NFRW Political Briefing

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Political Briefing
Legislative News for the Week of July 19, 2010

In This Issue
House Ethics Committee Announces Charges Against Rangel
Elena Kagan Hearings
On the Hill

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“‘Drain the swamp’ means to turn this Congress into the most honest and open Congress in history. That’s my pledge – that is what I intend to do.”

-Nancy Pelosi in a November 8, 2006 interview with Brian Williams after being elected Speaker of the House

House Ethics Committee Announces Ethics Charges Against Rangel

On Thursday, the House subcommittee investigating allegations against Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) announced he violated Congressional ethics rules following an investigation dating back to 2008.
The case against Rangel will now go on trial before a separate ethics committee most likely in September.
Details of the specific allegations will be made public next Thursday.  Several AP reports mentioned possible allegations including: use of his official Congressional stationery to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York and use of four rent-subsidized apartment units in New York City which were not his primary residence.
There were also investigations conducted into Rep. Rangel’s failure to report income from a rental property in the Dominican Republic.
One of the most serious charges was Rangel’s failure to declare $239,000 to $831,000  in investment assets on his financial disclosure forms.
Rep. Rangel was the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee before he was forced to step down in response to ethics charges.   He is running for reelection to his 21st term this fall.
Will Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats hold Rangel accountable?

Elena Kagan Hearings

***The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Kagan’s nomination in a vote of 13-6.  One Republican, Sen. Graham (R-SC), voted in favor of Kagan’s nomination.  Her nomination will now go before the full Senate with a vote expected in the next few weeks.***
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has announced he will oppose Kagan’s nomination.
Call your Senator now!

10 Reasons to Call your Senator about the Kagan Hearings

It’s time to let your voice be heard on the Kagan nomination!

1. Elena Kagan brings no judicial experience to the table.
2. The Supreme Court will likely hear arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare in the next few years.  Elena Kagan could be the deciding vote on Obamacare.
3. Elena Kagan is a political ideologue-she has worked for a string of liberal Democrats including: Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, Barack Obama and Eric Holder.
4. As Dean of Harvard’s Law School, Elena Kagan banned US military recruiters from the campus.  She lost her battle when the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the law in 2006.
5. Elena Kagan’s stand on several social issues could demonstrate that she would impose personal views in her rulings instead of adhering to the law.  We need justices who will strictly interpret the constitution.
6. Elena Kagan has praised Israeli activist Judge Aharon Barak as “her hero.” Judge Barak is considered to be one of the worst activist judges.  In his book, The Judge in a Democracy, Barak writes, “a good judge is a judge who, within the bounds of legitimate possibilities, makes law that, more than other law he is authorized to make, best bridges the gap between law and society and best protects the constitution and its values. He also says that judges should go “beyond actually deciding the dispute.”
7. Elena Kagan is a Litigation Committee member of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The AAUP is censoring a long list of conservative schools.
8. Elena Kagan has a troubling record on the Second Amendment.
9. There are surprisingly few pieces of documentation representing Kagan’s beliefs and where she stands on the issues.
10. Elena Kagan has donated over $12,050 to Democratic campaigns over a span of 8 years.
Contact your Senator TODAY to tell them NO to another judicial activist justice Elena Kagan!

YouCut – Let’s Get Serious About Wasteful Spending!

Check out this innovative new program from House Republicans in efforts to cut out-of-control spending based on YOUR votes.

Visit the YouCut website each week to review five proposed spending cuts.  You can cast your vote on spending cuts either online or via text message.  The House will then vote on whether or not to cut the winning provision.

On the Hill

Capitol Hill

President Obama sent the Senate the nomination
Donald Berwick to head the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services.  This move comes after her bypassed the Senate confirmation process to recess appoint Berwick to the position through the end of 2011.
SC Senator Lindsey Graham voted in favor of Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court joining Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 13-6 vote to approve Elena Kagan’s nomination.
Sen. Reid (D-NV) has announced he will bring a up a “narrow” climate change bill based on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill next week.
Sen. Reid has also announced that he will bring the DISCLOSE Act which Democrats hope to use to muzzle corporations after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling before the Senate next week as well.  He does not have enough votes to break a GOP filibuster.
West Virginia Democrat Carte Goodwin was sworn in to the Senate to fill the late Sen. Byrd’s seat for fourth months until a special election will be held.
Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia has announced that he will run for the late Sen. Byrd’s seat.

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