The Daily Muck

Congressional Group Honors Fallen Ex-Congressmen
Here’s a party I’m sad to miss: “The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will hold a reception next week to honor a select group of lawmakers ‘for their hard work, service, time and the sacrifices made in upholding the office with which they were entrusted.'” Among the honorees: Imprisoned former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA), and disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). (The Hill)Corruption Hurts Reed in Lt. Govenor Race
“Two polls out today say that support for Ralph Reed is dropping in the Republican race for lieutenant governor, thanks to a ruthless push on the ground and in the air by Casey Cagle.
Insider Advantage numbers will be out this afternoon. Strategic Vision, a Republican public relations firm, this morning put Cagle on top for the first time, but barely: 42 to 41 percent.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

More Bad Press, Negative Prognostication on Reed
“Back at the beginning of the year, I did a post for the Coffee House calling Ralph Reed the Abramoff Mine Canary, on the theory that if anyone was going to be hurt electorally by the Abramoff scandal, it would be Ralph, who’s running for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia as the first stop towards a presidential run sometime next decade.” (Ed Kilgore, TPMcafe, NPR, Roll Call (sub. req’d.))

House Passes Bill on Internet Gambling
“After a heated debate that touched on the activities of Jack Abramoff six years ago, the House yesterday overwhelmingly approved an anti-Internet-gambling measure that the former Republican lobbyist helped kill in 2000…. Republican Reps. Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Doolittle (Calif.) and J.D. Hayworth (Ariz.) were among the members who voted to support the legislation yesterday after voting against it in 2000, while Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), whose links to Abramoff are being investigated by the Justice Department, opposed the bill yesterday, as he did six years ago.” (The Hill)

Unknown Court Date Puts Former Rep. DeLay in Limbo
Texas Republicans have until late August to find out who will be running against Nick Lampson for DeLay’s old seat. (The Hill)

DeLay: ‘I Cannot Run For Office’ In Texas, ‘I’m Ineligible’
Although Tom DeLay earlier said he’d reenter the race if last week’s decision weren’t overturned on appeal, now he’s pretending such a thing won’t happen. (ThinkProgress)

A Kennedy Life, Post-Rehab: Pee in the Cup
His life has changed in oh so many ways, since his late-night fender-bender several weeks ago: Rep. Patrick Kennedy now has to give urine samples twice a week, do community service, and seek guidance and strength from an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor who is — gasp — a Republican. (Roll Call, sub. req’d.)

Senate Defeats More NY, DC Security Funding
“The U.S. Senate on Wednesday refused to restore $750 million in anti-terrorism funds that have been taken away from New York City and Washington and shifted to smaller cities thought to be at lower risk of attack.” (Reuters)

Novak-Rove Exchange Lasted 20 Seconds
“Columnist Robert Novak said Wednesday that a conversation with White House aide Karl Rove that became an important part of the Valerie Plame affair lasted about 20 seconds.” (AP)

Cedar Rapids Newspaper Drops Ann Coulter’s Column
“Ann Coulter is no stranger to controversy, but her latest adventures have several newspapers questioning whether carrying her syndicated column is worth the trouble. The Shreveport (La.) Times is currently leaving the decision of whether or not to keep Coulter up to its readers. But the first newspaper to officially drop Coulter’s column since the latest uproar began seems to be The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she had appeared for about 14 months. ” (E&P)

Ex-Prosecutor Demands Newspaper’s Sources
“A former federal prosecutor facing criminal charges over his handling of a high-profile terrorism trial demanded Wednesday that the Detroit Free Press reveal its sources as part of his lawsuit against the government.
“[Former prosecutor Richard] Convertino accuses [Justice Department] officials of violating the federal Privacy Act by leaking information about him to the Free Press. (AP)

Chamber of Commerce May Fund Attack Ads
“The report, “The Secret Chamber – The Inner Workings of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Hijacking of an Election,” draws from the cache of newly-released papers and deposition testimony uncovered in connection with litigation surrounding the failed 2004 election bid of Deborah Senn for Washington State Attorney General. Senn, a former pro-consumer insurance commissioner, was viciously attacked in an advertising blitz, which contributed to her defeat. It was only later revealed that the ad campaign was funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Institute for Legal Reform. Litigation arose after the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission concluded that the ads violated state election law and the participation of the Chamber and the ILR was revealed.” (Center for Justice and Democracy)

Testimony Puts Spotlight on Sweeney’s Conduct
“Olympic Regional Development Authority President Ted Blazer, speaking at a state Assembly hearing, said invitations to the Congressional Winter Challenge — an event held to highlight Lake Placid Olympic facilities in hopes of securing federal funding — were “assembled by the Washington office of Congressman [John] Sweeney [R-NY] and the United States Olympic Committee.” The event has been held annually since 1998. ORDA documents state that certain participants — including fellow House members, past and present Sweeney staffers, members of his family and lobbyists — were invited by the Clifton Park Republican.” (Times-Union)

Ga. Judge Blocks Voter ID Law Enforcement
“The same federal judge who threw out Georgia’s voter ID law last year blocked the state Wednesday from enforcing its revised law during this year’s elections.” (AP)

Judicial Nominee: What Conflict of Interest?
“President Bush’s nominee to an appellate judgeship acknowledged missing the appearance of a conflict of interest in four cases in which he is accused of ruling on litigants in whose companies his family held stock.
Terrence Boyle, Bush’s pick for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., said Wednesday that his aides’ routine screening of cases for conflicts of interest “missed” the appearance in these instances.” (Law.com)

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