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The blotter

In his testimony before the House Ethics Committee, former Foley chief of staff Kirk Fordham said he warned the Speaker's office at least three years ago about Foley's behavior, a charge the Speaker's office denies, the New York Times reports.  "Mr. Fordham's testimony rests at the center of what investigators are trying to determine.  The notion that he is, essentially, testifying against the word of Mr. Hastert and his closest aides underscores how the page scandal has upended the midterm election campaign and created unlikely political casualties." 

The AP previews today's testimony by Rep. John Shimkus (R), who oversees the House page program and who says he tried to stop Foley from emailing a Louisiana page in late 2005.  Shimkus "says he kept the two other House members overseeing the pages in the dark as he confronted Foley last fall.  Shimkus… said he was following the wishes of the boy's parents by not telling the other members." 

A company co-owned by Tim Mahoney, the Democratic candidate seeking Foley's seat, is under investigation for fraud after it bought out another company, reports the Miami Herald. 

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have produced their own report showing that "Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff used non-profit organizations to launder money, write articles to help his clients, and hide the fact that his clients paid for trips by lawmakers and aides...  Senate Democrats asked the Justice Department, Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to review the findings...  A spokeswoman for Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said he would consider the report's recommendations." 

The GOP Senate campaign committee yesterday sought to raise questions for just about every Senate Democrat or Democratic candidate in competitive races this fall about the Wednesday AP report that Minority Leader Harry Reid made a $700,000 profit off a land sale he may not have properly disclosed.  Lawyers told the AP that Reid could be in violation of Senate ethics rules.  Reid's office says they will amend the disclosure however the Senate Ethics Committee sees fit.