An investigator found “insufficient evidence to prove” that Dep. MT state Aud. Walter Schweitzer, brother of MT Gov/DGA Chair Brian Schweizter, “illegally solicited political donations from employees in a state building, as an ex-employee charged.” Investigator Elizabeth Kaleva said she found “insufficient evidence to determine that Schweitzer was handing out invitations and accepting contributions” in the auditor’s office for a fundraiser for House candidate Dennis McDonald (D) (Johnson, Billings Gazette, 10/7).
Don’t Drink And Captain Boats
MT state Sen. Greg Barkus (R) “is facing felony charges” in the Aug. “boating accident that injured” Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and left his state dir., Dustin Frost, “in a coma for 10 days.” Barkus was charged with “criminal endangerment and two counts of negligent vehicular assault.”
Barkus “allegedly crashed a boat at high speed onto a rocky embankment” after “a night of drinking,” including “scotch and wine.” His blood-alcohol level was “twice the legal limit,” which Rehberg said he was “surprised” to learn, because “he didn’t appear to be impaired to me” (CongressDailyAM, 10/8).
Let The Possibly Fake Record Show
A NY state cmsn “fined” Darren Dopp, ex-comm. dir. for ex-NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), $10K for having “misused his official position in an effort to discredit Spitzter’s main political foe,” then-NY House Maj. Leader Joseph Bruno (R). The state Public Integrity Cmsn found Dopp “had the State Police create offiical looking documents” about Bruno’s “use of state aircraft” and then “gave the documents, which wouldn’t ordinarily exist, to a reporter.”
Dopp: “With this decision, I become the first public information officer in history to be sanctioned for releasing public records in response to a media request. This decision is unfounded, erroneous and tainted. I intend to sue” the cmsn (Bauman, AP, 10/8).
Fridge Would Be Nice, Boca Burger Boxes Would Be Better
Ex-Rep. Bill Jefferson’s (D-LA) attys “have a lien” on Jefferson’s DC home, “according to recent bankruptcy court filings,” but it’s “not clear whether the lien includes the home’s refrigerator, were buried in soy burger and pie crust boxes” was the infamous $90K in “unmarked bills” uncovered during the ‘05 FBI raid. The fridge “could bring in extra revenue from a collector” (Tilove, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/7).
Attys “for the man accused of murdering” ex-federal intern Chandra Levy “are trying to fend off testimony from jailhouse snitches as well as an academic expert” in the “esoteric” field of “geographic profiling,” which “aims to calculate the most likely locations where a serial offender will strike” (Doyle, McClatchy, 10/8).
A cousin of Karla Giraldo testified in NY state Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s (D) assault trial 10/7 that Giraldo “was ‘borracha’ rather than ‘mareada’ — more durnk than tipsy — the night her face was cut.” Monserrate’s attys “sought to cast doubt on the reliability” of statements Giraldo made “incriminating” Monserrate “as her deliberate attacker.” The defense “left open the possibility” it may call Monserrate as its final witness (Blumenthal, New York Times, 10/8).
Spared Some More Embarrassment
Ex-Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) “and his wife of 24 years have agreed to a 50-50 split of their assets, keeping the contentious separation from going to trial,” an atty said 10/7 (Turner, TCPalm.com, 10/7).
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The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.