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Friday, Apr 29th

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Kansas GOP yanks voting rights of leaders who contributed to Democrats

The Kansas Republican Party has suspended party voting privileges for 17 precinct leaders in Johnson County who gave donations to Democrats running for public office this year.

State party officials, led by Republican Chairman Kris Kobach, approved a loyalty plank in the party’s constitution last year: Anyone holding a party position who donated money to a Democrat would forfeit his or her voting rights. This is the first election in which the provision has been enforced.

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Abramoff said he had agreement with White House aide just a month after Bush took office

Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff told his colleagues at his former law firm that he had an “agreement” regarding communications with a former assistant to then-Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, perhaps the most substantial documented tie between Abramoff and the White House to date.

In the email, dated Feb. 27, 2001, Abramoff reprimands a colleague who asked him to use Susan Ralston – Special Assistant to the President George W. Bush and then-Bush senior adviser Karl Rove – to arrange a meeting with the President for one of his clients.

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Dems seem uninterested in regulating White House political office under Obama

Less than a month ago, Democrats excoriated President Bush and his administration over the conduct of the White House Office of Political Affairs, and a House panel recommended the office be closed or reorganized.

With Democrat Barack Obama preparing for his move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the calls to reform the office, which coordinates the president's initiatives with key factions of his party, have grown silent, and all indications are that a political apparatus will continue to exist in the White House for the foreseeable future.

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Democrats to White House: Preserve your records

Senate Democrats on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees last week told the White House to preserve all records produced by the Bush administration and expressed "particular concerns" whether Vice President Dick Cheney's office will comply with the law.

The senators asked whether the White House believes that any notes, document and records created in the White House by the president, vice president and their staffs may be destroyed without first consulting with the archivist of the United States, and if so which ones. It also asks whether Fielding has investigated a Washington Post report that some presidential orders are kept off White House records in a safe in office of the vice president's lawyer.

TVNL Comment: Cheney already had a shredding company visit his home. The 9/11 evidence is long gone!

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More than sixty groups call for revocation of presidential secrecy directive

More than 60 organizations called on President-elect Barack Obama Wednesday to revoke President George W. Bush's executive order on presidential secrecy and lift the veil in numerous areas of governmental furtiveness.

The groups' recommendations demand efficiency and openness from the Freedom of Information Act process, reforms in the classification system to reduce overclassification and ensure that presidential records are handled in accordance with US law and congressional intent.

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Obama team announces new rules on lobbyists

President-elect Obama's aides are announcing new rules to govern the conduct of lobbyists during the transition to power, including steps to limit their involvement in areas where they have sought to influence policy in the past year.

According to John Podesta, a top transition aide, federal lobbyists will be prohibited from any lobbying while they are at work on the transition.

Also, if anyone involved in the transition later becomes a lobbyist, they would not be able to lobby the new administration for one year on matters on which they worked for the president-elect.

The rules also stipulate that federal lobbyists may not contribute financially to the transition.

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White House suffers loss in e-mail case

A federal judge on Monday ruled against the Bush administration in a court battle over the White House's problem-plagued e-mail system.

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy says two private groups may pursue their case as they press the administration to recover millions of possibly missing electronic messages.

Kennedy rejected the government's request to throw out the lawsuits filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive.

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