Archive for DC

Elijah Cummings doesn’t drive for Lyft in DC

Elijah CummingsRep. Elijah Cummings isn’t driving for Lyft… but his daughter is.

She has been driving his car with Congressional license plates, which allow special parking privileges, reportedly to make money until she finds a full-time job.

POPville, a DC blog, first took note of it last week after a report someone was driving a car with congressional license plates in the Mt. Pleasant section of the District. Today, WMAL filled in some facts on the initial report.

His daughter is a recent graduate of Howard University and looking for full time employment. This appears to be the same child that was the subject of a paternity suit against Cummings filed by Debora Ricks in 1995.

More from WMAL:

“In an effort to earn some extra money to pay her expenses at school, she signed up for a part-time position with one of the ride-sharing companies,” Cummings said. “They, in turn, gave her a sticker to apply to the windshield of the car.”

Cummings added that he has asked his daughter to remove the congressional plates, which afford special parking privileges for members and staffers.

The congressman says he’s told her she can continue to use his car without the tag while she pursues full-time employment.

Cummings apologized in a statement for not removing the license plate before loaning the vehicle.

The Hill and The Washington Post have more.

Elijah Cummings’ financial woes

There was a time when Cummings himself might have wished for an avenue for extra money like Lyft or Uber.

In light of Rep. Elijah Cummings’ spirited defense of the IRS during recent hearings about a scandal in the agency during the Obama administration, I wrote about his own checkered financial and tax history on more than one occasion, and the things he said about the Internal Revenue Service in The Baltimore Sun and another publication.

Reports that I detailed noted that Cummings had severe financial problems that included:

  • owing the IRS more than $30,000 (he eventually paid it all back)
  • violating campaign finance laws by having a donor co-sign a $15,000 loan
  • creditors filing suit for around $24,000 in overdue debt
  • owing child support following the birth of two children out of wedlock

One report from 1999 indicated that Rep. Elijah Cummings had paid about $30,000 in child support in tuition payments the previous year. The same report noted that he had a college-aged daughter, a teenage son, and a 4-year old daughter back then. The story noted that the younger two children were born out of wedlock.

Presumably this four-year old daughter in 1999 is the one who has been driving his car around DC for Lyft and was the subject of the paternity suit in 1995.

Ad attacks Rep. Renee Ellmers on abortion

Renee EllmersAn ad released today by the Black Conservatives Fund encourages voters in North Carolina’s Second Congressional District to vote against Rep. Renee Ellmers in the June 7 primary.

Ellmers was first elected in 2010 with the support of pro-life groups and Tea Party groups. This year, after late redistricting, she faces another member of Congress, Rep. George Holding, and Greg Brannon in the primary.

Ellmers has Tea Party groups including Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, and Citizens United opposing her. She also now faces opposition from pro-life groups as well after her actions in 2014.

In 2014, the day before the March for Life, Rep. Renee Ellmers helped derail pro-life legislation, a 20-week abortion limit called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, that was expected to pass the day of the March. After being criticized for this by pro-life groups and voters, she called the pro-life groups “abhorrent and  childish” in an editorial that blasted them.

The 20-week limit ultimately passed the House in 2015 and later died in the Senate. Pro-life leader Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) was quoted the passage of the bill in a newspaper op-ed in her district:

“While the derailment of the Pain Capable bill in January 2015 was a great disappointment to me, I am now convinced that the reworked version of the bill, if signed into law, will be more effective at preventing suffering and death among America’s unborn children than the original bill. Renee Ellmers was a strong advocate and supporter of the reworked version which helped the bill actually make it to the floor and ultimately pass the House in May 2015.”

Despite this, the bad blood still remains, and pro-life groups have mobilized against Ellmers as well with GOTV efforts and direct mail, among other tactics.

The Black Conservatives Fund PAC launched their new ad today. The Fund’s board members include Anita Moncrief, Ken Blackwell, Princella Smith, Sonnie Johnson, and Rev. C.L. Bryant.

Watch the ad against Rep. Renee Ellmers

From the ad’s Youtube page:

Renee Ellmers betrayed conservatives when she threw a temper tantrum and got the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act bill pulled from the House floor. She’s facing a tough primary (June 7th) and it’s time to abort her political career.

A tweet from the fund would seem to indicate that the ad is online-only and targeting the 2nd District in NC.

Michael Graham returns to DC

Michael Graham
In case you missed reports earlier this week, Michael Graham is returning to Washington as creative director for MediaDC. MediaDC is the parent company for Red Alert Politics, The Weekly Standard, and The Washington Examiner. Graham already hosts a podcast for TWS.

From a FishbowlDC report:

Graham is tasked with overseeing and promoting MediaDC’s social and multimedia efforts. “My job will be to raise the level of MediaDC’s audio/video and new media offerings up to the high standards its writers and reporters set every day,” said Graham in a statement. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Since 2014, he has been working for NewsRadio 106.7 in Atlanta. Prior to that he worked in talk radio in Charlotte, Charleston, Washington, and the Boston area.

Graham previously left DC after WMAL management was pressured to drop him by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about comments he made.

Graham also wore a INS t-shirt to a CASA de Maryland rally and was told to leave or wear it inside out when he was working at WMAL. He had just started working at WBT when I first met him when I was orking at The Andy Thomas Show as a political reporter. I started Palmetto Journal a few months prior to that.

Michael Graham: Standup Comedian to Political Consultant to Writer

Graham graduated from Oral Roberts University after growing up in the small town of Pelion, South Carolina. He was a standup comedian and, as a political consultant, worked for Pat Buchanan in the 1992 SC Primary. He also worked for Harold Worley in the Republican primary in 1996 against Strom Thurmond.

When Graham worked for the SC Secretary of State, he also hosted a weekend radio show on SC Public Radio. After comments he made on his radio show angered members of the state legislature, they wrote his job in the Secretary of State’s office out of the state budget. This resulted in his first book – Banned from Public Radio.

Graham also wrote a laugh-out-loud funny weekly column that appeared in the Charleston City Paper and in Columbia’s Free Times. His second book, Clinton & Me, featured a picture of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky on the cover. At a book signing, he inscribed my copy to “South Carolina’s Matt Drudge.” He wrote another book called Redneck Nation after that and has written ebooks as well.

 

Catholic bishops criticize transgender letter

Catholic

Catholic bishops who are chairmen of committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement today responding to the Obama administration’s Justice and Education Departments’ directive sent out Friday to schools across the country.

The statement was issued by Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo and Archbishop George Lucas. Bishop Malone is the Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Archbishop Lucas is Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education.

The statement from the bishops quotes Amoris Laetitia, an apostolic exhortation on love in the family written by Pope Francis and released in April.

One mention from Amoris Laetitia:

The guidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created”

An excerpt from the statement:

Children, youth, and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity, and respect. All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of the other young students and parents. The federal regulatory guidance issued on May 13 does not even attempt to achieve this balance. It unfortunately does not respect the ongoing political discussion at the state and local levels and in Congress, or the broader cultural discussion, about how best to address these sensitive issues. Rather, the guidance short-circuits those discussions entirely.

The Obama administration directive and the statement in response from the Catholic bishops came amidst reaction to the debate nationally over a state legislative matter in North Carolina. HB2 became law in North Carolina after it was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. The law itself was a reaction to local legislation in Charlotte.

 

Full Text of Statement from Catholic Bishops

The Catholic Church consistently affirms the inherent dignity of each and every human person and advocates for the wellbeing of all people, particularly the most vulnerable. Especially at a young age and in schools, it is important that our children understand the depth of God’s love for them and their intrinsic worth and beauty. Children should always be and feel safe and secure and know they are loved.

The guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education that treats “a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex” is deeply disturbing. The guidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created” (Amoris Laetitia [AL], no. 285).

Children, youth, and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity, and respect. All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of the other young students and parents. The federal regulatory guidance issued on May 13 does not even attempt to achieve this balance. It unfortunately does not respect the ongoing political discussion at the state and local levels and in Congress, or the broader cultural discussion, about how best to address these sensitive issues. Rather, the guidance short-circuits those discussions entirely.

As Pope Francis has recently indicated, “‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated'” (AL, no. 56, emphasis added). We pray that the government make room for more just and compassionate approaches and policies in this sensitive area, in order to serve the good of all students and parents, as well as the common good. We will be studying the guidance further to understand the full extent of its implications.

Kasich event with Bob Ehrlich likely off

KasichAccording to reports, John Kasich is making some sort of announcement in Columbus this afternoon, presumably about the suspension of his campaign. He also cancelled a planned press conference at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.

I would presume that means tonight’s fundraiser hosted by former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich for the Kasich campaign in Annapolis is cancelled. If not, it likely means Kasich just won’t be there and Ehrlich will be the big draw (ha!).

The event was scheduled to be at the Crowne Plaza with a roundtable starting at 5:30 p.m., a VIP photo op reception from 6:00-6:30, and a general reception from 6:30-7:30. Ticket prices were set at $2700 for the roundtable, $1000 for the VIP photo op reception, and $250 for the general reception.

More details were posted on the Maryland for Kasich Facebook page:

kasich ehrlich

There has been no update on the Maryland for Kasich Facebook page and nothing at all on events anywhere is listed on the campaign website.

Irrelevant: John Kasich and Bob Ehrlich

Before his endorsement of Kasich, Ehrlich was stuck doing fundraisers for people like Pat McDonough. Ehrlich’s star has fallen quickly since his 2010 loss.

In early 2014, Ehrlich told Richard Sher he would be the last Republican governor elected in Maryland.

Just a few months later, Larry Hogan was elected and Ehrlich’s position as the senior elected official in the party evaporated overnight.

Ehrlich has struggled to sell books since he left office and he toyed with running for President even though one analyst referred to him as a seventh-tier candidate ahead of the campaign cycle.

His irrelevance continued into the 2016 primaries with his advocacy for Kasich who never was really an option for most Maryland Republican voters until the field narrowed to Kasich, Cruz, and Trump. At least Ehrlich has a nice cushy lobbying job and doesn’t have to rely on book sales to put food on the table.