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Perry Stein

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Perry

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Monday he would release his hold on the pending nomination of FBI director, James Comey. In a statement on his website, Paul said he opted to release the hold since the FBI responded Monday to his questions on the domestic use of surveillance drones.  

Paul had last written the FBI on July 25 asking about the agency's policy on using drones on American soil.

Stephen Kell, assistant director at the FBI's Office of Congressional Affairs, responded, saying the FBI does not necessarily need a warrant to deploy the technology.

While Paul said in his statement that while he did not agree with this interpretation, he would release the hold since he received a response. The Senate is taking a cloture vote on Comey's nomination Monday afternoon.  

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) gave an emotional speech on the Senate floor Monday in honor of retired Col. George "Bud" Day, who died over the weekend at the age of 88. Day was a close friend of McCain and was the senator's former Vietnam War cellmate.

Watch his speech below:

 

The firm appointed by the state to represent Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has billed the state $53,530 from late April through May 31 for legal work related to a criminal case alleging embezzlement by the former chef at the governor's mansion, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday.

The attorney general's office appointed the Eckert Seamans firm because Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) said he had a conflict of interest in the case. 

The chef, Todd Schneider, faces four felony charges for allegedly stealing food from the kitchen. But he said in court papers that McDonnell required him to cater private events and take the items he's accused of stealing as payment. He also said McDonnell family members took items from the kitchen.

This post has been updated.

Sixty percent of San Diegans believe that Mayor Bob Filner should be recalled if he does not resign, according to a 10News/U-T San Diego poll released Sunday. 

Seven women have publicly accused the current mayor and former congressman of sexual harassment. Filner has said he has no plans of stepping down, but announced Friday he was checking into therapy for two weeks on Aug. 5.

A total of 67 percent of San Diego respondents believe Filner should resign, while 22 percent think he should stay in office. Eleven percent were unsure. 

The city has banned Filner from private meetings with women and the poll asked whether this would affect his ability to run the city. 

Sixty-eight percent said it would, 28 percent said no and 4 percent said they were unsure. 

The poll surveyed 700 San Diego adults and had a margin of error of about plus or minus 3.7 percent. 

 

The monumental green paint mystery lives on.

Green paint was found in a lower level chapel in the National Cathedral this afternoon, a spokesperson confirmed to the Washington City Paper. 

The incident follows reports of splattered green paint on the statue of Joseph Henry across from the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall. These vandalizations could be linked to last week's paint found on the Lincoln Memorial, City Paper reported.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said Sunday that it should "find alternative ways to deter sexual and lewd activity from our parks" in response to a damning report over the weekend, which detailed how police used a struck-down anti-sodomy law to arrest at least a dozen men at parks who discussed or agreed to have consensual sex with undercover agents. 

“The Sheriff’s Office has not, nor will it ever, set out with the intent to target or embarrass any part of our law-abiding community,” the Sheriff’s Office statement said, according to the The Advocate newspaper, which published the original article.  “We will consult with others in the legislative and judicial branches to see what can be done to remove this law from the criminal code that each deputy receives and to also find alternative ways to deter sexual and lewd activity from our parks."

 

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, denounced Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' law Monday, saying it allowed her son's killer to "get away with murder."

“The thing about this law is I just think it assisted the person who killed my son to get away with murder,” she said at a National Bar Association event in Miami Beach, according to the Miami Herald. “I think we have to change these laws so people don’t get away with murder.”  

A number of critics of the law, most notably Stevie Wonder, have called for boycotting the state until the legislature changes the self-defense law. Fulton would not endorse the boycott, however.

“I can’t say that I’m in support of it, but not in support of it,” she said. “But I think people have a right to free speech. And if that’s their way of showing how they feel, to express themselves about the verdict, then I think that’s something they can do.”

 

Former Obama adviser Robert Gibbs suggested Monday that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) should step down from his post in favor of a "caretaker" governor until the upcoming election.  

“I think at some point, you begin to really and truly ask the question, that is it time for Gov. McDonnell to step aside, honestly? We’ve had this drip, drip, drip of embarrassing allegations. And I say embarrassing, I don’t know if $120,000 in unreported loans, that should be probably worth larger than embarrassment on this,” Gibbs was quoted by Politico saying on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Gibbs' comments come in the wake of a new Washington Post report that found his wife, Maureen McDonnell, spent nearly $10,000 from the Republican governor’s PAC on clothing, which, while unusual, is legal under Virginia's lax campaign finance laws.

“The Virginia Legislature should close that loophole, uh, yesterday,” Gibbs said.

 

The latest chapter in the Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) saga contnued this weekend following reports that his wife spent nearly $10,000 in clothing with money from her husband's political action committee, including siphoning money from his campaign and inaugural funds to buy $7,600 worth of various items, according to the Washington Post.

While the spending is unusual, it is technically legal under the state's lax campaign finance laws.

News of Maureen McDonnell's spending comes while the governor is already in the media spotlight for accepting lavish gifts and $120,000 in loans from a wealthy political donor, whose business is being investigated for its ties to the McDonnell's. 

TPMLivewire