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Bad News For Bob Menendez

From the Associated press yesterday:

In a big defeat for Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, the judge at his corruption trial Monday refused to throw out any of the charges against him in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling narrowing the definition of bribery.

The decision by U.S. District Judge William Walls was a major victory for federal prosecutors, who had warned that dismissing the charges would torpedo nearly all other bribery cases and open the door wide to graft.

Walls rejected defense lawyers’ arguments that the allegations against Menendez didn’t meet the new definition of bribery contained in the 2016 Supreme Court ruling that reversed the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Menendez and his co-defendant, Dr. Salomon Melgen, are on trial for bribery. Among other allegations, the prosecution says that Menendez pressured U.S. officials to get the Dominican Republic government to honor a long-dormant port security deal … Read More ➡


Supreme Court Takes Up Challenge to Forced Public-Employee Unionism

Mark Janus is standing up to AFSCME.

The resolve of unions to coerce support from unwilling employees shouldn’t be underestimated. Neither should the resistance of such employees. On September 28, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear an appeal in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case challenging the authority of public-sector unions to impose representation-related dues (“agency fees”) upon nonmember workers. If successful, the plaintiffs, a State of Illinois child support specialist and two other public employees, will have overturned the basis for 40 years of union-driven bargaining that has helped push many state and local governments to the brink of insolvency. The Court was deadlocked in a similar separate case early last year.

Union Corruption Update has visited this issue several times, most recently in late-March 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court at the time had announced that it was unable to break a 4-4 tie … Read More ➡


Where Are Republicans on House IT Scandal?

The two months that have passed since the August 17 indictment of Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi, former technology staffers for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), have yielded little except more mystery.

The mainstream media has largely ignored the story. Most of what we know has been reported by Luke Rosiak in the Daily Caller. The revelations have become a staple of conservative media, providing fuel for a social media brushfire. In apparent response, an informal hearing was held on October 10 by a handful of members of the Freedom Caucus. The lead witness was Rosiak who complained of an “extraordinary level of silence from official channels” about the scandal.

You would think that House Republican leaders would give the Awan mess a much bigger stage. This GOP disinterest is the biggest mystery of all. The media and Democrats in Congress created a frenzy over vague accusations … Read More ➡


Censorship of Conservatives Out of Control at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

By now the complaints are voluminous and widely known, but it’s become clear that popular social media Web sites YouTube (a Google subsidiary), Twitter and Facebook do not intend to end censorship of conservatives’ messaging and content on their platforms.

The highest profile example from this week is Twitter’s block of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, who announced her campaign to run for the Senate seat currently held by retiring Bob Corker. The nearly 3-minute video highlighted Blackburn’s conservative credentials, including the claim that she’s “100 percent pro-life.”

“I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts, thank God,” Blackburn says in the video advertisement.

That factual statement was too much for Twitter’s censors, who according to Blackburn, told her the reference to fetal tissue was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a … Read More ➡


Menendez Trial Focuses on ‘Threats,’ Senate Hearing

Last week’s testimony in the trial of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) about a port security deal in the Dominican Republic may provide the basis for a bribery conviction. A State Department official, Todd Robinson, described how Menendez threatened to hold a Senate hearing if the Department did not pressure the Dominican government to honor a long-dormant contract with Menendez’ largest donor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

Last year, the Supreme Court significantly narrowed the grounds on which a public official can be prosecuted for bribery. The public official’s actions must include an “official act” in exchange for some consideration. It cannot simply be setting up a meeting, making a phone call, or other actions generally thought to be “constituent services.” Calling a meeting of a Senate subcommittee on Melgen’s behalf, however, would classify as an “official act.”

In May of 2012, Menendez set up a meeting with State Department officials, … Read More ➡


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