Probe Moves Closer to DeLay
Federal prosecutors are moving up the food chain to Tom DeLay, as signified by Tony Rudy’s plea agreement Friday. Roll Call notes that Rudy, a former DeLay aide, shares his lawyer with former colleague Ed Buckham, who Rudy’s plea implicates. “They were Batman and Robin. Tony didn’t do anything without Buckham’s say-so. … Buckham was Batman,” the NY Daily News quotes an unnamed source. Interesting to see how long the dynamic duo uses the same Bat-Lawyer. (Roll Call, NY Daily News)McKinney: I Hit Cop in Self-Defense
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) “was assaulted and placed in impending fear of her safety and she responded,” her lawyer said Friday. McKinney held a press conference that evening, insisting that “this whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black Congresswoman. I deeply regret this incident occurred and I am certain after a full review of the facts, I will be exonerated.” (Roll Call)
Abramoff: When Despair and History Rhyme
The New York Times gives us a rare treat: a poem, “Jack’s House,” about the current Congressional bribery scandals. A sample:
This is DeLay,/
Who built the machine/
That redrew the districts/
And raised the green,/
That decided the races/
That claimed the new seats,/
That made the new friends/
That owned luxury suites,/
That held big galas/
That brought the donations/
That helped him to greet/
The great Coushatta Nation!
DeLay Gives Prosecutors 1,000 Emails
Late last year, Tom DeLay turned over 1,000 emails (dating back to ’98) to federal prosecutors in order to show his willingness to cooperate. The emails weren’t subpoenaed – according to DeLay’s lawyer, they were offered willingly, as a “Christmas present.” I’m not sure what to make of it, except that it’s a reasonable assumption they were eventually going to be subpoenaed anyway. (Newsweek)
Abramoff and Guam
Jack Abramoff did his damndest to sink the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Guam’s 1998 election – this detail was buried in the Wall Street Journal’s piece on Friday about Michael Scanlon* and his jilted fiance, Emily Miller. Guam’s press picks it up in a story today. The plan was to use Tom DeLay to incite a corruption investigation of the candidate, thus leaving the Republican candidate the only one left standing. DeLay aides Rudy and Michael Scanlon dutifully followed through with a letter calling for an investigation, but it didn’t work – the Democratic candidate went on to win. (WSJ, Guampdn)
Ed Buckham – Picking Up Business
Ed Buckham’s business was access to DeLay, and the Houston Chronicle uncovers two prime examples of Buckham getting business at a DeLay Fundraiser in spring of 2002. Two clients (one of them Brent Wilkes, the defense contractor of Duke Cunningham’s who hasn’t pled guilty) showed up and before they knew what’d happened, they’d written big checks to DeLay’s various political committees and signed up Buckham as their lobbyist. And in return – they got to play golf with DeLay. And maybe a little something more. (HC)
Conrad Burns Parts with His Last Abramoff Penny
There, will you leave him alone now? Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) announced back in December that he would return all $150,000 of the donations he’d received from Jack Abramoff’s tribal clients. Well, it took him awhile – as one would expect, since he’d received the most of any member of Congress. But he’s finally completed the task. (Missoulian)
Katherine Harris – Scenes from the Meltdown, Continued
The AP follows up on Saturday’s report in the Orlando Sentinel of the coming defections from her campaign. They (a top adviser, campaign manager, and communications director) left. Harris is trying to spin her way through, saying that she’ll announces the new hires early this week: “‘We are stronger as a campaign today than we were yesterday,’ Harris said in a press release.” (AP, OS)
McDermott – Boehner Suit Isn’t Personal
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), who recently lost an appeals decision concerning Maj. Leader John Boeher’s (R-OH) lawsuit against him, says that the dispute is about free speech. A Florida couple intercepted** a call (then turned it over to McDermott) between then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and other Republicans during which Gingrich and other leaders discussed PR strategy following an ethics committee decision against him. Gingrich had told the ethics committee that he would do no such thing.
In any case, the House ethics committee is rousing from its hibernation to go after McDermott. (AP, Raw Story)
Defense Contractors – Waste & Bribes
There’s been a run of bad stories lately for defense contractors. Tom Paine gives a rundown. (TP)
Time gives a quick rundown of the pathetic lobbying reform bills coming out of the House and Senate. And Roll Call weighs in on how the House Ethics Committee – which briefly contemplated functioning — has since retreated again into ineffectiveness. (Time, Roll Call)
Covered This Weekend
Treasury Probing Thomas “Coingate” Noe’s Activity at U.S. Mint…(link)
For our coverage of former DeLay aide Tony Rudy’s guilty plea, click here.
Our Kaloogian coverage is here.
Katherine Harris Campaign Imploding…(link)
Grover Norquist’s non-profit Americans for Tax Reform Exposed as Lobbying Front…(link)
Cops Have History of Mistaking Rep. Cynthia McKinney (R-GA)…(link)
*Ed Note: We wrongly stated that Emily Miller was Tony Rudy’s fiance. She was Michael Scanlon’s.
**Ed Note: We wrongly stated that Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) had been the one to intercept the call.