Washington (CNN) - House Democratic leaders preached patience Monday in awaiting an ethics committee report on veteran Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, but rumblings emerged from House members for Rangel to somehow deal with the issue before a public hearing later this week.
Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters Monday that they have not spoken to Rangel about the ethics issues.
"The fact is the [ethics] committee has made its announcement and its timetable and we will just have to wait to see how that plays out," Pelosi said of the panel's meeting Thursday, when it is expected to detail the allegations against Rangel.
However, Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who is heavily involved in House Democratic re-election efforts, said Rangel needs to look at big picture regarding his political legacy.
"I think Mr. Rangel would be wise to evaluate what's best not only for him, but also for the causes he has advanced for as many years as he has in his long career," Wasserman Schultz said.
She had no information about any possible settlement Rangel might try to reach with the ethics committee prior to the upcoming hearing, but said having possible ethics allegations aired in public at the hearing was "certainly not helpful."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama commemorated Monday's 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by signing an executive order to increase government employment of disabled people.
"Not dependence but independence: That's what the ADA was all about," Obama said at a White House reception attended by several hundred guests, including Cabinet members, legislators and activists for the disabled.
The law, which President George H.W. Bush signed July 26, 1990, is credited with smashing barriers and creating opportunities for the disabled in a nation where more than 3 million people 15 and older use wheelchairs.
It prohibits discrimination against disabled people, guaranteeing them equal opportunity in employment, transportation, government services and other areas.
(CNN) - Conservative activist and blogger Andrew Breitbart will headline a fundraiser this August hosted by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele in Beverly Hills.
A Republican National Committee spokesperson confirmed to CNN a report in Talking Points Memo, which also published a copy of the event invitation.
Called "Election Countdown," the event will run from August 12-14 with Steele and Breitbart top-billed for the Friday evening welcome reception at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
(CNN) - Alvin Greene is no longer on the scene. Or on YouTube, at least.
Last week's hit viral video, which mashed up clips of the enigmatic Senate candidate with a bouncy eighties hip-hop beat, has been removed from YouTube over a copyright claim.
The producers of "Alvin Greene is on the Scene" had apparently used some video from a 2009 Tea Party march - footage owned by Frank Strategies, a conservative communications firm in northern Virginia. (The video is freely available on the firm's own YouTube page.)
Ed Frank, the president of the firm, told CNN in an email that he requested the video's removal because his business involves licensing original footage, including the pictures shot at the Tea Party rally.
Washington (CNN) – It's the phrase on the tip of every Washington journalist's tongue Monday – "The Pentagon Papers."
The whistleblower website WikiLeaks published Sunday night what it says are about 76,000 United States military and diplomatic reports about Afghanistan filed between 2004 and January of this year, a release that immediately drew comparisons to the Pentagon Papers.
It's a convenient analogy, but is it accurate?
In June 1971, the New York Times began publishing a series of articles that became known as the "Pentagon Papers," a set of raw documents that revealed the true depth of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, and the ways in which the public had been misled by the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
(CNN) – A new ad is raising the stakes in an already increasingly negative battle for the Democratic Senate nomination in Florida.
Rep. Kendrick Meek's campaign announced Monday they're releasing a new television commercial that slams billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene, who jumped into the race earlier this year.
"Meet the real Jeff Greene: Ran for Congress as a California Republican. Moved to Florida two years ago. Became a billionaire on Wall Street betting middle class families would lose their homes. Helped fuel the economic meltdown. Warren Buffett called Greene's scheme 'financial weapons of mass destruction'," says the narrator in the ad.
Greene, 55, made millions investing in real estate and multiplied that money by investing in credit-default swaps during the real estate bubble of recent years. He rebuffs Meek's charges that he made his fortune on the backs of the Sunshine State's suffering homeowners.
(Updated with Tancredo comments)
(CNN) – Conservative firebrand Tom Tancredo will run for governor of Colorado despite strident objections from the state GOP, the former congressman is set to announce later Monday.
Tancredo floated the possibility of a third-party gubernatorial run last week, demanding that the two-current GOP candidates who have both been beset by scandals withdraw from the race after the August 10 primary if polls show Democrat John Hickenlooper far ahead.
The Republicans - Scott McInnis and Dan Maes - both scoffed at Tancredo's threat, prompting the onetime Republican presidential candidate to step up his announcement.
"I will officially announce at noon that I will seek the nomination of the constitution party," Tancredo told The Denver Post.
The move gave rise to a heated exchange between Tancredo and Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams on local radio station KHOW Monday, with the two men descending into a shouting match over what is best for the Colorado Republican party.
"Why don't you wait until after the primary?" Wadhams implored Tancredo.
"Because you know as well as I do, if I am going to run, I have to get going," responded Tancredo. "There is no downside for either one of these guys to simply say 'If I am not ahead at that time I will get out.'"
"What will your agenda be?" Wadhams also asked Tancredo sarcastically. "Are you going to keep talking about impeaching Obama and bombing Mecca?
McInnis, a prominent Colorado lawyer apologized earlier this month for plagiarizing several passages of a judge's work in producing a series of essays for which he was paid $300,000 to write as part of a fellowship in 2003. Maes, meanwhile, is facing political troubles too, agreeing earlier this month to pay more than $17,000 in a fine for campaign finance violations.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Monday criticized Republican opposition to a Senate campaign finance bill, calling it partisan gamesmanship that threatens to give special interests undue influence on U.S. elections.
"You'd think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue," Obama told reporters in a White House appearance that was scheduled earlier in the day.
The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote Tuesday on whether to end debate on the bill, and Democrats fear a unified Republican filibuster will prevent the measure from moving to a final vote.
Washington (CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday President Obama will not attend the wedding of Chelsea Clinton scheduled for this weekend.
The location and invite list have been guarded like state secrets, but when asked at the end of the Monday White House press briefing whether the president would attend, Gibbs said "no." Previously, Gibbs had said he was not aware of plans, but this is the first time he'd directly indicated the president will not be in attendance. No word on whether the president had actually been invited.
Media reports have the wedding taking place at the former estate of John Jacob Astor, Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, New York on Saturday, July 31. Some local media outlets had reported President Obama was to attend the event after the Secret Service was spotted working on security preparations. The 30 year-old Clinton is marrying longtime friend and beau Marc Mezvinsky, 32.