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During the past few days I’ve reported here on Congressman Gary Miller’s misrepresentations about his military service. As I had noted in the original story, Miller has also been involved in a number of ethics matters.
In 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that four former Miller staffers complained that he “brought his congressional muscle to bear on personal business matters.” One of the staffers (all whom were granted anonymity) said, “There was never a clear line in the office between what was congressional business and what was just business. The expectation was that you would do both.”
There was also this:
Miller has, on several occasions, interrupted his staff’s congressional work to send them hunting for concert tickets. A die-hard Rolling Stones fan, Miller learned in May 2002 that the band was coming to Edison Field in Anaheim that October. “Per his instructions, we are checking with city officials, Edison contacts, etc., to see what we can come up with,” an e-mail written by an aide to Miller’s chief of staff states.
A few days later, the staff was told by Miller’s chief of staff to look for tickets to a Staples Center concert as well, according to e-mails. By May 29, a Miller staffer had prepared a memo outlining four options for getting tickets. The most promising was for the Edison Field show. “I spoke to Greg Smith, who handles tickets,” the aide wrote to Miller. “He said for you not to worry, they would try and take care of you.”
Miller even did a little legwork himself. Using congressional letterhead, he sent a fax to the head of Ticketmaster’s public affairs office. The message was short: “I am requesting four (4) very good seats for the Rolling Stones concert on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2002 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Please contact me as soon as possible.”
It has also been reported that through 2007 Miller had paid his own development company more than $100,000 for rent on his California congressional office. I found some other interesting spending by Miller’s campaign, including almost $22,000 in 2009 for rent payable to Miller’s company. In January of that year his campaign spent $3,700 for limousine services and over the course of 2009 it spent about $5,000 on “gifts” from the Tiny Jewel Box, Macy’s and Crate and Barrel. And in 2008, the campaign paid Miller’s son, Brian, about $6,500 for distributing and taking down signs.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature