Orange Jumpsuit Politicians? Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

Seems that Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife have been playing fancy-free with “gifts” from corporate interests in Va. There was the matter of a $6500 Rolex, A $15,000 “donation” to pay McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding expenses at the Governor’s Mansion. $10,000 gift to McDonnells other daughter before her wedding.  Trips on private planes. A family “vacation”. A $1500 catered Thanksgiving Dinner and $3,000 “vacation”…

And that is just the “$125,000″ or so McDonnell has admitted taking from one wealthy businessman.

Then there is the issue of McDonnell’s wife using campaign funds as a personal piggy bank to buy clothes, furnish the mansion, and finance a lavish lifestyle. While not exactly illegal under Virginia law – it does raise some questions as to propriety.

Prosecutors are investigating what exactly these many gifts paid for.

McDonnell has been on a lot of the Republican Party potential Presidential candidates “short list” of VP picks. There also is some currency that McDonnell would make a run for a Senate seat or the big Kahuna – the Presidency.

Perhaps even more explosive is the fact that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also benefitted from the largesse of the same group of business interests. Cuccinelli says Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams didn’t give him the kind of presents that can be returned. Gifts from Williams listed in Cuccinelli’s financial disclosure forms include a $1,500 catered Thanksgiving dinner, private jet trips and vacation lodging. When asked about the list of gifts—totaling $18,000—the attorney general responded by saying that “there are some bells you can’t un-ring.” The “Cuch” just happens to be running for Governor this term.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when the State’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer is taking gifts under the table… The Attorney General of all people in a Government is supposed to conduct themselves within the law to be above reproach.

There is the consideration that the uncovered monies may just be the tip of the iceberg…

Donor Jonnie Williams, Star Scientific are cooperating in probe of Gov. Robert McDonnell

A prominent political donor and his dietary supplement company have been cooperating for several months with federal prosecutors in a fast-moving public corruption investigation of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, according to three people familiar with the probe.

Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific, has turned over personal financial records and sat for interviews in which he provided firsthand accounts of luxury gifts andmore than $120,000 given to McDonnell (R) and his family members since 2011, the people said.

Star has given prosecutors access to corporate records and offered information from other company officials. The three spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is in a sensitive stage.

The cooperation is an ominous sign for McDonnell, suggesting that federal prosecutors are focused on trying to build a potential criminal case against him.

McDonnell has not been charged, and prosecutors ultimately must determine whether they have the evidence to proceed against him.

But Williams is a critical witness who can offer investigators insight into the key issue for such a case: whether the governor and first lady agreed to take official actions that could help Williams’s company in exchange for his gifts.

McDonnell has repeatedly said he has broken no laws, insisting that he did nothing to help Williams’s company that he would not have done for any state-based enterprise. He has said he was not required by state law to disclose gifts given to his family members or a corporate loan that he said Williams provided. He has said he properly disclosed $50,000 given by Williams to his wife as a loan.

Still, McDonnell recently apologized for breaching the public’s trust and said he had repaid money he received from Williams, along with interest. Last week, he said he was working to return all of Williams’s gifts to his family.

But the federal probe is ongoing, as is an investigation by a state prosecutor in Richmond into whether the governor followed Virginia’s gift disclosure laws. Star Scientific has also told investors that it faces a securities probe.

Rich Galen, a spokesman for McDonnell, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office and an attorney for Williams.

Obama Deals Body Blow to Congressional Republican Kangaroo “Court”

Look like Republican Congressman Darrel Issa’s Kangaroo trial of Attorney General Eric Holder just got derailed.

In a move that hopefully signals the development of a backbone in the Obama Administration, President Obama has exerted “Executive Privilege” for the first time in his Presidency. The fact that he had to do so to derail Issa’s Kangaroo “trial” of AG Eric Holder says more about Republican racism and political vendettas than legality. Post the 2008 Election with a Democrat Majority in Congress, Democrats cut a deal with the Devil not to pursue the illicit, illegal, and treasonous crimes of Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices – including Mr Issa, in an attempt to tone down the political acrimony which had brought the country to its knees during the Clinton investigations, and enabled 911. The deal further saved the country from the embarrassment of having a former President, Vice President, and senior Cabinet Ministers placed in Orange Jumpsuits to spend long terms in prison.

Like the parable about the Scorpion and the Frog, the only thing you can expect from a starving rabid dog when you try and feed him is to get bit.

I hope this is a sign that President Obama is willing to wield that proverbial 2 x 4 in his second term.

Obama Executive Privilege Asserted Over Fast And Furious Documents

President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege in response to requests made by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has embarked on a controversial investigation into the Department of Justice’s Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program.

The invocation of executive privilege allows the president to defy requests and subpoenas by members of the legislative and judicial branches for information the White House deems sensitive. Obama’s decision will allow him to refuse to provide certain documents pertaining to the Fast and Furious program.

The Oversight Committee has threatened to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and Issa had scheduled a vote on the matter for Wednesday morning. A committee aide told Reuters that Issa would proceed with the contempt vote even after Obama’s action. Issa later declared that the decision to assert executive privilege “falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole addressed Issa in a letter on Wednesday morning.

“We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps we have taken to address the Committee’s concerns and to accommodate the Committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and Furious,” he wrote. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the Committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the Department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues.”

Holder, who met with Issa Tuesday in an attempt to reach an agreement on how many and which documents related to Fast and Furious he would turn over, had formally written Obama requesting that he exercise executive privilege…(A copy of that letter is here)

In an email to The Huffington Post, an administration official noted that former President George W. Bush asserted executive privilege six times, while former President Bill Clinton did it 14 times. This is the first time Obama has exercised this authority. The Republican National Committee was quick to point out Wednesday that then-candidate Obama criticized Bush for using the practice in 2007…

Holder Does a Smackdown on Republican Moron

Seems the only black man Republicans hate worse than President Obama is Attorney General Eric Holder…

They probably ought to stick to picking on Obama, who can’t or won’t fight back…

Because picking on Holder is rapidly becoming a losing proposition. And then there is the case of the same type of operation being conducted by the ATF under the Bushit called “Wide Receiver”…

To which not a single Republican objected.

GOP Senator Cornyn demands AG Holder resign, Holder gives epic smack-down response

Yesterday, during his ninth appearance before Congress regarding the “Fast and Furious” debacle (read more about that HERE), SenatorJohn Cornyn, Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, saying he hoped President Obama would replace him.

Cornyn: In short, you’ve violated the public trust in my view and, by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office.

It’s more with sorrow than regret, than with anger, that I would say that you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office.

Americans deserve an attorney general who will be honest with them. They deserve an attorney general who will uphold the basic standards of politiical independence and accountabilty. You’ve proven time and time again, sadly, that you are unwilling to do so. The American people deserve better. They deserve an attorney general who is accountable and independent. They deserve an attorney general who puts justice before politics.

It’s my sincere hope that President Obama will replace you with someone who is up to that challenge.

[Chairman Patrick Leahy offers a few remarks of support for Holder and then allows him to respond.]

Holder: With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with, it’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy, but, I’ll simply leave it at that.

You know, we want to talk about Fast and Furious, this is, I guess, what, the ninth time?— [turning to an aide who nods "yes"]—this is now the ninth time that I have answered questions before a congressional committee about “Fast and Furious.”

If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An attorney general whom I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called “Wide Receiver” and did nothing to stop them. Nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, “walked” in that instance.

I’m also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I’m also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorneys office that was involved, have overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn’t happen ever again.

So I don’t have any intention of resigning. I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. I don’t have any reason to believe that in fact is not the case.

And in terms of, you know, what is it that we have turned over to Congress in this regard, let’s put something on the record here. … We have collected data from 240 custodians, we have processed millions of electronic records, looked at over 140,000 documents, turned over 7,600 pages. Over the course of 46 separate productions, we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed.

And I’ve also said, indicated, I guess, earlier in my testimony, to the extent that all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns that have been raised in the House committee, I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. I have sent letters in that regard, the deputy attorney general has sent letters in that regard, and have not had responses. Which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation but for a political point-making. And that is the kind of thing that, you know, you and and your side, I guess, have the ability to do if that’s what you want to do. It is the kind of thing that I think turns people off about Washington. While we have very serious problems, we still have this political gamesmanship.

Cornyn: The problem we have is that you won’t allow Congress to do its job when it comes to oversight and you thwart a legitimate investigation into programs like Fast and Furious.

Atty. General Holder Suggests Retroactive Reduction of Crack Sentences

BTX3 thinks that if you want to raise the consciousness of existing Rethugly office holders, what you need to do is to tie white collar crime sentences to crack cocaine sentences.I’m sure if old Tom Delay were sentenced like a common criminal down there in Texas, clowns like Lamar Smith would discover a whole new attitude.

Indeed – Bankers steal hundreds of millions from the poor and middle class – and get nothing more than a wrist slap. You are going to tell me the damage to society is greater from one black inner city crackhead than millions of folks losing their homes due to nefarious banking schemes?

And no, Bernie Maddow doesn’t count. He went to jail for who he stole from – not the fact that he stole. The old “Stealing from the wrong folks” Felony.

Atty. Gen. Holder Proposes Retroactive Breaks in Crack Cocaine Convictions

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.  on Wednesday  revisited a controversial subject Congress remedied last year by changing the disproportionate sentences between powdered cocaine and crack cocaine. Lawmakers stopped short of making the law retroactive.

Enter Holder.

Holder appeared before the U.S. Sentencing Commission and urged that the law be made retroactive. He did not advocate retroactivity for those whose crimes involved guns or who have long rap sheets.

The Los Angeles Timesreported that thousands of federal prisoners could have an average of three years shaved off their prison terms under Holder’s proposal.

Congress last year changed the law , which critics say unfairly targeted African Americans. Under the 1986 law, a person selling crack got the same sentence as someone selling 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine. The ratio was changed to 18 to 1.

The LA Times reported that Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he was “disappointed by the Obama administration’s position” on early releases for drug offenders and might move for Congressional action if the U.S. Sentencing Commission makes the change.

“It shows they are more concerned with the well-being of criminals than with the safety of our communities.”

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) called it a “bad idea.”

“There is simply no just or logical reason why their punishments should be dramatically more severe than those of other cocaine offenders,” Holder testified. Continue reading

Kamala Harris – First Minority Elected to Statewide Office in California

Kamala Harris makes history as the first Minority elected to a statewide position in California…

Cooley concedes California attorney general race

Republican Steve Cooley conceded the California attorney general’s race to Democrat Kamala Harris on Wednesday, giving Democrats a sweep of all statewide offices and ushering in the first woman and first minority elected to the post.

With only 150,000 votes remaining to be counted, there aren’t enough outstanding votes for Cooley to overtake Harris, Cooley spokesman Kevin Spillane said.

“The reality is frankly the margin is too great,” Spillane said. “At this point there’s no mathematical possibility of the course being reversed.”

Harris, the San Francisco district attorney, is up by 51,000 votes, a half-percentage point margin, in the closely fought north-south battle between the prosecutors from California’s two most prominent cities. Cooley is Los Angeles County district attorney.

Spillane said that Cooley called Harris this morning to congratulate her and that the two had a “cordial conversation.” Harris, 46, replaces Democrat Jerry Brown, who gave up the office in his successful bid for governor.

The rising Democratic star, the daughter of a black father and a mother from India, won backing from President Barack Obama and was named one of the nation’s most inspiring women by Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine.

The race also drew national attention because of California’s size and its ability to influence national policy. During his tenure, Brown sued the federal government over former President George W. Bush’ refusal to accept state laws on auto emission standards. Obama moved to set national standards this year, partly as a result.

Harris ran as a reformer who began alternative tough-love programs in San Francisco for drug offenders and parents whose children miss too much school. Prosecutors and lawmakers should attack the underlying social problems that lead to crime as well as the criminal, she said.

Ken “the Kook” Cuccinelli’s New Immigration Law in Virginia

This stupid SOB is an embarrassment to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We need a recall election in Virginia to get rid of this POS…and his boss the Governor.

Virginia legal opinion supports checks of immigration status

Ken "Kookinelli", Virginia Attorney General who is your typical far right racist POS trying to drag Virginia Back into the "good old days: of Jim Crow

Virginia joined the national debate over immigration Monday when Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II issued a legal opinion that authorizes law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone stopped by police officers for any reason.

Previously, law enforcement officers in Virginia were required to investigate the legal status only of those who were arrested and jailed.

Cuccinelli’s opinion is less stringent than the portion of an Arizona law that was stopped by a federal court last week. Under that law, Arizona authorities were required to question people who they have a “reasonable suspicion” are illegal immigrants.

“Our opinion basically said that Virginia law enforcement has the authority to make such inquiries so long as they don’t extend the duration of a stop by any significant degree,” Cuccinelli (R) said at a news conference Monday. “That’s consistent with Supreme Court authority.”

The attorney general issued the opinion in response to a request from Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who sought clarification on whether local police, conservation officers and zoning officials could inquire about legal status.

Marshall said he chose to seek the legal opinion because he feared that the Senate, under Democratic control, would not approve legislation permitting law enforcement officers to inquire about legal status during routine stops. Bills seeking similar powers were killed in the Senate in recent years.

Marshall wrote to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) on Monday asking him to codify Cuccinelli’s opinion through executive order. He said he thinks that Virginia can avoid legal trouble by allowing but not mandating the checks by police.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the governor will review the opinion, saying it built upon an opinion he issued as attorney general in 2007. “That opinion detailed how local and state law enforcement officials can work in cooperation with federal authorities to ensure the criminal immigration laws of this nation are upheld and enforced,” Martin said in a statement.

‘The same inquiries’

In his opinion, Cuccinelli also wrote that local law enforcement officers can arrest those they suspect of committing criminal violations of immigration laws — crossing the border — but not those they think have violated civil immigration statutes — overstaying visas. But he says that checking immigration status is different than arresting for a violation, and that law enforcement can inquire.

“Virginia law enforcement officers have the authority to make the same inquiries as those contemplated by the new Arizona law. So long as the officers have the requisite level of suspicion to believe that a violation of the law has occurred, the officers may detain and briefly question a person they suspect has committed a federal crime,” he writes.

Cuccinelli said, however, that local law enforcement can arrest those suspected of violating criminal laws, but that it is generally “inadvisable” to arrest those suspected of committing civil violations. “The ability to arrest lies clearly when there is a criminal offense and it is decidedly unclear where there is a civil offense,” he said.

The attorney general’s legal opinion was issued amid a growing national debate about immigration. A U.S. district judge temporarily blocked the most controversial sections of Arizona’s law, which took effect last week. Nearly 20 states have introduced bills similar to the Arizona law, and nine states, including Virginia, are filing appellate briefs supporting Arizona.

Rethugly AG Tries to Force Twitter to Snitch

Scumbag Alert!

Pa. Republican AG Tom Corbett sings a Fascist Tune

State AG Orders Twitter to Rat Out His Critics

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has subpoenaed Twitter, demanding it release “any and all subscriber information” for two accounts that seem to mainly specialize in criticizing him. The subpoena orders Twitter to “testify and give evidence regarding alleged violations of the laws of Pennsylvania,” but doesn’t specify which laws are supposed to have been violated. Corbett wants the names, contact information, and addresses IP and physical of the accounts. The owner of one of the accounts, who goes by “Ferrari,” tells TechCrunch that they’re asking Twitter not to comply. The subpoena orders Twitter to appear on May 14—last Friday—but Ferrari says he believes the site is asking for more time, since it only got the summons last night. If the site just blows off the order, it could face contempt of court charges.

Seems the Twitters have been getting under the Rethugly AG’s skin!

Stop Snitching… Indeed!

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