February 8, 2013 |
Rep. Joe Courtney (D.-Conn.) understands it looks a little strange that he issued a letter chastising Steven Spielberg when it was Ben Affleck who helped him get elected. But he finds the idea that Affleck put him up to it - or that he took it upon himself in a bid to influence the Oscar race - more than a little absurd. “It's hilarious, that conspiracy theory,” Courtney said, offering a laugh when asked by The Times. “I'm not smart enough to know when Oscar voting begins.” If you haven't been following this little drama, here's what went down.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2013 |
Southern California Edison was aware of problems with replacement steam generators at its San Onofre nuclear power plant but chose not to make fixes, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer charged Wednesday. Boxer cited a leaked report from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of the steam generators, obtained by her office. It is the first indication from government officials that Edison and Mitsubishi knew the system had problems before it was even installed. The nuclear plant, a prime supplier of power in Southern California, has been off line for more than a year after a small amount of radioactive steam leaked from the plant's tubing.
January 24, 2013 |
A congressman from Massachusetts raised questions Thursday about how Walt Disney Co. will use information it collects when it gives parkgoers new wristbands embedded with computer chips. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), who co-chairs a congressional panel on privacy, asked Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger in a letter what information the park will collect with the so-called MagicBand and how it will be used. "Widespread use of MagicBand bracelets by park guests could dramatically increase the personal data Disney can collect about its guests," he said, adding that he is particularly concerned at the prospects of Disney collecting information about children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2012 |
Jack Brooks hounded government bureaucrats, drafted articles of impeachment against President Nixon and was a strong supporter of civil rights in a congressional career that spanned four decades. But the Texas politician was perhaps best known for his appearance in a single photograph. Brooks is frozen in that November 1963 image, standing behind a grief-stricken Jacqueline Kennedy as Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One. Hours earlier, Brooks had been in the Dallas motorcade when President Kennedy was assassinated.
November 30, 2012 |
One would think that a U.S. congressman accusing the president of the United States of maneuvering to aid Al Qaeda - an act verging on treason - would be headline news around the nation. That's how I heard Rep. Louie Gohmert's attack on President Obama's Libya policies earlier this week. But when I called the Texas congressman's office Thursday, an aide clarified that Gohmert intended to say only that the president formulated bad policy in Libya because he got bad advice. That's good to hear now. But Gohmert, a frequent and virulent critic of the president, ought to choose his words more carefully the next time he commiserates with his friends on right-wing radio.
November 26, 2012 |
The House Ethics Committee said Monday that it would begin an inquiry into whether Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) violated campaign finance laws. First though, the committee will defer to a separate investigation from the Justice Department, which is also looking into whether Grimm, who recently won reelection over Democrat Mark Murphy, is guilty of a number of infractions. The Ethics Committee listed possible solicitation and acceptance of illegal campaign contributions, falsification of information included in campaign finance reports and offering to assist a foreign national obtain a green card in exchange for campaign contributions.
November 16, 2012 |
In the era of "super PACs" and secretive political contributions, the webs woven by outside political groups can be so tangled that it's a wonder they don't confuse even the darkness-loving arachnids who spun them. But the story behind a mailer sent by an outside political group to boost the campaign of Rep. Brad Sherman is such a masterpiece of cynical manipulation that one can't help but admire it -- in much the same way you might admire the elegance of a black widow just before she pumps the body politic full of venom.
November 2, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's endorsement of President Obama on the same day that Washington pledged to pay the full cost of providing emergency power and public transportation to the storm-battered city is drawing charges of "political payback" from a Kansas congressman. "It smacks of cronyism that within hours of being granted a special level of federal reimbursement in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg announces his endorsement of President Barack Obama," Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Republican, said in a statement posted on his website.
October 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The son of a Virginia congressman resigned from his father's campaign Wednesday after an undercover video captured him discussing possible voter fraud. Patrick Moran, whose father is Democratic Rep. James P. Moran, was secretly recorded in a video posted by conservative activist James O'Keefe. In the video, Moran, who was working as his father's campaign field director, talks about using utility bills and other documents to evade Virginia's new voter ID laws.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2012
Sam M. Gibbons Longtime Florida congressman Former U.S. Rep. Sam M. Gibbons, 92, a Democrat who served 17 terms in Congress and rose to head the powerful Ways and Means Committee before his retirement, died in his sleep late Tuesday or early Wednesday at a retirement home in Tampa, Fla., according to his son Tim. Elected in 1962, Gibbons never lost an election and was among the Tampa Bay region's best-known politicians. He pushed through legislation to create the University of South Florida while serving in the Florida Legislature in the 1950s.