As Norm Eisen departs for Prague, the White House announces his replacement: nobody. Well, technically, Bob Bauer will take over Eisen’s “portfolio” at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and Steven Croley will also join the ethics team. Article at the Washington Post. Also: the Sunlight Foundation doesn’t take kindly to the announcement, listing several ethics promises on which they have yet to see follow-through from the Obama Administration. CREW (which Eisen co-founded) is also not enthused.
Federal Judge Ellen Huvelle refused to throw out charges against accused Jack Abramoff associate Kevin Ring this week. Ring’s attorneys had asked Huvelle to vacate the charges after the Supreme Court’s decisions in three recent cases diminished the power of the honest services fraud statute, one of the statutes under which Ring was charged.
Rep. Maxine Waters‘ ethics charges were revealed – and she plans to fight back. Most of the charge appears to focus on the actions of Rep. Waters’ chief of staff, Mikael Moore, in trying to secure federal funding for OneUnited Bank, an entity in which Rep. Waters’ husband held financial stake. This case, in which Waters is being reprimanded for the actions of her staff, bears some resemblance to Rep. Charlie Rangel’s getting in trouble for his staff’s knowledge about the infamous trip to the Caribbean.
Speaking of Charlie Rangel, if you haven’t seen the rambling 30-minute House floor speech that he gave earlier this week, it’s time for a little Friday afternoon work-break.
Are you a corporation planning to use the Citizens United case to spend massive amounts of money in federal elections? Let what happened to Target Corp. in Minnesota be a lesson to you.
GOP Reps. Mike Castle (Dela.) and Bob Platts (Pa.) have teamed up to offer more power to the Office of Congressional Ethics. A new bill by the two Congressmen, titled the Accountability and Transparency in Ethics Act, would give subpoena powers to the mostly investigative body. Read more at Roll Call, “Castle, Platts Propose Tougher Ethics Measures.”
Interesting little tid-bit from K Street Cafe: How and why does Congress use Twitter (video).
Quote(s) of the Week:
“With Mr. Eisen headed to Europe as an ambassador, his move from the White House ‘is the biggest lobbying success we’ve had all year,’” – Tony Podesta, Washington Post, Aug. 6
“Violations of campaign finance laws are clear cut and lend themselves to easy proof beyond a reasonable doubt… It sounds like this is both the beginning and possibly the end of the PMA matter in terms of prosecution.” – Jan Baran, on the Paul Magliocchetti indictment, Roll Call, Aug. 9