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The blotter

The cloud hovering over Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi (R) is getting darker. Today, the Arizona Republic details a second controversy -- this one involving an FEC investigation. Of course, the FBI inquiry is much more serious. But this FEC news serves as "drip, drip."

"A federal appeals court in Washington ruled Tuesday that Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington, must pay damages to another congressman for giving reporters a tape of an illegally intercepted telephone call," the New York Times writes. "The case was brought by Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, now the House Republican leader. It arose from a conference call in 1996 in which Newt Gingrich, who was then speaker of the House, discussed how to deal with a finding against him by the House ethics committee. Mr. Boehner participated by cellphone."