Judge Lackey spilled the beans; Cal Mayo provided the context

Judge Lackey took the stand at the hearing on Jones v Scruggs in Oxford today – the Oxford Eagle tells the story in part:

Tollison questioned Scruggs for about 15 minutes, but he never answered a single question with anything other than taking the 5th.

After Scruggs, Lackey took the stand and spoke about the bribe conspiracy for the first time in public.

Lackey said Timothy Balducci approached him in March 2007 about the Jones V. Scruggs case and offered Lackey a place in his firm. Concerned about his behavior, Lackey said he contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office who began surveillance on Balducci’s and Lackey’s phone conversations. It took until the fall of 2007 for money to be brought up.

Tollison asked Lackey why it took so long for the issue of money to be discussed. “I was having some serious difficulty,” Lackey said. “I just couldn’t bring myself to say, ‘Bring me some money and I’ll do this.’ But ultimately, I did.”

“Who suggested that?” Tollison asked.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office had been listening to the conversation. They were convinced, much more than I, that this was what their intent was. I hoped upon hope that wasn’t going to happen. I had just hoped Tim would have said, ‘Judge you misunderstood me. I’m sorry — just forget what I said.’”

If not that, what was it Balducci saying when he made this remark? Continue reading “Judge Lackey spilled the beans; Cal Mayo provided the context”

$17 million a day spent lobbying Congress – Happy Tax Day

That’s right – a cool $17 million a day.  Health interests topped the list of big spenders by interest group – insurance came in second, according to a story in today’s Insurance Journal.

Corporations, industries, labor unions, governments and other interests spent a record $2.79 billion in 2007 to lobby in Washington, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has calculated.

This represents an increase of 7.7 percent, or $200 million, over spending in 2006. For every day Congress was in session, industries and interests spent an average of $17 million to lobby lawmakers and the federal government at large. Continue reading “$17 million a day spent lobbying Congress – Happy Tax Day”