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The Daily Muck

Where Does A 50-Pound Loudmouth Vote? Wherever She Wants

Ann Coulter's under scrutiny for voting in Palm Beach County, Fla., recently, when she should have been voting in her home precinct of St. Edward's. (Palm Beach Post)

CA Lawmaker Aids Friend By Closing Local Airport

Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) inserted a provision in a bill to close the Rialto, Calif. airport, apparently in the aid of a friend and contributor who plans to develop the land underneath it. (The Hill)

In FL, Possible Harris GOP Challenger Bows Out

Tom Rooney, a GOP favorite to take Rep. Katherine Harris' (R-FL) spot on the GOP ticket in the 2006 Florida Senate race, has removed his hat from the ring. (Palm Beach Post)

Think Tank Collusion With Abramoff Greater Than Previously Reported

In its maiden outing, Slate's new "Hot Documents" feature treats us to a series of emails between Jack Abramoff, his associates, and Amy Ridenour, head of a nonprofit which wrote and placed op-eds favorable to Abramoff's clients. (Slate)

Another Senator in a Junket Jam

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) is reviewing his records to determine whether a lobbyist paid for a $25,000 Ireland trip he took with four other GOP lawmakers. Smith was prompted to review the papers because the The Hill newspaper beat him to it, reporting on the apparent violation of lobbying rules Wednesday. (AP)

LA Lawmaker, Target of Fed Probe, Sells House

Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) is selling his Capitol Hill home. His office insists it has no connection to the Justice Department inquiry into his questionable dealings. Asking price in the high $700s, or whatever Jim Ryun (R-KS) offers. (Roll Call)

Pentagon: $20 Sounds Like Too Much for Ice Cube Tray -- Until You've Tried It
The Department of Defense is defending its new acquisition program, under which it has paid exorbitant amounts for common household items: 20 dollars for an 89-cent ice cube tray, or 89 dollars for a 30-dollar coffee maker. (Knight-Ridder)

Group Fingers Cheney, Lawmakers for Pushing Faulty Water Project

A D.C.-based watchdog group says Vice President Cheney and four California lawmakers improperly used their influence to push forward a controversial water project on the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite environmental concerns, the officials pushed government to give the project a pass, and award one company a no-bid contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (Raw Story)

Tough Sledding for NY's Sweeney
Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) is fielding uncomfortable questions about a recent ski trip he took, paid for by the New York Power Authority. (Albany Times-Union)

Abramoff Sentenced to 5 Years, 10 Months

As I said yesterday, this was only for the wire fraud case in Florida related to his purchase of SunCruz casino boats in 2000. The big sentencing, for bribery, tax evasion, and defrauding his tribal clients, is still to come. When he does get sentenced, Abramoff will utlimately face a total of 9 1/2 years to 11 years. He won't actually enter prison for another 6 months. (AP, Roll Call, NYT, WaPo, The Hill)

Reform

The Senate passed their lobbying reform bill today. The short version - it's weak. It passed overwhelmingly, 90-8. See the coverage for the specifics. (AP, Roll Call, KR, NYT, USA Today, WaPo)

The Hill reports that House Republicans are suffering internal tensions over reform. And they've decided not to have 527 reform as part of their lobbying reform bill. (The Hill)

McKinney Punches D.C. Cop

As told by Hotline:

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) punched a U.S. Capitol Police officer today after he mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal detector.

Members are not required to pass through metal detectors and the officer, manning a position at Longworth House Office Building, apparently did not recognize McKinney and didn't see her Member pin.

The officer called out "Ma'am, Ma'am," in an attempt to stop her.

When the officer caught up to McKinney, he grabbed her by the arm.

McKinney pulled her arm away, swung around, cell phone in hand, and punched the officer square in the chest, according to the witness.

(Hotline)

McKinney's chief explanation seems to be that she was in a hurry on her way to a meeting. (USA Today, Roll Call, The Hill)

Covered Yesterday

Wednesday was Howard Kaloogian Day. Josh first posted on it last night here, then here, here, here, here, and here. See our coverage beginning here, and going on to here, here, here, here, here, and here.

See papers' coverage of the Kaloogian affair at the NYT, SDUT, and Newsweek.

Late Update: An earlier version of this post reported Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) faced questions over a ski trip paid for by 'special interests,' but did not identify the group. It was the New York Power Authority.