So good-bye earmarks, hello Congressman as lobbyists? The Los Angeles Times, via FOIA requests, obtained letters members of Congress wrote specific agencies that essentially asked for earmark-like spending requests. "Federal agencies must fund earmarks lawmakers insert into bills. With the earmarks [technically] eliminated, the agencies were free this year to set their own spending priorities. So, lawmakers touted their own requests to influence those decisions."
Is sex and politics back? The L.A. press corps was in full feeding-frenzy mode with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at his first news conference since admitting his affair with a local TV reporter. And now there's this: Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized yesterday for his phone number appearing on the D.C. Madam's phone list. "This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter, 46, said in a statement, which his spokesman, Joel DiGrado, confirmed to the Associated Press. "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling," Vitter continued. "Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."
The Politico digs up this old quote from Vitter's wife. "In 2000, Vitter was included in a Newhouse News Service story about the strain of congressional careers on families. His wife, Wendy, was asked by the Newhouse reporter: If her husband were as unfaithful as Livingston or former President Bill Clinton, would she be as forgiving as Hillary Rodham Clinton? 'I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary,' Wendy Vitter told Newhouse News. 'If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me.'"
And the New York Daily News notes that Vitter is the southern regional chair of Giuliani's campaign.