The Daily Muck

GOP Sen Candidate Mike McGavick Gave Misleading DUI Account
“McGavick, on his web site and in an interview, gave a vague account of the incident that omitted details showing how intoxicated he was….

“‘During processing (at the police station), McGavick fell asleep,’ the officer wrote [in the police report].McGavick acknowledged in an interview last week that he blew 0.17 on a blood alcohol test, which was well above Maryland’s then-standard of intoxication of 0.1 (it is now .08). The police report said his intoxication level was that high even though he wasn’t given the test until 83 minutes after he was arrested.” (Seattle PI)Rove and Abramoff Had Secret Meetings
“The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power [by reporters James Moore and Wayne Slater] … alleges that Rove held streetcorner meetings with fallen superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, knowing that all visits and phones calls to the White House were logged. Abramoff recently pleaded guilty to tax fraud and conspiring to bribe members of Congress.

“‘When the latest sidewalk strategy session with Karl Rove had concluded, Jack Abramoff settled into the backseat of his chauffeur-driven car,’ Moore and Slater write on page 9. ”Like I said, everything that comes out of the White House is logged in. The phone calls he makes. The phone calls he receives. So this is just easier.'” (Raw Story)

Study Finds Sharp Drop in the Number of Terrorism Cases Prosecuted
“The number of terrorism cases brought by the Justice Department, which surged in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has dropped sharply since 2002, and prosecutors are turning down hundreds of cases because of weak evidence and other legal problems, according to a study released Sunday.” (NY Times, WaPo, AP)

FBI Role in Terror Probe Questioned
“On June 23, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales held a news conference to announce the destruction of a terrorist cell inside the United States, hailing ‘our commitment to preventing terrorism through energetic law enforcement efforts aimed at detecting and thwarting terrorist acts.’

“But court records released since then suggest that what Gonzales described as a “deadly plot” was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own. The suspects have raised questions in court about the FBI informants’ role in keeping the plan alive.” (WaPo)

For Campaign Gimmick, Dems Stage Gas Giveaways; GOP Says Tactic is Illegal
“Democratic House challengers think they have found a clever way to harness voter anger over high gasoline prices: Sell it for less. But Republicans defending their seats in districts where Democrats have staged gas giveaways say the move is tantamount to vote buying.

“Rep. Ron Lewis (R-Ky.) asked the U.S. attorney in Louisville to investigate whether Democrat Mike Weaver’s recent cheap gas event in Elizabethtown, Ky., violated the criminal code.

“Weaver, a state Representative, filled motorists’ gas tanks for $1.20 per gallon, the price gasoline cost when Lewis was first elected to Congress in 1994. His campaign reimbursed the service station for the difference in cost, as gas is selling for about $3 per gallon nationally.

“It is a federal crime to ‘make an expenditure to any person, either to vote or withhold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate,’ according to the statute.” (Roll Call)

In Fla., GOP’s Harris Looks Like Primary Winner
“Disaster may not be too strong a word for Rep. Katherine Harris’ Senate campaign.

“Her makeup and formfitting clothes are mocked on national TV. Her flirty interview style embarrasses her campaign handlers. Staffers keep quitting in despair. . . .

“Yet, on the strength of her name recognition, Harris is expected to win Florida’s GOP Senate nomination on Tuesday, to the chagrin of many Republicans.” (AP)

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue Invests Close to Home
“Gov. Sonny Perdue bought about 100 acres next to his Houston County home in 2004 even though he has since expressed reluctance about buying land in Georgia while in office because critics would assail him over potential conflicts of interest.” (AJC)

Report: Government Secrecy Dips Slightly
“Federal officials unsealed more classified documents in 2005 but shrouded data elsewhere by claiming more legal privileges in court, a coalition of watchdog groups reported Saturday.

“The study by OpenTheGovernment.org shows modest improvement from record 2004 levels in which Americans were kept in the dark about information they should be able to access. Overall government secrecy remained high compared to previous years, it said.” (AP)

Govt. Asks to Keep Eavesdropping Program
“The Bush administration on Friday asked a federal judge to delay enforcing her order for a halt to the government’s warrantless communications surveillance program….

“U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled last month in Detroit that the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional and ordered that it be halted….

“The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit along with 11 other parties, will oppose a stay, but agreed to delay enforcement of the injunction until Taylor hears arguments Sept. 7.” (AP)

Dems Mull Next Move on Tarnished Bush Appointee
“Congressional Democrats are weighing their next move in the wake of a State Department inspector-general report alleging that the politically connected chief of the board that oversees the government’s foreign broadcast services misused government resources. Senate Dems could try to block Kenneth Y. Tomlinson’s reappointment, though Tomlinson told NEWSWEEK that allegations that he hired a friend on a lucrative consulting contract and used government facilities to run a racehorse stable are the product of a political vendetta.”

IRS Audits May Not Catch Wealthy Cheats
“The reason is that IRS auditors most often conduct audits of high-income taxpayers by correspondence, said a report by the Treasury office that oversees the tax collection agency’s operations. In those cases, the IRS sends letters to taxpayers asking them to verify information on their returns. Fewer audits actually require high-income taxpayers — those reporting $100,000 or more in income — to sit through intensive, face-to-face examinations.” (AP)

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley Asked Lobbyist Scanlon to Raise Money for GOP Group
“Gov. Bob Riley said he asked Choctaw Indian lobbyist Michael Scanlon to raise money for a Republican group before the 2002 election, but he never asked Scanlon to raise money for him.” (AP)

Bush Declares Eco-Whistleblower Law Void for EPA Employees
” The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for federal workers under the Clean Water Act, according to legal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result of an opinion issued by a unit within the Office of the Attorney General, federal workers will have little protection from official retaliation for reporting water pollution enforcement breakdowns, manipulations of science or cleanup failures.” (Yubanet)

U.N. Accuses Official of Corruption
“A United Nations investigation has concluded that a U.N. official took kickbacks such as low-cost apartments for steering lucrative contracts to a company from his native India.” (AP)

Official Who Spent Taxpayer Money on Expensive Wines, Meals, Hotel Rooms Praised by Postmaster General
“The U.S. Postmaster General John Potter praised his vice president of communications Azeezaly Jaffer upon his resignation shortly after an inspector general report revealed that Jaffer spent thousands of dollars in postal funds on extravagant meals and hotels.

“Potter said Jaffer ‘maintained a strong focus on public service in every position he has held,’ according to a June memo obtained by ABC News.” (The Blotter)

Army Official Recommends Court-Martial for Soldiers
“An Army investigator has recommended a general court-martial, on charges that could carry the death penalty, for four U.S. soldiers who killed three Iraqi detainees during a May raid, according to a copy of his findings made available to The Washington Post.” (WaPo)

Report Urges F.A.A. to Act Regarding False 9/11 Testimony
“The Transportation Department’s inspector general urged the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday to consider disciplinary action against two executives who failed to correct false information provided to the independent commission that investigated the Sept. 11 terror attacks.” (NY Times, AP)

New Questions About Inquiry in C.I.A. Leak
“Now, the question of whether Mr. Fitzgerald properly exercised his prosecutorial discretion in continuing to pursue possible wrongdoing in the case has become the subject of rich debate on editorial pages and in legal and political circles.” (NY Times)

Project Strikeback: FBI Looks into Financial Aid Applicants With The Help of Ed. Department
“The Federal Education Department shared personal information on hundreds of student loan applicants with the Federal Bureau of Investigation across a five-year period that began after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the agencies said yesterday.

“Under the program, called Project Strikeback, the Education Department received names from the F.B.I. and checked them against its student aid database, forwarding information. Each year, the Education Department collects information from 14 million applications for federal student aid.” (NY Times)

Supporters Won’t Take Credit for “Terri Schiavo Amendment”
“That ballot measure, also known as the “Terri Schiavo amendment,” would forbid family members or physicians, without exception, from taking people in extreme physical disability off life-support systems.

“When asked “Were you the one?” in regard to a range of key matters, all the players in this peculiar drama provided the same unsatisfactory response.

“‘Not me,’ said the two Omahans. ‘Not me,’ said the deep-pocketed backers in Chicago. ‘Not me,’ said the interest groups in New York and Virginia. ‘Not me,’ said the Michigan and California lawyers who drafted the ballot language. ‘Not me,’ said the Wisconsin woman who ran the petition-collection efforts. ‘Not me,’ said the activist who heads a Montana-based group that served as the financial conduit for the petition drive.” (Omaha World-Herald)

Rhode Island AG Criticized for Donations
“Rhode Island’s attorney general accepted campaign donations from a lobbyist and a lawyer for DuPont Co. shortly before the three men sat down to discuss a settlement in the state’s lawsuit against the company over lead paint, The Associated Press has learned.” (AP)

CA GOP Finds Faked Voter Affidavits
“Several GOP voter-registration workers created fake individuals in documents submitted to the California Republican Party, which said Thursday that it discovered the fraudulent activity through an internal review and forwarded its findings to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson….

“The documents were filed two weeks ago by an unnamed Southern California subcontractor hired by the party’s principal registration vendor, California Grassroots Mobilization, according to Dorinson. The party has since fired the subcontractor, and Dorinson said California Grassroots Mobilization is working with the party to expose the fraudulent actions.” (Sac Bee)

Ethics Scandals Not Shaping Up As Big Issue
” Ethics scandals cast a shadow over the last session of Congress, and the “culture of corruption” under the Republican majority was expected to be a major Democratic theme in the midterm campaign. But it hasn’t turned out that way.” (LA Times)

House of Horrors
“You could chalk it all up to greed and bad judgment, but a growing number of current and former lawmakers and congressional scholars say the scandals are symptomatic of something far more serious: a legislative body that seems to have lost its moral compass.” (US News)