Beyond rigging the game

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Apparently, our primary election system doesn’t need to be rigged:

It’s far worse than you think — worse than hanging chads, faulty Diebold machines, and billionaires who bankroll last-minute attack ads. The American system for nominating a presidential candidate has about as much in common with actual democracy as Donald Duck has with a lake mallard. It’s not just that this year’s primaries have been further front-loaded, or that the early primary states aren’t representative of the nation at large. There is only passing fairness. There is only the semblance of order. There is nothing like equal representation under the law.

I’m just catching this from the Salon newsletter, and I’m off to work, so I’ll have to read the rest later. Looks to be interesting though.

UPDATE: 11:53 p.m. — Apparently, I forgot the link. Here you go.

They’re wrong because I say so

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I’m still adjusting to the morning thing (more specifically, the “I don’t get to sit here and do nothing anymore” part of it), so I guess I’ll just flag something for you that I meant to blog about last week. Heath Haussamen has been following up on the CREW allegations that Rep. Steve Pearce didn’t disclose a stock sale back in 2003:

But the group’s first allegation, made Tuesday when CREW released its list of the 22 most corrupt members of Congress, is that Pearce failed to report on a public financial disclosure form the fact that he sold the assets of Lea Fishing Tools, Inc. to Key Energy Services for more than 540,000 shares of stock in 2003. The group says Pearce was required to report the sale and his failure to do so likely violated the Ethics in Government Act.

I touched on this last week, but Haussamen has been working the phones trying to get a response from the Congressman. What happened?

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., is still refusing to explain why a watchdog group’s accusation that he failed to report a financial transaction he was required to disclose is false.

Follow the link for more.

Thanks Senator Domenici!


For those who still care:

In a 56-43 vote, the Senate today “narrowly rejected” legislation that would have restored habeas corpus rights to military detainees and given them “the right to protest their detention in federal court.” The roll call fell four votes short of the 60 needed to cut off debate.

UPDATE: Full roll call vote HERE.

There’s background over at FireDogLake. It seems absolutely ludicrous to me that we have to be fighting for these rights (laid out 200 years ago!) just two days after we celebrated Constitution Day, but, there you go. Sen. Pete Domenici, New Mexico’s senior senator, was among those who chose to roll back the liberties and rights that our nation’s sons and daughters have fought for in the past and are dying for today.

Speaking of Domenici, NewMexiKen tipped us off that Pete made CREW’s list of the 22 most corrupt members of Congress. Here’s why. I think we can be reasonably certain that CREW doesn’t have a bone to pick with New Mexico, so it’s telling that every Republican member of Congress from the Land of Enchantment was also singled out.

Scandal still plagues Republican Party in 2007

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TPM Muckraker this morning looks at the list of 11 Republican members of Congress under investigation or embroiled in scandal:

So what’s the tally this year so far? Well, there is, of course, 1) Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and 2) Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) with their sex scandals (the attempted restroom tryst and numerous successful hotel room trysts, respectively).

But then there’s the much greater toll of just plain ol’ corruption. 3) Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and 4) Rep. Don Young (R-AK) are under investigation for their ties to the oil company Veco (though that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Young). 5) Reps. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and 6) John Doolittle (R-CA) have found themselves the focus of a reinvigorated Abramoff investigation (though Abramoff is in prison, he’s still busily cooperating). 7) Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) had his house raided. 8) The FBI is investigating Rep. Gary Miller’s (R-CA) land deals.

On a side note, is there a New Mexico connection, you ask? But of course! Stevens and Young are under investigation for their ties to VECO, an Alaskan oil company. Turns out, in 2004, two VECO executives contributed $1,000 to the campaign of Rep. Steve Pearce:

VECO Contribution to Steve Pearce

VECO Contribution to Steve Pearce II