Thursday, July 24, 2008

An exercise in futility

May 8, 2006 at 11:09 a.m

Media sources say a corruption investigation may have forced White House to act quickly on Goss, and may also touch other defense and intelligence officials.

By Tom Regan |

A widening investigation into a corruption scandal in Congress may have played a key role in the decision by the White House to ask Central Intelligence Agency Director Porter Goss to step down.

The New York Daily News reported Sunday that a "little known White House advisory board" pushed President Bush to dump Mr. Goss as CIA head. The president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board was reportedly alarmed by the investigation of a spreading corruption scandal that had already looked into the actions of the CIA's number three official and its executive director, Kyle Dustin (Dusty) Foggo, and may have indirectly touched on Goss himself.


The Los Angeles District Attorney is reviewing complaints that Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke lives in her Brentwood home which is located outside her Supervisoral district.

This story was “PUSHED” by the Los Angeles Times last Friday in an investigative piece that involved stalking and videotaping the Supervisor as she drove and was driven to and from work.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Monday it is reviewing allegations that Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke is living in a gated Brentwood home rather than in her predominantly South Los Angeles district, where she must live by law.

A district attorney’s spokeswoman said the office has received at least one complaint after a Times report Friday that Burke has been staying overnight in a 4,000-square-foot residence with a swimming pool and tennis court, even though the supervisor said she considers a townhouse in Mar Vista, on the edge of her district, her principal residence.

In an effort to defuse the controversy, Burke on Monday allowed The Times to review checks and other documents from a kitchen remodeling project at the 1,200-square-foot townhouse on busy Centinela Avenue in the 2nd District.

Another important group in Obama's life consists of the Chicago progressives who have mentored him throughout his career. The leader of this group is Abner J. Mikva, a retired federal judge, White House counsel and congressman from Chicago who has known Obama for 20 years, and who often is described as a father figure to the senator.

Mikva has quietly helped guide Obama since his Harvard Law School days.
He encouraged his political aspirations, was an early advocate of his presidential run and has pulled numerous strings to help to ease the candidate's path.

One Mikva protégé is Axelrod. A former Chicago Tribune reporter, Obama's message maestro left his home town of New York for the University of Chicago in the early 1970s and has never looked back. Like Mikva, he belongs to the city's progressive elite. Axelrod and Obama also shared a second mentor: the late senator Paul Simon (Ill.), who took Obama under his wing when he joined the state legislature


Goss among former members appointed to ethics office
By Susan Crabtree
Posted: 07/24/08 02:26 PM [ET]
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday announced joint appointments to a landmark ethics review board that for the first time will allow private citizens to review allegations against members.

Still, four out of six members of the board for the newly created Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) will be former members of Congress, including former CIA Director Porter Goss (R-Fla.), who will serve as co-chairman.

The other board members include Rep. David Skaggs (D-Colo.), who will serve as chairman of the board, former Rep. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (D-Calif.), former Rep. Karan English (D-Ariz.), former House Chief Administrative Officer Jay Eagen and Allison Hayward, the former chief of staff to Bradley Smith, a Republican-appointed former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

Two additional former members will serve as alternate appointees to the board: former federal judge and ex-Rep. Abner Mikva (D-Ill.) and former Rep. Bill Frenzel (R-Minn.).

The OCE will conduct preliminary reviews of ethics complaints and make recommendations to the full ethics committee for further investigation and action. Some watchdogs have criticized its lack of subpoena powers.

Unlike previous bitter partisan fights over the makeup and staff of the full ethics panel, Pelosi and Boehner worked closely together to select the board members.

“The new Office of Congressional Ethics is essential to an effective ethics process in the House,” Pelosi said in a statement. “With the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics, we bring a new element of transparency and accountability to the ethics process.”

“I am pleased that this distinguished group of individuals has agreed to serve,” Boehner said in a statement. “The American people have every right to expect the highest ethical standards in the people’s House — and these widely respected men and women should be applauded for the considerable personal sacrifices they are making to help achieve that important goal.”

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