Betsy Muse's blog

Jim Black is Innocent

At least according to Jim Black. News 14 in Charlotte has an exclusive interview with Black who says he knows he did nothing wrong and does not expect to be charged.

Enjoy the full article at News 14

Mitchell Wade Admits to Bribery

In his plea, defense contractor Mitchell Wade, admitted to paying his employees to make campaign contributions to two Republicans, though he says these two did not know the contributions were illegal. In the 2004 cycle Katherine Harris(R-Fla) received $32,000 from employees of MZM, Inc and Virgil Goode(R-Va) received $23,551. Goode also received $34,625 in the 2006 cycle. The above information is from Open Secrets.

According to Paul Kiel of TPM's Daily Muck:

After Wade made the campaign contributions, Wade asked that one of the Representatives and his staff request appropriations funding for an MZM facility. The Representative's staff later confirmed to Wade that an appropriations bill would include $9 million for the facility.

Bush, The Puppet President

The Associated Press

has a story out that confirms what many of us have suspected for some time now. President Bush is not in control of his White House and has divorced himself from the responsibility of running this country.

President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday. Defending the deal anew, the administration also said that it should have briefed Congress sooner about the transaction, which has triggered a major political backlash among both Republicans and Democrats.

The Verdict is In (Almost!)

The State Board of Elections has determined that Jim Black's campaign did break election laws by accepting contributions over the legal limit, by making contributions in the name of another contributor and by accepting over $27,000 in contributions from businesses.

While no action was taken against Black, Rep. Michael Decker (R-Forsyth) and Scott Edwards, treasurer of the optometrists' PAC were referred to the Wake County District Attorney's office for possible prosecution.

From the Charlotte Observer:

Investigators concluded that Decker, a Black ally, failed to disclose contributions, transferred campaign contributions for personal use without reporting them and filed false campaign reports. Edwards, a Murfreesboro optometrist, was accused of violating campaign contribution limits and filing a false report

Democrats Have Uphill Battle in N.C.'s 8th District

The Charlotte Observer has a piece this morning that makes the future of North Carolina's 8th Congressional District appear bleak. The financial numbers aren't looking good for Democrats Tim Dunn and Larry Kissell.

According to the FECinfo data compiled by the Observer, Robin Hayes had $733,837 in the bank as of 12/31/05. Tim Dunn had $47,118 and Larry Kissell had $3,653. It's a good thing the numbers don't tell the whole story.

Dunn and Kissell are running against each other in a primary. This means that the money will leave the campaign as quickly as it is coming in. I haven't seen anything by Tim Dunn that is out locally yet, but Larry Kissell is running a traditional grassroots campaign with a twist. He has also reached out to the netroots for support.

Major Newspaper Contact Info

Let's see if this will work now....

The News & Observer (Raleigh and surrounding areas)
215 South McDowell Street
P.O. Box 191Raleigh, NC 27602
(919) 829-4500

Link for newsroom feedback: https://miva.nando.com/contact_us/newsroom_feedback.html
Link for phone numbers for N & O staff: http://www.newsobserver.com/450/story/177389.html

Letters to the Editor:

The Nail in the Gas Tax Coffin

The Charlotte Observer has an excellent piece on the editorial page from a couple of weeks ago about the gas tax and the state highway budget funds and how they are used. It gives a lesson of fairly recent legislative history that serves to shine a light on the ignorance of many critics of the gas tax and how the money is used by the legislature.

Revenues for roads/highways goes into one of two funds in the state budget. The Highway Fund is used to pay for general maintenance and repairs of state-owned roads. It also pays for some smaller construction projects and transportation programs. Revenues that support this fund come from the state motor fuel tax and vehicle registration fees. No money from this fund is transferred to the General Funds in the state budget.

It's Time for the Truth

(front-paged by Anglico . . .)

In preparation for Jane Hamsher's live chat with the Washington Post I am cross posting here and at MyDD a post from my blog Americans Deserve the Truth.  It is time for the truth to be more easily found in the traditional media outlets especially about the political scandals currently flourishing in Washington.  I'm tired of the media trying to artificially balance the news they deliver.  You can't turn a Republican scandal into a bipartisan affair just by pretending it is so.  My diary follows........

Al Gore Spoke Up for America Today

On a day when many of us are reflecting on the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Al Gore delivered a speech that was awe-inspiring. He has called the American people to defend the Constitution and our civil liberties against the tyranny of a president who refuses to obey the rule of law.

The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real. There is simply no question that we continue to face new challenges in the wake of the attack on September 11th and that we must be ever-vigilant in protecting our citizens from harm.

Sue Myrick has Some Splainin to Do

[As they say: Developing... --Lance]

Well, well, well if sweet Sue hasn't just ruined her chance of making it to the Governor's mansion. It seems that Sue signed a letter for Jack Abramoff urging the Bush administration to reject a Louisiana Indian casino back in February 2002. During the following two years she accepted about $2000 in contributions from Indian tribes that were rivals of the Louisiana tribe.

This doesn't mean that Myrick was necessarily accepting a bribe, but I'm having trouble believing that Sue Myrick would sign this letter for the helluvit especially since Indian tribes in North Carolina have their own little gambling thing going. Have you ever heard of Harrahs in Cherokee, N.C.? Why would Sue have a problem with any other tribe having gambling facilities, especially one in a state so far away?

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