from his post â and Democrats so far have stopped short of pushing an expulsion resolution on the House floor â Boehnerâs fellow leaders were far more definitive in their statements. " (Roll Call) (sub. req.)
Some Blame Rehab Center for Hampering Ney's Resignation
Republicans are calling for Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) to resign before he appears in court next month, but some fear his enrollment in a treatment facility for alcohol abuse might prevent the congressman from heeding those calls. . . .
"[Rep. Deborah] Pryce [(R-OH)] and others have suggested Neyâs enrollment in a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse prevents members and staff from contacting him while he is admitted." (The Hill)
HP CEO Allowed 'Sting' of Reporter
"Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive Mark V. Hurd approved an elaborate "sting" operation on a reporter in February in an attempt to plug leaks to the media, according to an e-mail message sent by HP Chairman Patricia C. Dunn.
"The document, one of more than two dozen e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, for the first time links Hurd to an internal investigation of media leaks that has led to criminal probes and will be the subject of a congressional hearing next week.
"Internal e-mails show senior HP employees who were given the task of identifying anonymous news sources concocted a fictitious, high-level HP tipster who sent bogus information to a San Francisco reporter in an attempt to trick her into revealing her sources....
"As the project evolved, [HP senior counsel Kevin Hunsaker] and Anthony Gentilucci, an HP global investigations manager in Boston, began to refine Jacob's character. 'I think we have to figure out who Jacob [the fictitious tipster] is, weak, strong, vindictive, a Bill and Dave fan, possibly lower level employee . . . will dictate the tone of the e-mail,' Gentilucci wrote on Jan. 28." (WaPo)
Internal EPA Papers Fuel Whitman's Critics
"Christie Todd Whitman, while head of the federal EPA, 'conspired' to falsely reassure the public that the air around Ground Zero was safe to breath, according to critics and bombshell new documents.
"In 2003, Whitman's then-spokeswoman, Tina Kreisher, was asked by an Environmental Protection Agency internal investigator 'whether there was a conscious effort to reassure the public [in the fall of 2001].
"'Ms. Kreisher said there was such an effort. This emphasis 'came from the administrator [Whitman] and the White House,'' according to newly released quotes from EPA papers." (NY Post)
Ex-Ethics Official Sees No Conflict in Lease Deal
"A former Democratic lawyer for the House ethics committee said Tuesday she would have advised Bob Menendez, then a member of the House, in 1994 that leasing property he owned in Union City to a federally funded Head Start office was not a conflict of interest.
"Ellen L. Weintraub, who is now a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, also said it would not be a conflict under House rules for a member of Congress to advocate for and vote for federal funding for an organization to which he rented office space, unless there was a specific provision that benefited only that member of Congress." (The Bergen [N.J.] Record)
Nomination on Hold for Public Broadcasting Board
"Television sitcom producer Warren Bell's appointment to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting appears in jeopardy after the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday abruptly pulled him from a nomination hearing scheduled for today. . . .
"Bell, executive producer and show-runner of ABC's "According to Jim," was tapped by President Bush in June to serve on the board of the private, nonprofit corporation that distributes federal funds to local public television and radio stations. . . .
"In a letter sent Tuesday to the committee's ranking members, a married writing-and-producing team that worked with Bell for two years on 'According to Jim' stated that they often heard him say that federal money should not be 'wasted' on programs like public broadcasting.
"Jeffrey B. Hodes and Nastaran Dibai said the topic came up during political discussions that frequently arose in the show's Studio City production offices. They served as executive producers on the ABC comedy before leaving in 2005.
"At one point, 'We said to him, "How would you change CPB?"' Hodes said in an interview. 'He said, "I would dismantle it."'
"Another former writer on 'According to Jim,' who declined to be named out of fear his comments could jeopardize his employment in the industry, said he also heard Bell make a similar remark.
"Bell rejected their accounts." (LATimes)