Thursday, June 01, 2006

Honest Leadership
Open Government

Reid Says He Won't Accept Free Tickets

Reid said he believed it was appropriate to accept the free tickets because the gifts were from his home state and that McCain, R-Ariz., had to reimburse because he was from out of state. Senate ethics rules generally allow senators to take gifts from any state, not just their home state.

But they specifically warn against taking normally permissible gifts if the giver may be trying to influence official action."It was therefore entirely permissible for Senator Reid - a senator from Nevada - to have attended a major Nevada sporting event as a guest of Nevada officials," Manley said.

Several ethics experts disagreed, criticizing Reid's rationale that he felt obligated to take the tickets to ensure boxing was being conducted properly in his home state."He is no more obligated to go to boxing matches than he is to a Celine Dion concert in Vegas," said Melanie Sloan, a former Justice Department prosecutor and head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Jefferson claims innocence in bribe probe

A Democratic congressman facing a bribery probe after FBI agents found $90,000 in his freezer denied wrongdoing on Monday and said he would not step down from his congressional seat.

FBI investigators raided Jefferson's office over the weekend and disclosed they had videotaped the New Orleans lawmaker accepting $100,000 cash intended as a bribe for a Nigerian official.

The FBI also said in a court affidavit that it found $90,000 of that money hidden in a freezer in his house.Former associates have said Jefferson accepted more than $400,000 in bribes to help them sell telecommunications technology to Nigeria and other West African countries.

Two of those associates, former congressional aide Brett Pfeffer and Kentucky businessman Vernon Jackson, have pleaded guilty to bribery charges and are cooperating in the investigation.

No comments: