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Archive for July 22nd, 2007

Feingold Calls For Censure Of Bush And Cheney

by- Suzie-Q @ 9:17 AM MST

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) Sunday called for the censure of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and others, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated that he is reluctant to schedule a vote on such a measure.

“Censure is about holding the administration accountable,” Feingold said. “Congress needs to formally condemn the President and members of the administration for misconduct before and during the Iraq war, and for undermining the rule of law at home.”

While censuring White House leaders would not be “a cure for the devastating toll this administration’s actions have taken on this country,” Feingold said he believes such a move would send a signal “that a co-equal branch of government stood up and held to account those who violated the principles on which this nation was founded.”

Feingold plans to introduce two measures, one focusing on the administration’s actions leading up to and during the Iraq war and the other on domestic issues. Feingold cited overstating the need to go to war as one reason for censure, as well as not giving the American people an honest view of the situation in Iraq.

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Feingold Discusses His Censure Resolutions On ‘Meet The Press’ 7-22-07

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by- Suzie-Q @ 8:58 AM MST

This is exactly the kind of story for which our “All Muck is Local” series was created.

Simon Speights is the mayor of Lipscomb, Alabama. He got the job back in 2005 when his predecessor resigned and the City Council voted him in. But Speights isn’t exactly eligible to be mayor.

Speights pleaded guilty to burglary in 1994, and while his voting rights have since been restored, his right to run for political office has not. Records show Speights occasionally uses the surname Speight, which might account for no one realizing the mayor’s criminal record. Oh, and he’s driving a stolen car (no one knows how he got it). And he’s collecting more than twice his authorized salary (no one knows how that happened). Last week, the local district attorney demanded that a judge remove the mayor from office.

But who would replace him? The mayor pro tempore is Gaston Randle, a city councilman and the former police commissioner. Randle might not be the man people want in charge; last month he resigned his commissioner job after being indicted for stalking a local Hispanic woman. And more recently, Randle has been charged with extortion, bribing and impersonating an officer.

Next in line for mayor would be City Councilman David Horn. But Horn was charged two weeks ago with impersonating a police officer. Apparently Horn was annoyed with a citizen who challenged him on fire safety statutes and so threatened to arrest him. He then pulled out an honorary police commission card and claimed to be a sheriff.

Horn posted bail for the incident, but then the police realized he was wanted in connection to an outstanding charge of domestic violence. He was promptly rearrested.

What is it with this perfect storm of small-town corruption? Well, the county sheriff first began an investigation of the Lipscomb police (the second in three years) after receiving allegations that officers were harassing Hispanic citizens. The sheriff found that the cops were shaking down pretty much everyone, regardless of ethnicity. And in the process, he found much to investigate at the city council.

Speights is still in charge, and has since applied to have his rights restored. But the local district attorney wants him out of there now. If the judge were up to it, he’d do well to toss Speights and the entire city council along with him.

TPM Muckraker

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Is Justice Department Operating On Autopilot?

by- Suzie-Q @ 8:13 AM MST

Resignations and the on­going furore over allegedly politicised hiring and firing at the US justice department have left so many top positions vacant that the department is all but operating on autopilot, the Financial Times has learnt.

Six top DoJ officials have quit since February, when the sackings of at least nine US attorneys prompted an outcry in Congress. Outside Washington, 23 of the 93 US attorneys’ offices, which investigate and try most cases, are devoid of permanent political leadership.

The remaining top officials, including Alberto Gonzales, attorney-­general, are the subject of multiple investigations by Congress and the DoJ’s inspector-general.

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