Archives for Capitol Hillbillies

Congressmen probed in pay-for-votes scheme

House investigators have recommended that three lawmakers be further investigated to determine whether political contributions were improperly linked to votes on the huge financial overhaul bill. The independent House Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the member-run House ethics committee pursue potential rules violations by Republicans John Campbell of California and Tom Price of Georgia and Democrat Joseph Crowley of New York. The ethics office recommended no further investigation of five other lawmakers in the same probe: Democratic Reps. Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota and Mel Watt of North Carolina, and Republicans Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Chris Lee of New
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No NRA endorsement for Reid

Sen. Harry’s Reid’s support for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees has cost him the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in his re-election bid. The NRA is a force in rural states like Nevada where many voters own guns and hunt. The absence of the NRA’s blessing represents a setback that Reid’s campaign was quick to address Friday by noting that NRA executive Wayne LaPierre once called him a “true champion of the Second Amendment.” Christopher W. Cox, chairman of the NRA’s Political Victory Fund, said Friday that the organization strongly opposed the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the
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Former RNC chair: Yep, I’m gay

Former Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman says in a magazine interview that he is gay. Mehlman, who was campaign manager for President George W. Bush in 2004 and then RNC chairman after Bush’s re-election, told The Atlantic in an interview published online Wednesday that he came to the conclusion he is gay recently and wanted to talk about it publicly because he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage. He also thought questions would arise when he participates in an upcoming fundraiser for the group challenging California’s ballot measure opposing those marriages. “It’s taken me 43 years to get
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Ethics-challenged Waters still popular on home turf

Congressional ethics charges have tarnished Maxine Waters’ reputation in Washington. But in the struggling, mostly Hispanic and black neighborhoods she represents, residents still hold the 10-term Democratic congresswoman in high esteem. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t even be in school,” Carol Jones, 51, said after finishing classes for the day at the Maxine Waters Education & Career Center, one of the institutions the congresswoman has supported during her decades in state and federal government. “Whenever somebody is doing something good for the community, they’ll find something to make them look bad,” said Jones, who is enrolled in high-school
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Charlie Rangel: ‘Hell no, I won’t go’

Democratic Representative Charles Rangel said on Tuesday he was not resigning in the face of ethics charges and asked for an expedited resolution of his case before he has to face voters in November elections. “I am not going away. I am here,” Rangel said to some applause during a lengthy, rambling speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. Rangel, formerly one of the House’s most powerful members as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, apologized for any embarrassment he had caused lawmakers. The House Ethics Committee charged Rangel with 13 violations last month, including omitting
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Gates proposes major defense cuts that will cost jobs

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that tough economic times require that he shutter a major command that employs some 5,000 people around Norfolk, Va., and begin to eliminate other jobs throughout the military. The announcement was the first major step by Gates to find $100 billion in savings in the next five years. Gates says that money is needed elsewhere within the Defense Department to repair a force ravaged by years of war and to prepare troops for the next fight. Gates and other Pentagon officials would not put a dollar figure on cuts outlined Monday, but the savings
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The case against Maxine Waters

The House ethics committee on Monday announced three counts of alleged ethics violations against California Democrat Maxine Waters, including a charge that she requested federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on its board. Waters, a 10-term representative from Los Angeles, has denied any wrongdoing and had urged the committee to come forth with details of the charges so that she can defend herself in a trial expected to take place this fall. That trial would be the second handled by the ethics committee this fall. Another senior Democrat, former Ways and Means Committee
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Kagan sworn in as newest Supreme Court justice

Elena Kagan was sworn in Saturday as the 112th justice and fourth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Kagan in a brief private ceremony at the court. Kagan, joined by family and friends, pledged to faithfully and impartially uphold the law. Afterward, she smiled broadly as a crowd of onlookers stood and applauded. “We look forward to serving with you,” Roberts said. Kagan, a former Harvard Law School dean who most recently was solicitor general, was President Barack Obama‘s choice to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Republicans criticized her
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Kagan sails through confirmation

It’s all over but the celebrating and oath-taking for soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Kagan is joining President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday for a ceremony to mark her confirmation as the nation’s 112th justice. On Saturday, she’s to be sworn in at the Supreme Court as the successor to retired Justice John Paul Stevens. The 50-year-old U.S. solicitor general, who won confirmation Thursday over Republican opposition, will be sworn in twice by Chief Justice John Roberts. She will recite one oath as prescribed by the Constitution in a private ceremony in the high court’s Justices’
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Waters: ‘Let’s go public’

The second Democrat in the House of Representatives to face an ethics trial in the fall wants the charges against her made public and her trial to begin before the November 2 congressional elections, an aggressive defense that may lead to intra-party squabbling. “I am confident that once the subcommittee report is released and I am able to present my case, my constituents and all Americans will understand that I have not violated any House rules,” U.S. congresswoman Maxine Waters wrote in a Wednesday letter to the House ethics panel. The panel on Monday said it had found evidence of
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