David Kirkpatrick

March 2, 2010

Why is Charlie Rangel still head of Ways and Means?

It’s either spinelessness or hypocrisy from the Democrats. Both shoes probably fit.

From the link:

Caught in a swirl of ethics inquiries, Representative Charles B. Rangel, the dean of the New York Congressional delegation, appeared to be losing his grip on his powerful post as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday night as Republicans planned to force a vote insisting that he step aside.

The House ethics committee last week admonished Mr. Rangel, an ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for violating Congressional gift rules by accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008.

The ethics panel is still investigating more serious allegations regarding Mr. Rangel’s fund-raising, his failure to pay federal taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic and his use of four rent-stabilized apartments provided by a Manhattan real estate developer.

December 9, 2008

Blago post number two

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:08 pm

The first one is here. I just wanted to get some raw content from the official arrest release.

From the second link:

CHICAGO – Illinois Gov.

Rod R. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges alleging that they and others are engaging in ongoing criminal activity: conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.

And here’s a little laundry list from page two of the twelve page PDF:

A 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife. At various times, in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich discussed obtaining:

 

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a substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions;

 

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placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year;

 

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promises of campaign funds – including cash up front; and

 

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a cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

 

Everyone is commenting it’s a slow news day so Blago’s really getting it, but man, it’s deserved.

Blagojevich busted for selling Senate seat

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:51 pm

Obama’s Senate seat, that is. Looks like the president-elect is completely clean of this affair aside from some of his staff mentioned in the indictment, but man, Blagojevich is an idiot. I guess he thought he could carry corruption to a new level once a native son (well a native Senator, at least) got elected president.

I have the feeling he’s going down pretty hard and can expect zero slack from an Obama DoJ. According to the indictment he at least mouthed off about forcing Obama’s hand in some fashion. I’m thinking an asshat governor with that amount of stupidity might get a strong dose of exactly what he can and cannot do.

(note: gratuitous Pulp Fiction interlude.) “Do they speak english in what?”

From the Ambinder link:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and chief of staff John Harris were indicted this morning.

Read the charging document here:

blagocharged.pdf

I don’t think Team Obama expected the Illinois governor to be  “intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade Illinois’ U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife.” 

Most of the affidavit deals with post-election events, weird, because Blago has been under investigation for years. One allegedly incriminating conversation took place last Friday.

When discussing the Senate race, Blago allegedly told his chief of staff John Harris that, “I want to make money.”  (Unless there was a Senate candidate named Money, then he’s got a problem.”)