Friday, April 25, 2008
No comment from Regency yet.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
There's just not a lot to write about. We think the jury is getting lunch again at the Starting Line bar down the street again. We ate there Tuesday. They ran out of chicken and iced tea. Good thing I didn't want either of them. I did order chicken wings. Apparently, wings were in ample supply. No luck if you are more of a breast guy.
We had good Italian yesterday for lunch. I had the all-you-can-eat spaghetti. Although, much to the disappointment of my table mates, I only had one plate. Not sure what today brings. We like to wait until the jury orders, so we know it's safe to leave the building.
Yes. There's not much happening yet. But when it does, we want our bellies full.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Meantime, how 'bout that Presidential race? It ain't over just yet. Hillary Clinton had to win Pennsylvania. No doubt about it. Some of the pundits figured she really needed a double digit win to win over undecided superdelegates or at least convince them not to go for Barack Obama yet. Obama has to be disappointed. Sure, his people will say he closed a 25 point deficit or so. But it does seem like early on, the campaign downplayed how hard it would play in Penn. Based on the money and time he spent there though, it's hard to say the campaign didn't try to win. It just didn't happen. Question is now (at least one of the questions is) can Clinton raise enough cash just to keep going? Will she dig into the Clinton bank account again and lend herself some dough? Can't her hubby just go give another high dollar speech someplace? If you have relatives in North Carolina and Indiana (who both hold their primaries May 6th), you can bet they'll be getting some extra attention in the next few weeks.
Here's what the two candidates are sending out to supporters...
Thanks to you, we won a critically important victory tonight in Pennsylvania. It's a giant step forward that will transform the landscape of the presidential race. And it couldn't have happened without you. There will be much more to do beginning tomorrow. But tonight, let's just celebrate the fact that you and I are part of a remarkable community of people tough enough, passionate enough, and determined enough to win big when everything is on the line.
Thanks so much for all you do.
Sincerely, Hillary Rodham Clinton
Votes are still being counted in Pennsylvania, but one thing is already clear. In a state where we trailed by more than 25 points just a couple weeks ago, you helped close the gap to a slimmer margin than most thought possible. Thanks to your support, with just 9 contests remaining, we've won more delegates, more votes, and twice as many contests. We hold a commanding position, but there are two crucial contests coming up -- voters will head to the polls in North Carolina and Indiana in exactly two weeks. And we're already building our organization in the other remaining states.
But it's clear the attacks are going to continue, and we're going to continue fighting a two-front battle against John McCain and Hillary Clinton.
I need your support right now. Please make a donation of $25:
Thank you for all that you're doing to change our country.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
If it weren't for the company of fellow reporters, the federal marshals, that mocha espresso, and, of course, the sheer bitterness of looking out through the window at this postcard-perfect sunny day, there wouldn't be much to keep us awake.
Unlike when I was here last time, there are no people in the "waiting room" outside the courtroom. No one's waiting to testify. No supportive family members help pass the time. It's empty. Of course, at this point, there's no reason to be here.
The jurors have been going at it since 8:30 this morning. The only activity so far is a request from them to again look at a c.d. that had audio recordings of an old CIETC board meeting. It's after 4pm now. You wonder if they'll quit for the night soon and try again tomorrow.
No sign of any of the defendants or their attorneys. They are all just a phone call away though when the jury reaches a decision. Whenever that is.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
By the way, what do you think of legalizing marijuana? It's not exactly a hot topic at the Iowa Statehouse, but just wondering what you think of the idea.
More importantly, we want to send our best wishes to Ed Bangs. Ed manages Plaza Lanes. He had a heart attack at work Thursday night. He is set to undergo a double bypass today in Des Moines. Ed is a guy who's always willing to give you a tip (for free) and patient enough to wait around until you get it right. He's also a former New York city cop who doesn't put up with any crap in his bowling alley. Good luck, Ed. We can't wait to see you back at work soon.
Friday, April 11, 2008
It seems like it's rained the entire time during my two plus days here in Davenport.
And look at the toll it took on my notebook. The wind picked it up...and dropped it...right in the middle of a puddle.
Time to clear out. Loretta Lynn's about to play across the street. Who knew she still performed? I thought I passed Lyle Lovett in the bathroom. I'm not kidding.
Running has been standing and looking out the window here at the federal courthouse in Davenport. Occasionally, he looks down at some notes laid out on the window sill in front of him. I wonder what's going through his head as he waits to say what he knows about this salary scandal? After all, his former IWD Deputy Director Jane Barto is one of the three fighting to stay out of the state pen right now. I wonder if they've seen each other or talked since they both got fired.
Yesterday, I mentioned we had some awesome, rosemary potatoes at the Urban Grill for our breakfast (we went back there today and I ordered the exact same thing). A smarty-pants person over at the Statehouse sent me her recipe:
Red potatoes, cut them in halves or quarters and put on a greased baking sheet.
lots of olive oil over top
sprinkle w/ kosher salt and rosemary flakes
350 degrees 30 mins? (i usually just eyeball it)
could add garlic too, if that's your thing.
For the record, I already have a similar recipe. But the ones we had here are better:)
I forgot to mention this from yesterday...Sam Fucolara, "Ramona's b*$%!" as we've now heard that he was called by co-workers, worked on Dan Albritton's garden while he was supposed to be working for CIETC. He said Cunningham asked him to do it. She was there, too. He didn't say she helped...with the garden.
O.K., maybe I'm just a loopy after my Mountain Dew at lunch, which followed by a.m. mocha latte, but do you find this scenario a little funny?-The U.S. Asst. Attorney asks each Polk County Supervisor on the witness stand: "Are you familiar with CIETC?" They respond, "Yes." Hell, my Mom and Dad know what CIETC is. And they live in Illinois!
BTW, the Sups gave $750 grand over 3 years (from 2003-2005) to CIETC. They each testified they thought the money went for job training. They say they knew nothing that the money would go for bonuses.
I just passed the Gang of 4 in the hallway. They're "on deck". Polk CO Supervisors EJ Giovannetti, Bob Brownell, Angela Connolly, and Tom Hockensmith. The other Sup isn't on the witness list, John Maura. You'd have to figure that's a guy Republicans would love to have seen get wrapped up in this whole mess.
Former Sup, Nathan Brooks is also waiting his turn to talk. He also used to work at CIETC.
Yesterday, another former CIETC'er, Sam Fucalaro, started the f-bomb train. Apparently, other workers at CIETC used to refer to him as "Ramona's b*!$&". He said he did very little work at CIETC. Sometimes he would go drinking with Ramona Cunningham. Sometimes he would also go with Jane Barto, the former number two at Iowa Workforce Development. One time he said he went to Las Vegas with Cunningham to represent CIETC at a convention. But he said he couldn't tell anything about the convention, because they had no plans to go. The purpose he said was for him to be the distraction. Cunningham didn't want people to know she took the trip so she could have a little private time with her man, and former CIETC board member, Dan Albritton. They were in love, Fucalaro testified. Back to the f-bombs.
Fucalaro said one time Albritton and Cunningham "faked" a big argument at CIETC, just so people wouldn't think they were together. He said they even called him the night before, so he wouldn't "loose his cool" when he saw them fighting. He has quite a temper, he admitted.
Albritton cussed him out and threatened him, Fucalaro said (that's where all the f-bombs come into play here) if he exposed the goings on.
O.K., back to today. David Stanley testified he also saw this "fight" between Cunnnigham and Albritton. Not nearly as juicy as the way Fucalaro described it. But Stanley did say he heard Albritton yelling at Cunningham as he left, "You, f-ing b*$#!". Stanley did ask the judge beforehand if could swear like that.
Mary Zimmerman, another former CIETC'er, said Ramona Cunningham told her to find some work for a woman named Diane Smith. Smith at the time worked part-time for Albritton. Zimmerman testified that Cunningham told her Albritton asked if CIETC could hire Smith because he didn't have full-time work for her.
The sun just came out. It's about time. I got drenched last night trying to tape a piece for tv for 10pm. My clothes still don't feel dry.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Brooks just said Ramona Cunningham wanted him to forge a signature one time, his brother's. She told him, he testified, that he should practice it first. He said Cunningham said it was a "routine document" and that Archie was busy in a meeting. Brooks said he refused to do it.
Brooks just finished up and left the courtroom.
Dave Reed, the current Boone Co. Supervisor and former CIETC board member just took the stand. He's having problems with the rain, too. He has at least twice asked to have the question repeated to him, one time specifically saying he was having problems with the sound of the rain "going on".
More problems with the sound of the rain. Is this now the sixth time or so this a.m.?
Reed said he didn't know back during the CIETC days, even though he was vice-chair of the board, who got bonuses or how much execs received. He did say he didn't think Karen Tesdell's salary was "excessive".
This rain overhead is really annoying. It's having the same effect as a faucet running, if you know what I mean. Or maybe it was that espresso I gulped down before I came in here. Although it was worth it. Great breakfast this a.m, btw. We found a cool little place called the Urban Grind just a few blocks away. I had an omelet with grated cheese and mushrooms. But the best part of the meal were the potatoes. Rosemary apparently is the secret ingredient. I checked with the owner, Bill, just to make sure. I need to figure out how to make them. I wish I would have had more than seven minutes to eat them all though.
Back to the testimony... The attorney for Jane Barto (the former head of Iowa Workforce Development) repeatedly made the point with Brooks that he didn't "conspire" with Barto, only that he did with Ramona Cunningham (CIETC's former CEO and Brooks' former lover, according to his testimony).
Man, the rain is really coming down outside. It's pretty loud. The judge just asked an attorney to repeat his comment.
Brooks just let out a big sign on the stand. It's time for a break again.
Archie Brooks has been on the stand this morning. So far, he has been saying he approved those huge bonuses for CIETC execs under the guidance of then-CEO Ramona Cunningham.
The judge just let everyone take a break for a few minutes. Brooks walked around the hallway. He then tried to sit down next to a man seated at the end of the row next to me. The man told Brooks to get away. I don't know who the man is. Now, Brooks paced around in the courtroom, stopping to look up at the roof as the sound of the rain continued.
We're back in action. Brooks is denying that he is the one who signed a handful of CIETC documents. I seem to remember him telling me when the story "was breaking" that he did sign documents. I questioned why the signatures looked so different in appearance. Brooks said he had had a stroke. Apparently, his memory has changed now that he is on the stand.
He testified that he did sign SOME documents giving the raise. He said on two occasions he signed two of them after he had "sexual contact" with Ramona Cunningham. He didn't elaborate. Neither did the attorney.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Sunday, April 06, 2008
If you're up late tonight, tip back a cold one. At a minute past midnight 75 years ago, prohibition ended and beer drinkers could celebrate once again.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
My Lucky 7
7 days I worked a week in the weeks/months before the Iowa Caucuses. No regrets.
6 th day of October will always now be extra special.
5 places I've lived since I moved here (Including the week I stayed at the Heartland Inn)
4 B-Rollers on our bowling team at Plaza Lanes. Two weeks til the championship.
3 Mizzou friends who convinced me to join them at WHO. Thanks.
2 Dam to Dams I've run. Number three is eight weeks away.
1 amazing wife. I went to Mizzou the same time Emily did. It took moving to Des Moines for me to meet her. Sunday is our 6 month anniversary. So glad I came here.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
“Tom Harkin’s remarks are shameful. Sen. McCain has honorably served his country, and deserves admiration and respect. Perhaps Sen. Harkin should focus on his own party’s presidential race, where there is plenty of mud to go around. Unfortunately, Tom Harkin’s liberal record mirrors that of his would-be nominee, and he goes to excruciating lengths to distance himself from it every 6 years, when his own name is on the ballot.
“The only thing that is ‘scary’ to Tom Harkin is Sen. McCain’s strength as the Republican nominee.”
Jack's story is now featured on Lance Armstrong Foundation Livestrong web site.
"Get to Know Jack's" YouTube video