Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Vice President: Above the law, as usual.

CLICK TO READ: Vice President's Office Keeps Travel Expenses Under Wraps - Washington Post

"In a report this month, the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity said Cheney and his staff have sidestepped regulations that require annual reporting of travel expenses of more than $250 received from outside groups. The center, which focuses on ethics and public service issues, said previous vice presidents routinely disclosed such payments for lodging, travel and food when the veep and his staff made appearances at colleges, think tanks and trade associations."

But not THIS Vice President, no sirreee. "David S. Addington, then Cheney's general counsel, noted that the reporting requirement applies to the 'head of each agency of the executive branch.'

'The Office of the Vice President is not an 'agency of the executive branch,' and hence the reporting requirement does not apply,' wrote Addington, who this month replaced I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby as Cheney's chief of staff."

Addington claimed "that 'none of the Vice President's employees . . . accepted payments under Section 1353.'

Yet, according to the center's research, Cheney has given 23 speeches to think tanks and trade organizations and 16 at academic institutions since 2001 -- apparently all at taxpayers' expense...."

PHOTO: CHENEY (Win Mcnamee - Getty Images)

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