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The stench of the Potomac (1 Viewer)

roadkill1292

Footballguy
Don't talk to me about gerrymanders. I live in Maryland which gerrymandered a district to make sure that conservative Western Maryland was part of a district that included parts of ultra-liberal Montgomery County so another Democrat could be elected to Congress. The gerrymander cuts both ways, and you know it.
Bye-bye, Roscoe Bartlett! Time for you to take your Bible and your copy of the constitution back to your Frederick County farm.

In principle, though, I agree with you about gerrymandering. I hate it regardless of which side does it.

 

worrierking

Footballguy
I don't think the problem is gerrymandering, which it appears this thread has become.

The problem is that as you give the government more control over the economy, then the opportunities for businesses to make large amounts of money through lobbying and connections multiply. And that lobbying and those connections require Washington insiders; hence the revolving door between those who serve in high positions in government and being appointed as lobbyists and consultants.And not so incidentally, personally making huge amounts of money in the meantime.
Spot on.

And the fact that it is more profitable to buy off politicians than it is to invest in new business innovations has a terrible effect on our economy.

 

DCThunder

Footballguy
Don't talk to me about gerrymanders. I live in Maryland which gerrymandered a district to make sure that conservative Western Maryland was part of a district that included parts of ultra-liberal Montgomery County so another Democrat could be elected to Congress. The gerrymander cuts both ways, and you know it.
Bye-bye, Roscoe Bartlett! Time for you to take your Bible and your copy of the constitution back to your Frederick County farm.

In principle, though, I agree with you about gerrymandering. I hate it regardless of which side does it.
Bartlett was never my congresscritter here in Rockville, but when I found myself in his new district last time, I had to vote for him, knowing it was hopeless. But the point is, the folks in Fredrick, Alleghany, Washington and Garrett counties loved him and now they have someone who does not support the values of Western MD.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
I would like to try the new California model personally:

After a push by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who clashed with the Democrat-controlled legislature, and GOP activist Charlie Munger Jr., a physicist and son of Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK/A) vice chairman, voters approved a 14-member citizens’ board to oversee maps for state and federal legislative districts. Under the aegis of the state auditor’s office, California allowed active voters continuously registered for five years with the same party (or as an independent) to apply. Lawmakers, public officials, and their immediate family members were ineligible. So were legislative aides, lobbyists, party staffers, and political donors who gave more than $2,000 in any year of the previous decade.

http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=685396#entry15797791
Get the politicians out of it and see what happens. In California the first cycle this was in place you got a 26% turnover. That is unheard of.
Er, didn't this result in a -5 loss for the GOP in the CA Congressional delegation?
Republicans aren't big in California. They are seriously out registered. About 44% of Californians are Democrats. About 29% are Republican. What's left probably tend to end up voting Democrat a lot. So yeah once the districts got changed some Republicans lost seats that had been engineered for them. As did some Democrats. And the California board is not allowed to look at registration to come up with districts.
Ok, so it seems that it was pretty much gamed exactly as it would have been using the old system, only this way there is more cover.

If registration is so unimportant, maybe we should take party identification off of ballots, wouldn't that be even better?
Yes there is no way in a state where registration runs about 2 to 1 against a party that party could ever lose seats unless it was gamed. And I never said registration wasn't important I said the board wasn't allowed to look at registration and use those numbers to create districts. If we dump parties I am good with dumping ID on ballots. We won't though.
A few things:

- Conversely, just because a party is inferior in numbers and representation doesn't mean that the leading party will not still try to game the system. For examples, see the Democrats (again) repeatedly in the South in the early to mid-1900's.

- The GOP is beyond having been locked out of the redistricting system in CA. It just so happens that a system designed to create more competition apparently only resulted in more Democrats getting elected, but the fact that some Democrats got shuffled out as part of redistricting didn't matter. I take it the more liberal among Democrats were by and large those who were swept in and those were considered more moderate were swept out. ---- If so, then THAT is the kind of problem that leads to the stink on the Potomac, because these are the people who are less likely to deal with people of different beliefs. This mirrors what has gone with the tea party in the GOP.

- Just wait for the next and successive rounds of voting, now that the districts have been established the same patterns of high reelection will probably reemerge.

- Redistricting of this kind just leads to greater party imbalance not less. The GOP lost 5 seats, 3 in the senate, 2 in the assembly. Again, see the Democrats (again) in the South for a good part of the last century for examples. They certainly did not use the CA method obvioudly but overwhelming party control just led to more efforts to maintain that party control.

- The board was not allowed to look at registration to create districts but they didn't know which districts were which? Then why not put a pin in the geographical center of the state and then geometrically create gridlines that fairly divide the state into x number districts? Alternative methods would be to make districts around cities and counties contiguous with city and county lines, don't divide actual communities and instead make representatives identify with actual places and people with similar interests but not homogenous beliefs. That would seem to make more sense.

- Party ID on the ballot is a big part of the problem. Today voters are so politicized they wear their party like a badge, everything revolves around it; first tell them who is speaking on what issue and what party they are, then voters will decide where they stand. People are not informed for whom they are voting, take that away and see what happens, then you will see real debate perhaps and some real party turnover - both ways - in the House and Senate and the legislatures.

The point just being, not that I am for elimination of parties, but rather that simply creating competition within parties won't help what's going on in DC. It would make more sense to create competition between parties - and even third-multiple parties - everywhere.

 
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SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
worrierking said:
DiStefano said:
I don't think the problem is gerrymandering, which it appears this thread has become.

The problem is that as you give the government more control over the economy, then the opportunities for businesses to make large amounts of money through lobbying and connections multiply. And that lobbying and those connections require Washington insiders; hence the revolving door between those who serve in high positions in government and being appointed as lobbyists and consultants.And not so incidentally, personally making huge amounts of money in the meantime.
Spot on.

And the fact that it is more profitable to buy off politicians than it is to invest in new business innovations has a terrible effect on our economy.
This is a hell of a point. One part of Rich's article is how corrupt DC is, but the corruption is directly proportional to the amount of power certain people in government have over business and wealth. It's inevitable that we end up with what we have here.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
In the 2012 senate race, the GOP got 38%. If you add up all the votes in the 2012 US congressional races (and keep in mind that there were 8 races with no GOP candidate vs. 3 with no Dem) The GOP still got 38.3% of the vote.
But Pennsylvania doesn't use the method California uses for drawing the districts. So you pointed out gerrymandering is bad in Pennsylvania. Wonderful. I'm pointing out that the "solution" used in California isn't the way to go because it's open to the exact same gerrymandering.

Hmm... Over the past 5 presidential elections, the GOP candidate has garnered 37%-44% of the vote. During that same time frame, the lowest percentage a republican candidate for governor has gotten is 41%. Yet, the congressional make up is R - 14 (27%) D - 38 (73%). That seems out of whack.
Obama won the majority of Pennsylvania voters and those voters cast about 83000 more votes for Democrats than they did Republicans. Take a guess who controls the state. Here's a clue it isn't the party that got the most votes. So trying to compare statewide races with district races probably isn't the way to go.
Actually no it isn't. The board has 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans(over represented given party registration but what the heck) and 4 Independents. The maps received majority support from all three groups. Including the Republicans. Also it should be pointed out that while everywhere else in 2010 the Republicans had a pretty good night they didn't in California. They lost Governorship by 13 points this despite outspending Democrats 10 to 1 allegedly. They also failed to gain a single seat in the legislature or Congress. In fact they lost a seat. So given the collapse in 2010, which was before the redistricting, it's really hard to assume that they would suddenly gains seats especially in light of changing demographics and that collapse(which includes a serious drop in registered republicans) I mentioned. Further of 173 incumbents 75 got put into a district with another incumbent. Of those 59 were of the same party and 16 were matched against another party incumbent.

It seems like it was pretty even handed to me.
In the 2010 senate the GOP candidate got 42% of the vote That same year, Republicans picked up 43% (with 2 runing unopposed, so I couldn't add those numbers) of the US house votes statewide. The republicans are consistently getting around 40% statewide. Yet, their representation to the house is 28%. The 36% before handing it over to the "citizens" for redistricting was a lot more fair.
The California Secretary of State reports that as of May 2012 Democrats numbered 7.4 million (43.4%) while Republicans numbered 5.2 million (30.2%). Currently there are 17.2 million California voters—72.3% of eligible adults. Our surveys indicate that among those we consider most likely to vote, 44% are Democrats, 35% are Republicans, and 18% are independents.

Given that most independents end up voting Democrat amongst likely voters Republicans are outnumbered 62% to 35%. Almost two to one. So I find it not so hard to believe they aren't cleaning up at the state level.
Romney did pretty well among independents nationally (winning 50-45, per CNN exit polls). Even in CA he got 40% of the Indie vote. Using that, 40% of 18% should get the GOP another 7-8% based on what you are saying, or around 42-43%. I'm not sure where cleaning up begins, but having 2/3's (roughly 80 out of 120 seats) is super-majority and practically rubber stamp territory. That can't be the goal.

 
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Rayderr

Footballguy
In the 2012 senate race, the GOP got 38%. If you add up all the votes in the 2012 US congressional races (and keep in mind that there were 8 races with no GOP candidate vs. 3 with no Dem) The GOP still got 38.3% of the vote.
But Pennsylvania doesn't use the method California uses for drawing the districts. So you pointed out gerrymandering is bad in Pennsylvania. Wonderful. I'm pointing out that the "solution" used in California isn't the way to go because it's open to the exact same gerrymandering.

Hmm... Over the past 5 presidential elections, the GOP candidate has garnered 37%-44% of the vote. During that same time frame, the lowest percentage a republican candidate for governor has gotten is 41%. Yet, the congressional make up is R - 14 (27%) D - 38 (73%). That seems out of whack.
Obama won the majority of Pennsylvania voters and those voters cast about 83000 more votes for Democrats than they did Republicans. Take a guess who controls the state. Here's a clue it isn't the party that got the most votes. So trying to compare statewide races with district races probably isn't the way to go.
Actually no it isn't. The board has 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans(over represented given party registration but what the heck) and 4 Independents. The maps received majority support from all three groups. Including the Republicans. Also it should be pointed out that while everywhere else in 2010 the Republicans had a pretty good night they didn't in California. They lost Governorship by 13 points this despite outspending Democrats 10 to 1 allegedly. They also failed to gain a single seat in the legislature or Congress. In fact they lost a seat. So given the collapse in 2010, which was before the redistricting, it's really hard to assume that they would suddenly gains seats especially in light of changing demographics and that collapse(which includes a serious drop in registered republicans) I mentioned. Further of 173 incumbents 75 got put into a district with another incumbent. Of those 59 were of the same party and 16 were matched against another party incumbent.

It seems like it was pretty even handed to me.
In the 2010 senate the GOP candidate got 42% of the vote That same year, Republicans picked up 43% (with 2 runing unopposed, so I couldn't add those numbers) of the US house votes statewide. The republicans are consistently getting around 40% statewide. Yet, their representation to the house is 28%. The 36% before handing it over to the "citizens" for redistricting was a lot more fair.
The California Secretary of State reports that as of May 2012 Democrats numbered 7.4 million (43.4%) while Republicans numbered 5.2 million (30.2%). Currently there are 17.2 million California voters—72.3% of eligible adults. Our surveys indicate that among those we consider most likely to vote, 44% are Democrats, 35% are Republicans, and 18% are independents.

Given that most independents end up voting Democrat amongst likely voters Republicans are outnumbered 62% to 35%. Almost two to one. So I find it not so hard to believe they aren't cleaning up at the state level.
Romney did pretty well among independents nationally (winning 50-45, per CNN exit polls). Even in CA he got 40% of the Indie vote. Using that, 40% of 18% should get the GOP another 7-8% based on what you are saying, or around 42-43%. I'm not sure where cleaning up begins, but having 2/3's (roughly 80 out of 120 seats) is super-majority and practically rubber stamp territory. That can't be the goal.
Honestly, the best solution is probably to switch the house of Reps over to a more representative democracy. When the voters go to vote in a state (California in this example) they ask for a GOP, Dem, Libertarian, Green, etc. ballot. When the polls closed, 50% are Dem ballots, 40% are GOP ballots and 10% are Libertarian ballots, then the Dems get 50% of the house seats, GOP gets 40% and Libs get 10% (obviously, there would have to be some adjustment depending on the actual number of seats in each state since) So, in CA, the top 27 Dem vote getters get a seat. For the GOP, their top 21 get seats, and finally the Libertarians top 6 get seats.

Of course, these changes would never be made simply because it makes it too easy for sitting positions to lose their seat and for their party to lose seats to a 3rd party.

 

roadkill1292

Footballguy
Rayderr said:
SaintsInDome2006 said:
In the 2012 senate race, the GOP got 38%. If you add up all the votes in the 2012 US congressional races (and keep in mind that there were 8 races with no GOP candidate vs. 3 with no Dem) The GOP still got 38.3% of the vote.
Rayderr said:
But Pennsylvania doesn't use the method California uses for drawing the districts. So you pointed out gerrymandering is bad in Pennsylvania. Wonderful. I'm pointing out that the "solution" used in California isn't the way to go because it's open to the exact same gerrymandering.

Hmm... Over the past 5 presidential elections, the GOP candidate has garnered 37%-44% of the vote. During that same time frame, the lowest percentage a republican candidate for governor has gotten is 41%. Yet, the congressional make up is R - 14 (27%) D - 38 (73%). That seems out of whack.
Obama won the majority of Pennsylvania voters and those voters cast about 83000 more votes for Democrats than they did Republicans. Take a guess who controls the state. Here's a clue it isn't the party that got the most votes. So trying to compare statewide races with district races probably isn't the way to go.
Actually no it isn't. The board has 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans(over represented given party registration but what the heck) and 4 Independents. The maps received majority support from all three groups. Including the Republicans. Also it should be pointed out that while everywhere else in 2010 the Republicans had a pretty good night they didn't in California. They lost Governorship by 13 points this despite outspending Democrats 10 to 1 allegedly. They also failed to gain a single seat in the legislature or Congress. In fact they lost a seat. So given the collapse in 2010, which was before the redistricting, it's really hard to assume that they would suddenly gains seats especially in light of changing demographics and that collapse(which includes a serious drop in registered republicans) I mentioned. Further of 173 incumbents 75 got put into a district with another incumbent. Of those 59 were of the same party and 16 were matched against another party incumbent.

It seems like it was pretty even handed to me.
In the 2010 senate the GOP candidate got 42% of the vote That same year, Republicans picked up 43% (with 2 runing unopposed, so I couldn't add those numbers) of the US house votes statewide. The republicans are consistently getting around 40% statewide. Yet, their representation to the house is 28%. The 36% before handing it over to the "citizens" for redistricting was a lot more fair.
The California Secretary of State reports that as of May 2012 Democrats numbered 7.4 million (43.4%) while Republicans numbered 5.2 million (30.2%). Currently there are 17.2 million California voters—72.3% of eligible adults. Our surveys indicate that among those we consider most likely to vote, 44% are Democrats, 35% are Republicans, and 18% are independents.

Given that most independents end up voting Democrat amongst likely voters Republicans are outnumbered 62% to 35%. Almost two to one. So I find it not so hard to believe they aren't cleaning up at the state level.
Romney did pretty well among independents nationally (winning 50-45, per CNN exit polls). Even in CA he got 40% of the Indie vote. Using that, 40% of 18% should get the GOP another 7-8% based on what you are saying, or around 42-43%. I'm not sure where cleaning up begins, but having 2/3's (roughly 80 out of 120 seats) is super-majority and practically rubber stamp territory. That can't be the goal.
Honestly, the best solution is probably to switch the house of Reps over to a more representative democracy. When the voters go to vote in a state (California in this example) they ask for a GOP, Dem, Libertarian, Green, etc. ballot. When the polls closed, 50% are Dem ballots, 40% are GOP ballots and 10% are Libertarian ballots, then the Dems get 50% of the house seats, GOP gets 40% and Libs get 10% (obviously, there would have to be some adjustment depending on the actual number of seats in each state since) So, in CA, the top 27 Dem vote getters get a seat. For the GOP, their top 21 get seats, and finally the Libertarians top 6 get seats.

Of course, these changes would never be made simply because it makes it too easy for sitting positions to lose their seat and for their party to lose seats to a 3rd party.
That's almost the Dutch system. We had a thread a while back where a Dutch poster explained it, pretty reasonable and interesting method IMO. Puts a real crimp in gerrymandering tomfoolery.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
I have no idea where to put this, so I will put it here.

I personally think local governmental reform is actually more important than national.

This is the resignation letter of the DC EMS and Asst. fire chief. Interesting read.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/298789450/Jullette-Saussy-Resignation-Letter

Personally I believe the disfunctionalism of our city governments is behind many of the complaints regarding police brutality, fairness and poverty. Local reform is key.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
fatness said:
Bob McDonnell took some bribes.

E I E I O


Ex-Governor McDonnell Wins at U.S. Supreme Court on Corruption Conviction


The U.S. Supreme Court set aside former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s bribery conviction in a ruling that sets a new standard for corruption prosecutions of public officials.

The justices unanimously said the jury instructions made it too easy for prosecutors to win a conviction. The ruling left open the possibility that McDonnell could be retried.

The case stemmed from more than $175,000 in cash and gifts McDonnell and his wife received from Jonnie Williams, a businessman who was trying to get a state university to conduct important clinical tests on a dietary supplement.

 
The justices didn’t reach the biggest question in the case: whether McDonnell provided enough in return to warrant prosecution. Chief Justice John Roberts, however, faulted a federal trial judge for refusing to tell jurors that it wasn’t enough that McDonnell arranged meetings and hosted events to promote the supplement.

Roberts said the government’s interpretation of federal corruption laws risked making routine service by government officials into a crime.

“Conscientious public officials arrange meetings for constituents, contact other officials on their behalf, and include them in events all the time,” Roberts wrote.


Two-Year Sentence


A federal appeals court had upheld the conviction, and McDonnell, 62, was facing a two-year prison sentence.

The ruling may affect other public corruption prosecutions, including the convictions of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the state’s former Senate majority leader Dean Skelos. Federal judges have let both men stay out of prison until the Supreme Court ruled in the McDonnell case.

The pivotal statute makes it a felony to agree to take “official action” in exchange for money, campaign contributions or other gifts. The two sides disagreed about exactly what constitutes “official action.”

McDonnell’s lawyers said prosecutors must show that an official tried to influence a governmental decision. The Obama administration said the statute covers a broader array of acts, including arranging meetings and hosting events.

McDonnell, once seen as a potential Republican presidential candidate, was convicted in 2014 alongside his wife, Maureen. Prosecutors said Williams showered the cash-strapped couple with gifts that included private plane flights, golf trips and a $20,000 shopping spree for Maureen, a former cheerleader for the Washington Redskins football team.

Prosecutors said that, in exchange, the governor promoted Williams’s Anatabloc supplement. McDonnell was accused of pressing state medical schools to conduct clinical tests needed for its federal approval as a drug. Prosecutors said McDonnell also encouraged a subordinate to include the product in the state’s health plan and hosted an event at the governor’s mansion to mark Anatabloc’s introduction for public sale.

The medical schools declined to conduct the tests, and the product was never included in the health plan.

...
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-27/ex-governor-wins-at-u-s-supreme-court-on-corruption-conviction

- I agreed with the Obama position here and I think there should be more prosecutions like this, but alas the ENTIRE USSC disagreed, left and right both.

 
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bueno

In a class by himself
Democrats in DC are mostly moderate Republicans these days they are not a liberal party anymore. So liberals attack them. At some point liberals will go tea party on the Democrats. They can't win without us. They may not think we know that but we do. And at some point we are going to say screw you and force more liberal candidates on them whether they like it or not. Then we'll see which way this country really wants to go. Until then we are stuck with center right and far right.
Republicans felt the same way about the religious right - the attitude is "where they going to go?" That didn't work so well as now the Tea Party is a major force in the Republican Party - more so than eight years ago.

 

bueno

In a class by himself
Honestly, the best solution is probably to switch the house of Reps over to a more representative democracy. When the voters go to vote in a state (California in this example) they ask for a GOP, Dem, Libertarian, Green, etc. ballot. When the polls closed, 50% are Dem ballots, 40% are GOP ballots and 10% are Libertarian ballots, then the Dems get 50% of the house seats, GOP gets 40% and Libs get 10% (obviously, there would have to be some adjustment depending on the actual number of seats in each state since) So, in CA, the top 27 Dem vote getters get a seat. For the GOP, their top 21 get seats, and finally the Libertarians top 6 get seats.

Of course, these changes would never be made simply because it makes it too easy for sitting positions to lose their seat and for their party to lose seats to a 3rd party.
It is an intriguing idea - would take major Constitutional rewrite though, I think.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
Appeals court rejects bid to end straight-ticket voting in Michigan



Procedures allowing Michigan voters to easily cast straight-ticket ballots look likely to remain in place for this fall's election after a federal appeals court refused to restore a law that would have ended the practice.

A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion Wednesday declining the state's request to overturn a judge's order finding that the straight-ticket voting option was heavily relied on by African-Americans and that the state's attempt to ban it appears to violate both the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

The dispute over the 2015 Michigan ban is one of numerous battles being fought out in federal courts over election-law changes that could affect the outcome of contests on the ballot this November.

The appeals court ruling did not slam the door on Michigan's efforts to end straight-ticket voting, but the judges said the state presented no evidence in the lower court to rebut experts who claimed that ending the practice could dissuade voters by lengthening lines and creating confusion, especially in heavily black communities.

"The district court credited unrebutted evidence in the record demonstrating that [the ban] will increase the time that it takes to vote, particularly in African-American communities where straight-party voting is prominent and where lines are often already long. The district court also found that the law was likely to increase voter confusion and miscast ballots," Judge Karen Moore wrote, in an opinion joined by Judges Jane Stranch and Ronald Gilman.

"Although this burden is not severe, it is also not slight. In the face of this burden, the state has offered only vague and largely unsupported justifications of fostering voter knowledge and engagement," Moore added.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, plans to ask the full bench of the 6th Circuit to issue a stay that would restore the law ending straight-ticket voting.

"Michigan is no different than the 40 other states that have eliminated straight ticket voting. We will continue to defend the laws of the State of Michigan and plan to file an emergency appeal to the 6th Circuit for an en banc review by the full court," Schuette said in a statement.

Gilman issued a concurring opinion noting that some briefs filed in the case dismissed the experts' conclusions as junk science, but he said state officials had not sought to counter those claims with evidence at the preliminary stage of the suit.

"Our ruling today is not the end of the case," he wrote. "We are simply deciding that the Michigan Secretary of State has not met her burden of demonstrating that a stay of the district court’s preliminary injunction is warranted. In reaching this decision, we are limited to the admittedly one-sided proof available at this stage of the litigation because the Secretary [of State], for whatever reason, did not timely submit any proof contradicting the plaintiffs’ evidence."

The challenge to the Michigan law was brought by a local civil rights group, the Randolph Institute, and by Common Cause.

All three appeals court judges who issued Wednesday's ruling are Democratic appointees. Moore and Gilman were appointed by President Bill Clinton. Stranch is an appointee of President Barack Obama.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2016/08/straight-ticket-voting-michigan-court-ruling-227114#ixzz4HeNWx1TS

- The idea that people are encouraged to vote just for one party in all races without thinking about or knowing who they are voting for troubles me. But I also find it odd that the judges here think that asking voters to do this will be particularly vexing to black voters, this seems particularly insupportable.
 
- And I guess I see that the point of the law was winkwink to affect black voters.... buuuut wouldn't that mean that the point of instituting the law in the first place was as well?
 
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SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
Book Alleges Link Between Louisiana Congressman And Prostitution Hub


A spokesman for Republican Rep. Charles Boustany tells BuzzFeed News the allegations are “outrageous lies.”

A new book investigating the murders of eight Louisiana sex workers raises questions about a United States congressman’s alleged ties to a local prostitution hub.

In the book, Murder in the Bayou — which will be released by Simon & Schuster’s Scribner imprint next week — investigative journalist Ethan Brown cites three anonymous sources claiming Republican Rep. Charles Boustany was a “client” of some of the murdered sex workers known as the “Jeff Davis 8.” The book also reveals that the motel where some of the victims did their sex work was run by Martin Guillory, a field representative for Boustany who goes by the nickname “Big G.”

Boustany, who is now running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana, denied the allegations to the author through a spokesman. Guillory, who ran the Boudreaux Inn from the late 1990s through the end of 2004, told the author he’d met “one or two” of the sex workers, as well as Frankie Richard, their pimp. But Guillory said he was unaware of any criminal activity taking place at the motel.

Between 2005 and 2009, the bodies of eight women were discovered in the canals and swamps surrounding the small town of Jennings in Louisiana’s Jefferson Davis Parish. The victims, whose murders remain unsolved, became known in the national media as the “Jeff Davis 8.”

Brown, who has spent more than five years investigating the case, writes in Murder in the Bayou that Boustany’s name first came up in his reporting during a 2012 interview with Richard, the pimp who was briefly charged with one victim’s murder. (The charges were later dropped.)

The author then cites three independent sources claiming that some of the slain sex workers counted Boustany as a customer. One source is described in the book as a “former Jennings sex worker” who knew the Jeff Davis 8; another is described as a “friend” of some of the victims.

The third source is a witness who in 2012 told a law enforcement taskforce investigating the murders that Boustany had engaged in sexual activity with at least one victim:


I will call this witness Boustany Witness A. Taskforce investigators took Boustany Witness A seriously enough to interview her over several days in October of 2012. Boustany Witness A kept meticulous logs of her visits with the Taskforce, and according to these logs, she was interrogated by the upper echelon of the Taskforce … In an August 2015 meeting at the FBI’s Lake Charles office, I asked Agent Reed about his meeting with Boustany Witness A, and he refused to confirm or deny that such a meeting occurred. Agent Reed also refused to confirm or deny that the feds have received information that Boustany patronized any of the Jeff Davis 8.



Brown stresses in the book that “there is no evidence that either Congressman Boustany or Big G had any involvement with the murders of the Jeff Davis 8.”

In a statement provided to the author, Boustany’s then-spokesman Jack Pandol said, “Dr. Boustany had no knowledge of Martin Guillory’s prior involvement at the establishment you mentioned. After double checking our office’s records, Dr. Boustany has never had any contact with any of the eight victims you mentioned. Obviously this case is a tragedy and Dr. Boustany is saddened something like this could happen in southwest Louisiana.”

Reached Wednesday by BuzzFeed News, Boustany spokesman Jordan Gleason said, “We stand by the statement provided to Mr. Brown. These are outrageous lies and Dr. Boustany has no knowledge of this whatsoever.”

Boustany’s discovery of Guillory’s connection to the Boudreaux Inn has apparently not put an end to their professional relationship. According to FEC documents, Guillory has received payment from Boustany’s current Senate campaign.

In Murder in the Bayou, Brown details police reports showing that “Frankie Richard and several of the slain workers were constantly involved in incidents resulting in police presence at the Boudreaux Inn” during Guillory’s proprietorship. One of the sex workers was accused of stealing from an apparent John at the motel; another was stabbed in the head during an altercation there.

“Big G” Guillory himself shows up in a July 22, 2003, incident report in which the Sheriff’s Office was called to the motel because he had “pulled a black pistal [sic] on” the complainant during an argument. Guillory’s handgun was confiscated and placed in evidence, and he received a citation for aggravated assault.

Guillory did not respond to repeated requests from comment from BuzzFeed News. But he told the book’s author that he didn’t know any of the Jeff Davis 8 were engaging in prostitution at the Boudreaux Inn:


When I asked Big G if Congressman Boustany had engaged in relationships of any nature with the women of the Jeff Davis 8, he replied, “Well, of course not, that I know of. Why would that man deal with any of the women at the Boudreaux Inn?” Big G then angrily concluded the call, told me to never call him back, and warned, “I assure you when you come out with all of these allegations we’re gonna file suit against you.”

https://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/book-louisiana-congressman?utm_term=.saGQrqRKd#.buV6YdaX1




 
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SaintsInDome2006

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Rep. Duncan Hunter under investigation by Justice Department, House Ethics Committee indicates




Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is under investigation by the Justice Department.

The House Ethics Committee released a statement Thursday saying it was deferring consideration of a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics detailing possible campaign finance improprities because the Justice Department, in a move that signals that department is probing the matter itself, asked it to.

The committee first received the referral on Hunter from the Office of Congressional Ethics last August. The committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to comply with the Justice Department's request.

In accordance with committee rules, the panel is also withholding the bulk of the OCE's report detailing the alleged violations.

The portion of the OCE report that was released states that Hunter's campaign "reported expenditures that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.

"Rep. Hunter may have converted tens of thousands of dollars of campaign funds from his congressional campaign committee to personal use to pay for family travel, flights, utilities, health care, school uniforms and tuition, jewelry, groceries, and other goods, services, and expenses," which is a violation of House rules and federal campaign laws, the report states.

Hunter's local paper, the San Diego Union Tribune, previously reported that the former Marine may have violated House rules when he secured a loan to repay his campaign almost $50,000 for personal expenses that he billed in possible violation of campaign finance laws. ...


http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2618247/

 

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