Category Archives: Senate

William P. Barr should not be confirmed by the Senate for Attorney General

William P. Barr, who faces a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing this week, should not be confirmed by the Senate due to his past and present sins against the rule of law and constitutional democracy.

Past Sins

William Barr was previously the Attorney General under President George H. W. Bush when he advocated that the president issue a blanket pardon to everyone charged in the Iran-Contra Affair just as independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was focused on obstruction of justice by President Bush himself. Barr thus was an architect of the cover-up of the Iran-Contra Affair in which no one was ever brought to justice for their crimes, establishing the perverse precedent that IOKIYAR. See, Bush Pardons 6 in Iran Affair, Aborting a Weinberger Trial; Prosecutor Assails ‘Cover-Up’ (December 24, 1992):

Six years after the arms-for-hostages scandal began to cast a shadow that would darken two Administrations, President Bush today granted full pardons to six former officials in Ronald Reagan’s Administration, including former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger.

Mr. Weinberger was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 5 on charges that he lied to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran and efforts by other countries to help underwrite the Nicaraguan rebels, a case that was expected to focus on Mr. Weinberger’s private notes that contain references to Mr. Bush’s endorsement of the secret shipments to Iran.

In one remaining facet of the inquiry, the independent prosecutor, Lawrence E. Walsh, plans to review a 1986 campaign diary kept by Mr. Bush. Mr. Walsh has characterized the President’s failure to turn over the diary until now as misconduct.

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NOW (MOST OF) IT CAN BE TOLD: Kyl Lists ASU Part-Time Compensation, (Some) Advocacy Clients; Increased Net Worth 7X

It came the week after he left the U.S. Senate, but Jon Kyl has now filed the financial disclosure statement that all candidates and officeholders generally file before serving the public. In it, he discloses that: (1) he had been involved with many companies that do significant business with the federal government, (2) his salary as a part time ASU professor averaged $64,000, (3) he provided previously undisclosed legal/advocacy services for APS, SRP and others, and (4) non-Senate life increased the Kyls’ net worth by more than seven fold.

There had been much speculation in the media that Kyl was trying to avoid filing a financial disclosure statement at all, although Arizona’s Politics recently pointed out he was still obligated to file the report by the extended deadline even though he would not be in office. Sure enough, the report was filed late yesterday evening.

The eye-popping numbers come on the first page of the report (below) when the Senator lists his income sources for the past two years*. His averaged annual compensation for his lobbying position with Covington & Burling is $930,000. In addition, he received approximately $128,912 during the period Continue reading

McSALLY MAKES IT OFFICIAL: 1st To Sign and File For 2020 Senate Special Election

Arizona’s appointed Senator-To-Be Martha McSally made it official last night when she signed and filed her Statement of Candidacy to retain her seat in the Senate in the 2020 Special Election.

It is not uncommon for Members of Congress (including Senators) to file their Statement of Candidacy shortly after the just-passed election, because it allows them to continue to accept contributions from individuals, PACs, etc. In fact, Sen.-Elect Kyrsten Sinema filed her 2024 Statement of Candidacy on November 19, one week after McSally conceded the election to replace Sen. Jeff Flake.

Nearly half of Arizona’s new delegation in the House of Representatives have also filed their statements to seek re-election in 2020. Perhaps more notable are a couple of the Representatives who have NOT yet filed – Ruben Gallego (D-CD7) has expressed interest in running for the Democratic nomination in the Senatorial Special Election, and Paul Gosar (R-CD4) had been interested in Continue reading

POLITICO on 2020 Arizona special election for U.S. Senate

POLITICO has a lengthy Christmas day speculation post on the Crowd of Democrats jockeying over the Arizona Senate special election in 2020:

Arizona Democrats like their chances to beat Martha McSally again in 2020. But they may have to settle a long and crowded Senate primary first.

Four Democrats have already started laying the groundwork for Senate special election campaigns, meeting with party leaders and even sparring over their credentials — even before McSally was appointed to fill the next two years of the late Sen. John McCain’s term. The party believes McSally will be vulnerable after losing a tough campaign to Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema in 2018.

It’s possible the Democratic field would clear if Democrats land a candidate they have coveted for years: Mark Kelly, the former astronaut and Navy veteran married to former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who is laying the foundation for a potential campaign. But if not, a big primary could put the Democratic nominee in the same position as McSally was in 2018: trading intraparty attacks until the end of August 2020, just weeks before mail voting starts in the general election, in one of the most important states in the fight for the Senate majority. Two potential candidates are already criticizing each other’s credentials before even entering the race.

Since Giffords resigned from Congress a year after surviving a 2011 shooting, Democratic leaders have tried in vain to recruit Kelly to run for office in Arizona. But he is now taking active steps to consider a 2020 Senate campaign, including a sit-down meeting earlier this month with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), the incoming chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

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The Trump Shutdown: he’s dreaming of a white nationalist Christmas

Just in time for Christmas, our white nationalist racist-in-chief got the government shutdown over his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border that he wanted after calling for it at least 25 times.

This is the third government shutdown in two years under unified Republican control of the government. Republicans are an abject failure at governance.

Someone just give Trump a MAGA building blocks set for Christmas to occupy his infantile mind (yes, this is a real thing) and let’s get on with the serious adult business of running the federal government.

On Wednesday, Senate and House leadership believed they had an agreement with the White House on a spending bill which did not include the$5 billion Trump had demanded for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border — a vanity monument to himself. The Senate went ahead with a vote and passed it nearly unanimously by a voice vote. The House was expected to follow suit, and everyone could then head home for Christmas. Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill That Would Avert Shutdown.

But then the white nationalists of the GOP House Freedom Caucus led by Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said Mr. Trump was doing himself “major” political damage with his political base of “deplorables” by relenting in the wall fight.

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