Tribe Gives Burns' Dirty Money Back
Back in 2003, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) worked awful hard to make sure that Michigan's Saginaw Chippewa (an Abramoff client) got $3 million in federal funding to build a school. But did they appreciate it? No. They've given the money back. (WaPo)
AT&T: Let Your Government Do The Listening
A whistleblower from AT&T has come forward with what his supporters say is evidence that the communications giant illegally cooperated with the NSA's domestic spying efforts. (Cnet News)
She said she wanted to "express again my sincere regret. . . . There should not have been any physical contact. . . . I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all, and I regret its escalation. And I apologize."
In Montana, Dem Senate Hopeful Admits: I Was Acute Part of Sleazy Love Triangle
Montana State Auditor John Morrison, a leading Democratic challenger to Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), admitted he had an affair with a woman engaged to a man targeted by his office for investigation.
Morrison was apparently knocking boots with a woman named Suzanne Harding, who was engaged to Brett Tacke. Morrison's office pegged Tacke for skimming money from his clients; during the investigation, Morrison admitted to talking with Harding at least twice by telephone. (Tacoma News Tribune)
Chris Cilizza points to a little noticed provision in the 527 reform bill passed by the House on Wednesday that would allow parties to pour more money into individual campaigns. (The Fix)
Among other changes approved yesterday, a House committee voted to strip members of their pensions if they violate rules or laws regarding contact with lobbyists. (AP)
The Dem candidate Nick Lampson called for an early special election today, but it turns out that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) won't call one after all. The seat will sit empty - a move that will definitely benefit Republicans, since Lampson has $2 million on hand, and could make a strong run at a hasty election. (The Fix, AP)
House GOPers smarted from DeLay's parting shot at them yesterday, when he said they lacked an agenda. "I think he meant to say 'Democrats' not 'Republicans,' because Democrats lack an agenda," said Ron Bonjean, spokesman for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL). You can tell they're hurting, because Bonjean's usually a lot more clever in his pithy sound bites. (Washington Times)
The Pharmaceutical Industry Invests in States
Sort of. The industry spent $44 million lobbying the states over 2003 and 2004, according to a new report from the Center for Public Integrity. The also spent big in state elections. See how much drug industry money went into your state. (CPI)
Muck and The Christian Right
U.S. News reports on the murmurings of certain conservatives who have reservations about wholeheartedly backing pols like Tom DeLay, who face serious criminal allegations. Ralph Reed and Claude Allen both also get a special mention as prime examples of hypocrisy. (US News)
Jeb Bush: Harris Campaign "Struggling"
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush admitted yesterday that Rep. Katherine Harris' (R-FL) Senate campaign is "struggling." "I am the party leader. I've got concerns," he told a reporter. Indeed. (AP)
Citizens against Government Waste have produced their "Pig Book," which gives a rundown on the pork coming out of Congress. The verdict: spending has gone up 6 percent to $29 billion. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Panel has said that the number and the cost of earmarks have gone down - "the House approved $17 billion in earmarks, down from a total of $19.8 billion in the previous fiscal year."
There seems to be some discrepancy as to what constitutes pork - the group has included more than just earmarks - it's any spending that Congress has passed not requested by the President. (Reuters, Roll Call)
Bob Ney - Dead Man Running
In comparing Bob Ney with Tom DeLay, two Republicans with the law bearing down on them, Cilizza concludes that Ney is actually more vulnerable to losing the election in November. He's trailing Democratic candidates in the polls. But first, he faces a Republican primary in May against a relatively weak opponent. (The Fix)
In Other Muck
Three county election workers in Ohio have been indicted for fudging a sample recount - according to a special prosecutor, they did this to avoid a hand recount...(Plain Dealer)
The Small Business Association is in hot water because some of its employees asked interest groups to pressure Congress. Federal law prohibits government employees from lobbying. (Seattle P-I)
The Doyle Scandal - it's possible national security ramifications...(link)
Bush's Secret Declassification...(link)
Libby's Testimony about Bush and the NIE...(link)
The Magical Lapel Pin Security System...(link)
Curt Weldon's Family Connections...(link)
National Journal - Libby Leaked with Permission...(link)