June 30th, 2010
05:43 PM ET
12 years ago

California congressman calls activist 'wacko'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/30/art.stark.youtube.jpg caption="California Democrat Pete Stark had a spirited discussion at a recent town hall. "]

(CNN) - Rep. Pete Stark must like going viral, at least amongst his conservative detractors.

"Who are you going to kill today?" is how he solicited a question from a self-proclaimed Minuteman - the volunteer organization, which tries to prevent illegal crossings of the U.S. border - at a recent town hall meeting in Fremont, California. It went from there.

The questioner continued, seen on a video posted by The Golden Gate Minuteman on Youtube, questioning the California Democrat over what the government will do to "to seal our borders so that we're a solvent country again."

Stark's answer: "We can't get enough Minuteman armed. We'd like to get all the Minuteman armed so they could stop shooting the people here," Stark said.


Filed under: 2010 • California • Immigration • Pete Stark • Popular Posts
June 17th, 2010
09:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Stupak: Hayward 'absurd and ridiculous'

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Bart Stupak, a leading Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said BP CEO Tony Hayward looked "absurd and ridiculous" giving non-responsive testimony at Thursday's Gulf oil spill hearing.

"It was frustrating, not just to me but to the American people," Stupak said in an interview on CNN's "John King, USA." The Michigan congressman pointed out that the committee had sent Hayward a letter outlining the lines of questioning they intended to pursue and yet he still did not answer their questions.

"There comes a point in time when you almost become absurd and ridiculous. Unfortunately, I think that's how Tony Hayward looked to the American people," Stupak said.

Separately, Stupak defended the White House for including Attorney General Eric Holder in a Roosevelt Room meeting with BP executives on Wednesday. Holder's Justice Department has an active investigation into the oil giant following the disaster.

"I think it was worthwhile having the attorney general [in the meeting]. He helped put some parameters there," Stupak said.

Filed under: Bart Stupak • JKUSA • John King USA • Oil spill • Tony Hayward
June 16th, 2010
01:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Sen. Brown worried about Obama's oil focus

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/17/art.brown0317.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Scott Brown told a Boston radio station Wednesday he's concerned the president will use the oil spill to pass a national energy tax sending jobs overseas."]
Washington (CNN) - Before an Oval Office meeting with President Obama Wednesday afternoon, Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown told a Boston radio station he's concerned the president will use the oil spill to pass a national energy tax sending jobs overseas.

Brown spoke in the morning with WBUR, the Boston NPR affiliate, following the president's Tuesday night address to the nation about the ongoing oil spill.

"I wish he would spend more time focusing on how we are going to clean up the spill and how we are going to contain it," Brown said. "And less time trying to pass the blame … and also trying to push, I feel, a national energy tax that will ultimately drive jobs overseas. That seems to be where they're headed."

Brown and Obama are scheduled to sit down at 2:30 p.m. ET in the president's West Wing office. The meeting is closed to the press.

"I'm going to talk, I'm presuming, about his national energy tax idea, and I'm sure he'll bring up immigration, and then I'm going to try to focus on jobs and see what the plans are to try and get this economy moving again," Brown told WBUR.


Filed under: Energy • President Obama • Scott Brown
June 15th, 2010
09:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Update: Kirk camp responds to concerns about campaigning while on duty

(CNN) - In a timeline, the Kirk for Senate campaign states Rep. Kirk's comments during the Blagojevich controversy were consistent with his role as a congressman and permissible by military rules regardless of being on active duty.

They also say Department of Defense rules do allow for some civilian political activities - particularly while in civilian clothes and acting in a civilian capacity outside of military facilities. Kirk did not make any statements during deployments to Afghanistan, according to the campaign.

Related: Kirk violated military rules on partisan activity

Kirk campaign press secretary Kirsten Kukowski also released the following statement:

"These questions have been addressed by the campaign in the past and had there been any issues documented in Congressman Kirk's military record, the Department of Defense would not have issued a second waiver for his deployment to Afghanistan. The campaign has made all of the Congressman's military fitness reports available for review and no concerns were documented."

The statement continued:

"The reality is that voters will have a clear contrast on Election Day between someone who served honorably as a legislator and service member and someone who lost millions of dollars of other people's money due to his recklessness and incompetence. Putting all of the posturing aside, Alexi Giannoulias represents the very same brand of politics that led to corruption, waste, abuse, historic debt and 11-percent unemployment. Voters in Illinois want a change and will stand with Mark Kirk, a thoughtful, independent leader who has a track record of delivering for the state."

Filed under: Mark Kirk
June 15th, 2010
07:32 PM ET
12 years ago

Kirk violated military rules on partisan activity

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/15/art.kirk.0315.youtube.jpg caption ="Rep. Mark Kirk was counseled by the military twice for violating rules that bar members of the armed services from partisan political activities. Kirk is running for President Obama's former Senate seat."]
Washington (CNN) – Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois was counseled by the military twice in the last two years for violating rules that bar members of the armed services from partisan political activities, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday.

Kirk is running for President Obama's former Senate seat. He recently apologized for mischaracterizing portions of his 21-year military career.

In December 2008, as then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich fought accusations that he tried to sell the Senate seat after Obama's election, Kirk "participated in video discussions in the media" while on active duty, according to a statement from Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. April Cunningham.


Filed under: Mark Kirk
June 7th, 2010
06:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Men charged with threatening Stupak

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/07/art.stupakenvelope.usao.jpg caption ="The envelope that contained a threatening letter addressed to Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak."]Washington (CNN) - Angry over Rep. Bart Stupak's decisive vote for health care reform, a man threatened to "... paint the Mackinaw Bridge with the blood of you and your family members ...," in an anonymous letter to the congressman last month, according to the U.S. Attorney in Michigan.

Russell Hesch, 73, of West Branch, Michigan, and his son, David Hesch, 50, of Loveland, Colorado, were charged with threatening to assault, kidnap or murder Stupak, a United States Official, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney.

Both men have been arrested and will appear in federal court in Bay City, Michigan and Denver, Colorado.

The complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan states that Russell Hesch, after initially denying involvement, confessed to writing the letter and then sending it to his son to forward to the congressman to avoid being identified. However, Russell Hesch had previously sent at least 55 emails and letters to the congressman between February 25, 2003 and May 4, 2010. And he was known by Stupak as one of his most vocal and critical constituents, according to the complaint.

The FBI determined the communications held similarities. A search warrant was executed on June 2, 2010, a week after the threatening letter was received by the Michigan Democrat's office.

The letter was signed "Sincerely, The Devil Within Us." According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Hesch stated in the letter that "[a]ctions and decisions carry consequences. Are you and your family prepared for consequences? Is your wife, Laurie Ann, prepared for those consequences? Is your son Ken and his family prepared for those consequences?"

Read the threatening letter and criminal complaint, after the jump:

Filed under: Bart Stupak • Health care