U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is refusing to participate in a live debate in his home state’s capital.
The Democratic incumbent is running in one of the most contentious races this fall, but decided to skip on free air time at CBS 4.
Denver’s CBS affiliate has a long history of hosting live debates for candidates for U.S. Senate. This is the first time in four decades the station won’t be airing an “open and honest” debate to help Colorado’s voters decide the election.
Udall committed to four debates before the November election, while Cory Gardner, his Republican opponent, committed to 16.
Democratic strategist Penfield Tate said Udall’s refusal to participate in the major network’s debate could create backlash from voters.
“I think it will cause many a voter to ask why – why didn’t you go on tv and do the live debate,” Tate said. “This could be one of the cuts that combined with others, could be harmful.”
A new Denver Post poll Friday has Udall up four points over Gardner, but voters are still split on which candidate would be “most trustworthy.” Can’t see Udall ducking Gardner helps voters out with that decision.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) found that over $33,700 in campaign flights were inappropriately charged to her official account in an internal review of her finances released Friday.
The report is sure to draw added scrutiny to her use of charter planes just as her main opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), is set to introduce a resolution meant to highlight such spending, which he calls a “waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.”
The review, which was released four days after her self-imposed deadline of Sept. 8, found that the senator took 43 trips, which amounted to 136 campaign functions, that were paid for by funds meant for official business only. Eleven percent of the total amount Landrieu’s office paid for chartered flights should have been paid out of her campaign funds, the review found.
Landrieu’s office said she fully reimbursed the Treasury with campaign funds and has notified the Senate Ethics Committee of the errors. She also said in a statement that she’s implemented a new bookkeeping system to prevent similar errors from happening again.
“The review I ordered last month found these mistakes stemming from sloppy book keeping. I take full responsibility. They should have never happened, and I apologize for this,” Landrieu said. “A new system has been established that has been successfully used by a number of senate offices to provide a safeguard from this happening in the future.”
Landrieu ordered the internal review after it was reported that she inappropriately used $3,200 in official funds to pay for a flight to and from a campaign event in November. That report sparked criticism from Republicans, and inspired an attack ad that claimed Landrieu “lives like a movie star.”
The release of Landrieu’s internal review again prompted Republicans to hammer Landrieu on the issue.
“With 43 illegal flights and more than 100 campaign events, this was clearly policy of her office to use taxpayer means whenever possible to attend events,” said Louisiana Republican Party Executive Director Jason Dore. “Mary’s staff has changed. The donors have changed. The one thing that has been constant is this is Mary Landrieu’s office. She’s the one responsible for this practice going on in her office.”
Cassidy’s bill would require members of Congress to report any funds used to pay for private chartered planes to the Ethics Committee or the Committee on House Administration within 30 days of the flight.
“Taking charter planes unnecessarily is a waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars. It makes no sense to fly on a $3,000 private jet if you can get to the same location in a few hours’ drive time and a $50 tank of gas,” he said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “Washington’s spending is out of control and this is one of the reasons why. Ensuring that Washington is transparent and tax dollars are spent wisely is a priority.”
Cassidy’s office said constituents had expressed alarm at Landrieu’s use of chartered planes, which had partially inspired the resolution.
Landrieu remains one of Democrats’ most vulnerable senators, and the most recent poll showed a tight race, with Cassidy leading Landrieu by two points. Many expect the three-way primary fight, between Cassidy, Landrieu and Tea Party-backed Rob Maness, to head to a runoff this fall.
Polling shows a tight race.
The New York Councilwoman who claimed the federal government of “AmeriKKKa” is going to “round up and execute” black people following the Ferguson shooting stormed out of a meeting Thursday after a new accusation was leveled against her.
Sgt. Tom Hoffman, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said in the meeting that Democratic Councilwoman Anastasia Robertson took part in a group effort to incite a white police officer to violence, because he was talking to a black woman involved in a domestic dispute, reported the Times Union.
“This is why the black community doesn’t respect the police,” Robertson allegedly said with a camera pointed at the officer. “You only go after black people.”
Hoffman said her effort to foment anti-police sentiment was “unethical and unprofessional,” and asked the Ethics Committee to consider removing her from her position.
She serves on the Public Safety Committee, in addition to her elected position on the Troy City Council.
“I’ve been a proud member of the Troy police department for almost 25 years,” he said as Robertson gathered her things and walked out. “And I have never witnessed a more disrespect towards the group of men and women, who put their lives on the line everyday for the citizens of this community.”
One woman is heard in the video yelling at Robertson to “sit down and take it!”
Democrat Governor of Delaware Jack Markell tweeted a picture of a dominatrix this morning.
Anthony Weiner so happy it’s happening to someone else…
Ummm… Maybe she’s a teacher? @GovernorMarkell
10:32 AM – 4 Sep 2014
48 Retweets – 25 favorites
All right. Everyone else is posting it. So, here ya go – the inappropriate photo linked in @GovernorMarkell tweet.
11:29 AM – 4 Sep 2014
3 Retweets – 1 favorite
Gov. Jack Markell
An inappropriate photo was inadvertantly sent out earlier. We are looking into how this occurred but apologize to anyone who was offended.
10:48 AM – 4 Sep 2014
34 Retweets – 17 favorites
I understand making a typo. I understand accidentally putting the wrong link. I don’t understand accidentally tweeting a picture of a dominatrix when you’re a governor. The picture shows up right underneath the tweet whether you are on your phone, tablet, or computer. Somebody saw this picture and then clicked “tweet”, which makes it that much more hilarious.
A single television station has been granted a significant exception to the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming broadcast spectrum overhaul – a station whose operators made joint campaign contributions to a key lawmaker with oversight authority over the FCC.
House Energy & Commerce Committee Ranking Democrat Henry Waxman – who oversees the FCC – received more than $12,000 in campaign contributions from three television executives in danger of losing broadcast rights after their company missed a crucial agency deadline. The company was subsequently granted the sole exception to the FCC’s rule.
“The timing of the campaign donations is very suspicious,” a source at the FCC familiar with the spectrum deliberations told The Daily Caller. “It appears that you can buy special favors from the FCC worth millions of dollars by giving money to Democrats. Would the result have been the same if the company’s executives were Republican donors? I doubt it.”
In May the FCC finalized plans to hold a spectrum incentive auction, the goal of which is to free up and transition broadcast television ultra-high frequency spectrum space over to the growing mobile broadband services market.
Starting sometime in mid-2015, TV broadcasters will have the opportunity to sell spectrum back to the commission, which will then re-sell it to wireless carriers. Broadcasters choosing not to sell will be repacked (or moved to different spectrum) in order to stay in business.
The central question facing broadcasters is who will be eligible for auction participation, and who will be eligible for repacking in the event they fail to sell their spectrum.
That decision will be left up to the commission based on three FCC broadcast power and classification distinctions – “Class A” and “Full-Power Stations,” which will be eligible for auction participation or repacking, and “Low-Power Stations,” which will be ineligible for auction participation.
Full-Power Stations cover large broadcast ranges and must meet certain public interest requirements. Low-Power Stations cover smaller, more-localized areas and are exempt from those requirements. Class A Stations are former Low-Power Stations that received full-power status by filing an application with the commission, and meeting the public interest protocols.
Class A and Full-Power Stations will either receive millions of dollars by selling their spectrum to the FCC or stay in the television business via new, repacked spectrum, whereas Low-Power Stations are not guaranteed spectrum after the auction – meaning if there’s no room left, they’ll be forced off the air.
That makes the distinction between Class A and Low-Power Stations worth, literally, millions of dollars more for the former.
The commission released its adopted incentive auction rules in June, which established a simple rule: All Low-Power Stations that failed to file applications to become Class A Stations by February 22, 2012 (the date the law authorizing the incentive auction was enacted) would be ineligible to participate in the auction, or be protected through repacking.
All except one – a local station based in Los Angeles, which received a special exception to the rule.
“We will, however, exercise our discretion to protect one station in this category – KHTV-CD, Los Angeles, California, licensed to Venture,” the rules state. “Venture made repeated efforts over the course of a decade to convert to Class A status.”
According to FCC filings, Venture was denied Class A designation several times over predicted spectrum “interference” or “international objection,” and failed to file a Class A license application along with a construction permit for a new facility in 2009. Venture then had to wait to get a Low-Power license before applying for Class A again. The Low-Power license was granted on February 22, 2012, after which Venture applied for and received its Class A license on July 11, 2012 – well after the incentive auction deadline.
Federal Election Commission filings show that on September 30, 2012 Venture Technologies Group co-founder and Chairman Lawrence Rogow, co-founder and General Counsel Garry Spire and CEO Paul Koplin each gave $2,500 (or a combined $7,500) to Waxman’s re-election campaign
The House Energy & Commerce Committee oversees the FCC, and the commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Roger Sherman – one of the most important advisors to Chairman Tom Wheeler on the incentive auction, according to an FCC source – was formerly Minority Chief Counsel in Waxman’s office, including during Waxman’s tenure as Energy & Commerce chair.
Spire gave Waxman another $2,500 six days before, and a little over a year later on November 8, 2013, Rogow and Koplin gave Waxman another $2,600 each, making for a total of $12,700 personally from top Venture execs to Waxman months before the FCC’s adopted incentive auction rules, which gave their company the only exception.
The exception granted to Venture will either allow the company to make millions of dollars by participating in the incentive auction (as spectrum in Los Angeles is especially valuable), or allow its station to stay in business after the incentive auction, when it likely would have been forced off the air otherwise.
The Daily Caller reached out to Waxman Communications Director Karen Lightfoot twice via email and telephone on June 20 seeking comment on the timing of the donations, the exception, and the status of any possible relationship with Venture. She did not respond.
TheDC then attempted to contact Waxman Assistant Press Secretary Elizabeth Letter via email and telephone on July 2, and again received no response.
Congressman Waxman’s office did not return multiple telephone requests for comment.
Last week, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation into a different FCC rule exception for a company owned by a major Obama donor.
“The Energy and Commerce Committee is committed to conducting vigorous oversight to ensure that Commission processes are fair, open, and transparent, and that they serve the public interest,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden and Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
In an earlier July statement, Upton and Walden said the agency’s “process is clearly broken, and something smells rotten on the eighth floor” – a reference to the offices of the chairman and commissioners at FCC headquarters in Washington.
Republicans opened the probe to find out whether Grain Management LLC, headed by Democratic campaign donor David Grain, was given ethically questionable favor in the form of a wavier to airwave auction rules that grant Grain benefits originally intended exclusively for smaller businesses.
A pair of documentary filmmakers have reportedly been working on a project detailing the struggle illegals face in coming to the U.S., as well as the impact this constant flow of intruders is having on American citizens.
In researching the new documentary, Luke and Jo Anne Livingston say they have spoken to numerous illegals to gain a firsthand perspective of the ongoing border crisis. Jo Anne recently shared some of the disturbing insights resulting from these conversations with her Facebook community.
She said the couple, along with numerous other conservative advocates and anti-amnesty legislators, have spent time at the source of the influx along the Texas-Mexico border.
“Luke spent 8 days on the border,” she wrote. “We talked to a doctor about the diseases coming in unchecked by by any medical personnel.”
Livingston asserted that she actually read proposed legislation that would strip judges from issuing any penalties to illegals who refuse to show up for immigration hearings.
“The judge can only set another hearing and another hearing and another hearing,” she wrote, “into infinity.”
Perhaps the most outrageous claim in her post alleges that pro-amnesty Democrats are exploiting illegals to perpetuate widespread voter fraud.
Livingston wrote that, prior to the 2012 presidential election, “the illegals were handed voter registrations and told they would be sent to states with NO ID check for voting.”
Upon receipt of the document, she insists aliens were told that, if they “did not show up and vote the democratic [sic] ticket, they would be arrested and deported.”
This astoundingly bold move, she concluded, was used time and again to stack the electoral deck against Republicans in the election.