Thursday, October 2, 2008

BREVITAS

CORRUPTION

Washington Times
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed nearly $100,000 from her political action committee to her husband's real estate and investment firm over the past decade, a practice of paying a spouse with political donations that she supported banning last year.

Financial Leasing Services Inc., owned by Paul F. Pelosi, has received $99,000 in rent, utilities and accounting fees from the speaker's "PAC to the Future" over the PAC's nine-year history. The payments have quadrupled since Mr. Pelosi took over as treasurer of his wife's committee in 2007, Federal Election Commission records show. FLS is on track to take in $48,000 in payments this year alone - eight times as much as it received annually from 2000 to 2005, when the committee was run by another treasurer. Lawmakers' frequent use of campaign donations to pay relatives emerged as an issue in the 2006 election campaigns, when the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal gave Democrats fodder to criticize Republicans such as former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas and Rep. John T. Doolittle of California for putting their wives on their campaign and PAC payrolls for fundraising work.

ECO CLIPS

Tree Hugger
- If Corus Group, an Anglo-Dutch steel manufacturer, has its way and their new work developing solar cell paint comes to pass, the whole concept of what types of material can be used for generate electricity through photovoltaics could change. . . Renewable Energy World is saying that production on Corus’ solar steel sheets could begin in three years, though doesn’t really go beyond that in terms of timelines. The way it would work is this: The photovoltaic paint consists of a layer of dye and a layer of electrolytes. This would get applied to the steel as one of four coats of paint: an undercoat, a layer of dye-sensitized solar cells, a layer of electrolyte or titanium dioxide, and finally a protective coating. The whole process would take place as the steel sheets get passed through rollers as they are manufactured.)

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Political Wire
- On the campaign trail, Gov. Sarah Palin jokes about listening to Sen. Joe Biden's speeches since she was in second grade. In a just-released CBS News segment, Katie Couric asks if that isn't an odd thing to say given her own running mate's age. Said Palin: "Oh no, it's nothing negative at all. He's got a lot of experience and just stating the fact there, that we've been hearing his speeches for all these years. So he's got a tremendous amount of experience and, you know, I'm the new energy, the new face, the new ideas and he's got the experience based on many many years in the Senate and voters are gonna have a choice there of what it is that they want in these next four years."

WATCHING THE COUNT

Brad Blog -
A recent flurry of activity in the long-standing [Ohio] lawsuit concerning voting rights violations in the state during the 2004 election has resulted in the judge lifting the stay to allow depositions to be taken of key GOP tech-guru Mike Connell, and potentially others, such as Karl Rove. . . . The lifting of the stay comes on the heels of a troubling declaration filed with the court by Republican cyber-security expert and Connell colleague, Stephen Spoonamore who testified that he's concerned a classic cyber hack may have occurred on Election Night in 2004 as Connell's Republican firm handled results reporting for Ohio's Presidential election. . . Should Rove be subpoenaed in this case, it is believed that he would not be able to invoke the executive privilege claims he's used to fight similar calls to testify before Congress, attorneys working on the case have told The Brad Blog.

FURTHERMORE. . .

Ottawa Citizen
- A provincial NDP politician is calling a report that she fired all her staff members in a late-night, wine-fuelled e-mail message "a huge exaggeration." The story, printed in the latest edition of the Inside Queen's Park newsletter, says Cheri DiNovo fired her three staff members on Labor Day. Ms. DiNovo was upset her staffers failed to show up to a barbeque the following morning. She tried to re-hire them, blaming the previous night's e-mail on "drinking too heavily," according to the article. Asked on Wednesday whether the report was accurate, Ms. DiNovo would only answer: "This is an inner personnel matter. We're talking about disgruntled staff, and of course the story is problematic at least. I mean I was just laughing about it when I saw it in Inside Queen's Park.". . . "Let's just say it's a labor negotiation," she added. "Let's just put it that way. And we'll end it there, OK?"

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