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Alcee Hastings' Illegal Firing of Helsinki Commission Counsel

Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against Democratic Representative Alcee Hastings for his illegal firing of Helsinki Commission personnel. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appointed Alcee Hastings as Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the "Helsinki Commission"), an independent federal agency established for the purpose of monitoring and encouraging compliance with the "Final Act of the Conference on Security Cooperation in Europe," an international accord signed by participating nations in 1975 in Helsinki, Finland. There are laws governing how personnel on this commission are hired and fired. Specifically "[a]ll decisions pertaining to the hiring, firing, and fixing of pay of Commission staff personnel shall be by a majority vote of the personnel and administration committee..."

Hastings has ignored this law and fired Commission counsel Mark Milosch without a majority vote of the personnel and administration committee; hence Judicial Watch's lawsuit. Senator Sam Brownback and Congressman Christopher Smith, Helsinki Commission members, both argued vehemently against Milosch's firing but to no avail. This is what Judicial Watch said about Milosch's firing in a press release:

"Hastings is trying to eliminate conservative pro-lifers from the Commission staff and is running roughshod over the law in attempting to do so," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Given Congressman Hastings' history of corruption, it is not surprising that he would flout the law and treat the Helsinki Commission as his political plaything. We hope the courts hold him to account and protect our client's rights under the law."


Judicial Watch contends that, according to the law, Congressman Hastings lacks the unilateral authority to fire Mr. Milosch. Judicial Watch asks the court for injunctive and declaratory relief to prevent Mr. Milosch's termination.

Read Judicial Watch's request for a restraining order to stop Mr. Milosch's termination here.


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Comments (45)

Congressman Hastings, anoth... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Congressman Hastings, another example of "the most ethical congress ever".

I wonder if anyone bribed h... (Below threshold)
metprof:

I wonder if anyone bribed him to do it?

The Democrats keep talking ... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

The Democrats keep talking about the Culture of Corruption... Must be a camapaign promise.

Yeah, cleaning up the corru... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Yeah, cleaning up the corruption in Washington has been a goldmine for the Democrats. Is there a clean member of the party?
-=Mike

Yes, you moderates who coul... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Yes, you moderates who couldn't tolerate the relatively minor "scandals" [remember Foley?], now have your hands full with this new lot. An impeached federal judge now runs european policy. Fine. This is the best we can do, obviously.

And Ms Feinstein's ethics are the best we can do as well; but I thought only Republicans were rich fatcats trolling at the public trough???

We have'nt had this much co... (Below threshold)
914:

We have'nt had this much corruption on the left since the Clantons stripped the white house and left town!

Boy this will really resona... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Boy this will really resonate with Americans. Not like:
-Walter Reed
-US Attorneys
-FBI Wire Tapping
-Plame Gate (see that Waxmann just 'invited' Condi to testify?)
-Bush's anticipated defunding of the troops

It would resonate a heckuva... (Below threshold)
914:

It would resonate a heckuva lot more Barney if the media payed a single iota the attention to leftist scandals as they do alledged right wing ones!

Yes 914, the American peopl... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Yes 914, the American people really care about a committee that nobody even knew existed. That is far more important than politicizing the Justice department or screwing those that have served.

I demand a Dateline exclusive!!!!!!!

Walter Reed- Happened under... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Walter Reed- Happened under the democratic leadership watch.
US Attorneys- NO law broken.
Plame Gate- See above.
GW's defunding the troops-Not in my lifetime.

That is all the dimmers got. Alcee, Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, Jefferson, on and on. The most corrupt party ever, and we are only three month's in. Wow. Makes a dimmer proud. ww

Good for <a href="http://bl... (Below threshold)

Good for Sam Brownback. And kudos to Judicial Watch. Jeers to Alcee Hastings. Wasn't he impeached?

The Democrat party: certainly a Caucus of Corruption.

"The Democrats keep talking... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"The Democrats keep talking about the Culture of Corruption... Must be a camapaign promise."

You nailed that one.

You really dug deep on this... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You really dug deep on this one didn't you?

Judge tosses suit against Hastings

Must be one of them activist judges.

Good one Mantis!An... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Good one Mantis!

And WildWillyWeenier, Brush said he would veto the funding of the troops. I guess he was for the war before he was against it.

Why does Brush hate the troops, and love the terrorists?

No Barney, he'll be vetoing... (Below threshold)
metprof:

No Barney, he'll be vetoing spinich $ bribes because her highness couldn't get her trolls to come along any other way.

mantis,Thanks for ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

mantis,

Thanks for pointing out another example of a 100% misleading headline in a left-wing propaganda rag.

The judge rejected the temporary injunction he did not "toss the suit" as the misleading headline implied.

Well, I did have a very little bit of respect for you mantis, but with that post you have now joined the ranks of Lee and Barney (and Rosie, and Sean, and Charley for that matter).

The judge rejected the t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The judge rejected the temporary injunction he did not "toss the suit" as the misleading headline implied.

A budding legal scholar I see. What do you think the effect of rejecting the injunction and restraining order has in this case?

In any case my point was that Kim has not looked into this at all, she just forwarded on the press release from Judicial Watch without bothering to even google it, where she would have found that the judge had already rejected the injunction.

Well, I did have a very little bit of respect for you mantis, but with that post you have now joined the ranks of Lee and Barney

I'm real broken up about the "very little bit of respect" from you I've now lost.

metprof, spinach "$" is a r... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

metprof, spinach "$" is a reason to abandon our finest in the field when they need the funding to get the job done?

What is wrong with the President and the Republicans that they want to cut-off funding?

It was bad enough that Rep. Boner had to insult our heroes yesterday on their day of honor by showing up drunk (Ta-Squeegee Airman), but to leave our boys and girls high and dry?

"A defense company that got... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"A defense company that got a federal contract with help from then-Republican Rep. Jim Gibbons, now governor of Nevada, hired Gibbons' wife to do consulting work... Dawn Gibbons was paid about $35,000 by Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev., in 2004, the same year her husband, who sat on the Armed Services and Intelligence committees, pushed for the company to get a $4 million contract to make a helicopter radar system."

But, but Al fired some one that nobody ever heard about from some position nobody ever new existed-CAUCUS of CORRUPTION DAMN YOU!!!

Blarney, drinking early aga... (Below threshold)

Blarney, drinking early again? It's not "Boner." It's Bohner. You must be listening to Ranty Rhodes. Because you're so smart and all.

Boehner. Arrgh!... (Below threshold)

Boehner. Arrgh!

What amazes about BarneyMor... (Below threshold)
Michael:

What amazes about BarneyMoron is that he does not address the
fact that what Hasting's was wrong and illegal but only that it
is minor and does not rise to the level of what he thinks are Bush acts. BM do you have any concept of right and wrong? Or does only
those who disagree with you do wrong?

Goog link Kim, but not for... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Goog link Kim, but not for the reasons you cited. Click on the Chertoff link below it for the latest New World Order hanky panky JW is monitoring:


(excerpt)"Unlike previous records produced by other federal agencies, the DHS records are heavily redacted to withhold the names of the US, Mexican and Canadian government officials carrying out the partnership's agenda across all three countries."


I hope US sovereignty is more important to the contributors than W's reputation.

"act that what Hasting's wa... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"act that what Hasting's was wrong and illegal but only that it.." michael

Please read the comments/link from mantis, and come back and correct your statement.

We'll wait!

Why would I pay any attenti... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Why would I pay any attention to what Mantis, another troll has to say? What Hastings did was an abuse of power...if you cannot see that then you yourself are hopelessly corrupt.

Michael, the dimmers never ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Michael, the dimmers never stay on topic. They cannot defend the post so they try to distract, call names and act like spoiled little children who don't get their way. I find it productive to ignore them. Don't take the bait. They are a hateful lot. ww

You really dug deep on this... (Below threshold)
Actual:

You really dug deep on this one didn't you?
Judge tosses suit against Hastings
Must be one of them activist judges.
Posted by: mantis at March 30, 2007 02:49 PM

"and now for the rest of the story":

Hastings filed suit in federal court claiming that his impeachment trial was invalid because he was tried by a Senate committee, not in front of the full Senate, and that he had been acquitted in a criminal trial. Judge Stanley Sporkin ruled in favor of Hastings, remanding the case back to the Senate, but stayed his ruling pending the outcome of an appeal to the Supreme Court in a similar case regarding Judge Walter Nixon, who had also been impeached and removed.[3]

Sporkin found some "crucial distinctions"[4] between Nixon's case and Hastings', specifically, that Nixon had been convicted criminally, and that Hastings was not found guilty by two-thirds of the committee who actually "tried" his impeachment in the Senate. He further added that Hastings had a right to trial by the full Senate.

The Supreme Court, however, ruled in Nixon v. United States that the federal courts have no jurisdiction over Senate impeachment matters, so Sporkin's ruling was vacated and Hastings' conviction and removal were upheld.

A lot of disturbing questio... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

A lot of disturbing questions have been raised over this firing by Hastings.

Waxman and Schumer should have Congressional hearings to find the truth. Nobody could object to that.

I appreciate concerns about... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

I appreciate concerns about abuse of power..
Just wondering...where were Congressional Committees concerning abuse ...during the five years Republicans held clout in the House and Senate?
Were there no abuses of power during this time?
Why didn't the Republican House take down that sleazy $90,000 in the freezer Dem from LA?
Why did the Republicans reward Foley when they knew better?
If you all were sincere about corruption..you would not limit it to Dems...but of course..
you are not sincere...
If you are...name 3 Republicans..not in jail or convicted..that have abused? ...
Didn't think so...


What Hastings did was an... (Below threshold)
Brian:

What Hastings did was an abuse of power...if you cannot see that then you yourself are hopelessly corrupt.

Wait, what's that? Is that the Right saying that an abuse of power should not be allowed to stand, even if it's legal? OK, then!

Dear Barney:If you... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Dear Barney:

If you libs are so concerned about "funding for the troops" why not just "fund the troops. NO trying to play commander and chief, NO bribing fellow congressmen for votes.

Twisting logic and making this into "Bush won't fund the troops" is typical liberal chicanery. Nice try numbnuts.

If you libs are so conce... (Below threshold)
Brian:

If you libs are so concerned about "funding for the troops" why not just "fund the troops.

By nearly two to one (59 percent to 33 percent in a recent Pew Research Center poll), Americans say they want their representative to vote for a bill setting a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

...

Republican opinion on Iraq is almost exactly the reverse of the country as a whole

...

the prevailing public view is that Democratic congressional leaders are about right (40 percent) or have not gone far enough (30 percent) in challenging President Bush on Iraq. Fewer than a quarter (23 percent) believe Democrats have gone too far.

That's why.

Here is the other side of a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Here is the other side of abuse of power: fire the honest leaning and professional Republican attorneys, the ones who were rated high on the competent and performance scale and hire, with assistance from the Patriot Act, more of the young incompetent Republican Bushies, not known for their intellect, but loyal to their president. Here is the result.Perhaps Bush has just found his new ATTORNEY GENERAL?

Quality sites your trolling... (Below threshold)

Quality sites your trolling there Crick.

Wavemaker, yes it seems d... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Wavemaker, yes it seems dissappointing to link to Buzzflash but it seems to be a slow news day..I think the editors on Wizbangblog don't know how to react to Purgegate, other than to flap at the closest thing that ressembles it, on the Dem side; this caper with Alcee Hastings about a commission that no one knew still existed. They're missing a great story on the Hill-'purgegate' and the cover-up in my mind, is hilarious.

It's only corrupt if the me... (Below threshold)
Jo:

It's only corrupt if the media says it's corrupt. And since the MSM rarely points out their corruptions, people like Barney think they're the party of integrity. Wrong.

Anyway, isn't Feinstein in a new scandal? From Pelosi's own state!

What happened to cleaning out DC? Another empty promise.

Whiners: if Bush committed... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Whiners: if Bush committed all these "scandals" why isn't he in the dock for impreachment?

That's because, these aren't scandals, but a big wet-dream of the barely literate left who propagate this blog in the wee hours.

It must be painful to wake up and find that sometimes a banana is just a banana, Anna. It was only a dream.

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence wouldn't post the crap mantis, barneygoogs, and crick post, but I guess that takes some self-awareness these lovely people don't have, huh?

Brian, If the Ame... (Below threshold)

Brian,

If the American public agrees with the Democratic congress, and the dems believe that they have been given a mandate, then why doesn't the Congress just vote to stop funding the war? That is the constitutional authority of the legislative branch? I think we can all agree that having more than one C-n-C is probably a bad idea, so lets just cut the funding for everything BUT redeployment of our troops. No overstepping their constitutional bounds. They won't do it. Because they don't want the ensuing chaos and death and surrender on their hands. Cowards.

If the American public a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

If the American public agrees with the Democratic congress, and the dems believe that they have been given a mandate, then why doesn't the Congress just vote to stop funding the war?

Because that's not what the mainstream wants. Read the report again. "Americans say they want their representative to vote for a bill setting a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."

That's what the people want, and that's what the Dems have done.

lets just cut the funding for everything BUT redeployment of our troops.... They won't do it.

Well, duh, of course not. That's not what anyone wants. You can go on pretending the Dems want immediate withdrawal so you can bash them for it, but that's just your strawman. It's not reality.

Quality sites your troll... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Quality sites your trolling there Crick.

Yeah, he should be citing Rosie O'Donnell instead.

Brian, First, this... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Brian,

First, this is a representative republic, not a democracy. The founding fathers specifically avoided "majority rule" (majority opinion today is determined by the polls, of course) for the daily operations of the govt. What the polls say (unless your Bill Clinton) doesn't necessarily reflect what's best for the country.

Second, the constitution specifically states that congress' only "war making" authority is in declaring war. They are not in the military chain of command and aren't constitutionally responsible for leading the nations defense. That only resides in the presidents office.

First, this is a represe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

First, this is a representative republic, not a democracy.

No shit. That's why these things are not subject to a popular vote. But what a representative public means is that the people elect those who represent their interests. And their interests now are in bringing our troops home.

Second, the constitution specifically states that congress' only "war making" authority is in declaring war.

I'm perfectly happy to allow that debate to happen, up to and including having the Supreme Court rule on it. But Bush has worked so hard to prevent any constitutional challenges from reaching the courts, it would be quite hypocritical to allow that one.

Brian, there is no "debate"... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Brian, there is no "debate" about congress' war-making powers. I know you libs would love for that to change but not in the near future I'm afraid.

Yeah, and your right on that constutional challenge thing, god forbid he should maintain seperation of powers.


Brian, as a practicing lawy... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Brian, as a practicing lawyer, I can tell you that, as usual, you don't know WTF you are talking about.

Bush can't "prevent" the federal courts from considering a case; this is yet again a demonstration of your paranoia, based on not one scintilla of fact or law.

Read the Constitution for a change. Your people love to tell us what it says, without knowing what it says. How ironic.

Are the dimmers stupid or w... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Are the dimmers stupid or what? How about a poll showing that a huge majority of americans do not want to pay income tax. How about a poll to show that most americans do not want to go to work on Mondays. Dimmers live by polls because they have no core conviction. Just emotions. NO leadership there. Fortunately we live in a very strong REPUBLIC form of government. History 101 for the dimmers. Let me know if you need me to type slower for you. ww




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