A watchdog group filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee on Tuesday against Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) over allegations that he attempted to “bribe” the Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar.
The complaint, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), cites a letter that Vitter wrote to Salazar last month. In the letter Vitter said he would continue to oppose increasing Salazar’s paycheck by $19,600 until the secretary issued permits for new exploratory deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
In a five-page letter to committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), CREW’s executive director Melanie Sloan detailed the allegation of Vitter’s “quid pro quo” and recommended that the committee refer matters to the Justice Department if they found the senator guilty of wrongdoing.
“Our country’s criminal laws apply to everyone, including senators,” said Sloan in the letter. “There is no exception to the bribery law allowing a senator to influence a department secretary’s official acts by withholding compensation.”
Cease providing a legal service with private money, or we’ll kill some women.
Beach Boys with the second ever live performance of this song:
When a judge tells a jury they do not have the right to refuse to convict because they believe the law is unjust, he is lying.
Tuesday, June 21 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking Susie | Susie Madrak chats with Dave Johnson from the Campaign for America’s Future. Dave blogs at Seeing the Forest. Listen live and later on BTR.
Dave is a good friend and always fun to talk to. He’s also scary smart under that grin, and has lots of useful things to say about progressive politics. As always, call in to 646-200-3440 with your questions and comments.
Tomorrow in NYC:
Nurses from across the U.S. will stand up to Wall Street on Wednesday, June 22 to demand the high rollers in the finance capital of the world pay to rebuild the economy of a nation they have done so much to destroy.
Join us for a march and rally that begins at 12 noon on the steps of the Federal Hall across from the Stock Exchange in New York City.
Nurses have grown increasingly alarmed with the health deterioration they see daily among their patients that is ripping at the fabric of so many in our nation today.
They are appalled at the silence from policy makers who seem to care much more about slashing budgets than in addressing the crisis, and from so many in the media who are more focused on the seedy than the needy in our communities or the greedy who put them there.
And, they are taking action — proposing a Main Street Contract for the American People with much of the revenue to come from the speculators and corporate tax dodgers responsible for the economic meltdown. Read more about our campaign here.
The Wall Street action is part of an International Days of Action called by European unions which is part of a worldwide campaign to make the corporate finance thieves pay to rebuild the global economy. In the U.S. that could raise hundreds of billions of dollars from a sales tax on the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, derivatives, credit default swaps, and other financial machinations that are not untaxed and have put so many families in peril.
Other nations are, once again, ahead of us. The UK already has what is called a Financial Transaction Tax, and the proposal was endorsed this week by the French National Assembly and the Brazilian Congress. The protests next week are intended to press all the European Union member nations to adopt the fee.
Endorsers of the Wall Street protest include the AFL-CIO, United Auto Workers, National Jobs with Justice, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, Bakery, Confectionary, and Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 53, Amalgamated Transit Union, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Right to the City, Vocal NY, Transport Workers Union Local 100, UNITE HERE Local 100 and Working Families.
They expect one million public workers to strike in the UK on June 30th – and, as I pointed out to a union group at Netroots Nation, not only is the U.S. not seeing any planned actions in solidarity, I’ve barely heard a whisper here. Why?