Senate Majority Project

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Frist Charity Under Scrutiny

The Associated Press breaks another big story on Sen. Bill Frist. This time the AP finds that Frist's charity, dedicated to helping fight AIDS, also has helped his political staff and their families and conservative Republican activists Frist is courting for his presidential race.

Friday, December 16, 2005

This is Bull****

Maybe President Bush Knows Why


"After 25 years of serving as a CNN commentator and program host, our colleague Bob Novak's tenure on the network will come to a close (effective 12/31). Through the years, Bob has offered incisive analysis for much of CNN's programming, including Crossfire, The Capital Gang, Inside Politics, Evans and Novak, The Novak Zone, and Novak, Hunt and Shields. Bob has also been a valued contributor to CNN's political coverage. We appreciate his many contributions and wish him well in future endeavors," said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S.
And proving that with Bob Novak, you’ll often be upset, but never surprised….

Novak leaves CNN after 25 years to join Fox

Frivolous Lott-igation

Do As I Say, Not As I Sue

After fighting to limit your ability to sue your insurance company, Katrina victim Sen. Trent Lott files a lawsuit against his ...

According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator Trent Lott is suing his insurance company, State Farm Insurance, after it refused to pay for the damage to the Senator's beachfront Pascagoula home, which was leveled by Hurricane Katrina. But not too long ago, Lott was leading a fight to limit Americans' ability to sue their health insurance company:

"It's sue, sue, sue... That's not the answer."

Republicans deplore the focus on litigation. 'It's sue, sue, sue,' said Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Senate Republican leader. 'That's not the answer.'” [The New York Times, 8/4/2001]
"You have a problem with HMOs, file a lawsuit. We don't think that's the answer."

"… the answer is not lawsuits. … You have a problem with HMOs, file a lawsuit. We don't think that's the answer. … You know, do lawsuits, you know, really prove anything in America? I'm a lawyer, but we are a society that has gotten to where we look to a lawsuit first. I think we should look for solutions, not add more costs." [Meet the Press, 7/11/1999]
Lawsuits Aren't "Necessary" to Get "Help and Answers"

"Do they want results or do they want lawsuits? Now, I think the answer should be found in the operating room, not in the courtroom. … When people are asked, "Do you think you have the right to sue?" Well, they -- you know, well, yes, probably yes…. [Democrats’] answer is always more government and more lawsuits for their plaintiffs' lawyers' buddies." [Fox News Sunday, 7/19/1998]
Lott Says Lawsuits Have Forced 44 Insurance Companies Out of Mississippi

"Lott said Sunday that frivolous lawsuits and unlimited damages have forced 44 insurance companies out of his home state of Mississippi 'because it has become just a personal injury lawyers' bonanza.'" [Associated Press, 6/24/2001


Not surprisingly, there are enough hypocritical Trent Lott quotes to fill several posts ... Sirota has more …

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sen. Stevens White Whale

"We All See It. That Don't Make it Real."

In yet another sign that he creeping off the deep end, Senator Ted Stevens announced that House and Senate appropriators agreed to attach his long anticipated measure of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the Defense Appropriations bill. []

Yesterday Stevens attempted to attach ANWR drilling to the hurricane relief package stating, “It’s going to be awfully hard to vote against Katrina [disaster assistance]. . . . If it’s in there, then maybe those disaster people — area people — will vote with me on ANWR.” (CQ Today, 12/14/05)

By pitting Gulf coast victims against troops in Iraq, the Senator may finally have his wish of drilling in ANWR, however his behavior in the matter did not go unnoticed. “Like Ahab, certain Republicans are so dedicated to a lost cause that they have lost their reason in the process,” said Democrat Ed Markey (D-MA) who warned that adding ANWR to the Defense appropriations bill would slow down the approval of funding for the troops. “Let us hope that those who captain the Senate will turn this ship around before it founders on a filibuster.”

Perhaps if by some miracle (‘tis the season) the Senator doesn’t get his wish, and we have an open and honest debate about ANWR without holding desperately needed funds hostage, Stevens will finally keep his promise to resign.

"Those Disaster People"

“It’s going to be awfully hard to vote against Katrina [disaster assistance]. . . . If it’s in there, then maybe those disaster people — area people — will vote with me on ANWR,”

Sen. Ted Stevens, CQ Today, 12/15/2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hurricane Ted Aims For Louisiana

Stevens Holds Katrina Victims Hostage to ANWR

According to Congressional Quarterly, Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), realizing moderates in his party have slowly come to their senses about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), has now held the Hurricane Relief package hostage by adding ANWR language to it.

Sounding like a man whose perspective is slipping, Stevens said, “It’s going to be awfully hard to vote against [hurricane aid],” Stevens said. “If it’s in there, maybe people will vote with me on ANWR.”

It doesn’t stop there

Stevens has also threatened to hold up the Defense Appropriations measure on this issue as well, stating that bill could also be a vehicle to push ANWR drilling.

Maybe if he doesn’t get his way this time he actually will quit.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Home for the Holidays

Maybe Dole Thinks It’s Comfier in the Watergate?

According to government records, Sen. Elizabeth Dole may not be the biggest fan of North Carolina. Document revealed Dole made only one official trip to North Carolina this past summer. Dole’s office claimed the records were incomplete, stating that she actually has made FOUR more official trips to her home state, and that those trips weren’t processed yet.

Perhaps realizing how ridiculous it is to argue five trips to a home state as close to Washington D.C. as North Carolina is nothing short of neglect, Dole’s spokeswoman later added in the piece that the Senator has visited the state at least every month since her election. Much better spin, however let’s review some history.

During her 2002 Senate campaign, it was reported that Dole hadn’t lived in North Carolina for over 40 years, living in fact in the Washington, DC landmark, the Watergate Hotel. (Washington Post, 10/7/02). Until Jesse Helms announced he would retire from the Senate in July 2001, Dole was registered in Kansas, the state that elected her husband to the Senate.

According Rowan County records, Dole purchased her North Carolina home in 2001 the day after Christmas, perhaps realizing she needed a residence to actually run for Senate. However, a county recording from this past July still listed Dole’s residence as the Watergate.

That didn’t stop the Doles from sending out Christmas Cards in 2001 which said "From our home to yours." Dole’s spokesperson that year said that the Doles owned the Salisbury home. We now know they didn’t purchase it until after Christmas.

Wonder where the Christmas cards are coming from this year.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Vision Thing

More Fuzziness on Frist’s Not-So-Blind Trusts

Making an appearance Fox News this past Sunday, Senator Bill Frist defended his role in the sale of HCA stock held in a “blind trust” in his name. Frist stated he ordered the sale of HCA stock from his blind trust to make sure there was “no appearance of whatsoever of a conflict of interest.” And further claimed,
“For the last 10 years or 11 years, I have no idea, no earthly idea, at any point in time how much stock of anything, not just that particular stock, but all of the stocks that I’ve owned in the past.
If that were true, it would all certainly clear the Senator’s name. But then the SEC wouldn’t have those pesky investigations.

The Associated Press reported that in December 2002, the trustee of the senator's supposedly blind trust told Frist that HCA stock valued at $15,000 and $50,000 was added to the trust. Two weeks later, Frist made nearly identical statements denying any knowledge of HCA stock in his blind trust.

At least twice earlier in 2002, Frist was told that his “blind” trusts contained HCA stock. First in May, when Frist was told that HCA stock valued at $500,000 and $1 million was moved to one of his trusts and HCA stock valued at $250,000 to $500,000 was moved to another. It is hard to reach any other conclusion than Frist owned a lot of HCA … blind trust or no. Later, on Nov. 20, 2002, the trustee wrote Frist that 14,781 shares of HCA were sold, along with three other investments.

On top of this, from 1994 until 2002, Frist had a substantial amount of HCA stock in a company called Bowling Avenue Partners, an LLP that was outside of his senate approved blind trust.

Its one thing to misspeak a few times about how much stock Frist owned -- though “none” typically means a number closer to zero than $1 million worth -- but Frist also stated HCA was not run by his family.

HCA co-founders included Sen. Frist’s father and brother. His brother, Thomas F. Frist Jr., was Chair and CEO as recently as 2001, and stepped down as chairman and CEO of HCA after a nine year investigation by the Justice Department into alleged Medicare cost-reporting fraud. Thomas Frist still currently serves on the company’s Board as Chairman Emeritus.


Tennessean Study Finds Frist’s Votes Helped HCA

Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me

Allegedly Pro-Choice Murkowski to Trust Alito’s "Temperament"

Since being appointed as a Senator promising to protect the right to choose, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s position has slid from pro-choice to “multiple choice.” She’s voted in favor of a resolution supporting Roe v. Wade, only to feign disinterest in the position and views of a Justice that could overturn crucial parts of that decision. Her position can now only be described “multiple guess.”

After meeting with Judge Alito, Murkowski announced:
“If he had given me his view on what we should do with Roe vs. Wade, I don't care which direction he went, I would not think that he would be the type of person that we would want to serve on the bench.”
In fact, Alito has zigzagged almost as much as Murkowski on the issue. An architect of the Reagan Administration strategy to overturn Roe, Alito has proclaimed that he believes in the right to privacy, the same day he touted a dissent he wrote that would have upheld states can require a married woman to notify her husband before ending a pregnancy. Consistency apparently is not part of the temperament of either.

Picture of Corruption