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  1. #1
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    The Whistleblower and Harriet Miers

    http://villagevoice.com/news/0540,we...2,68584,6.html

    Mondo Washington
    The Whistleblower and Harriet Miers
    Questions linger about Court nominee's time with Texas Lottery

    by James Ridgeway, with Isabel Huacuja
    October 4th, 2005 3:12 PM


    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Sooner or later, senators pondering Harriet Miers's qualifications to be a Supreme Court judge will want to inquire into the byzantine dealings of the Texas Lottery Commission in the late 1990s, when she was its chair.

    Miers has been portrayed as a tough administrator who cleaned up a scandal-plagued state board, as in this report from the Houston Chronicle:

    "Harriet Miers proved to be a tough, no-nonsense administrator during her five years heading the Texas Lottery Commission, firing two executive directors to stamp out scandal but leaving unexpectedly amid lagging sales and player interest."

    The paper goes on to note that "one of those firings stirred up questions about whether political influence helped George W. Bush avoid active service in Vietnam."

    But that's not the last question stirred by Miers's tenure on the lottery commission. There's room for speculation about whether, even as she worked to clear out corruption, she stifled the claims of a key whistleblower.

    The story goes like this:

    Apparently in January 1996, then Texas governor George Bush received an anonymous letter claiming that Nora Linares, director of the Texas Lottery Commission, was in cahoots with a former employer and a boyfriend to rip off the commission. Supposedly, the boyfriend, convicted on an unrelated federal bribery charge, was using state equipment and personnel to work on a private contract he had with Gtech. That's the company contracted to carry out the Texas lottery. According to reports in the Houston Chronicle from that time, Linares claimed she knew nothing about this, even though the boyfriend was running his business out of her cousin's New Mexico apartment address.

    At first, Bush and his then assistant Miers did nothing, but eventually Miers was sent over to the commission to straighten things out. This raised eyebrows at the time, since Miers's law firm represented a company which had a major contract with the lottery. Linares was fired, and in March 1997 the commission put the Gtech contract up for re-bid. Then in June, one Lawrence Littwin, a Democrat, was hired to run the lottery, which had been set up in 1992. At the time, Miers, now chair of the lottery commission, said of Littwin, "His extensive business, technical and lottery experience, his knowledge of lottery products offered by vendors, and his knowledge of the procurement process will be of great benefit . . . . He is a man of integrity who will further develop and maintain strict controls at the commission and insure operations that are above reproach."

    When Littwin took over he received a report from the state auditor critical of both Gtech and the lottery commission for failure to conduct proper accounting. Littwin hired the firm of Deloitte and Touche to run more audits, and they allegedly revealed that Gtech had seriously violated its contract. His investigation also revealed what were described as illegal campaign contributions. At that point, according to Littwin, Miers and other commission members ordered him to stop the investigation.

    The upshot of the affair was that Gtech, even though not the low bidder, got its contract back, and according to Littwin never corrected its auditing breaches. Littwin was fired that October, after only five months on the job. The commission would only say it had "lost confidence" in him. The personnel files say he was dismissed for "reasons unknown."

    In a subsequent 1999 lawsuit, Littwin claimed Gtech was engaged in questionable dealings through its chief Texas lobbyist in 1997, Ben Barnes, former state lieutenant governor.

    Barnes hit the headlines during Bush's first campaign because he supposedly was the man who got young George out of the draft and into the Texas National Guard, a charge he denied. Littwin's suit was eventually settled for $300,000. Barnes's deposition, in which the National Guard matter was mentioned, disappeared.

    The question is whether Miers was dispatched to the state lottery commission to cover up a mess on the verge of being brought to light by a whistleblower. We may never know.

  2. #2
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    Re: The Whistleblower and Harriet Miers

    Well now... this sounds like what is known as "skeletons in one's closet"!! Maybe Meirs threatened to "blow the whistle" on Georgie boy if he DIDN'T get her this job?? Do you think she's gonna get in?

  3. #3
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    Re: The Whistleblower and Harriet Miers

    Quote Originally Posted by Connecticut Victim
    Well now... this sounds like what is known as "skeletons in one's closet"!! Maybe Meirs threatened to "blow the whistle" on Georgie boy if he DIDN'T get her this job?? Do you think she's gonna get in?

    It wouldn't surprise me. Bush needs allies.


    .

  4. #4
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    Miers Needs Some Heavy Artillery

    Miers Needs Some Heavy Artillery

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/...in917526.shtml

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2005


    Dotty Lynch is the Senior Political Editor for CBS News. E-mail your questions and comments to Political Points
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This week Harriet Miers has been called tough as nails and a steel magnolia. She may need that heavy metal to get through the hazing she is receiving from burned conservatives and confused liberals. The White House has decided that although Ed Gillespie and Fred Thompson worked fine to shepherd John Roberts, the heavy artillery is needed for this nomination. So, once again they have recruited the late Lee Atwater, who is still working off those bad boy deeds just outside the Pearly Gates. Political Points has received his memo to Miers:

    To: Harriet Miers
    Cc: Karl, Ken, Ed, Fred
    From: Lee Atwater
    Re: Getting It On

    Congrats Harriet. You're having a wild week and by Thanksgiving (well maybe by Christmas) all this nonsense will be behind you. Remember what Clarence Thomas went through? All that Coke can stuff and X-rated rental movies? And now look at him. Nobody even knows he's there.

    But between then and now there are a few things you and the boys need to do:


    1. Co-opt the eggheads. (By the way, how did we get so many on our side?) Kristol, Will and Frum are all out of joint about you because you haven't written enough. These guys think that writing is better than clearing the brush on the ranch with W. Fine. They are all writers so why aren't they on the Supreme Court? Just give them a bunch of stuff to read. Your Dallas Bar Association writings. Long, boring books that influenced you. Overwhelm them with paper. Eggheads like paper.


    2. Get the sisters on board. Phyllis Schlafly is referring to you as a "female Souter, a childless blank slate." And Maureen Dowd is calling you Harry. What's the deal here? Nice touch trotting out the boyfriend, but you need to lay a guilt trip on the women of the Senate, especially the ones without kids. They know the code. Line them up now.


    3. Go to a mainline church next Sunday. The born-again stuff is working well to calm down our side, but it makes the liberal establishment nuts. The whole point was to confuse folks but now you are looking like Jim Dobson's pawn. Get a little distance from him. And are you sure that minister at Valley View is in line? You and Nathan Hecht are two wild and crazy schismatics, huh? The press is crawling around Dallas right now; better make a donation to the old church fast.


    4. Definitely do some serious Harvard and Yale bashing. It worked for Junior. Don't worry about matching smooth John Roberts. Our folks love it when SMU beats those Ivies. Marvin Olasky is shaking that tree right now. Keep it going.


    5. About that Gay and Lesbian questionnaire. You dodged a bullet there on the sodomy question, but (and this is not just you) I've been yelling for years for candidates to avoid those interest group questionnaires like the plague. They do no good and those groups store them in boxes in their basement in perpetuity. You said you didn't want them to endorse you in Dallas but now they say they are thinking about supporting you now. That's the last thing we need. I think we can fix it but do me one favor and make those things unconstitutional. .


    6. Get prepared for another go-around on your stint at the Texas Lottery Commission. Somebody is going to reopen that can of worms. And what worms they are: Littwin, Ben Barnes, the National Guard. Well, that will be fun. But you and Junior survived that in '04, so how bad can it be?


    7. Forget the bloggers. These guys (and most of them are guys) just want to hear themselves blog. Once the libs decide you are the enemy, you will have Red State, National Review Online and Southern Appeal eating out of your hands. Harry Reid confused them, but he confused Democrats even more. And remind them at least you are not Al Gonzales and there are few more chances for their heroes Luttig, McConnell and Alito.


    8. Change the topic to the issue of turning over your papers. It's like the "debate about debates." It bores the public and takes the focus off the substance.

    I'll be around for the next few months so give a shout. I'll be in Texas anyhow helping bail out the Hammer, so I'm good for piecework as needed.



    .

  5. #5
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    White House Counsel Miers Chosen for Court

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...100300252.html

    White House Counsel Miers Chosen for Court
    Some Question Her Lack of Experience As a Judge

    By Michael A. Fletcher
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, October 4, 2005; Page A01

    President Bush nominated Harriet Ellan Miers, his White House counsel and former personal attorney, to the Supreme Court yesterday, choosing a woman who broke barriers in the male-dominated Texas legal world but brings no judicial experience or constitutional background to her new assignment.

    Bush announced his choice for the nation's 110th justice from the Oval Office shortly before the court opened its new term under newly installed Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. In Bush's nationally televised statement, he simultaneously introduced Miers and defended her legal résumé, which came under immediate attack from some conservative groups.
    In succeeding Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, one of the court's swing voters, Miers would be in a position to move it decisively to the right. Bush said she would bring a distinctive perspective to the high court while strictly interpreting the Constitution and not legislating from the bench.

    "In selecting a nominee, I've sought to find an American of grace, judgment and unwavering devotion to the Constitution and laws of our country. Harriet Miers is just such a person," Bush said. "I've known Harriet for more than a decade. I know her heart. I know her character."

    The White House appeared to be seeking a smooth confirmation process, bypassing candidates with more established conservative bona fides at a time when Bush is beset with political problems including the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina. Based on advance soundings with Senate Democratic leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and conservative leader James C. Dobson, the White House calculated that Miers would draw broad support.

    But yesterday's response to the nominee left that open to doubt. There was widespread dissent among Bush's usual allies on the right, who questioned whether the 60-year-old former corporate lawyer possessed the distinguished qualifications and conservative credentials they are looking for in a court nominee. "It could well be that she is in the tradition of Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia, as the president has promised," said Jan LaRue, chief counsel of Concerned Women for America. "The problem is that those of us who were looking for some tangible evidence of that have none, and we can't come out of the box supporting her."

    Advocates on the left and their allies in the Senate also urged caution, pronouncing Miers's judicial philosophy and constitutional views a mystery. "We know next to nothing about the legal philosophy of the person President Bush has selected to replace Justice O'Connor casting the deciding votes on the most difficult issues confronting our nation," said Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). "America can't afford a replay of the unrevealing confirmation process that preceded Chief Justice Roberts's confirmation."

    White House officials yesterday were emphasizing previous praise Miers had won from Democrats. As part of a bipartisan delegation of Senate leaders at the White House on Sept. 21, Reid told Bush that Miers "is worthy of consideration," according to aides of people at the meeting, and the senator spoke warmly of her yesterday -- though without making any specific commitment to support her. Some Senate Democrats privately expressed dismay that Reid had given the White House cover for a nominee they expect to oppose.

    Bush described Miers, who if confirmed would be the third woman to sit on the Supreme Court, as a legal pioneer who repeatedly overcame gender barriers to reach the highest levels of her profession. Before being named White House counsel last year, she served as White House deputy chief of staff as well as staff secretary, a job in which she reviewed virtually every document that went before the president.

    Before joining the Bush administration, Miers was Bush's personal attorney in Texas and served as general counsel of his gubernatorial campaign committee. As governor, Bush appointed Miers chairman of the scandal-plagued Texas Lottery Commission, where she earned a reputation as a tough manager after firing two executive directors.

    Outside her political work for Bush, Miers was a partner at the Texas law firm of Locke Liddell & Sapp, served two years on the Dallas City Council and was the first woman to be head of the Texas Bar Association.

    "One of the things that I believe the president admires about Harriet is that she has spent her entire career breaking through glass ceilings," said James B. Francis Jr., who heads a Dallas investment firm and introduced Miers to Bush in 1993.

    While Miers is a churchgoer who once made a small contribution to an antiabortion organization, some conservative activists were openly questioning whether Bush had lived up to his promise to appoint a nominee of the same judicial and ideological stripe as justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The skeptics questioned her past donations to the Democratic National Committee, to former Texas senator Lloyd M. Bentsen (D) and the 1988 presidential campaign of Al Gore (D). They also bemoaned her lack of judicial experience.

    "The reaction of many conservatives today will be that the president has made possibly the most unqualified choice since Abe Fortas, who had been the president's lawyer," said Manuel Miranda, chairman of the Third Branch Conference. "The nomination of a nominee with no judicial record is a significant failure for the advisers that the White House gathered around it. However, the president deserves the benefit of a doubt, the nominee deserves the benefit of hearings, and every nominee deserves an up-or-down vote."

    Amid so much uncertainty among the president's own allies, Vice President Cheney was dispatched to interviews with such conservative commentators as Rush Limbaugh, who made plain his skepticism. "I'm confident that she has a conservative judicial philosophy that you'd be comfortable with, Rush," Cheney said. He added: "This president will have done more to change the court and, in fact, put on it individuals who share his judicial philosophy than any of his predecessors in modern times."

    The White House could take reassurance that no Republican senators came out against Miers, and some conservative advocates said they were confident she would be a reliable supporter on the bench. They cited her support of an unsuccessful effort to reverse an American Bar Association endorsement of Roe v. Wade , the Supreme Court decision guaranteeing the right to abortion. "I don't know what her view is on overturning Roe , but she is well regarded by many antiabortion Texans," said Leonard A. Leo of the Federalist Society.

    In a short statement after Bush announced her nomination and before she made her first round of courtesy calls on Senate leaders, Miers indicated that she has a modest view of the duty of justices. "It is the responsibility of every generation to be true to the Founders' vision of the proper role of the courts in our society," Miers said. "If confirmed, I recognize that I will have a tremendous responsibility to keep our judicial system strong, and to help ensure that the courts meet their obligations to strictly apply the laws and the Constitution."

    If confirmed, Miers will become the first Supreme Court justice in more than three decades with no experience as a judge at any level. Among the non-judges appointed in modern history are the late William H. Rehnquist, who was a top Justice Department official in the Nixon administration, and Fortas, an influential Washington lawyer and close adviser to Lyndon B. Johnson, who nominated him to the high court in 1965. The talking points of White House aides said the closest analogy was Lewis F. Powell Jr., who served as head of the Virginia Bar Association and the Richmond school board before being sent to the court by Richard M. Nixon.

    Bush chose Miers after seriously considering as many as 15 candidates for the post, at least six of whom were women, according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan. He said Bush met with Miers four times, starting Sept. 21, to discuss her possible nomination. Bush formally offered Miers the job Sunday night during dinner in the White House residence with first lady Laura Bush.

    Miers, who as White House counsel was part of the team that vetted potential court nominees, was not publicly mentioned as a potential candidate until last week, and most speculation had centered on younger contenders, as well as the prospect that Bush would want to name the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court. But, in a signature of his management style, Bush turned to an adviser in whom he felt personal trust.

    Through a spokesman, Majority Leader Bill Frist (D-Tenn.) said he would like to have Miers's confirmation hearings start in time for a vote before the Senate leaves for its Thanksgiving recess. Senate Democrats, however, were calling for a thorough examination of her views and for a release of her records as White House counsel -- a request sure to cause a confrontation with the White House.

    .

  6. #6
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    Coats to work as Miers' adviser

    Coats to work as Miers' adviser
    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Thursday tapped former Indiana Republican Sen. Dan Coats to help shepherd Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers through the Senate's confirmation process.
    Coats, who resigned in February after nearly four years as the U.S. ambassador to Germany, will fill an unpaid role similar to that of former Sen. Fred Thompson during Chief Justice John Roberts' confirmation proceedings.

    "Senator Coats will be working closely with the nominee and serving as a public advocate for her," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "He will help advise her throughout the process. Senator Coats' role will be to attend meetings with senators on Harriet's courtesy visits."

    The choice of Miers, a veteran lawyer and White House aide who has never been a judge -- and therefore has no record of judicial decisions -- has worried some Republican senators, anti-abortion activists and others who question the depth of her conservative views.

    As a senator, Coats pushed legislation to restrict abortion, tried to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts because of grants it made to artists he said mocked God, and led the opposition to allowing gays in the military.
    Coats "is a well-respected senator, respected on both sides of the aisle," McClellan said. "We're delighted to have him as part of our team."

    Coats, now a member of a Washington lobbying firm, was a congressman from northeastern Indiana until being appointed to the Senate when Dan Quayle resigned to become vice president in 1989. He won statewide elections in 1990 and 1992, but did not seek a second full term in the 1998 election.

    .

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    Miers Faces Conservative Senators

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...w160509D58.DTL

    Miers Faces Conservative Senators

    (10-06) 16:05 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --


    Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers and her White House backers worked Thursday to quell a revolt over her high court nomination among conservatives, who say President Bush promised them a justice who would help swing the court to the right.


    "I think the president has created political trouble for himself," said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "She may turn out to be a great judge ... but my own reaction to it is that it is not my fight, and I think that's the way that most conservatives feel about it," he said.


    Miers spent the day meeting with some of the Senate Judiciary Committee's conservatives, including Jon Kyl of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas.


    Brownback, who is expected to make a bid for the presidency in 2008 as an anti-abortion candidate, said he is prepared to vote against Miers if he finds out he disagrees with her judicial philosophy. But he said he needs more information.


    "That portrait is just now taking shape, and I'm not ready to make a call until that portrait is done," he said.


    He said he has not received any White House assurances regarding Miers' judicial views, and that she refused to take a position when he asked her about the 1965 Supreme Court ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut that established the right of privacy in the sale and use of contraceptives.


    "She did not take a position on it, nor did she say she would take a position on it, nor did she think it appropriate to have a position on it," Brownback said.


    Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, and conservative leaders including Jay Sekulow, Leonard Leo and James Dobson held a national teleconference Thursday with grass-roots conservatives during which the leaders endorsed Miers to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor, whose vote has been critical on issues including abortion and affirmative action.


    Three days of lobbying by the White House have not made conservatives feel any better about Bush's 60-year-old White House counsel.


    "However nice, helpful, prompt and tidy she is, Harriet Miers isn't qualified to play a Supreme Court justice on `The West Wing,' let alone to be a real one," columnist Ann Coulter said.


    In an AP-Ipsos poll taken this week, two-thirds of those surveyed did not know enough about Miers to have an opinion about her. Just 41 percent said the Senate should confirm her, lower than similar ratings for Chief Justice John Roberts after his nomination; 27 percent said she should not be confirmed; 32 percent were not sure.


    Graham, who said he is "predisposed" to support Miers after meeting with her, urged an end to the "cheap shots" against her. "Be quiet for a little bit and listen, just shut up for a few minutes and give the lady a chance to find out who she is," he said.


    Graham said conservatives expected Bush to choose a well-known conservative judge, and Miers does not fit that mold.


    "The problem that she faces is that everybody was wanting to get geared up for a fight," and they are "a bit disappointed," Graham said. "So conservatives are focused on what Bush didn't do, and what he could have done. Well, soon we'll be focused on what he did do. And what he did do is he picked Harriet Miers."


    Miers is getting support from some prominent conservatives.


    The Rev. Jerry Falwell said a quick phone call to Bush was all it took for him to give "thumbs up" to Miers.


    "I did talk to the White House, I did hear what I needed to hear, and I happen to trust George Bush," Falwell said, according to WDSI-TV in Chattanooga, Tenn.


    The White House on Thursday said former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., who was ambassador to Germany, will serve as Miers' escort through the confirmation process. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., did the same for Roberts this summer.


    As a senator, Coats pushed legislation to restrict abortion, tried to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts because of grants it made to artists he said mocked God, and led the opposition to allowing gays in the military.


    The White House has played up an endorsement of Miers by Dobson, founder of the Colorado Springs-based Christian group Focus on the Family. Dobson said he trusted Bush and that Miers appeared to be an outstanding choice.


    But on his radio broadcast Wednesday, Dobson said he prayed he was not making a mistake.


    A GOP battle over the nomination may hurt the party in the 2006 congressional elections, said Manuel Miranda, who used to work on judicial nominations for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Miranda now runs the conservative Third Branch Conference.


    ___


    Associated Press writers Elizabeth White and Sam Hananel contributed to this report.

  8. #8
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    Re: The Whistleblower and Harriet Miers

    I just saw Ann Coulter on with Bill Maher... If any of you are familiar with her, you know she is a DIE-HARD Bush supporter - SERIOUSLY DIE-HARD!!

    She admitted that SHE is turning against her beloved "Presidunce"! She said NOBODY in the Republican party EVER expected Bush to nominate the "White House MAID" to the Supreme Court!

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