Discuss as:

The Blotter

Both Speaker Dennis Hastert and his deputy chief of staff testified yesterday for a combined eight hours, roughly.  Hastert's testimony about when he became aware of Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior toward pages conflicted with that of Rep. Tom Reynolds (R), who has claimed that he informed Hastert of the situation earlier than Hastert says he first was notified of it.  When he emerged from the committee rooms, Hastert said he wants the committee to find out everyone who knew about the Foley conduct.  "Who knew about the sexually explicit messages... when did they know it?" he asked rhetorically.  Translation from NBC's Mike Viqueira: Virtually every Republican member who has emerged from the committee after testifying has given a variation of the same line.  They are trying to imply that there were Democrats who knew of the explicit communications (and not just the "overfriendly" e-mails that they admit to knowing of), and that they need to be called, too. 

Here's an otherwise pretty secure GOP House member who's now on the watch list: Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona is the subject of a preliminary probe by federal prosecutors who are looking into whether Renzi "twice pressured landowners to buy a 480-acre parcel owned by his former business partner, a major backer of Renzi's political campaign," reports the Washington Post.  "No subpoenas have been issued, and public developments are not likely before the Nov. 7 midterm elections." 

The New York Times covers Democratic Rep. William Jefferson's bid for re-election in Louisiana, where that frozen pile of cash and the specter of bribery allegations hovers over his campaign.  "Questionable financial dealings are rarely a bar to high office in Louisiana.  The culture of tolerance means that Mr. Jefferson, an eight-term congressman, cannot be counted out on Election Day, experts say."  (There are no primaries in Louisiana -- just a free-for-all on election day, with a December run-off between the two top finishers if no one gets more than 50%.)