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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 31, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/31/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
20m gallon water main break in L.A. exposes decrepit U.S. water sytem; Record wildfires depleting budgets; Repubs fiddle as West burns; PLUS: Flesh-eating bacteria in Florida...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/29/14 - Archives...
FEC Commissioners at War Over Rove's Campaign Finance Violations
Deadlock vote, ignoring federal agencies own attorneys, leads to lawsuit and scathing attack of Dem Commissioners by GOP colleagues...
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 10/3/2013 10:05am PT  

Here's the statement from Alabama's former Governor Don Siegelman (D), now a political prisoner being held in a federal correctional institution in Louisiana, that we obtained and published last week, as discussed in my conversation above on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture this week.

If you're looking for Tom DeLay and Karl Rove, they're still on the lam, fugitives from justice, as Siegelman serves out 6.5 years for something that was never considered a crime before in the history of this nation.

Oh, and I do love this graphic that Thom's folks used at the top of our segment...

Sign the petition asking President Obama for a pardon for Siegelman right here...

* * *

UPDATE 10/5/13: I was also on Hartmann's radio show the day before the TV show appearance seen above. We talk about largely the same things, though with a few additional details here and there, such as more info on Siegelman's 2002 "stolen" re-election. Thom's radio show is also video taped (and played live on Free Speech TV and elsewhere). The video segment of my radio appearance with him follows below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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And free ride for Tom DeLay (R), Karl Rove (R) & friends (R, R, R)...
GUEST: The imprisoned former Alabama Governor's son, Joseph...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2013 6:05am PT  

Picking up on The BRAD BLOG's exclusive statement from the imprisoned former Governor Don Siegelman (D-AL) in regard to the alleged $20 million money laundering conspiracy by the currently-acquitted Tom DeLay, former convict Jack Abramoff, fugitive from justice Karl Rove and others to take down Alabama's popular former Governor, I was joined by Siegelman's son Joseph on this week's KPFK/Pacifica Radio BradCast.

Not familiar with the outrageous prosecution and conviction of Siegelman? Or of what appears to be his blatantly stolen 2002 election (on a Diebold paper ballot electronic tabulator?) This is great episode to listen to, as it also includes a lot of background and a few clips from my interview with the former Governor just days before he was ordered back to federal prison last year.

But before you get outraged all over again, we started off the show with a rarely heard good news segment to help soften everything else a bit. Yes, there have been a number of things to be happy and/or encouraged by, of late...though admittedly it's been very hard to notice.

Plus: Details on this weekend's upcoming Los Angeles screening of the tremendous documentary Shadows of Liberty which I'll be hosting for KPFK (I'm also briefly in the film, discussing the Sibel Edmonds story --- if you're in or near L.A., please come on out Saturday and say hey!); More on CA's terrible SB 360 bill that will end all federal testing of e-voting systems in the state (and some worse stuff too); and, of course a visit from Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report.

Enjoy! This is a good one!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Alabama's former Democratic governor issues statement to The BRAD BLOG, slamming the former GOP House Majority Leader for his part in a $20 million 'money laundering' conspiracy to defeat him...
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2013 6:05am PT  

Ever since last week's reversal of former GOP Rep. Tom DeLay's 2010 money laundering convictions by a 2-to-1 partisan decision of a three-judge Texas appeals court panel, we have been contrasting the Texas Republican's treatment in the judicial system with that of Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.

Now, the last Democratic governor to serve Alabama is speaking up for himself, in a statement he's furnished to The BRAD BLOG from federal prison, slamming DeLay for what he describes as his part in a $20 million criminal conspiracy with convicted GOP uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and others to defeat him in his bid for re-election, and to ensure he never took office again.

Siegelman is currently serving a 6.5 year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana for something that 113 bi-partisan former state attorneys general agree had never been regarded as a crime until Siegelman was convicted for it. (Watch 60 Minutes' 2008 story on Siegelman's outrageous prosecution here.)

In his statement, the former governor speaks out against "The Hammer" and hammers him hard for what he describes as collusion to "engineer a money laundering scheme to defeat me in my race for re-election as governor and to elect Karl Rove's and Tom DeLay's Republican colleague from the U.S. House, then Congressman Bob Riley."

"I know first-hand, personally --- what I'm about to tell you is not hearsay," Siegelman writes about the alleged scheme to remove him from office through a late night ballot tampering scheme. He explains how the conspiracy resulted in robbing him of his 2002 re-election after it had already been called in his favor by all the networks. Later, before Siegelman --- the only person to hold all four top statewide offices in Alabama history --- could run for Governor again, he says the same cabal worked to have him thrown in jail on what appear to be trumped up charges brought by a Bush Administration prosecutor who also happened to be married to Riley's Chief of Staff.

In the fiery, no-holds-barred statement (posted in full below), Siegelman cites Abramoff's own book, Capitol Punishment, in which he says the former GOP lobbyist "admits for the first time to money laundering to the tune of some $20,000,000 dollars 'to stop Siegelman.'"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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What happened and how 2 Republican judges overruled the State's case and the thorough deliberation of 12 jurors...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2013 7:05am PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

Following Thursday's 2-to-1 decision by a three-judge panel from an appellate court in Texas overturning the 2010 felony money laundering convictions of former U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R), the Travis County District Attorney announced her intention to seek a review of that decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

"We strongly disagree with the opinion of Judges Goodwin and Gaultney that the evidence was insufficient," Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg said in a statement. "We are concerned and disappointed that two judges substituted their assessment of the facts for that of 12 jurors who personally heard the testimony of over 40 witnesses over the course of several weeks and found that the evidence was sufficient and proved DeLay's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

She said her office is "preparing a response to this opinion and will ask the full Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to review the ruling."

I've been poring over both the majority decision [PDF] by the three-judge panel's two Republicans, and the dissent [PDF] issued by the Democratic Chief Justice of that court. I'm no expert here, and I'm trying to learn more, but the majority's decision seems to invoke some fairly impressive tortured logic in order to overturn the 12 jurors finding that DeLay committed these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.

Nonetheless, that logic, twisted or otherwise, may well work at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the court of last resort for criminal matters in the Lone Star State...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2013 10:10am PT  

[This article cross-published by Salon...]

Ironically enough, I had the opportunity to speak for a few minutes with former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman in federal prison over the weekend. Siegelman, a Democrat, has so far served nearly two years for a "crime" that had never before been considered a crime before he was found guilty of it. He is likely to serve many more years in prison for the charges brought by Republicans, including a federal prosecutor whose husband was the Chief of Staff of Siegelman's gubernatorial rival Bob Riley, a team of folks, including the judge, who are all good friends of Karl Rove and who are said to have "coached, cajoled and threatened" the star witness in the case.

Today, in the meantime, Tom DeLay, the former Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, who was convicted of money-laundering hundreds of thousands of corporate dollars in Texas to give them to candidates --- something which has been an actual crime for decades in the state --- was acquitted of all charges by a 2 to 1 decision of a Texas appeals court.

DeLay never served a day in prison. Siegelman, on the day he was convicted, before the appeals process could even begin, was literally shackled and carted away. The basis for Siegelman's conviction has subsequently been challenged in a letter signed by a group of 113 bi-partisan former state attorneys general.

For the record, when I spoke with Siegelman from his federal penitentiary in Oakdale, Louisiana over the weekend, he seemed to be in incredibly good spirits. At least that's the impression he offered during our very short chat. I can only imagine how dispiriting it must be today, however, for him to read the news about DeLay.

Once again, it seems, IOKIYAR.

* * *

• My interview with Siegelman and his daughter Dana, from just over one year ago, after he had finally been released on appeal after serving nine months, and just one week prior to being ordered back to prison, can be heard right here.

• More on the continuing effort to "Free Don Siegelman" here.

• The TX appellate court's 22-page majority opinion is here [PDF] in the DeLay case. The 8-page dissenting opinion is here [PDF].

* * *

UPDATE 9/21/13: DeLay is not entirely out of the woods yet. Here's a more detailed explanation of the court's decision in which the two partisan-elected Republican judges reversed the conviction, while the lone Democrat (the Chief Justice of the Third Court of Appeals in Texas) dissented. As I explain in that follow-up, the Travis County D.A. has now vowed to seek a review of the lower court's ruling at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, though she may run into partisan concerns at that higher court as well.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2011 3:42pm PT  

[I'll have a few assorted updates and follow-ups in the U.S. Chamber Plot debacle soon, but there have been a few items of note that I didn't want to lose here entirely. This is one of them. - BF | UPDATE: I've now added an addendum to the bottom of this article.]

If there's anything we've learned over the recent decade, it's that if you're a Republican, or if you're among the favored corporate elite of any party in this nation for that matter --- as highlighted yet again by the U.S. Chamber's planned $12 million hit-job on U.S. citizens (including yours truly and family) and other progressive journalists and organizations --- there are a completely different set of laws that apply to you. Namely, very few of our laws actually apply to you at all. Feel free to break them with impunity!

Nonetheless, over the past week, there have been what we might call a "spate", comparatively, of Republicans actually being held accountable with prison sentences, albeit very small ones. These come on the heels of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Corruptionville)'s conviction last November on all counts in a corporate money laundering conspiracy in TX used to get GOP candidates elected in TX, and subsequently change the balance of power in the U.S. House. (He is currently appealing, naturally). But it's nice to see some, if very few, of these charlatans, for a change, not get off completely scot-free. Here are three cases, including yet another case of a Republican working to keep American citizens from casting their legal vote in an election...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2011 12:43pm PT  

Wonder if the former GOP U.S. House Majoriy Leader is still smiling.

From Austin American-Statesman moments ago...

Judge Pat Priest sentenced Tom DeLay to three years in prison.

The three-year sentence was on the charge of conspiring to launder corporate money into political donations during the 2002 elections.

On the charge of money laundering, DeLay was sentenced to five years in prison, but that was probated for 10 years. That means he would serve 10 years’ probation.

DeLay was taken into custody but he was expected to be released as soon as he posted an appeals bond.

UPDATE: WaPo now has more, including details on the only one to testify on behalf of DeLay at the sentencing hearing today: former Republican U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (who has his own legal issues).

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Tonight: DELAY GUILTY! Plus: Andy Worthington, Susan Pynchon, Derek Brett...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 11/24/2010 4:30pm PT  

Another big show tonight as I guest-host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show this week. (Note: We're off tomorrow, but back on Friday!)

We'll be BradCasting again LIVE tonight from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). Please join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! The LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show as ever, so come on by while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

So far scheduled for tonight's show...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

Click here to jump into our LIVE Chat Room during the show. Or just see below!...

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Commercial free audio archives are below (and the chat room archive is below them.) Lots of interest stuff tonight, some great calls, and plenty to be thankful for...somehow...including my thanks to Mike and Kathy for allowing me to fill in. My favorite call tonight: Curtis in the third hour. Mike is back tomorrow with a Thanksgiving "Best Of" and then I'll be back again Friday night! See ya then! Happy holidays and enjoy the archives until then...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/24/2010 3:14pm PT  

Texas puts the hammer down. Tom DeLay found guilty on all counts. Breaking from Austin Statesman...

Tom DeLay, the former U.S. House majority leader whose name became synonymous with the Republicans' controversial rise to power in the Texas House, was found guilty today of laundering money in connection with the 2002 elections.
...
DeLay was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money. He faces a possible sentence of 5-99 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine on the money laundering charge, and 2-20 years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine on the conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors earlier said they believe the DeLay case is the first such criminal charge ever filed over Texas' century-old prohibition on corporate contributions in state political races.

Delay, a Republican who was nicknamed "The Hammer" because of his heavy-handed style, was accused of conspiring to funnel $190,000 of corporate money through the Republican National Committee, which sent $190,000 in campaign donations to seven GOP candidates for the Texas House.

State law prohibits corporations from giving donations to candidates directly or indirectly.

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DoJ said to have dropped two-year investigation into corrupt former Florida Rep's lobbyist-funded trip to Scotland...
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2009 9:35am PT  

[Updated: Former Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) responds to this article. Ney, convicted for his dealings with Abramoff, including a trip to Scotland, suggests Feeney may have been helped off the hook by friends in high places. See details and Ney's comments in UPDATE at bottom of story.]

Late last week, alleged vote-rigging conspirator and former three-term Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) was informed that the Department of Justice was dropping their two year probe into his 2003 lobbyist-paid junket with Jack Abramoff to play golf in Scotland, according to his attorney Robert Luskin (who also happens to be Karl Rove's criminal attorney).

The DoJ's investigation was stymied earlier this year by an appellate court decision disallowing their subpoena of Feeney's statements to the U.S. House Ethics Commission on the basis of Constitutional separation of powers. As we noted last month, the friendly Feeney finding was likely to foul the fed's felony fact-finding against the failed former Florida Congressman.

The Ethics Commission had, themselves, let Feeney off the hook on the last day in which Republicans controlled the panel before Democrats took over in 2007. He would agree to pay just $5,643 for the private plane trip and swanky vacation with rightwing lobbyists, despite court papers declaring the trip to have been worth approximately $20,000...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Lead Sponsor, Author of Help America Vote Act to Serve Jail Time, Says Report
Last Remaining Abramoff Golf Junketeer Not (Yet) Facing Criminal Charges? Congressman Tom Feeney...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2006 7:41pm PT  

We've long been describing Bob Ney as the "Soon-to-be-Indicted Bob Ney". It looks like that day is finally here.

The New York Times is reporting that Ney, the leader sponsor and author of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is headed to jail...

WASHINGTON – Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges related to his dealings with the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, lawyers and others with knowledge of the investigation said Thursday.

A guilty plea would make Ney, a six-term congressman, the first member of Congress to confess to criminal charges in the Abramoff investigation, which has focused on the actions of several current and former Republican lawmakers who had been close to the former lobbyist.

People with detailed knowledge of the investigation said Ney had entered an in-patient facility in recent days for treatment of alcoholism, making it uncertain whether he would appear at a court hearing to announce the plea.

We've also long reported on Ney's "good luck" in winning $34,000 at a London casino owned by some good friends...at the exact same moment he owed exactly that much in credit card bills. Says The Times...

Another person familiar with the department’s investigation said that at least one of the criminal charges in Ney’s guilty plea would involve the accuracy of his claim in a House financial disclosure statement that he won $34,000 in a private London casino during a trip in 2003.

The casino winnings had also been under scrutiny by the Justice Department in part because the amount of the winnings coincided to a surprising degree with the amount of debt outstanding on Ney’s credit cards.

With both Ney and former Republican Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-TX) now facing indictments, that means there is only one remaining congress member who went on Jack Abramoff's golf junkets to St. Andrews, Scotland who has yet to be served with criminal charges: Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)

Feeney is currently facing a challenge for his seat by Clint Curtis, the man who has sworn in affidavit, video-taped congressional testimony and polygraph test that Feeney asked him to create vote-rigging software when they both worked at the same computer firm in Florida in 2000 (where Feeney was general counsel and registered lobbyist, even while he was also serving as Speaker of the Florida House).

Anyway, now that Ney is apparently going to jail for his Abramoff-related crimes, can someone other than The BRAD BLOG please look into the hornet's nest surrounding the passage of HAVA, as aided and abetted by Abramoff's old lobbying firm, Greenburg Traurig, and Ney's former chief-of-staff-turned-Diebold-lobbyist, David DeStefano? Pretty please? Here's a nice place to get you started!

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...As Ney Chief of Staff Becomes Latest GOP Player to Cop a Plea Today
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 2:38pm PT  

Over the weekend, AP reported that email from Tom DeLay's (R-TX) office to Jack Abramoff's office reveals that the indicted former-majority leader was quite aware of who was paying for his $75,000 trip to St. Andrews, Scotland to play golf in 2000.

All of which makes it likely that Bob Ney (R-OH) was similarly aware of who was paying for the lobbyist funded vacation to St. Andrews when he took a similar trip with Abramoff in 2002.

All of which makes it likely that Tom Feeney (R-FL), the third Republican Congressman to take the trip to hit the links in Scotland with Abramoff, he in 2003, was also aware of who was paying for it.

Feeney has done a fine job of flying under the radar on this matter up until now. But with DeLay now down and out, and Ney's chief-of-staff, Neil Volz, copping a guilty plea today --- making him the fourth such criminal to implicate Ney in the vast Right Wing Conspiracy --- we'd think it only a matter of time before the media start noticing Feeney's conspiratorial involvement as well.

Along those lines, a couple of notable pieces from from the Volz plea (courtesy of Paul Kiel over at Muckraker)...

[W]e learn about a new, particularly shameless perk: Abramoff helped pay for a two-night vacation of Ney's, without even bothering to funnel the money through one of his nonprofits. "In or about August 2003," the plea reads, "defendant VOLZ paid for part of a two-night trip to the Sagamore Resort at Lake George, New York, for Representative #1 and members of his staff. Defendant VOLZ assured Representative #1 that defendant VOLZ would be reimbursed for his payments by Abramoff." Apparently Ney didn't want his old chief of staff laying out the bribe - he preffered to get it from a familiar source.

That point may be useful as investigators and/or media take a closer look at Feeney and his other questionable trips, several of which are described here as part of CREW's "13 Most Corrupt" in Congress.

Secondly, Kiel reminds us about Ney's use of his pet bill, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, to help a few of his closest "friends":

We learned from prior plea agreements that Ney agreed to insert a line into the Help America Vote Act that would lift the Texas gaming ban on an Abramoff client, the Tigua tribe.

We've discussed how Ney used his authorship of HAVA and control of the House Administration Committee --- which he chaired until being forced to step down because of all of this --- in the past (almost one full year ago today, as a matter of fact).

More pointedly, however, we've reported on the roll Abramoff and Diebold played along with another former Ney chief-of-staff, David Distefano, in both passing HAVA in the first place, and ensuring it stayed intact as Diebold needed it to.

That story, in which funds were apparently funnelled through to Ney from both Diebold and Abramoff's firm Greenburg Traurig, has also been overlooked by the media in general. If they care to pick up that ball now, they can find a lot of still-uninvestigated open ends in our report right here.

Please feel free to let your media contacts know about both the Feeney issue and the Ney/HAVA/Abramoff issue, since both could use much more scrutiny by many more eyeballs.

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By David Edwards on 5/8/2006 7:03am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

We posted this video from ABC's This Week at Crooks and Liars yesterday. If you are a fan of DNC Chairman Howard Dean then you'll enjoy this video. For those that get physically sick at the sight of DeLay, you might want to skip the first 5 minutes.

Outgoing, indicted and disgraced Republican Rep. Tom DeLay spews the same hate-filled attacks on Democrats that we've heard for several years now. DeLay still manages to brandish the freshest Republican talking points.

Most notable was DeLay's attack on John Conyers' concerns that President Bush may have committed impeachable offenses. The Republicans believe that they can motivate their party to get out to the polls in November to save their favorite President from certain doom if the Democrats take control.

Howard Dean largely ignores DeLay's bluster. Chairman Dean has really improved the focus and delivery of his message. Dean doesn't dodge the tough questions. He delivers clear answers, straight talk and real hope the the American people. Having DeLay and Dean on the same segment really exposes the great disparity in the quality of their character.

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To Drop Out of Upcoming Election and Leave Congress Shortly!
The Exterminator Gets Exterminated...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2006 8:06pm PT  

-- TIME Mag covers here...
-- WaPo covers here...
-- MSNBC covers here...
-- CNN covers here...
-- AP covers here...
-- LATE ADDITION: Houston Chronicle offers more details, and DeLay's Political Obit in the early/late web edition (12:44am PT - Hat tip to Pokey A. in Houston)

From TIME...

Rep. Tom DeLay, whose iron hold on the House Republicans melted as a lobbying corruption scandal engulfed the Capitol, told TIME that he will not seek reelection and will leave Congress within months.
...
"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday.
...
The surprise decision was based on the sort of ruthless calculation that had once given him unchallenged dominance of House Republicans and their wealthy friends in Washington's lobbying community: he realized he might lose in this November's election.
...
Asked if he had done anything illegal or immoral in public office, DeLay replied curtly, "No." Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, "We're all sinners." Asked what he would do differently, he said, "Nothing."
...
DeLay brushed off the torrent of investigative news articles questioning the funding behind the golf, private planes and resort hotels that marked his travel at home and abroad. He even accepted a plane from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to go to his arraignment. "There's nothing wrong with it," he said. "They had a plane available. My schedule was such that I couldn't do it commercially --- that I had to get up there and then get back and do my job. And that's the only plane that was available at the time."

"You can't prove to me one thing that I have done for my own personal gain," he added.
...
DeLay said he is likely to leave by the end of May, depending on the Congressional schedule and finishing his work on a couple of issues.

What TIME didn't mention, but WaPo did...And which would seem to explain a lot more about his sudden exit after his bravado of the last six months since his indictment...

The decision came just three days after his former deputy chief of staff, Tony C. Rudy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay's leadership offices.

From CNN...

Last week, a former senior aide to DeLay pleaded guilty in federal court to fraud conspiracy, saying he joined a scheme with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and others to enrich themselves and illegally influence members of Congress.

In a deal with federal prosecutors, Tony Rudy --- DeLay's former deputy chief of staff and press secretary --- pleaded guilty to one count of mail and wire fraud in a conspiracy after he left DeLay's office to become a lobbyist. (Full story)

Says MSNBC...

[Chris] Matthews said that DeLay told him in an interview that "the polling on him in the 22nd District was going down," as a result of his part in a campaign contribution controversy.

And here come the bloggers. First in, from Josh Marshall who tends to know this stuff cold...

I haven't seen anything but the headlines yet. But I think the story here is clear. Prosecutors knocking down one pin at a time. Paul Kiel and I were talking about this before I left the office early this evening: Rudy, to Buckham, to DeLay. They're each going to down. And the road map was clear --- though largely implicit --- in the Rudy plea documents.

DeLay's lawyers must have sat him down over the last 72 hours and explained to him that he needs to focus on not spending most of the rest of his life in prison.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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DeLay's #1 Supporter Unapologetic About Money Taken from Duke Cunningham, Abramoff-Funded Golf Trip to Scotland, Foreign Agent-Funded Trips to Asia and More...
Clint Curtis' Campaign Gets Some Florida Ink in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2006 12:32pm PT  

Looks like our old friend, the indefatigably corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), is making news again.

St. Petersberg Times takes a front page look at the "allegations pil[ing] up" against Feeney. Here's some highlights:

Three members of Congress went on a golfing junket to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Two of them are under investigation.

The third is Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida.
...
Feeney, 47, has tried to move past the allegations but, in typical fashion, has shown little regret or caution.

He kept patronizing Abramoff's Washington restaurant, Signatures, long after others stopped. He defended former majority leader Tom DeLay even after the Texas congressman was indicted. He let a private group pay for his trip to China last month, even though many in Congress are avoiding such travel because of bad publicity over questionable trips.
...
Feeney, usually one of the most accessible of the state's congressional delegation, refused to answer questions. His staff described questions into his relationship as a "fishing expedition" and said he has done nothing wrong.

So will Feeney disclose who paid for that trip to China last month, in which he visited the Chinese Space Agency and called for more cooperation with them? Perhaps he should, considering that NASA, where his wife also works, is in Feeney's district. Even more notably, Feeney spent years as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for the firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. --- which harbored an illegal Chinese alien eventually found guilty of espionage charges related to sending military missile guidance chips to China --- a firm that currently has lucrative contracts with NASA.

Full disclosure on this matter would seem to be particularly important, given the revelation of Feeney's lies regarding his continuing relationship with the Yangs and their company.

On a related point, here's an unfortunate little tidbit from the article:

Feeney...has been infatuated with politics since he dressed up as his childhood hero Richard Nixon in a mock grade school election

The list of allegations against Feeney continues in the article, along with some ink for Clint Curtis' run for Congress against him:

Feeney was immediately taken with DeLay, to whom Feeney sometimes is compared, and voted with him almost all the time. Later, Feeney became a prominent defender of DeLay, giving $5,000 to his legal defense and supporting a Republican move to allow him to keep his leadership post if indicted.
...
He received $5,000 from former Rep. "Duke" Cunningham's PAC before Cunningham resigned last year amid a bribery scandal.

"My concern about him is that he seems to view the rules are optional," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a group that has primarily criticized Republicans. "Rules are there for a reason."

In September, Feeney was named one of "the 13 most corrupt members of Congress" by Sloan's group. The Congressional Accountability Project demanded that the House ethics panel investigate Feeney and others for their ties to Abramoff.

"No one likes being attacked but he still continues with his daily routine," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Brooksville Republican who served in the Florida Legislature with Feeney. "This hasn't changed him at all."

Feeney did not face opposition in 2004 but this year already has two opponents, veterinarian Andy Michaud, a Democrat, and computer programmer Clint Curtis, a lifelong Republican turned Democrat. Both Curtis and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee question Feeney's ethics.

Here's a complete list of Reps who received money from Duke Cunningham. Feeney is among those accepting the most, but has not returned the money at this time.

Hat-tip to Jesselee from Stakeholder, who has more on the St. Pete Times article.

Clint Curtis' campaign website, where he needs much financial and logistical support if he's to have a chance of taking on Feeney and the Florida Republican Machine is right here.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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