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Thread: The 2016 Presidential Race

  1. #61

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    The other big GOP governor in the news.

    Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, once a rising star in the Republican Party who was considered potential presidential material, was indicted along with his wife on Tuesday on federal charges of accepting illegal gifts.

    The 14-count indictment, culminating a lengthy investigation of their relationship with a Virginia business executive, alleges fraud by a public official, false statements, and obstruction.

    From the Washington Post:
    Some supporters said privately that the indictment had shored up their belief that Maureen McDonnell was to blame for most of the trouble. The charging document portrays her as repeatedly soliciting gifts from Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. and complaining to others about the couple’s tight finances and her need for designer clothes for the inauguration, a family wedding and other events.

    “I need to talk to you about Inaugural clothing budget,” Maureen McDonnell wrote in an e-mail to a top McDonnell staff member who had advised her not to accept an Oscar de la Renta dress from Williams. “I need answers and Bob is screaming about the thousands I’m charging up in credit card debt. We are broke, have an unconscionable amount in credit card debt already, and this Inaugural is killing us. I need answers and I need help, and I need to get this done.”

    Though unflattering to the first lady, the e-mail gave some legislators insight into the couple’s financial distress as well as her temperament.

    “How many other indictments have you read that could be quickly turned into a one-act play?” said a Capitol insider, who like many others spoke on the condition of anonymity in order not to offend the McDonnells.

    At the same time, some of the nitty-gritty of the 14-count indictment made supporters queasy, including allegations that Robert McDonnell had misled a federal credit union on a loan application by failing to disclose $120,000 owed to Williams.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...d86_story.html

    Onetime VA gubernatorial chef Todd Schneider:
    You have to remember, everybody talks in the kitchen.
    ...

    Have you ever gone and bought tampons? There’s a million different kinds of them.


    Mitt Romney was brought down by a bartender, and now Gov Ultrasound is toppled by a cook.

    Items like Oscar de la Renta, Ferrari, and Rolex won't play well with a jury.

    When this story began to unfold, McDonnell sort of threw his wife under the bus.

    They have hired separate counsel, so the question is if their defense strategies will diverge. The former Redskins cheerleader doesn't look too happy here.



    That picture reminds me of Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye.

  2. #62

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    Interesting that none of the gifts went towards a soup kitchen or clothes for the homeless but still, as long as God forgives them, it's all OK right?

  3. #63

  4. #64
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    MSNBC is having a ball with this new revelation tonight.

    The BIG C looks like he's a flip-flopper (although at his size that might be a difficult maneuver)

  5. #65

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    He gets a thumbs up from me for still turning up at Howard Stern's birthday show Friday night.

  6. #66
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Question The Plot Thickens

    Christie attorney seeks correspondence between Hoboken officials and New York Times

    By Darryl Isherwood/NJ.com
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on February 10, 2014 at 7:20 PM, updated February 10, 2014 at 11:45 PM


    Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer (file photo) (John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

    It seems someone may be unhappy with the New York Times coverage of ongoing controversy surrounding Hurricane Sandy recovery funding in the City of Hoboken.

    The attorney representing the governor in the bridgegate probe has filed an Open Public Record request seeking all correspondence between more than a dozen city officials and the New York Times relating to the governor, Hurricane Sandy assistance, the Rockefeller Group and development of the city's North End.

    The OPRA request includes any correspondence given to the Times by Mayor Dawn Zimmer, members of the city's council and planning board and several members of Zimmer's staff, as well as those obtained by the Times via OPRA requests "from on or about January 1, 2014."

    Attorney Randy Mastro also is seeking Zimmer's journal, in which she has said she documented an encounter with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno during which she said Guadagno attempted to strong arm her into supporting a local development project by tying hurricane relief aid to her support.

    According to the OPRA request, Mastro hopes to obtain "A copy of the entire, unredacted notebook, memo pad, or journal in the possession, custody of Hoboken Mayor Zimmer, portions of which were provided by Mayor Zimmer or her office to the press (i.e. MSNBC, CNN and the N.Y. Daily News) on or about January 18 and/or January 19. 2014."

    Zimmer said Guadagno told her aid to the city could be choked off if she failed to support the development proposed by the Rockefeller group for the city's North End. Zimmer previously handed over portions of the journal to an MSNBC reporter who broke the story.

    According to a letter from city OPRA records clerk Mike Mastropasqua obtained by NJ.com the city has denied the request for the journal, but has asked all officials named in the request to turn over any correspondence given to the New York Times "in your official capacity" regarding the Christie administration, Hurricane Sandy relief, the Rockefeller Group and the North End.

    According to the letter, the response from the city officials is due tomorrow.

    The revelation of the request from Mastro comes a day after the Record of Hackensack revealed that Mastro was seeking to interview Zimmer and had requested copies of documents Zimmer and others in the administration have already handed over as part of a federal subpoena.

    Zimmer spokesman Juan Melli, who was named in the OPRA request, did not return calls for comment.

    It's unknown why Mastro is requesting the documents and the attorney could not be reached for comment.

    Mastro has been hired by the administration with the broad mandate of responding to the various subpoenas as well as conducting an internal review. The firm is charging $650 per hour for its work

    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf...incart_m-rpt-1

  7. #67
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Waiting on the Details...

    Christie bridge scandal: Recipients of 18 new subpoenas revealed

    By Christopher Baxter/The Star-Ledger
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on February 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM, updated February 10, 2014 at 9:21 PM


    Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), co-chair of the joint legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal, talks during a press conference following a meeting of the committee at the State House. Also shown LtoR behind her are committee members Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer), co-chair Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Senator Nia Gill (D-Essex) and Senator Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex). Trenton , NJ 2/10/14 (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)

    TRENTON — The state legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal will issue 18 new subpoenas, including to Gov. Chris Christie's office, his inner circle and officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, The Star-Ledger has learned.

    Recipients include the State Police aviation unit, which oversees Christie's helicopter travel, four new members of Christie's office, and his failed state Supreme Court nominee, Phillip Kwon, who now works as deputy general counsel at the Port Authority.

    Some of the recipients were also subpoenaed in past rounds, including the governor's office, his re-election campaign and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority who resigned last year as the scandal unfolded.

    The names were included on a document titled, "Recommended additional subpoena recipients," which was circulated to committee members. The document was obtained by The Star-Ledger, and a source close to the investigation confirmed the list matched those who will be issued subpoenas.

    The source was not authorized to discuss the investigation and declined comment.

    A co-chairman of the committee, John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), confirmed after the committee's meeting today that more than a dozen additional subpoenas would be issued, but he declined to say exactly how many or to name the recipients.

    He said they would begin being issued tonight or Tuesday morning.

    The full list of those to be subpoenaed is:

    •Chris Christie for Governor, the governor's re-election campaign
    •Christie's office
    •Regina Egea, director of the authorities unit, governor's office
    •Nicole Crifo, senior counsel to the authorities unit, governor's office
    •Jeanne Ashmore, director of constituent relations, governor's office
    •Rosemary Iannacone, director of operations, governor's office
    •Barbara Panebianco, executive assistant to Bridget Anne Kelly, governor's office
    •Custodian of records, State Police aviation unit
    •William "Pat" Schuber, commissioner at the Port Authority
    •Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director at the Port Authority
    •Custodian of records, Port Authority
    •Steve Coleman, deputy director of media relations, Port Authority
    •Phillip Kwon, deputy general counsel, Port Authority
    •John Ma, chief of staff to Executive Director Patrick Foye, Port Authority
    •Matthew Bell, special assistant to former Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, Port Authority
    •Gretchen DiMarco, assistant to Baroni, Port Authority
    •Arielle Schwarz, special assistant to former Director of Interstate Capital Projects David Wildstein, Port Authority
    •Mark Muriello, assistant director of Tunnels, Bridges & Terminals, Port Authority

    Star-Ledger staff writer Susan K. Livio contributed to this report.

    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf...incart_m-rpt-1

  8. #68

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    The attorney representing the governor in the bridgegate probe has filed an Open Public Record request seeking all correspondence between more than a dozen city officials and the New York Times relating to the governor, Hurricane Sandy assistance, the Rockefeller Group and development of the city's North End.

    The OPRA request includes any correspondence given to the Times by Mayor Dawn Zimmer, members of the city's council and planning board and several members of Zimmer's staff, as well as those obtained by the Times via OPRA requests "from on or about January 1, 2014."
    It's funny how Christie - all of a sudden - wants information from persons involved in the GWB closure and misuse of Sandy funds. He expressed no interest in fact-finding when the story infolded, instead just firing or taking the resignation of key people. No employee exit interviews?

    On his most recent radio interview, Christie said he wanted to get to the bottom of bridgegate, but acknowledged that people have legal rights. Ironically, this was soon after Bridget Kelly invoked 5th Amendment rights not to turn over documents.

    How convenient for Christie.

    However, Kelly's (and Bill Stepian's) refusal on constitutional grounds was rejected by the NJ legislative committee as it applied to the documents, and both my be held in contempt.

    Lurking behind all this is the investigation of US Attorney for NJ Paul Fishman.

    It's unknown why Mastro is requesting the documents and the attorney could not be reached for comment.
    It appears to me to be simple Discovery. In a possible legal battle, lawyers have to know what the other side knows.

  9. #69

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    The arrogance of Bill Baroni.


  10. #70
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The Dig Continues

    ^His arrogance disgusts me especially towards Lautenberg. He might be getting his anyway and now an investigation into the cancelling of the ARC Tunnel is coming around.

    ==========

    New bridge scandal subpoenas seek records related to Chris Christie, ARC tunnel and more

    By Christopher Baxter/The Star-Ledger
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on February 12, 2014 at 9:02 PM


    Bill Baroni, Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, talks to reporters in the hallway following his testimony before the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee at the Statehouse. The committee called the hearing inviting all of the top executives of the Port Authority to appear, in order to ask them questions concerning the suspicious abrupt local access lane closures of the George Washington Bridge in September. Baroni was the only executive from the Port Authority to appear. Also shown at right is Philip Kwon, attorney for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Trenton NJ 11/25/13 (Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger)

    TRENTON — The legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal wants to know how closely Gov. Chris Christie's office and allies at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey coordinated to blame the lane closings on a traffic study, records released today show.

    The 18 subpoenas issued this week also cast a far wider net than past rounds, seeking information about the defunct ARC (Access to the Region's Core) tunnel project, any dossiers compiled by Christie and his campaign on Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, and a month and a half of State Police helicopter records.

    Five of the new subpoenas seek records reflecting drafts, comments on, changes or edits to the November testimony of Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee and former deputy executive director at the Port Authority who has since resigned.

    Baroni testified before the Legislature that the September closings and resulting traffic jam in Fort Lee were the result of a study to determine whether it was fair to all commuters for the borough to have three local-access lanes to the busy bridge’s toll plaza.

    The explanation has since been largely discredited by a lack of evidence, testimony of other Port Authority officials — including Executive Director Patrick Foye — and the revelation last month that a senior aide in the governor’s office, Bridget Anne Kelly, was part of the decision to close the lanes.

    Democrats say the claim was a cover-up, noting that the local lanes from Fort Lee are used by far more people than only residents of the borough. They say the closings were retribution against Sokolich, a Democrat, who did not endorse Christie for re-election.

    Now, members of the investigative committee want to know who was consulted in the lead up to Baroni’s appearance.

    "What has been indicated in all of this is the level of connection," said Brigid Harrison, political science professor at Montclair State University. "There are these dotted lines between all of the players, including those who it can be demonstrated have culpability and people closest with the governor."

    Christie has denied having any part in the closings and said earlier this month that he was still unsure whether there was a traffic study.


    LATEST SUBPOENAS

    Driving the committee’s inquiry into the issue is the disclosure, first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this month, that Baroni was prepped for several days by Port Authority lawyer Phillip Kwon, who worked with Christie at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    Subpoenas issued this week target Kwon, Baroni, Christie’s office, his re-election campaign, as well as several people in the governor’s office, including Regina Egea, his incoming chief of staff; Rosemary Iannacone, director of operations; and Barbara Panebianco, executive assistant to Kelly.

    The subpoenas also seek similar records from Port Authority officials John Ma, chief of staff to Foye; Matthew Bell, special assistant to Baroni; Gretchen DiMarco, assistant to Baroni; Arielle Schwarz, special assistant to former director of interstate capital projects David Wildstein; Mark Muriello, assistant director of tunnels, bridges & terminals; and Steve Coleman, deputy director of media relations.


    KWON'S ROLE

    Kwon was the first assistant state attorney general until Christie nominated him to the Supreme Court in 2012. But he was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee partly because his family’s business had been accused by federal authorities of making hundreds of illegal bank deposits. The stinging setback for Christie marked the first time in modern state history that the Senate rejected a Supreme Court nominee.

    Three months later, Kwon was hired by the Port Authority to replace former state Attorney General Paula Dow, who was sent there by Christie to make room for another ally, Jeffrey Chiesa. Christie nominated Dow to a state Superior Court judgeship, which she currently holds.

    Now Kwon again finds himself under the microscope.

    Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), a co-chairman of the committee, questioned Kwon’s role.

    "If he spent even a day prepping Bill Baroni, it would be a day too much because he was preparing him for something that never happened," said Wisniewski, who called Kwon’s Port Authority job a "consolation prize" from Christie.

    "There’s a fraternity of people that are considered important to the governor that get jobs at the Port Authority," Wisniewski said. "These are all people who in some fashion knew about the traffic jam, the order to cause the traffic jam or the efforts to obfuscate the traffic jam."

    The Port Authority declined comment on Kwon’s involvement in the bridge matter, and the governor’s office did not respond to a request.


    ARC REVISITED

    One of the subpoenas, issued to the Port Authority, seeks extensive records about recent toll increases and cost overruns related to the ARC tunnel, which were cited by Christie as part of his controversial 2010 decision to cancel the project.

    The governor, who initially expressed support for the project, aborted it because he said the state would be liable for $2.5 billion in cost overruns in addition to the $8.7 billion price tag. Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said state officials were well aware that costs could grow to as much as $12 billion.

    A yearlong investigation by a nonpartisan congressional agency, the Government Accountability Office, said in a 2012 report that cost estimates of roughly $9 billion to $12.4 billion were being used by state and federal transit officials as early as 2008. However, the report also said there was no way to determine who would get the bill for overruns because negotiations among New Jersey, the Port Authority and the federal government never got that far.

    The subpoena also seeks names of job candidates sent by Christie’s office to the Port Authority.

    Another subpoena, issued to State Police, seeks flight paths, records, logs and pilot names for flights for any New Jersey or Port Authority officials or employees from Aug. 15 to Sept. 30, 2013. Though Christie did fly at the time of the
    September lane closings, the State Police said Tuesday he did not go over the bridge or Fort Lee.

    A spokesman for the governor’s office, Kevin Roberts, declined to comment on the subpoenas, which are due back Feb. 24.

    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf...incart_m-rpt-1
    Last edited by JCMAN320; February 13th, 2014 at 02:15 AM.

  11. #71
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Look up "slick" in the dictionary, Baroni's pic shows up.

  12. #72
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Exclamation More dirt!

    ^I also think that he dresses up as this guy when the sun sets.



    This whole Hoboken scandal keeps getting more complicated and entangled. I don't know how you secretly build a Light Rail station in one of the most densely populated places on Earth without letting Hoboken know.

    =========

    Report: NJ Transit and law firm linked to Christie secretly agreed to build light rail station in Hoboken

    By Kathryn Brenzel/NJ.com
    Follow on Twitter
    on February 13, 2014 at 1:19 PM, updated February 13, 2014 at 5:09 PM


    The intersection of Willow Avenue and 16th Street in Hoboken, the area is part of the proposed Rockefeller project at the northern end of Hoboken. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer accused the Christie administration of withholding Hurricane Sandy relief funds until she approved the project. 1/18/14 (John O'Boyle/The Star-Ledger)

    HOBOKEN — NJ Transit and the law firm headed by Port Authority chairman David Samson secretly agreed to build a new light rail station in Hoboken, without briefing the city on the plans, according to a WNYC report.

    Under the non-binding agreement, NJ Transit reportedly agreed to pay for the construction of a new light rail station near the Rockefeller Group's property in northern Hoboken. The deal was negotiated by Lori Grifa, of Wolff & Samson, a firm with ties to Gov. Chris Christie, given that it was co-founded by the governor's top official at the Port Authority, according to WNYC. In late January, the developer severed ties with the law firm.

    The Port Authority reportedly paid $75,000 to study the potential project, which aimed to beef up the value of the Rockefeller Group's property — [b]near the contentious 40-story office tower proposed by the firm.[.b]

    News of the secret agreement surfaced earlier this month, though the City spokesman Juan Melli told NJ.com that Mayor Dawn Zimmer didn't know about the agreement, and that the city has filed an Open Public Records Act request to obtain the agreement.

    NJ Transit has not yet provided NJ.com with documentation of the agreement, despite an Open Public Records Agreement request having been filed Jan. 31.

    WNYC Article:http://www.wnyc.org/story/nj-transit...favorite-firm/

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2...t_river_hudson
    Last edited by JCMAN320; February 13th, 2014 at 08:43 PM.

  13. #73

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    The New Republic

    What is remarkable about this meltdown is that it isn’t the result of some deep secret that has been exposed to the world, revealing a previously unimagined side to the candidate. Many of the scandals and mini-scandals and scandals-within-scandals that the national media is salivating over have been in full view for years.
    The problem with Christie isn’t merely that he is a bully. It’s that his political career is built on a rotten foundation. Christie owes his rise to some of the most toxic forces in his state—powerful bosses who ensure that his vow to clean up New Jersey will never come to pass. He has allowed them to escape scrutiny, rewarded them for their support, and punished their enemies. All along, even as it looked like Christie was attacking the machine, he was really just mastering it.

  14. #74

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    With Christie's presidential ship sinking fast, GOP donor attention has been shifting to Governor Scott Walker (R-WI). He's the one who survived the recall election, and is perceived as a moderate center-right national candidate. But Walker has his own problems with a future national campaign, with the release of 27,000 emails. Walker has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but several of his associates have been charged or convicted.


    Shawn Johnson February 20, 2014

    A Wisconsin court has released an enormous number of emails — 27,000 pages — from a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker.

    Kelly Rindfleisch was convicted last year of using her government job to do illegal campaign work. At the time, Walker was the Milwaukee County executive.

    The emails paint a picture of constant coordination between Walker's county office and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign. They were made public in the middle of Walker's gubernatorial re-election campaign, and at a time when the governor is considered a presidential hopeful for 2016.

    Rindfleisch was deputy chief of staff in Milwaukee County and sat at a desk down the hall from Walker. In email after email from 2010, Rindfleisch was raising money for the Walker campaign's favored lieutenant governor candidate, Brett Davis. In between, she'd do background research for Walker's campaign, taking direction from his campaign manager.

    Rindfleisch is appealing her conviction. She was sentenced to six months in prison and three years' probation.

    Walker was not charged with any wrongdoing. The investigation closed last year, and in the end, six of his former aides and associates were convicted.

    For a couple of years now, Wisconsin Democrats have hammered Walker because of Rindfleisch. With Walker's star rising in the Republican Party, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz jumped into the fray Wednesday.

    "As scandals continue to unfold in front of him, they beg more questions than I'm sure the governor would like to answer," Wasserman Schultz says.

    In one of the emails, another top Walker aide welcomes Rindfleisch to the "inner circle," telling Rindfleisch she often uses her own personal email account to contact Walker.

    After another county worker in Walker's office was found to be using her government job to post on political websites, Walker himself expressed concern, emailing that "we cannot afford another story like this one," telling top county aides "that means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the work day, etc."

    In a conference call with reporters, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said the emails put Walker in the company of another GOP governor who is getting lots of attention lately.

    "Much like Chris Christie, Scott Walker likes to stand in the middle of people committing criminal activity all around him and saying 'I had no idea what was going on. All these people were breaking the law, but I was unaware of it, I wasn't directing it.' It's sort of like see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. It's just a little hard to believe that Scott Walker was totally unaware that his senior staff was breaking the law on a regular basis," Tate says.

    Larry Sabato with the University of Virginia's Center for Politics says that as Walker emerges as a possible establishment Republican candidate for president, these emails will undoubtedly lead to more scrutiny.

    "If you're asking me, 'Will there be a lot more coverage of this?' the answer is absolutely yes, particularly if Walker does run for president," he says.

    But Sabato doesn't buy the Christie-Walker connection.

    "This is no Bridgegate. It's not even vaguely equivalent," he says.

    Marquette University Pollster Charles Franklin says people already knew about the Reindfleisch investigation during Walker's recall election. He says prosecutors knew about these emails, too.

    "The issue raised a lot of questions but ultimately was resolved with staff members, not including charges against the governor," Franklin says.

    That's not to say this is a settled issue. Prosecutors in five Wisconsin counties have launched a second John Doe investigation involving work done by several conservative groups during the recall campaign. Whether this involves Walker personally is not known, though his campaign continues to spend money on lawyers and he won't discuss the probe.

    "As I've said before, we're not getting into details about this process until it's completed," Walker told the media.

    Meanwhile, Walker's backers kicked his 2014 campaign into high gear ahead of the release of the emails. The Republican Governors Association this week began running a TV ad attacking his Democratic opponent Mary Burke, who so far has kept silent on the emails — letting other Democrats take the first swings.

    The governor also kept a low-key public schedule Wednesday. The man who likes to brand himself as a forward-looking politician is incessantly being asked about his past.

    ©2014 NPR

    The Top Five Things You Need to Know about the John Doe Emails

  15. #75
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    GOP ...=..

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