December 11, 2009 |
Getting into the holiday spirit, the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a spending bill loaded with goodies for the folks back home. Trails for Monterey Bay. An arts pavilion for Mississippi. Bus shelters for Bellflower. In all, the bill contains 5,224 earmarks costing about $3.9 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group. Though Democrats say they have cracked down on pork-barrel spending, critics attacked the bill as excessive. "Clearly, the earmark culture has not been swept away," Brian M. Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, blogged Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2006 |
A federal grand jury conducting a criminal investigation has subpoenaed San Bernardino County records related to a Washington lobbying firm with close ties to Rep. Jerry Lewis, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, according to federal documents. Federal investigators are looking into the relationship between Lewis (R-Redlands) and a Washington lobbyist linked to disgraced former Rep.
March 9, 2006 |
Senators would have to go Dutch when wining and dining with lobbyists under a provision approved Wednesday as part of a pending ethics reform bill. Senators are currently permitted to let lobbyists pick up the tab for meals worth less than $50, and the bill as originally written would have required public disclosure by the lawmakers of such payments.
March 2, 2006 |
Two key senators begin their bipartisan push today for creating an office of public integrity, a proposal that would significantly alter the way Congress investigates itself. Under the measure sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the panel's ranking Democrat, the new office could initiate probes of House and Senate members suspected of ethics violations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2005 |
A Superior Court judge on Friday declared unconstitutional a July ballot measure aimed at preventing the removal of a cross atop Mt. Soledad, the latest twist in a 16-year court battle. Judge Patricia Y. Cowett invalidated the voter-approved measure that would have kept the 43-foot-tall cross in place by transferring the city-owned land to the federal government so the site can become a national monument.
March 15, 2007 |
The day news broke that a federal corruption probe in Southern California was spreading to Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis, the chief of staff to Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales fired off an e-mail to the White House about the federal prosecutor who had begun the investigation. "The real problem we have right now is Carol Lam," D. Kyle Sampson told White House Deputy Counsel William Kelley on May 11.
May 4, 2006 |
Hoping to stem the political damage from a spate of embarrassing scandals, the House voted Wednesday to tighten rules governing lobbyists but stopped short of a ban on free trips or gifts for lawmakers. The close vote on the measure -- 217 to 213, largely along party lines -- reflected criticisms by Democrats that the bill, intended to address Congress' ethically tarred image, would do little to change the way business is conducted on Capitol Hill.
March 17, 2006 |
In a bold, perhaps desperate, gamble to lift her campaign for the U.S. Senate out of the doldrums, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris announced on a Fox News program that she would take all of the money she recently inherited from her father -- $10 million -- and use it to bankroll her campaign. The moment of high drama was major news across Florida from a political figure well known for it, but whose latest political foray had attracted little attention.
October 21, 2005 |
I'VE BEEN waiting for quite a while now for conservatives to come up with a theory to explain why large chunks of the Republican Party are, or soon will be, under indictment. The argument I've been anticipating has finally arrived, in the form of a long lead editorial in the latest edition of the influential conservative magazine the Weekly Standard.
March 22, 2006 |
The three positions with the most sway over Congress, it can be argued, are majority leader of the Senate, speaker of the House and maitre d' of the Palm. Almost as much political business gets done over double-cut lamb chops at the elite watering hole -- and at similar establishments throughout the city -- as under the Capitol dome. It's no wonder, then, that talk of making it illegal for lobbyists to pick up a lawmaker's tab has the local restaurant community all whipped up.