The Daily Muck

Harris Campaign Chief Has History of Lame Shenanigans
Rep. Katherine Harris’ (R-FL) fourth campaign manager for her Senate bid, Bryan Rudnick, “was involved in a petition controversy in Massachusetts in 2001.

“Then, Rudnick was chairman of Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage, which championed the Defense of Marriage act. His group was accused of tricking voters into signing its petitions for a proposed ban on gay marriage by asking voters to first sign a petition to protect horses from being killed and sold as food, then asking them to sign a second time, on a petition to ban gay marriage.” (Roll Call, sub. req’d.)Lieberman Attacks Blogger Over Blackface Pic
“The bitter Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut erupted in fresh controversy Wednesday over a doctored photo of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) in blackface that was posted by a blogger who has been an influential promoter of challenger Ned Lamont.” (WPost)

Ex-Bush Aide Makes Plea Deal in Thefts
“Former White House adviser Claude A. Allen is expected to plead guilty tomorrow to a misdemeanor theft charge after reaching a deal with Montgomery County prosecutors that probably will spare him from jail, according to court documents filed yesterday.

“As part of the agreement, Allen’s attorneys and Montgomery prosecutors plan to recommend to a District Court judge in Rockville that Allen be given an $850 restitution fine.” (WPost)

Santorum, the Green Party, and Some Very Strange Bedfellows
Here’s a catalogue of the conservatives who’ve embraced the Green cause in Pennsylvania. (Attytood)

Texas Officials Seek Quick Ruling in Redistricting Case

“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a huge southwest district violates the Voting Rights Act because the power of the minority vote was diminished when concentrations of Hispanics were split into two districts.

“It is unclear when the three-judge panel may issue a decision, but Texas elections officials say a ruling by Monday is necessary for changes to go into effect for the Nov. 7 election.” (Houston Chron)

Powerful CA Lawmaker Still Mum on Probe
“Under scrutiny for months, Rep. Jerry Lewis has said little about the federal inquiry into his ties to lobbyists and contractors.

“In a handful of interviews and several prepared statements one of which asserted erroneous information the Redlands Republican has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. But Lewis, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has declined to comment specifically on any aspect of the investigation.” (San Bernardino (Calif.) Sun)

Rumsfeld Declines to Testify Before Congress on Iraq
“Speaking to Pentagon reporters Wednesday, [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld said he thought it was enough for him to attend a private briefing with the entire Senate on Thursday. Citing his crowded calendar, he declined the Senate Armed Services Committee’s request to testify publicly on Thursday morning. Rumsfeld suggested that complaints about his decision could be politically motivated.” (AP)

9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon
“Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.

“Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources.” (WPost)

Ney Raises No Money for Own Legal Defense Fund
“Ney created the fund in January to help foot legal bills stemming from his dealings with former Republican lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff.

“The fund was expected to help pay Ney’s attorney, Mark Tuohey at Texas-based firm Vinson & Elkins, but thus far it has not made any disbursements, save for buying checks April 12. In a telephone interview, Tuohey disputed assertions that Ney is not paying him.

‘”Don’t assume that because he hasn’t used any contributions [from the fund] he hasn’t paid his legal fees. I’m not doing it on a pro bono basis,’ Tuohey said.” (The Hill)

Settlement Delayed in Indian Trust Case
“A resolution to the 10-year-old, multibillion-dollar lawsuit by American Indians against the U.S. government has been delayed at least a month to allow more time to fine tune a settlement.” (AP)

Marine Sues Congressman for Defamation
“Rep. John P. Murtha was sued for defamation Wednesday by a Marine Corps sergeant under investigation in connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in Haditha.” (AP)

Corruption Emerges as Issue in North Carolina House
“[Former Republican Rep. Michael Decker] Decker’s plea agreement Tuesday on a corruption charge answered some questions about why a Jesse Helms-style conservative would enrage fellow Republicans to help Democrats retain control of the state House in 2003. But it also raised one: Who was the unidentified House Democrat who prosecutors said gave Decker $50,000 for his switch?” (News-Observer)

Justice Frees Records in Library Search

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Wednesday ordered full disclosure of records in a court battle between FBI terrorism investigators and Connecticut librarians. . . .

“The court fight had been waged largely in secret and with the battle over, the ACLU last week asked the Supreme Court to release the records in the case.” (AP)

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