Politics Extra
Enquirer reporters give the scoop on what your politicians are doing

Jessica Brown,
Hamilton County reporter

Jon Craig,
Enquirer statehouse bureau

Jane Prendergast,
Cincinnati City Hall reporter

Malia Rulon,
Enquirer Washington bureau

Carl Weiser,
Blog editor

Howard Wilkinson,
politics reporter

Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Boehner wins $1 million in taped call case

House Minority Leader John Boehner, a West Chester Republican, has won a decade-long battle with Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., over an illegally taped call.

A judge has ordered McDermott to pay $1,053,181.40 in attorney’s fees and costs, $40,000 in interest, and more than $60,000 in statutory and punitive damages.

Here is what Boehner had to say today about the case:

"Over the past 10 years, I have consistently said that Members of Congress have a responsibility not only to obey the laws of our country and the rules of our institution, but also to defend the integrity of those laws and rules when they are violated. Congressman McDermott broke the law, and as a result, he shattered the bonds of trust between our institution and the men and women we represent in the halls of Congress. I remained committed to this case in order to begin restoring those bonds, and to uphold the belief that no one – including Members of Congress – is above the law. With this decision, the American people can take comfort in knowing that these important principles have been reaffirmed."


at 5:44 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


In June 1995, Boehner provoked contentions of unethical conduct when he distributed campaign contributions from tobacco industry lobbyists on the House floor as House members were weighing how to vote on tobacco subsidies.[6] Boehner stopped handing out the checks only "after being questioned about the practice by two freshmen who’d heard about the handoff on the House floor". Rep. Linda Smith (R-WA) said of Boehner’s actions, "[I]f it is not illegal, it should be."[7]. This pressure from within his own party forced him to apologize for handing out the checks.[8][9] He later led the effort to change House rules and prohibit campaign contributions from being distributed on the House floor.[10]

Boehner's PAC has raised $31,500 from four Indian tribes who at one time were associated with lobbyist Jack Abramoff,[11] who is currently the central figure in an unfolding lobbying scandal. Boehner and spokesmen for the Indian tribes say that the contributions were not related to Abramoff's lobbying.

Boehner was the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In October 2004, Rose DiNapoli, a lobbyist for student loan giant Sallie Mae, held a fundraiser in her Arlington, Va., home for Boehner. At the dinner, 34 Sallie Mae executives — including more than half the senior management team — wrote checks, most for $1,000 apiece, for Boehner's political action committee.[12] In December 2005, Boehner told non-profit lenders that he thought they would be happy with the final results of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. "Know that I have all of you in my two trusted hands," he said, "I've got enough rabbits up my sleeve to be able to get where we need to." Boehner championed a bill making steep cuts to for-profit lender subsidies in an effort to save more than $13 billion in the Deficit Reduction Act, though the final package "soften[ed] [proposed] cuts to lenders" and "deal[t] a serious blow to the competing direct-loan program."[13] The direct-loan program gives students access to loans from taxpayers, instead of through private lenders and banks. Supporters of Direct Loans suggest "direct-lending program costs taxpayers much less than extending loans through lenders like Sallie Mae.[14] But the Direct Loan "program has not provided savings and is paying out more in interest payments — calculated at about $16.5 billion — than it has received from borrowers since its inception."[15]

Boehner rents a two-bedroom Capitol Hill apartment for $1600 a month. The apartment building is owned by a Washington lobbyist; the Washington Post evaluated his rent to be about the market rate.[16] Boehner does not deny his close ties to "K Street" lobbyists and says that his relationships are ethical, but that the ties were only for a short period of approximately 2 weeks.

Lawsuit against Congressman McDermott

Boehner has been involved in a lawsuit, first filed in 1998, against fellow Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington — the first such case ever between two sitting Congressmen. Boehner v. McDermott centered on the release by McDermott to the media of and taped conference call between Boehner, Newt Gingrich, and other Republican Congressional leaders that had been illegally recorded through a radio scanner and given to McDermott by a Florida couple.[17] The call was a discussion of strategy over an investigation of Gingrich by the House Ethics Committee.[18] Gingrich had publicly pledged not to organize opposition to the probe. The Florida couple were later fined $500 for violating the federal wiretapping law. McDermott was ordered to pay $60,000 to Boehner in addition to attorney fees and costs, which may amount to $500,000 based on his violation of House Ethics rules.[19]

2006 Mark Foley scandal

Main article: Mark Foley scandal
Republican Leader John Boehner told The Washington Post that he knew of "contact" between Foley and Congressional pages in the spring, but was unaware of their nature or content. Boehner maintains that he believes he informed Speaker Dennis Hastert, and that Hastert assured him it had been "taken care of." Boehner says that he was unaware of Foley's e-mails and instant messages until the messages were released to ABC News and other sources.

PATHETIC 'family values' !


at 6:49 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Foot-tapping Congressman, Jim McDermott, finally got caught with his pants down while performing in his little taping machine job.

at 10:51 PM, April 01, 2008 Anonymous Award-winning CincyJeff said...

It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. First we learn McDermott took a trip underwritten by Saddam Hussein, to throw his support behind Hussein. Now we can confirm that illegally taped private conversations must indeed remain private. McDermott violated another man's right to privacy and for that he must pay. Democrats continue to be caught with their ethics problems.

at 7:55 AM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

imagine the crying fit boehner would have had if he had lost. more importantly, isn't boehner from the party that hates high priced lawyers and feels they damage the justice system? doesn't 1,000,000 seem a little excessive.

and don't get me started about who's wiretapping who...

at 10:56 AM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know we're not wiretapping Obama. We would have to do something about all his calls to his Iranian masters if we did.

at 1:48 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What more evidence do we need to shut down the entire Republican Party as a corrupt organization under the RICO statutes? How many more criminals can we be subjected to in one organization before we see the light and realize that the entire organization is corrupt to the core?

Post a Comment*

Links to this post:

Create a Link

* Our online blogs currently are hosted and operated by a third party, namely, Blogger.com. You are now leaving the Cincinnati.Com website and will be linked to Blogger.com's registration page. The Blogger.com site and its associated services are not controlled by Cincinnati.Com and different terms of use and privacy policy will apply to your use of the Blogger.com site and services.

By proceeding and/or registering with Blogger.com you agree and understand that Cincinnati.Com is not responsible for the Blogger.com site you are about to access or for any service you may use while on the Blogger.com site.

<< Home

Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Who's News
Roller Derby Diva
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
High school sports
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff