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M a c r o M a y h e M

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

David Corn: Duke's ban on flag burning twisting into 9/11

David Corn has some thoughts:

Given his ethics troubles, Cunningham has provided more material to support the truest of cliches about patriotism and scoundrels. The flag-burning amendment is the latest resort of this scandalized patriot. And Cunningham's exploitation of 9/11 only strengthens his standing as a scoundrel. But he is in good company, for he is in complete sync with a White House eager to use 9/11 as another prop for its divide-and-conquer politics.

Well said...

Monday, June 27, 2005

The two faces of Cunningham...perspective vs reality

The Union Tribune had a interesting bit of conflict on how Duke is handling this.

Now confronted with his own troubles, Cunningham walks the Capitol halls briskly, press spokesman Mark Olson close at his side. When approached by reporters, he hurries on, tightening his lips and shaking his head, indicating his refusal to talk about his MZM ties.

Publicly, his Republican colleagues are supportive, calling Cunningham a man of "integrity" and "courage." Ed Patru, spokesman for the Republican National Congressional Committee, said Cunningham's recent statement makes it "pretty clear that he's willing to cooperate fully with any and all investigations, and . . . I think that's not typical for people who have something to hide."

Now confronted with his own troubles, Cunningham walks the Captial halls briskly...
..."integrity" and "courage"...

...tightning his lips and shaking his head,...
he's willing to cooperate fully with any and all investigations...

...I think that's not typical for people who have something to hide...
...indicating his refusal to talk...

How disconnected could this sound? I' m sorry, but there is perspective and reality. Perspective of integrity and courage is NOT refusing to talk. It's the reality of real problems.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

North County times lays cover for Cunningham amid scandal...

It's starting to look like the NCTimes is covering for Duke. I don't like the way they are laying out this article and making it look like Duke has explained away his "above board transaction" or "poor judgement" without need for explanation.

Francine Busby has it right.

"Coming clean is more than just admitting what everybody already knows," Busby said. "It's about showing that your actions meet the high standards of honesty and integrity from a congressional representative."

The article lays out his explanation of what everyone already knows. Cunningham sold his home to a defense contractor, named Mitchel Wade. Elizabeth Todd, a large campaign contributor/realtor, may have over estimated the actually price by $700,000. Show us the comparables! Show us the perceived value that Elizabeth Todd wrote up! Show us the receipts of the numerous stays on the "Duke Stir"!

I would be the first person to stand up for protection of privacy, but he is a public servant. Doing the work of the people. The burden of proof lies up on him, if he wants to keep his job as an elected official.

In Washington, Keith Ashdown, vice president of policy and communications for Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan Washington budget watchdog, took issue with part of what Cunningham said."His statement that no congressman steers contracts to their favorite contractors is absolutely not true," Ashdown said. "It happens all the time."Committee members are very influential," Ashdown said. "They control the purse strings of the armed services and they can make military officials' lives miserable if they don't do what they are told."Ashdown added that Cunningham was presenting his own point of view but not offering any supporting documentation.

Cunningham is telling us what he wants to know. As constituents, we deserve to know more. It is too bad that our elected official doesn't know that.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

clip from the personal Duke Cunningham's personal statement...

These are some gems...

While I am not at liberty to discuss the specifics of MZM's classified work, I can say that in 2003 MZM was actively seeking space for its operations close to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. Mr. Wade shared with me that his company hoped to acquire space where he could locate highly secure communications equipment along with quarters for employees visiting from other cities. I informed Mr. Wade that Nancy and I were contemplating selling our home in the Del Mar Heights neighborhood, which is close to Miramar. After learning about the size and location of our property, Mr. Wade advised me that MZM would be interested in purchasing our house. I understood that MZM wanted the property for use as an office and as corporate housing until such time as MZM could locate more secure facilities for its operations at one of the military installations in the San Diego area.
Ya know! It just came out in random conversation that I was hoping to sell a home, and Mitchell was in looking for one. Go figure. Never mind our working, social, and personal relationships co-mingle more than a plate of spaghetti. Bad judgment... that's all!

Elizabeth Todd, a realtor with the Willis Allen Company in Del Mar, set the asking price for our home. Ms. Todd and her husband are friends of mine and as a friend, she was kind enough to research the sale prices of similar homes in my neighborhood.
I did not list my home in Del Mar Heights for sale or hire a real estate agent to sell the property because Mr. Wade had already indicated an interest in the property and, like most people selling their own home, I hoped to avoid the additional costs associated with selling a house through a broker. Again, I recognize that I showed poor judgment in not listing the house publicly for sale. I should have given more thought to the perception that it might create.
First, he directly asks Mitchell Wade about selling his home. Big mistake. Second, he decides to skip all those pesky fees and have a 'friend' *cough* large campaign contributor *cough* set the price for me as my broker, ...errr agent, ...errr friend.

Cunningham is claiming he made a series of poor choices. You must ask yourself, "Did he make a series poor choices?", or "Did he intentionally make these bad choices for profit?".

The odds work against him on the potential occurence of having a series of poor choices being strung together.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Mansiongate: details on the home in Del Mar.

More details about the state of the home...

the house's original owner, Barbara Casino-Mizer, laughs when she sees the house in the papers. She and her husband, Corky Mizer, bought the ocean-view home from the builder in April 1987 for $385,000.
Casino-Mizer loved the big kitchen, the mosaic-tiled bathtub and the mauve carpet that was all the rage in the late '80s. However, when the couple found another home with acreage nine months later, they put the Mercado home on the market. Cunningham, who had been teaching at the Navy's Top Gun flight school, bought it for $435,000.
"I didn't know him from a hole in the wall," said Casino-Mizer. "It broke my heart he was going to put bars over the windows, even on the skylights."

Neighbors say they never saw Wade. Some heard the house had been purchased by a government employee with tax dollars. Others heard a friend bought it. The house went on the market again almost immediately for $1,680,000.
"When I saw the price, I said, 'Thank you for raising my property values,' " Kipnis said.
Many neighbors peeked in during the open house.
"We all knew it wasn't market value," said Victoria Konopacke. "It was a dump. The place needed to be gutted."


I especially love this last quote...

Next door to the congressman's old place, Kent Greene has a for-sale sign posted in front of his house. He's asking $1,650,000.
Greene said that while the price may have been "ridiculous" for Cunningham's house in 2003, his home is highly upgraded and the market has moved up.
"It's a good neighborhood," he said, "an improved house, and, let me put it this way, it's better without him here."

Kent Greene and Pete Stark have the same sense of humor! A good one! tee hee!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Recipient of coreced campaign contributions present at MZM...

I found this extremely interesting from NCTimes.
CREW accused MZM and Wade of forcing company employees to donate money to the company PAC in 2002, citing a report Tuesday in The San Diego Union-Tribune. One employee described being told to write a check in the company's Washington headquarters while the unnamed recipient stood nearby, according to the newspaper report.

I'd like to know who the unnamed recipient was. Seeing how Duke Cunningham was rather 'cozy' with Mitchel Wade. They shared property, slept on the yacht owned by Wade and named 'Duke Stir'. Would he be brash enought to show up, in person, for cash?!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Mitchell Wade 'threaten' employees with job loss; Donation to Duke a ticket out?

It appears that Mitchell Wade, owner of MZM Inc. had 'threatened or intimidated' employees if they did not donated to MZM PAC, a political action committee that is run by Mitchell Wade.
Cunningham is under investigation for allegedly using his clout to help a Washington defense contractor win millions in federal defense contracts. Now there are three former employees claiming they were told to contribute to Cunningham's campaign, or they would lose their jobs."According to their reports, employees said they were told to go along with the campaign contribution scheme, or lose their jobs, and that's clearly illegal," said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.The group filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission based on these new allegations.

That would be a bad idea. Mmm'kay.

Pete Stark gots bawls!

Stark hits Cunningham in ad

I need to see this ad!

It's here!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cunningham... you've been served.

The New York Times:

Randy ''Duke'' Cunningham, R-Calif., told the House on Monday that he's been served with a document subpoena in Imperial County, Calif.
His announcement was read on the House floor by a congressional clerk as the House convened for the week.

It was filed by an attorney representing Imperial County in a lawsuit by a man who claims he was beaten in 2003 by a Bureau of Land Management ranger. The attorney, Michael R. Capizzi, said he filed the subpoena in early May to get written communications between the plaintiff and Cunningham, who made an inquiry on the plaintiff's behalf. The congressman has already complied with the subpoena.
Under House rules, members must alert the House when they receive a subpoena.


I also heard that there are 3 other subpoenas. I'm still looking for news stories to confirm that.

Voices of San Diego - Neil Morgan breaking open breaking stories...

Neil Morgan talks about how difficult it can be break a truely important story to the community. He explains that sometimes the paper can be the barrier to open communication.

For years and through multiple terms in the House of Representatives, the names of Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Duncan Hunter, both safely conservative Republican Congressmen, had been sacrosanct in the pages of the Copley family's San Diego Union-Tribune. The Washington news bureau of Copley News Service filed usually obeisant reports of their ascent through Congressional ranks.
It didn't occur to the Duke that the sale of his house could have provoked a flood of outraged letters to the Union-Tribune, or certainly not that the Union-Tribune would have turned over its entire letters op-ed space on June 14 to excerpts from some of those letters.

Papers must feel FLACK in order to break the stories that help a community.

e-mail away!

Monday, June 20, 2005

North County Times call for investigation...

NCtimes is trying to explain it all away...But, they are coming up with the same conclusion.

Cunningham must take this opportunity to clear his name with a vigorous federal investigation.

The deal was a bad idea. Too many influences. Too much money. Too many connections to the money and influence.

People involved:

Contractor, Mitchell Wade: Making money from defense appropriations that Randy Cunningham makes decisions about.

Realtor, Elizabeth Todd: On the hook for family political contributions to Cunningham Campaign totaling $11,500. Facilitated the sale of the home for Cunningham and Wade. Made 2.44 million commission from Cunningham purchase of new home in Rancho Santa Fe.

U.S. Congressman, Randy Cunningham: Making money from sale of home (1.6 million) to Mitchell Wade, and moving to Rancho Santa Fe. Wade takes a $700,000 bath - but starts making money in his defense contractor business.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Van Doorn weighs in...


Prices are hideous. The median cost of a used house in North County is now $620,000. If you have not had this exchange with at least one friend ---- "I don't know who has the money" and "who can afford them?" ---- you are probably dead.
In a report in Tuesday's paper, the North County Association of Realtors said that in May only 9 percent of our region's residents could afford to buy a home at the $620K median price. That percentage appears to be, at best, alarming; the industry perhaps can sense a future in which no one who works here will live here, commuting instead from Hemet or Milwaukee.
We learn in the same issue of the North County Times, however, that zero could not have been the right percentage point about a year ago because, writer William Finn Bennett reported, that was when Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham bought a home in Rancho Santa Fe for $2.55 million. Turns out he sold his pad in Del Mar ---- the 1-percent town ---- for $1.675 million, then moved on up. Personally, Observer prefers his representatives fighting for homes for the homeless and reasonable prices for the next level instead of moving from fancy shores to gilded enclaves, but is loath to judge. For sure, there should be no requirement for North County residents to be rich or to be members of Congress to buy a house around here.


Friday, June 17, 2005

C.R.E.W pushes for Ethics Committee to probe Cunningham

C.R.E.W, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has made an urgent demand of the House Ethics Committee to investigate Randy "Duke" Cunningham.


As it turns out the realtor, Elizabeth Todd, have been past contributors to the campaign - 18 separate times totaling $11,500 dollars in 1997. WHOOSH!

Cunningham sold his house through a realtor, Elizabeth Todd, who he said had set a fair and independent price. However, Todd and two family members have made 18 separate contributions totaling $11,500 to Cunningham's congressional campaign committee since 1997, according to records at the Federal Election Commission.
According to Copley News Service, records state that Cunningham sold the house to 1523 New Hampshire Avenue LLC. Nevada state business records show that Wade owns that company. It is the address of his Washington, D.C., office.


Oh this is playing out like a soap opera. Let's just hope no one comes back from the dead!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Cunningham-Gate: $700,000 dollar loss UNHEARD OF...

From Union Tribune:
Said San Diego Realtor Christian Peter: "In November 2003, property values increased approximately 20 percent on a year-to-year basis in San Diego County. A $700,000 loss would be unheard of, and anyone who bought property in 2003 and held onto it for any period of time should have made a significant amount of profit."

...A $700,000 loss would be unheard of...

...A $700,000 loss would be unheard of...

...A $700,000 loss would be unheard of...

Duke Cunningham's Trailings of stories...

Duke's is on NBC San Diego...


If anyone can Tivo this - I WOULD LOVE IT.

Looking put off and uncomfortable, Randy continues to state, "This was an 'above the board' transaction." Sure. Waaaaay above board... Way above the board... of the House Ethics Committe.

Now, it starting to make sense about the contributions to Tom DeLay... Back scratching....

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives - Tom DeLay continues his attempt to declaw the already toothless House Ethics Committee. They want to change the rules on who is to sit on and head the committee. They are pushing to have a Republican "share" the chair with the Democrat. This is not how it has worked in the past. The party of opposition generally holds the chair to the House Ethics committee, but has bi-partisan members. Again, DeLay attempts to push new rules that will further keep the probes pointed in the wrong direction.

Politics, ain't it fun!??!

Update: Story from New York Times talks about the Ethics Committee and how DeLay is pushing for a co-chair for investigations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/15/politics/15ethics.html (subcription only)


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cunningham under scrutiny for Real Estate deal with political contributor

NCTimes reports:

"This doesn't look good at all," Larry Noble, director of the Center for Responsive Politics, told the Union-Tribune. "It doesn't look like something that was on the up and up."

MZM has been a major contributor to Cunningham campaigns, having donated $13,000 in the 2003-04 election cycle, the Union-Tribune reported. According to the newspaper: Wade was a Pentagon program manager before starting MZM in 1993. In 2003 and 2004, MZM's business picked up. In fiscal 2003, it won $41 million in defense contracts. Since then, MZM has added tens of millions of dollars in additional contracts, including a $5 million contract to provide interpreters in Iraq. In 2004, MZM had $66 million in revenues, according to Washington Technology magazine, which put the relative corporate newcomer on its 2005 list of "Top 100 Federal Prime Contractors."

Again - It looks as if Mitchell Wade has benefited from the sale of Cunningham's Del Mar home - even though he lost $700,000 on the deal.

Similarly, it looks as if Randy Cunningham has benefited from the contracts that his committee had awarded to Mitchell Wade's MZM business.

How is it even appropriate for a Representative of Congress to contact a military defense contractor and propose the sale of property between them?! It's starting to show how much of a shill Cunningham is for his beholden Miltary Industrial Constituents. His own self interest is apparently what he feels needs "representation".

Monday, June 13, 2005

Duke Cunningham and his big money from the Military Contractors...

My word... It seems that "Duke" Cunningham has been caught in mid-scandal. Compliments of the Union Tribune

Mitchell Wade bought the San Diego Republican's [Duke Cunningham] house for $1,675,000 in November 2003 and put it back on the market almost immediately for roughly the same price. But the Del Mar house languished unsold and vacant for 261 days before selling for $975,000.
Meanwhile, Cunningham used the proceeds of the $1,675,000 sale to buy a $2.55 million house in Rancho Santa Fe.
[...] And Wade, who had been suffering through a flat period in winning Pentagon contracts, was on a tear 'reeling' in tens of millions of dollars in defense and intelligence-related contracts.

...To which Cunningham has been on the Committees that appropriate the expeditures.

Asked if he had supported funding requests benefiting MZM, Cunningham said, "Oh, sure. Just like I have supported Qualcomm and everything else. Titan. SAIC. TRW."
MZM has also been a major contributor to Cunningham's political campaigns, having donated $13,000 in the 2003-04 election cycle.


Let's get this straight. Cunningham attempts to sell his Del Mar home for 1.6 million dollars. Wade, owner of MZM military defense, agrees to purchase the home for 1.6 million dollars. Wade uses his Nevada based business to purchase the home. Then, turns around and puts it on the market 261 days later. The home sells for 700,000 dollars less than what Mr. Wade paid for it. In the meantime, Cunningham buys a new home for 2.25 million(twice as much), in Rancho Santa Fe. and Wade is "reeling-in" multi-million dollar defense contracts.

Cunningham suprisingly comes out on top of a real estate deal that leaves his top contributor out 700,000 dollars. But, somehow Mitchell Wade benefits from new defense contracts and a home in Rancho Santa Fe.

Write to the Union Tribune and North County Times and tell them to do more investigative reports on the conduct of our Congress representative.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Democrats need to stay on message.

The latest flap about Howard Dean and his critical outlook of the Republican Party borders on ridiculous. Dean is and has been tough on Republicans because they are out of step with Americans. He has pointed out they want to ruin social security, healthcare, and commit fraudulent wars - the people of America are unwilling to follow these divisive and destructive tactics.


"This is one of those flaps that comes up once in awhile when I get tough," Dean said. "We have to be rough on the Republicans. Republicans don't represent ordinary Americans and they don't have any understanding of what it is to go out and try and make ends meet."

Yet, what do Nancy Pelosi, Bill Richardson, and Joe Biden do?! Flap about how "
We don't agree...but, he is doing a good job."

The Democrat leaders need to take a hint and stay on message...

Reporter: "Dean said something controversial! What do you think about that?"
Leader: "Dean speaks for himself. I think he was getting at how Republicans have divided America and that they favor one group over others. That's not the American way. We should all work together for the benefit of our great country."

Don't give fodder to the biased media to misreport or the GOP to twist and contort.

Everyone of those leaders knows what Howard Dean is talking about. It's too bad they can't 'riff on it as well as others do.

Court rules against the Governor, Nurses keep ratio of patience 5 to 1.

Another loss for the Governor. He can't seem to push "the peoples' will" much farther than his office door. Californian's are counting the waste that he is producing with his endless court battles, special elections, and snubbing of public policy that effects the taxpayers of California?

Phil Angelides, Mark Leno, and Fabian Nunez are watching too.

Yet, he pushes for a special election, at a cost of 60-80 million dollars. Why? So we can vote again in 6 months after the special election?

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Governor is keeping the money...

Looks like the Governor doesn't want to give up his cash.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated any efforts to get him to return $10,000 that Toledo-area coin dealer Tom Noe contributed to his campaign.
Mr. Noe is facing a federal investigation for allegedly laundering contributions into the Bush campaign by giving friends and colleagues money to give to the President. A grand jury convened this week in Toledo to hear the allegations

This is part of the Ohio coin scandal. The state of Ohio were looking at investing options to provide compensation for the workers. Republicans on the state compensation board decided to invest in rare coins... Enter Tom Noe - Republican fundraiser. Now, there are questions about why they chose to invest in coins vs beanie babies. *insert joke*. But, now they are wondering if this was legal to begin with.
Ohio Coin-gate Scandal timeline.

It's pretty impressive that the people of California have pushed hard enough to keep the Governor hording cash for the upcoming fight in the ballot initiatives.