politics as usual

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House Transport Chief Dating Top Airline Lobbyist

Shuster acknowledges 'private and personal relationship'

(Newser) - A Republican congressman told off for partying with female lobbyists a few years ago appears to have settled down with just one. Bill Shuster, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been dating a top airline lobbyist since last summer, multiple sources tell Politico . Shelley Rubino is a... More »

Louisiana's Ex-Con Former Gov Running for Congress

Edwin Edwards, 86, will seek House seat

(Newser) - Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards has decided that neither age—nor his status as an ex-con—is a barrier to a run for Congress. The 86-year-old Democrat, who was released from federal prison in 2011 after serving eight years on fraud and racketeering charges, has entered the race for the... More »

Ryan's Speech Flunks Fact Checks

VP candidate lambasted for various deceptions

(Newser) - Paul Ryan's speech last night may have been rousing , but accurate it was not. Ryan is being lambasted today for what Sally Kohn of Fox News calls "an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single... More »

'Pop-Up' Firms Skirt Ethics Rules, Party With Pols

Lobbyists find ways to throw convention shindigs

(Newser) - Where there's a pesky ethics rule, there's usually a way around it, and lobbyists have found a simple way to sidestep restrictions against throwing parties for lawmakers at the Republican and Democratic conventions, NBC finds. "Consulting firms" have been set up to throw parties for members of... More »

In Bizarre Session, Colo. House Kills Civil Unions Bill

Republicans, Democrats at an impasse

(Newser) - An intense game of political chicken regarding civil union legislation took place last night in the Colorado House of Representatives, and when neither side backed down, the session ended in an impasse. The legislation to allow civil unions will not get a vote because the Legislature adjourns today, and a... More »

Candidate, 54, Arrested for Tearing Down Rival's Signs

Did we mention his opponent is 18?

(Newser) - The race for the Berlin Township seat on the Delaware County GOP's Central Committee got ugly yesterday, when candidate Rick Gemienhardt, 54, was arrested for tearing down campaign fliers put up by his opponent, Adam Fleischer—an 18-year-old high school senior. Fleischer was hanging posters on doors yesterday when... More »

Insider-Trading Probe Targets House Committee Chair

Rep. Spencer Bachus faces first-of-its-kind ethics investigation

(Newser) - Foxes have been found guarding hen houses on Capitol Hill in the past, but ethics investigators now believe they have identified a particularly greedy one. Rep. Spencer Bachus, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, is being probed for possible violations of insider-trading laws, reports the Washington Post . The investigation... More »

Lawmakers Use Earmarks to Aid Own Properties

Just a coincidence that pork benefits own real estate, they say

(Newser) - Members of Congress are not only steering earmarks to their own districts, but also their own backyards, funding projects that boost the value of properties they own, a Washington Post investigation finds. Comparing disclosure forms against public records revealed that over the last few years, some 33 members of Congress... More »

4 House Members Scored Countrywide VIP Deals

Issa calls for ethics probe of lawmakers who received discounted loans

(Newser) - At least four current members of the House of Representatives received discounted loans under Countrywide Financial's VIP program, according to Rep. Darrell Issa. The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee did not name the lawmakers who received sweetened deals from the now defunct lender—whose subprime mortgages were... More »

Nikki Haley Gives SC Legislators Report Cards

Dems oddly scored a bunch of Fs

(Newser) - Look out South Carolina lawmakers—Nikki Haley is grading you. The governor this week followed through on her promise to issue “report cards” for the state’s legislators, grading them on how well they supported her agenda, the Columbia Free Times reports. Unsurprisingly all the Fs went to Democrats,... More »

Palin's Camp to Rove: You Know Nothing

...about Sarah Palin's 2012 intentions, at least

(Newser) - Karl Rove has said it and said it again in recent days: Sarah Palin will run. Apparently, that wasn't inside information gleaned from his BFF, Sarah Palin. Politico spotted another "Setting the Record Straight" post on the SarahPAC website that doesn't name Rove, but clearly takes a... More »

Ethanol Group Paid Gingrich $300K

Former House speaker was lobbying coalition's highest-paid consultant

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich earned more than $300,000 acting as a consultant to a coalition of ethanol lobbying groups in 2009, according to IRS records. The possible GOP 2012 candidate—who declared "I am not a lobbyist for ethanol" during a spat with Wall Street Journal editors over his support... More »

State Politics: Hotbed of Sleaze, Booze, Scandal

ABC investigation finds no shortage of sleaze at state level

(Newser) - You hear a lot more about the sleaze in Congress and governors' mansions than the sleaze at the state legislator level, but that's not because of a lack of low-down behavior, an ABC News investigation finds. Five grad students sent to cover a national convention of state legislators in Louisville,... More »

You'd Have to Be Crazy to Want to Run for Office

That's why we've got such dopey candidates

(Newser) - Here’s the state of politics today: In Connecticut, we have a guy who lied about serving in Vietnam running against a woman who used to run the WWE. America has, in short, a total dearth of “convincing or even plausible candidates,” and it’s easy to figure... More »

Alabama Pols, Casino Owner Nabbed in Vast Bribery Bust

Lobbyists also nabbed in big electronic bingo bust

(Newser) - Federal officials have indicted the owner of Alabama's largest casino, four state senators and several top lobbyists in a scheme to buy and sell votes to get electronic bingo legalized. The federal investigation found criminal activity that was astonishing in scope, according to the assistant attorney general. He calls it... More »

Meghan McCain: I Hate the Hate

It's turning her off to politics

(Newser) - American political hate-mongering has reached such a fervor that for the "first time" in her life Meghan McCain is finding herself "disillusioned with the political process—something I swore would never happen to me," she writes in the Daily Beast . She's angry, too, about political decisions, but... More »

Okla. Aims at Gay Protection, Strips Religion, Race Instead

Hate-crimes bill cites wrong statute

(Newser) - New protection for homosexuals in federal hate-crimes laws so irked Oklahoma legislators that the state senate recently passed a measure aimed at allowing local authorities to choose not to share information with the feds on crimes the state doesn’t view as hate crimes—and “sexual orientation or gender... More »

GOP Brass Won't Co-Sign Dems' Civility Statement

RNC chief Steele won't be hemmed in

(Newser) - Republican National Committee executives won’t sign onto “civility” statement drafted by Democrats who wanted to issue it jointly, sources tell Politico . After recent violent threats against lawmakers of both parties, members of the Democratic National Committee brass reached out to their opposite numbers at the RNC in hopes... More »

Senate Faces Another Fight on Extending Benefits

Starring Tom Coburn as Jim Bunning

(Newser) - With the Senate scheduled for a two-week recess after tomorrow, there’s another showdown brewing over unemployment benefits—and this time, the Republicans have introduced a bill of their own in an apparent effort to avoid the negative publicity that came with Sen. Jim Bunning’s one-man filibuster earlier this... More »

GOP Rep Wants Investigation of White House

Pa. lawmaker offered job for dropping anti-Specter run: Issa

(Newser) - Republican Rep. Darrell Issa will demand an investigation into the White House, he tells CBS , if the Obama administration doesn’t elaborate on a claim by a Pennsylvania congressman that he was offered a job in return for not challenging Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in a state primary. Rep. Joe... More »

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