Tag Archives: Scandals


Someone Finally Puts Issa’s Past in Play

And if I were Republicans, I would say to Issa, in the parlance of his old business, “Please step away from that car.”

— David Axelrod, Democratic strategist, asserting that Republicans are approaching overreach concerning the IRS. Axelrod was alluding to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who, prior to being in Congress, was charged with grand theft auto, investigated for arson, arrested on weapons charges, and convicted of carrying an unregistered and concealed firearm.

News & Comment

The Case for the IRS Targeting the Tea Party

It seemed to come as a great shock when it was recently revealed that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examines some taxpayers more closely than others.

Really? Because no one has ever objected to the IRS targeting some tax returns for audit. Among them:

  • Millionaires (in fiscal 2011, the IRS audited 12.5% of them)
  • People reporting more than $200,000 in income
  • People claiming confusing tax breaks like the first-time homebuyer credit
  • Home office workers
  • Small business and self-employed people generally
  • Very low income filers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
I’m not saying the IRS should target according to ideology. I’m saying it should target according to likelihood that tax laws are being flouted and circumvented.

So why, in the wild west of the first election years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling allowing political action groups, many with questionable funding, to mushroom and proliferate…why should anyone be surprised the IRS would exercise scrutiny on these here today, gone tomorrow groups? Why, in fact, would they not demand that the IRS do precisely that before granting tax-exempt status to whoever applies for it?

And why not specifically take a hard, cold look at tea party groups?

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Most House Lawmakers ‘Survive’ Their Scandals


Members of the House of Representatives have been involved in various scandals since Watergate and roughly 40% did not “survive” their scandal, according to Scott Bassenger, writing in Political Research Quarterly.

News & Comment

Florida’s Lt. Gov. Resigns After Questioning in Gambling Investigation

Carroll, in a public service announcement for the sham Allied Veterans group.

The ground is shifting under the feet of Florida Republicans, as Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns after being questioned in a federal racketeering investigation.

The surprise isn’t that Carroll is resigning, it’s that she’s resigning over this

The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) was caught short by the news, after more successfully dodging another recent scandal bullet. On the very day former RPOF chief Jim Greer was set to begin trial for funny bookkeeping that would have spilled the beans on almost every Republican politician in Florida, including and especially Sen. Marco Rubio, Greer copped a plea.

But Carroll doesn’t look so lucky. Exhibit A in Gov. Rick Scott’s “big tent” GOP cabinet has had her share of ethics challenges since assuming office as the state’s second in command. The issue of her shifting net worth, which she never seems to have a handle on, has been a recurring problem.

Then there’s her recent trouble, which is hard to describe in polite terms. Let’s just say that she and Bill Clinton share at least one thing in common, and that would be ladies on their knees beneath the executives’ office desks. Carroll denied the allegations by explaining that women who look like her cannot be lesbians. Many were unconvinced.

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Or “Miami Ice Skater?”

News organizations have described Kelley as a “Tampa socialite,” a term heard about as often as “Boston alligator-wrestler.”

— Carl Hiaasen, in his column in the Miami Herald


Wow, That’s Pretty Fast

If you catch even the faintest whisper that you might be nominated for the vice presidency, make for the hills. Run as fast as Paul Ryan pretends to.

–Frank Bruni, New York Times columnist, exploring what he calls the curse of being chosen as a running mate.


Well, At Least They Weren’t Made in Burma

The torch relay clothes were NOT made in Burma. They were manufactured in Myanmar.

The response of the Salt Lake City Olympics organizing committee (aka, the Mitt Romney Olympics), after protests over the origin of uniforms in 2002. The committee apparently did not understand that Burma and Myanmar are one and the same, and that thousands of refugees were fleeing the military regime which had placed its rightful leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest for years.


Press is Deforming Characters, One Lt. Gov. at a Time

Unfortunately, as an elected official character deformation that is totally fabricated can occur like this and there is not much I can do.

Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll (R-Fla.), emailing a supporter and blaming the media for recent allegations that she was having a lesbian affair with her travel aide. We think Carroll meant, “character defamation,” but then, we thought she was straight.

News & Comment

Florida Wants to Know: Is Our Lt. Gov. Gay?

Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll

After a term with Gov. Charlie Crist, you’d think Floridians would be used to rumors of gay goings-on in the governor’s suite. But even normally unflappable Floridians are reeling at the news that Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll (R) might be…How did that one really rude web site put it? Oh yeah, a “carpet muncher.”

Carroll, 52, a former Navy veteran born in Trinidad and married mother of three, including Miami Dolphins player Nolan Carroll, is known as an ultra social conservative, pushing abstinence-only education, among other favorite rightwing initiatives. She’s also had to explain shifting income reporting (her net worth has varied depending on whether she was filling out tax returns or applying for low-income minority business set-asides), how she made speeding tickets in her former legislative district disappear without paying any fines, and how she rented an office whose location would have shown eligibility to bid for additional female-owned business set-asides, except it was already occupied by a private detective.

Report: ‘When she entered the office, she found the Lieutenant Governor and her Travel Aide, Beatriz Ramos, in what can only be described as a compromising position’

Carroll, like her boss, Gov. Rick Scott, also has a reputation for dealing harshly with perceived enemies. Scott, for example, recently tried unsuccessfully to have three judges that he considered liberal prosecuted for improper election filings because they had their paperwork notarized by a state worker, a practice so common no one realized it was verboten.

Carroll took it even further with a former aide, having her arrested for disclosing to the press a conversation recorded in the lieutenant governor’s office. The practice of taping visitors and colleagues was said to be routine under Carroll, but the aide, Carletha Cole, shared the recording with a newspaper. The tape confirmed the chaos and dysfunction alleged in Carroll’s office.

But the arrest and resulting investigation might have consequences Carroll never envisioned, like allegations of an affair with her female travel aide, Beatriz Ramos.

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News & Comment

Breaking News: Democrats Set to Walk Out on Holder Contempt Vote

Joy-Ann Reid is reporting that House Democrats, outgunned and outnumbered by House Republicans and Teabillies, will join the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in walking out on the contempt of Congress vote set to be held on our hero, Attorney General Eric Holder, on June 28.

Yes, with all the pressing issues before the country, which, if you listen to FOX News is about to collapse from same, House Speaker John Boehner found time to not only investigate Holder (but not his predecessor in the Bush administration who started the Fast and Furious program), but to stop everything and take a vote on whether the voluminous information Holder has supplied to date is sufficient. The problem is that what Holder has coughed up does not show criminal wrong doing on the part of the Obama administration. Boehner and his co-conspirators want more, even if the proof they need never existed.

The CBC:

Instead of focusing on job creation and other critical issues before this Congress, we have been asked to engage in a political stunt on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Our constituents elected us to do real work, not to engage in meaningless partisan activity.

For those keeping track, Pres. Obama announcing he will not enforce deportation of the narrow group of children and young adults defined by the Dream Act, which failed to get a filibuster-proof majority in 2010, is election year prostitution. But stopping the work of the House of Representatives to focus on a partisan witch hunt that, if anything incriminates Republicans’ gun lobby pals, is time well spent. Yeah, no.