The Daily Muck

The Rescue Dog Ate My Alibi
Sometimes a story looks mucky, but you don’t know what to make of it. A great example: AP reports that in May, a New Hampshire congressional candidate was discovered in the woods by a state police rescue dog.

The man, Gary Dodds, told police he had been in a car crash over 24 hours earlier. He had wandered from the scene in a daze, swam across a river and huddled in the woods until he was found, he said.

But police suspected his story. Why?

Dodds’ clothes were mostly dry but his shoes wet when he was found. He spoke of a head injury but had no bumps or bruises on his head from the car crash, and no one saw or heard him cross the Bellamy River, police said.

While Dodds claimed to have frostbite on his feet, he didn’t have it on his hands, ears, nose and face, the affidavit said.

Police also questioned Dodds’ travels, noting that Dodds’ turnpike pass records contradicted his statements.

Dodd says the facts of his case have been distorted by the media. The police are investigating him on three possible charges: theft of services, falsifying physical evidence and false public alarms.

Maybe that’s all against the law in New Hampshire. But aren’t those good skills to have if you’re going to hold a seat in Congress?Safavian Conviction Bad News for Ney
Rep. Bob Ney’s (R-OH) hopes for avoiding prosecution dimmed yesterday, in particular because of the strength of testimony by Neil Volz, a former Ney staffer who’s now cooperating with prosecutors. (Columbus Dispatch)

Feds Want to Move All NSA Suits to DC

Justice Department lawyers want to consolidate two dozen lawsuits against the spy agency into a single action in the D.C. circuit — where they will move to dismiss them all because they could endanger state secrets. (Oregonian)

Safavian Conviction Bad News for LaTourette, Capito Also
The offices of the two GOP House members were mentioned during the Safavian trial in connection to political favors done for Jack Abramoff. “[It] makes it easier to make the case that Steve LaTourette is not the Steve LaTourette you think he is,” Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter said. (WSJ)

Fallen CIA Exec “Singing Like a Bird” to Cunningham Investigators

Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, former Executive Director of the CIA, is dishing details of his relationship and business dealings with alleged Duke Cunningham briber Brent Wilkes. (WarandPiece)

Montana Senate: Fast and Furious Mud-Slinging
A window into the increasingly entertaining race between Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Jon Tester:

NRSC spokesman Brian Nick said that “while Tester and his liberal lackeys obsess over the semantics of a barber, we’ll continuously point out his opposition to protecting traditional marriage, his opposition to protecting the flag from desecration, and his record of tax hikes.”

What is he talking about? Curious? (The Fix)

More Than $2M Raised for Libby’s Defense
Supporters of Vice President Dick Cheney’s indicted former chief of staff have raised more than $2 million since late last year for his legal defense in the CIA leak case. (AP)

FBI Shadowed Playwright Arthur Miller
“The FBI not only kept records of Miller’s political statements, from his opposition to nuclear weapons to his attacks against the anti-communist blacklist, but of his affiliation with such organizations as the American Labor Party (“a communist front”) and the “communist infiltrated” American Civil Liberties Union. In vain, the FBI probed for communist influence in the content and in the productions of his plays. One memo cites an “informant” who reported that “several communists” have been turned down for roles in various “Arthur Miller playlets.”” (AP)

Saginaw Tribe Wants Former Employee Investigated
“The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe wants the U-S Department of Justice to investigate one of its former employees and his ties to tainted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Former legislative affairs employee Christopher Petras is accused by the tribe of giving incorrect and misleading testimony to a Senate committee in September 2004. The tribe wants him to reveal more information about what he knew about Abramoff’s use of tribal money.” (AP)

US House Clears $427.6 Billion for Pentagon
“The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $427.6 billion Pentagon funding bill on Tuesday after rejecting a bid by Democrats to force the Bush administration to get court orders for its domestic surveillance program.” (AP)

Flake Strikes at Earmark of Hastert’s
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is on an anti-earmark crusade: Flake offered an amendment designed to kill a $2.5 million provision intended for a technology organization created by one of Hastert’s former aides. The amendment, one of about 10 he offered, was expected to fail miserably as of press time…. Flake said yesterday that he did not realize the earmark was one of Hastert’s when he decided to fight it on the floor, but knowing that the top House GOP leader had requested the funding didn’t change Flake’s plans.” (The Hill)

Suit Over Replacing DeLay on Ballot Removed to Federal Court
“U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin will decide whether Republican officials can name a nominee to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay on the Nov. 7 general election ballot. On June 15, Republicans removed the suit, which Democrats filed in Travis County district court to block GOP officials from selecting a new nominee, out of state court and in to the U.S. District Court for the Western District in Austin” (Texas Lawyer)

Influential Groups Sponsoring $20 Million in Travel Not Registered to Lobby
A Center for Public Integrity analysis of travel disclosure and lobbying documents found about 200 organizations that paid for congressional trips during a 5½-year period beginning in January 2000, but did not register — even though some behave like lobbying groups. (CPI)

11th Official Indicted in Tennessee Scandal
“A former Memphis school board member on Tuesday become the 11th official indicted in the public corruption investigation dubbed the Tennessee Waltz….The Tennessee Waltz investigation led to the arrest of five sitting or former state lawmakers in 2005. It involved allegations of taking bribes from undercover agents in exchange for promoting legislation.” (AP)