Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


May 29, 2006  

"He's not guilty yet, we don't know," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) about Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) who had $90,000 of a bribe he took in his home freezer.

"There's a difference between the involvement of Congressman Jefferson in activities for which there's been no indictment, and the culture of corruption that extends throughout the White House, the vice president's office and both houses of Congress," Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said.

"And when you look at that flag and then you tell me that right now people in this country are saying it's OK to desecrate that flag and to burn it and to not pay respect to it - is that important to our values as a people when we've got 130,000 people fighting for our freedom and liberty today? That is important," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Gingrich on tape

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was in Florida recently and said that Jeb Bush is a strong candidate for President. The St. Petersburg Times also asked what Democrat candidate is the most difficult to beat in 2008:

Which potential Democratic presidential candidate most worries him? "Either (former Virginia) Gov. Mark Warner or (Indiana) Sen. Evan Bayh have a lot to offer the Democratic Party because they're more moderate," he said, predicting either would have a very tough time beating Hillary Clinton for the nomination.

Hillary promoted

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is showing an 18 minute tape to kick-off her campaign for re-election to the Senate at the NY Democrat convention. She has already previewed the tape for the Associated Press. Bill Clinton offers these words according to the AP:

"You really can't care what people say about you. And, in New York, they say it in every language," Clinton says.

"She could have had a much easier and more lucrative life, but it wouldn't have been her life," her husband says.

Over the next 15 minutes there is much talk of her work in the Senate — on health care, the Armed Services Committee, post-Sept. 11 efforts.

Inconvenient truth for Gore

The Washington Times points out that former Vice President Al Gore’s statement that global warming has caused increased intensities of hurricanes is probably not true:

Scientists disagree

In one corner, subscribing to the theory that the Atlantic Basin is in a busy cycle that occurs naturally every 25 to 40 years, are Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and William Gray and Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University, who pioneered much of modern hurricane-prediction theory.

"There has been no change in the number and intensity of Category 4 or Category 5 hurricanes around the world in the last 15 years," Mr. Landsea said, in a telephone interview from Miami.

On the other side are Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the most respected hurricane scientists in the world, a team of meteorologists from Georgia Tech led by Peter Webster, an MIT-educated monsoon specialist, and Greg Holland, who earned his doctorate at Colorado State under Mr. Gray.

Reid acted unethically

 "I'm not Goodie two shoes. I just feel these events are nothing I did wrong," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said.

The Associated Press is reporting that Sen. Reid violated the senate ethics rules by taking free ringside boxing tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission while they were trying to influence legislation through his offices:

Senate ethics rules generally allow lawmakers to accept gifts from federal, state or local governments, but specifically warn against taking such gifts -- particularly on multiple occasions -- when they might be connected to efforts to influence official actions.

"Senators and Senate staff should be wary of accepting any gift where it appears that the gift is motivated by a desire to reward, influence, or elicit favorable official action," the Senate ethics manual states. It cites the 1990s example of an Oregon lawmaker who took gifts for personal use from a South Carolina state university and its president while that school was trying to influence his official actions.

"Repeatedly taking gifts which the Gifts Rule otherwise permits to be accepted may, nonetheless, reflect discredit upon the institution, and should be avoided," the manual states.




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