How fun is the news that Sen. Ted "the tubes" Stevens has been indicted by a federal grand jury on seven felony counts for concealing more than $250,000 in gifts from an oil company. I hope the new basement was worth tanking a 40+ year political career!
The Hill reports:
The news that the longest-serving Republican senator in history faced charges from an investigation into his relationship with the VECO Corp. roiled Capitol Hill, sent the Senate Republican Conference into damage control, and cast serious doubt that Stevens would be able to win a seventh term this fall.Yeah, right. Sorry Ted ... looks like you've been busted!
Though the 28-page indictment alleges that Stevens accepted home improvements, cars and other gifts in return for political action, he is charged only with making false statements on financial disclosure forms between 2001 and 2006.
Stevens, 84, was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1997 until 2005, except for an 18-month period in 2001 and 2002 when Democrats controlled the chamber.
The VECO investigation has already produced convictions of Alaska lawmakers, oil executives and a lobbyist. The FBI and IRS raided Stevenss home in 2007.
Stevens released a statement saying he never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator.
Stevens could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted. Darn, and he was just getting the hang of how to use the new gas grill.
Meanwhile, 'fiscal conservative' Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) will be looking for a new chief of staff following the resignation of J. Aloysius Hogan. It seems the representatives office is out of cash.
Broun, who has co-sponsored bills on balancing the budget and has vowed to rein in federal spending, busted his budge on -- of all things -- mail. At 42 cents a pop that's a lot of mail!
The chief of staff for Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) resigned Monday as sources said the congressmans office has busted its budget.Gee, Bobby Saxon seems like the most fiscally responsible of the two. Too bad he doesn't have access to tax dollars to send out his campaign mailings. Geezz ...
J. Aloysius Hogan, Brouns chief of staff, was in charge of the Members Representational Allowance (MRA), which was depleted because of franked mail, according to sources. The franked mail, which was sent to constituents, may have helped Broun in his recent primary win.
Earlier this month, sources said that Brouns MRA was so low that the lawmaker would have to cut staff. At the time, Brouns office said it was unaware of any possible cuts. [...]
Hogan, who used to work for Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), confirmed his resignation with The Hill on Tuesday, but declined to comment further on the situation, referring inquires to Brouns press office.
Brouns office declined to comment. [...]
According to the Committee on House Administrations website, members are permitted to spend as much of their official budget on franked mail as they deem necessary. MRA expenses cannot be spent on personal, campaign and/or political expenses.
Jeff Ventura, a spokesman for the House Chief Administrative Officer, said, Although we have seen MRAs dip this low before, what makes this situation unique is that it went so low so early in the calendar year.
It was unclear at press time what the office planned to do in order to pay staffers, who could be furloughed if the problem is not resolved quickly.
Broun, a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, was criticized in the local press by his opponent, Georgia state Rep. Barry Fleming, during the primary for wasting taxpayer funds to send out the mailings.
But despite predictions that the race would be close, Broun trounced Fleming in the conservative district. He is heavily favored to defeat Democrat Bobby Saxon, an Iraq war veteran, in November.
Brouns campaign is also in debt. As of June 30, he had $194,00 cash on hand and $328,000 in debt, according to CQMoneyLine. Saxon had $31,000 cash on hand and $12,000 of debt.
And finally, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is warning anyone planning on attending the Olympics in a couple of weeks that China is preparing a spy attack. Hummm ... I wonder if the Olympics were being held in this country would we be spying on any of the athletes or attendees. The answer is, of course, "YES."
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) on Tuesday alleged that China is preparing a spy attack on visitors of the Olympic Games, which will begin in less than two weeks.I wonder if Brownback has a problem with the Bush administration reading our email, or listening in on our phone conversations?
Brownback told reporters that China has carefully plotted to take advantage of the situation of having thousands of foreign visitors on its soil and set up a system to be able to spy and gather information about each and every guest at hotels where Olympic visitors are located.
The senator, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination this year, said those spied on include journalists, athletes families, human rights advocates and other visitors.
Brownback stated that his office had been contacted by lawyers for international hotel chains who informed him that the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) ordered foreign-owned hotels to install Internet monitoring equipment. Brownback provided documents showing that hotels were asked to cooperate with the Chinese government.
The Chinese government has demanded that these hotels allow the PSB to install software programs and hardware devices on the hotel networks, Brownback said. These measures are designed to assist the PSB to spy on the Internet activities of guests and record websites visited, searches entered and even keystrokes. The text alludes to harsh punishment for failure to comply with the order, including loss of license to operate a hotel in China.
Hey DCup ... if you're planning on attending the Olympics I hope you spend at least some time surfing your favorite porn sites! And while you're there, be sure to send Rep. Broun a postcard ... ha!
Those wacky Republicans ... never a dull moment!