WASHINGTON — National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Executive Director Rob Jesmer issued the following statement today regarding the House Ethics Committee’s unanimous decision to move forward in their investigation of Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.
“It speaks volumes that even Shelley Berkley’s Democrat colleagues unanimously voted to move forward investigating Berkley’s use of her office to enrich her and her husband. Since Berkley entered the political arena we’ve seen a long pattern of ethical questions surrounding her conduct. Nevadans deserve someone in the Senate who they can trust to work on their behalf and not someone – like Ms. Berkley – who puts her own financial and political interests first.”
- On September 5, 2011, a front-page story in the New York Times uncovered a pattern of instances in which Congresswoman Berkley used her official office for apparent personal financial gain.
- On September 21, 2011, the Nevada Republican Party filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics outlining the allegations uncovered in the Times’ investigation. To view a copy of the complaint, click here.
- According to a letter released by the House Ethics Committee on February 9, 2012, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) reviewed the complaint and referred it forward to the full Committee for investigation. Had this complaint been “frivolous” as Berkley and her allies have long claimed, it would have been simply dismissed instead of returned to the full Committee for investigation.
- On June 29, 2012 the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics unanimously voted to establish an investigative subcommittee surrounding Rep. Shelley Berkley. Pursuant to the Committee’s action, the investigative subcommittee shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Shelley Berkley violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of her duties or the discharge of her responsibilities, with respect to alleged communications and activities with or on behalf of entities in which Representative Berkley’s husband had a financial interest.
From the National Journal:
The House Ethics Committee said on Monday that it will launch a full-scale subcommittee investigation into whether efforts by Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., on behalf of a kidney-transplant program in Nevada that has financial ties to her husband was a conflict of interest.
The announcement from Chairman Jo Bonner, R-Ala., and ranking member Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.. — which comes amid Berkley’s challenge to freshman Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. — emphasizes that committee’s decision does not necessarily imply that a violation occurred.
But news that the committee on June 29 unanimously voted to establish an investigative subcommittee is an unwelcome development for Democrats, who hope that the Silver State is one of a few where they could swipe a Senate seat back from Republicans. There is no certainty of when the closed-door investigation will end.
Last fall, the Nevada Republican Party filed an ethics complaint against Berkley, 62, after The New York Times detailed five years of actions “in which she pushed legislation or twisted the arms of federal regulators to pursue an agenda that is aligned with the business interests of her husband.” Those efforts reportedly included advocating for higher Medicare reimbursement rates for kidney care.
According to the committee’s Monday announcement, Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, will lead the investigative subcommittee and Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., will serve as ranking member. Reps. Robert Latta, R-Ohio, and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., round out the subcommittee.
In Nevada, the Las Vegas Sun reports that embattled Congresswoman Shelley Berkley will soon learn if the House Committee on Ethics will continue their investigation into her. After months of living under the shadow of a potential ethics probe, Rep. Shelley Berkley should find out Monday whether the committee considering her case will launch a formal investigation into whether she advocated for higher Medicare reimbursement rates for kidney care to benefit her family’s financial situation. … But experts say Berkley’s case falls into a gray area of congressional ethics. On the one hand, it’s flat-out wrong for members of Congress to use their position to push for policies where “compensation [could] accrue” to themselves or an immediate family member.
- Meanwhile, the Sun also reports that Berkley’s support with Hispanics is incredibly soft. The data did reveal one potentially troubling trend for the Democrat in Nevada’s key U.S. Senate race: Hispanic voters don’t like U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley quite as much as they like other Democrat. According to the poll, which has a 4.9 percent margin of error, Hispanic voters favor Berkley 53 percent to 30 percent compared with her Republican opponent, Sen. Dean Heller. Compare that with Obama’s 49-point advantage and with the generic ballot test in which the anonymous Democrat has a 39-point advantage over the anonymous Republican.
Despite The Weak Economy, President Obama Wants To Raise Taxes On Small Businesses. Will Senate Democrats Agree With Him?
Today’s Economy Weaker Than When Obama Extended All Tax Rates
2010 Economic Growth: 3.1%
Real GDP growth over the four quarters before Dec. 2010 tax rate extension: 3.1% (“Table 1.1.1, Percent Change From Preceding Period In Real Gross Domestic Product,” Bureau Of Economic Analysis, Accessed 7/9/12)
2012 Economic Growth: 2.0%
Real GDP growth over the previous four quarters: 2.0% (“Table 1.1.1, Percent Change From Preceding Period In Real Gross Domestic Product,” Bureau Of Economic Analysis, Accessed 7/9/12)
In 2010, Obama Said Tax Increases ‘Would Have Been A Blow To Our Economy’
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “…tax rates for every American were poised to automatically increase on January 1st… would have been a blow to our economy just as we’re climbing out of a devastating recession.” (President Obama, Remarks At Bill Signing, 12/17/10)
· OBAMA: “If we allow these taxes to go up, the result would be that a lot of people most likely would spend less, and that means that the economy would grow less.” (President Obama, Remarks, Kokomo, IN, 11/23/10)
· OBAMA: “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.” (“Obama: We Must ‘Help Elkhart Reinvent Itself,’” MSNBC, 8/5/09; Video Here)
Forty Senate Dems Voted To Extend All Tax Rates In 2010
40 Current Senate Democrats Voted To Extend These Tax Rates In 2010: Akaka (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Begich (D-AK), Bennet (D-CO), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), Coons (D-DE), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Franken (D-MN), Inouye (D-HI), Johnson (D-SD), Kerry (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Lieberman (ID-CT), Manchin (D-WV), McCaskill (D-MO), Menendez (D-NJ), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Rockefeller (D-WV), Schumer (D-NY), Shaheen (D-NH), Stabenow (D-MI), Tester (D-MT), Warner (D-VA), Webb (D-VA), Whitehouse (D-RI). (H.R. 4853, Roll Call Vote #276, Motion Agreed To 81-19: R 36-5, D 44-13, I 1-1, 12/15/10)
Six Senate Dems Voted To Establish Rates In 2001 And 2003
SENS. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT), DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), TIM JOHNSON (D-SD), HERB KOHL (D-WI), MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA), BEN NELSON (D-NE) Voted For “The Economic Growth And Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2001.” (H.R. 1836, Roll Call Vote #165, Bill Passed 62-38; R 50-0; D 12-38, 5/23/01)
SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE) Voted For “The Jobs And Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2003” In The Senate. (H.R.2, Roll Call Vote #179, Bill Passed 51-49: R 48-3; D 3-45; I 0-1, Bayh & Nelson (NE) Voted Yea, 5/15/03)
· SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE) Also Voted For “The Jobs And Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2003” Conference Report. (H.R.2, Roll Call Vote #196, Bill Passed 50-50: R 48-3; D 2-46; I 0-1, Nelson (NE) Voted Yea, 5/23/03)
Washington D.C. - House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) released the following statement regarding the President’s demand to raise taxes on hardworking families and small businesses:
“President Obama’s demand to raise taxes on hardworking families and small businesses comes on the heels of the worst quarter for job growth in two years. The uncertainty that is plaguing our economy is a direct result of the President’s insistence on massive tax hikes that will further burden our job creators, already suffering under this Administration’s failed economic policies. A number of prominent Congressional Democrats are opposed to the President’s call for a massive tax hike – even they know the toll that it will take on private sector job growth. That is exactly why House Republicans reject President’s demand for a tax hike on all Americans. Later this month we will lay out our principles for comprehensive tax reform to provide certainty to American families and small businesses. We invite the President to join this bipartisan effort so we can get America back to work.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will call on Monday for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, according to a White House official, seeking to spare the economy the impact of taxes going up on January 1.
Obama, a Democrat, will make the request in a statement at the White House, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Republicans in Congress, however, are unlikely to be swayed, as they have consistently argued that the Bush tax cuts should be extended for everyone.
Obama has made what he calls “tax fairness” a key feature of his campaign for re-election on November 6, repeatedly urging Congress to make the tax cuts permanent for families making less than $250,000 a year. More
Mozilla’s Thunderbird mail client just hasn’t enjoyed the same level of stardom as its Firefox cousin. Their developer must be feeling this discrepancy more than most, as the company has confirmed plans to take the organization out of active Thunderbird development. The shift is officially being spun as an adaptation that lets the Foundation center its energy on Firefox OS and the usual browser plans, but when Mozilla proper will only be handling bug fixes and security updates for a client that’s “not a priority,” we’d say it’s putting Thunderbird on ice. More
Discovery News -
Olympic mascots might not be as dramatic as the opening ceremonies, as memorable as the athletes, as prominent as the sponsors or as recognizable as the medals. But Olympic mascots are an essential part of every tournament, where the tradition of international competition and good old-fashioned marketing meet.
Mascots can become a symbol of goodwill and provide a window into the character of the host nation. They can also give younger audiences a way to connect with the games before they’re old enough to appreciate the competition itself.
Wenlock and Mandeville are the official mascots of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, respectively, in London. These mascots are also the first to have an active social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
The most prominent feature on both mascots, the eye, is designed to resemble a camera lens to allow them to “record everything,” an unusual message given that security-minded London is known for having a camera on every corner.
Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA)
Watch out for iPad mini rumors! They’re dropping left and right, and odds are, at least a few of them are going to be on target.
The latest state that the so-called iPad mini will be thinner than the Kindle Fire the overall thickness that of the iPod touch 4G. That would put the smaller iPad at 7.2mm, nearly 25% thinner than the new iPad. The device’s screen reportedly measures 7.85-inches although there doesn’t seem to be a consensus among reports concerning the device’s form factor and design. It might look a large iPod nano rather than a small iPad. More