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Politics, lawsuits entangle financial firm in state January 19, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Corruption, Democrats, News, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

HARRISBURG — The head of a financial company the FBI raided two years ago in an ongoing investigation into “pay-to-play” practices donated more than $400,000 to state officials and political committees, and is accused in two lawsuits of colluding with bankers on municipal bond deals.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission paid the Investment Management Advisory Group of Pottstown, which advises local and state governments on municipal bond deals, about $3.5 million in fees over the past decade, said turnpike spokesman Bill Capone. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency paid the company, known as IMAGE, $142,500 in 2005 and 2006 for financial advice, an agency spokesman said.

IMAGE had contracts across Pennsylvania with school districts and authorities. The company advised the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority on three financing deals.

David Eckhart, president and managing director of IMAGE, gave $401,950 to state candidates and political committees since 1999, state records show. He donated $67,000 to federal candidates. Records show Eckhart continued to make significant campaign contributions through September 2008.

“Dave’s company has done great work,” said Gene Grabowski, a spokesman for IMAGE. “All these (campaign) contributions do is enhance your chance of being noticed.” He said Eckhart hasn’t donated to campaigns lately.

Eckhart gave $58,000 to a committee controlled by former Republican Party state chairman Bob Asher of Montgomery County; $55,500 to former Sen. Vincent Fumo, D-Philadelphia, who is on trial on corruption charges; $27,000 to Gov. Ed Rendell; $22,500 to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey while he was state treasurer and auditor general; $20,000 to a committee controlled by the late Ron White of Philadelphia, who was indicted in an influence-peddling scheme; and $10,000 to former Gov. Tom Ridge, according to Bureau of Elections documents.

-Article continued @ Sourced Site.

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Tanks In My Memory Goodbye George!–Video January 18, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Comic Relief, News, Opinion, Politics, Repiglicans, Video.
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Here are the lyrics for this video. Wonderful!

Thanks for the memory
The hell you put us through
Deserves a big fuck you
From Bush v Gore
To endless war
It really was a coup
So fuck you, George Bush

Thanks for the memory
You failed and so much more
Approvals through the floor
You are the first at being worse
Than all who’ve come before
How inept you are

Yes it was Hell while it lasted
To see our country so detested
And how is it you’re not arrested
It was not fun
So much harm done

And tanks in my memory
They rumble through my dreams
Like Abu Bhraib screams
The countless lies
As good men die
America got reamed
How awful it was

Think you’re the ministry
Get on your knees and pray
Make Terrie Schiavo stay
The word of God
You Christian fraud
Isn’t yours to say
How ghoulish it was

Goodbye let’s make it forever
With our place in history reserved
With such failure it’s really deserved
Just make my day
Go far away

Sank the economy
Deregulation sprees
Send factories overseas
Export the jobs of working slobs
Drive them to their knees
How bankrupt you are

Emptied the treasury
Cut taxes for the rich
Financial bait n’ switch
A costly war
As Bailouts soar
You really found your niche
You fucked us George Bush

I was an average worker
Then my job, house and wife went away
But my credit card debt’s here to stay
No bankruptcy
To set me free

Homeland security
The Towers that fell down
New Orleans left to drown
Read My Pet Goat
Watched bodies float
You really are a clown
How clueless you are

How’s this for victory
From shock and awe TV
To leashed depavity
The dead are hid
No contracts bid
Bin Laden still runs free
You punk ass George Bush

Your Preemptive war was folly
World sympathy soured to fury
The World Court should next be your jury
So many died
You satisfied?

Right-wing philosophy
The garbage that they spew
To benefit the few
Eradicate
This cult of hate
We’re giving you the shoe
All toether once more

U.S. Bushectomy
It’s time for us to cut
This boil from our butt
His public life
Under the knife
Bye George there goes one nut
So fuck you
FUCK YOU
GEORGE BUSH

Coleman camp devises 5-stage challenge to Franken’s numbers January 15, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Campaigning, Law, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy StarTribune:

Minnesotans finding diversion from winter in the tumultuous U.S. Senate race got indications Wednesday that the battle could rage until spring, unless Republican Norm Coleman sees his hopes flagging.

In the first sign that Coleman might cut short his challenge of the Senate recount, his campaign proposed that his lawsuit be conducted in stages. The proceedings would continue through all the stages only if he gains enough votes to show he could emerge the winner.

In a court filing, Coleman’s lawyers suggested that the trial’s first phase begin Feb. 9. The campaign downplayed the significance of the announcement and did not elaborate on how many votes Coleman would have to gain during each stage in order to proceed.

In another development Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court said it would not hear arguments until Feb. 5 on Democrat Al Franken’s request to be certified the winner so he could be seated in the Senate. The Coleman campaign characterized the decision as evidence that the high court was in no hurry to enable Franken to be seated. “The wheels are coming off the Franken campaign’s ‘victory train,'” said Coleman attorney Fritz Knaak.

Franken had begun the week by asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to issue him an election certificate, in light of the 225-vote lead he held after the state Canvassing Board certified the recount results on Jan. 5. When they both declined, citing Coleman’s pending legal challenge, Franken’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court to decide the issue.

In its filing discussing how Coleman’s election challenge might proceed, his campaign proposed a trial schedule that would have five stages, with the final stage beginning Feb. 23. The campaign also called for a potential sweeping reexamination of virtually every ballot cast in the Nov. 4 election.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Another blow for Republicans as senator announces retirement January 13, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in Economy, News, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Rawsstory/AFP:

The beleaguered US Republican Party, reeling from big losses to Democrats and about to relinquish the White House, took another blow on Monday, when a key Ohio senator announced his retirement.

Veteran Senator George Voinovich said he would not run for a third term when his seat comes up for reelection in 2010, leaving Republicans another tricky race in a state which voted for Democrat Barack Obama for president.

Given the fierce challenges facing the United States, including the deep economic crisis, Voinovich said he could best serve his state by devoting himself to the Senate rather than campaigning and fundraising.

“In my lifetime of public service, I have never seen the country in such perilous circumstances, Voinovich said in a statement.

“Not since the Great Depression and the Second World War have we been confronted with such challenges, as a nation and as a world.

“These next two years in office, for me, will be the most important years that I have served in my entire political career,” said Voinovich, a former mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio.

-Article Continued @ Sourced Site.

Republican Leader Threatens to Block Seating of Franken January 2, 2009

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Politics, Protest, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy The New York Times:

With Al Franken holding on to a razor-thin lead over incumbent Norm Coleman in the protracted contest for the United States Senate seat from Minnesota, Republicans say they are planning to block any attempt by Democrats to seat Mr. Franken when the new Congress is sworn in next week.

If the recount in Minnesota, which has entered its sixth week, remains undecided, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the incoming chairman of the Republican National Senatorial Committee, said on Friday that G.O.P. senators were ready to filibuster the provisional seating of Mr. Franken.

Mr. Cornyn said that without a certificate of election, which cannot be issued under Minnesota state law if there were legal challenges pending, the Senate should not seat Mr. Franken, the Democrat, or Senator Coleman.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Trooper Says Election Delayed Alaska Drug Case December 27, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Corruption, Law, Palin, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy The Washington Post:

WASILLA, Alaska — The mother of Bristol Palin‘s boyfriend sent text messages discussing drug transactions less than a month after the young woman’s mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was nominated as the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to court documents filed this week.

An affidavit from an Alaska state trooper, filed Monday, states that Sherry L. Johnston referred in her messages to two police informants to “coffee” as a code for the drug OxyContin.

Johnston, 42, was arrested on felony drug charges last week after state troopers served a search warrant at her Wasilla home. She allegedly sold OxyContin tablets to the informants on three occasions this fall, the affidavit states. Police said two of the meetings were recorded by a hidden camera and a microphone.

 

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

GOP IT Guru for 04 Ohio Election Dies in Plane Crash December 20, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in News, Politics, Repiglicans, Technology, Voting.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

A top level Republican IT consultant who was set to testify in a case alleging GOP election tampering in Ohio died in a plane crash late Friday night. 

Michael Connell — founder of Ohio-based New Media Communications, which created campaign Web sites for George W. Bush and John McCain — died instantly after his single-prop, private aircraft smashed into a vacant home in suburban Lake Township, Ohio. 

“The plane was attempting to land around 6 p.m. Friday at Akron-Canton Airport when it crashed about three miles short of the runway,” reports theAkron Beacon Journal.

Connell’s exploits as a top GOP IT ‘guru’ have been well documented by RAW STORY’s investigative team. 

The interest in Mike Connell stems from his association with a firm called GovTech, which he had spun off from his own New Media Communications under his wife Heather Connell’s name. GovTech was hired by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to set up an official election website at election.sos.state.oh.us to presented the 2004 presidential returns as they came in.

Connell is a long-time GOP operative, whose New Media Communications provided web services for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Republican National Committee and many Republican candidates. This in itself might have raised questions about his involvement in creating Ohio’s official state election website.

However, the alternative media group ePlubibus Media further discovered in November 2006 that election.sos.state.oh.us was hosted on the servers of a company in Chattanooga, TN called SmarTech, which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican Internet domains.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Rep Virgil Good, (R-VA) Concedes Defeat December 19, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Politics, Religion, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy TPM:

It’s official: Rep. Virgil Goode, the Virginia Republican best known for denouncing the election of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) as the first Muslim member of Congress, has conceded defeat against Democratic Rep.-Elect Tom Perriello.

Goode asked for a recount after the certified total gave Perriello a 745-vote lead out of over 300,000 votes cast. The chance of turning around that kind of deficit was nearly non-existent, and now that the recount has finished Goode has conceded via press release.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

Sen. Norm Coleman retains defense attorney following corruption suits December 17, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Corruption, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

For Republican Senator Norm Coleman, whose prolonged electoral battle with his Democratic opponent Al Franken has beenwell publicized, public life just isn’t getting any easier.

Breaking reports from Coleman’s home state of Minnesota indicate the Senator-in-limbo has retained the services of defense attorney Doug Kelley, as part of an effort to fend off charges of corruption in two lawsuits.

The suits, filed in Delaware and Texas, also name Coleman’s wife Laurie, Jim Hayes, Laurie’s employer, and Nasser Kazeminy, an Iranian-born millionaire.

Both suits claim that Sen. Coleman accepted approximately $75,000 from Kazeminy in a payment scheme that funneled the money through Kazeminy’s Houston-based Deep Marine Technologies and into the coffers of Coleman’s wife’s employer.

The FBI, in announcing the onset of an investigation into claims against Kazeminy, added that Sen. and Laurie Coleman, along with Hayes, are not part of the investigation. Kazeminy’s attorney, Joe Friedberg, works for Minneapolis-based Winthrop & Weinstine, a law firm which once employed Sen. Coleman.

Records show Kazeminy is among Minnesota’s top 20 political donors, with all but one contribution from the last election cycle flowing into Republican accounts. Kazeminy also donated to former Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.

An Additional $30,000 Spent on Palin Wardrobe, RNC Reports December 5, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Palin, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy Rawstory:

The price of Sarah Palin’s RNC-provided wardrobe is approaching the price of an average American home.

As the price of median US home prices continues to fall, the price of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe continues to rise.

“The Republican National Committee is scheduled to file a campaign report with the Federal Election Commission Thursday disclosing that the committee spent additional funds to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin,” the National Journal reported late Wednesday.

“In October, Politico revealed that the RNC had spent approximately $150,000 on clothing and accessories for Palin and her family after she was selected as Sen. John McCain’s running mate,” the magazine added. “The story provoked a storm of criticism of the Alaska governor, a mother of five and favorite of the conservative wing of the GOP.”

GOP officials wouldn’t provide many details.

-Article Continues @ Sourced Site.