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Archive for March 29th, 2009

FBI Probing Missouri State Lawmakers

A major scandal is brewing in Missouri. One lawmaker has even recorded conversation of suspect lawmakers. This should be interesting as it continues to unfold.

missouri
By Steve Kraske
Kansas City Star
FBI agents are investigating Missouri lawmakers in connection with several alleged “pay for play” schemes in which legislative favors are bestowed only after campaign donations are made.

Three lawmakers told The Kansas City Star that they had been talking with agents and providing information. At least one lawmaker said he had recorded private conversations with lawmakers under scrutiny for the investigators.

The inquiry began at least a year ago and has continued into the current session of the General Assembly.

Joel Sealer, a spokesman for the FBI, said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation and declined to comment further. The FBI’s Kansas City office is charged with overseeing western Missouri, including Jefferson City.

For Full Story

Ex-Gov. Blago Targeted 4 Sen. Candidates to Help Raise $2.3 Mil in Contributions

This document is likely to show up in the trial of ex-Gov. Blagojevich, portraying him as a shakedown artist. Whatever the case, you can certainly say this man knew how to raise funds. Now he needs to raise funds for his legal bills.

BY NATASHA KORECKI AND DAVE MCKINNEY
Chicago Sun-Times
Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

CHICAGO — Four potential candidates for President Obama’s vacant Senate seat were each to be targeted for contributions by ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign as part of an aggressive, $2.3 million race for cash late last year, an internal campaign document obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times shows.

The four were among about 150 people targeted for contributions by the Friends of Blagojevich campaign organization by the end of 2008, when a new Illinois law took effect that bans taking money from state contractors and appointees, the document shows.

Sources also said Blagojevich was worried at the time about his growing legal bills.

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Homeland Chief Puts the Brakes on Immigration Raids

The new Homeland Security is putting the brakes on business as usual on Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids. That’s a good thing. It was needed. But now let’s see what changes ultimately come about. Hopefully it leads to a smarter policy.

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Janet Napolitano/gov photo

Janet Napolitano/gov photo

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces in recent weeks, asking agents in her department to apply more scrutiny to the selection and investigation of targets as well as the timing of raids, federal officials said.
A senior department official said the delays signal a pending change in whom agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement choose to prosecute — increasing the focus on businesses and executives instead of ordinary workers.

“ICE is now scrutinizing these cases more thoroughly to ensure that [targets] are being taken down when they should be taken down, and that the employer is being targeted and the surveillance and the investigation is being done how it should be done,” said the official, discussing Napolitano’s views about sensitive law enforcement matters on the condition of anonymity.

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