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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Government & Elections View other events for the week of 4/ 5/2012
|Protest Against War Monger And The 1%er Pelosi|
|Date||Thursday April 05|
|Time||5:30 PM - 7:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
San Francisco Hilton
|Organizer/Author||Coalition Against War Mongers and the 1%|
4/5 Picket Pro-War Pelosi At SFLC COPE Dinner At SF Hilton "Coalition Against War Mongers and the 1%."
Nancy Pelosi who covered up water torture, supports jailing Americans and attacking democratic rights (National Defense Authorization Act), supports union busting anti-labor free trade agreements from NAFTA, Colombia, KORUS and TPP agreement will in San Francisco for a special dinner. She will be the guest of honor by the San Francisco Labor Council whose chair Tim Paulson is chair of the Labor Caucus of the Democratic Party of California. Join the protest at 5:30 PM to let the Pelosi know that working people and the anti-war movement don't support war criminals and union busters. She pushed for privatization of federal jobs, privatization of the Presidio and also supported a pay cut for Federal workers. Pelosi is also worth over $300 million which makes her part of the 1% and she made sure that AIG which she owned stock in was bailed out by US tax payers while workers get thrown out of their homes.
Coalition Against War Mongers and the 1%, San Francisco Peace and Freedom Party, United Public Workers For Action UPWA, Code Pink,
San Francisco Labor Council
San Francisco Labor Council to Honor Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi at Annual Committee on Political Education Banquet
In acknowledgement of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's 25 years of fighting for working men and women the San Francisco Labor Council will be honoring the Democratic Leader at it's annual Committee on Political Education fundraising banquet. As we move into the 2012 election campaign - where we have the opportunity to make her the Speaker again! - it is only fitting that the labor council pays tribute to our very own leader and champion.
When: Thursday, April 5
Where: San Francisco Hilton
Time: 6:00 PM No Host Cocktails
7:00 PM Dinner
Pelosi reaffirms support for Israel, need to stop Iran
MARCH 5, 2012 LEAVE A COMMENT
By Lauren Appelbaum and Ashley Gold
Nancy Pelosi Addressing AIPAC Conference
Washington, March 5 – Continuing a pattern at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said a nuclear-armed Iran is not only a threat to Israel but also to America and the world.
“It is time for Iran to abandon its reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
Pelosi praised the Obama administration for pushing sanctions through the United Nations, saying the administration has made it clear that it stands with Israel.
Her address to the more than 13,000 AIPAC attendees following Sen. Mitch McConnell. “Our presence tonight confirms our support for Israel is bipartisan.”
“We must continue to fight for the day that Israel’s existence is a fact recognized by every nation on the earth,” she added.
Pelosi commended President Obama for announcing that later this spring, he will invite Israel’s President Shimon Peres to the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“The world is better off for the leadership of President Peres.”
What kind of representative is Nancy Pelosi?
Commentary from Pelosi Watch.US
July 7, 2008
What kind of representative is Nancy Pelosi?
While it's true that she voted against authorizing the president to go to war in October 2002, she has voted for every single war appropiation bill, save one, even though in 2004 her San Francisco constituents voted overwhelmingly for a policy statement (Proposition N) in favor of the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. As Speaker of the House she could have taken a stand that reflected the sentiments of her constituency and prevented war appropriation bills from coming to a vote. That is what she has done with the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. By allowing war appropriation bills to come before the House for a vote -- and then voting for them -- she has rendered her initial anti-war vote meaningless.
She voted FOR the first USA Patriot Act -- and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later passed an ordinance forbidding city employees (such as librarians) from cooperating with federal law enforcement personnel carrying out the mandates of the Patriot Act.
It turns out she was one of eight representatives and senators who knew about the wireless surveillance being carried out by the telecommunications industry on behalf of the Bush administration in 2004. She has since then "rammed through" the House of Representatives the FISA amendments bill that gives the telecommunications industry (and by extension herself?) immunity from civil suits for violations of the Fourth Amendment.
Meantime, she has done NOTHING to help create a health care system that is adequate, available and affordable to all Americans. Nor has she been a serious leader on the true challenge of this and all future generations: preparing for a way of life in which access to energy and the luxuries that come with energy are vastly scaled back.
It's time for Nancy Pelosi to go.
The following post originally came from the Draft Matt (Gonzalez) website which is currently dormant:
San Francisco's one current representative in Congress is Nancy Pelosi. Some view her positively, and she can talk the talk when in the right company. But she doesn't walk the walk on the biggest issues. In many ways, she's simply out of step with San Francisco.
Consider the Iraq War and the Patriot Act as issues on which the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and her constituents are on the record. On both issues, she's voted against the stated views of the people she represents. We live in a democracy, and she should expect to be held accountable for such votes.
War On Iraq
March 20, 2003 - The day after the war on Iraq was launched, as thousands upon thousands of her constituents were marching in the streets of San Francisco protesting the unilateral invasion, Pelosi was in Congress condemning the demonstrators. She voted that very day for a resolution declaring "unequivocal support and appreciation to the president...for his firm leadership and decisive action." And she used her leadership position in Congress to urge others to sign on to the resolution.
November 2, 2004 - In a referendum put to Pelosi's constituents, 63% voted in favor of the statement, "The federal government should take immediate steps to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and bring our troops safely home now." This number, 63%, is surely low, as the entire city of San Francisco voted on it, while Pelosi only represents the city's more progressive eastern half. Likely 75% or more of Pelosi's constituents voted to affirm this anti-war statement.
January 12, 2005 - Two months after the November referendum, Bay Area Congressional Representatives Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee, Pete Stark, and Sam Farr joined Democratic colleagues from across the country in signing a letter to President Bush calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Pelosi refused to sign on.
November 17, 2005 - Last fall, when Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) made his brave, groundbreaking call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, Pelosi stood up and said, "Representative Murtha speaks for himself." And just one day later, on Nov. 18, 2006, she voted against immediate withdrawal from Iraq. She used her leadership position as House Democratic Leader to encourage others to oppose Murtha. Doing so helped to kill the momentum building at that time to force a timetable for troop withdrawals.
November 30, 2005 - Two weeks later (interestingly, just after local San Francisco Green Medea Benjamin spoke about possibly running against Pelosi), Pelosi reversed course and said she supported Murtha's call for immediate withdrawal. Still she took no action and refused to use her leadership position to call for a 'party caucus position,' which would have put the majority of the Democratic Party on record against the war and shifted the national debate about the war. Indeed, at a point when two thirds of Americans had begun to acknowledge that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and when a majority were first saying that the time had come to start rectifying that mistake by bringing troops home, Pelosi's actions stalled the national debate and weakened the Democratic Party's stance.
Pelosi has voted again and again to approve ever-increasing military spending. Every year, she's a reliable ally of the military when they invariably request more. Of specific note, in 2002, she voted for a bill that allocated billions of new money for the development of new low-yield 'usable' nuclear weapons. In 2003, she voted in favor of a bill that exempted the military from the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
2. Patriot Act
Despite the opposition of San Franciscans, Pelosi did not join "let alone lead” the 66 legislators who opposed this Orwellian legislation. No, she voted for the Patriot Act, which gives enormous, unwarranted power to the executive branch, unchecked by meaningful judicial review. This new authority has been used against American citizens in routine criminal investigations unrelated to terrorism, against immigrants within our borders legally, and against those whose First Amendment activities are deemed by the Attorney General to be threats to national security. Again, she used her powerful leadership position in Congress to urge other representatives to vote with her.
See Pelosi's own words on her promise to "stand shoulder to shoulder with the President" on this and other erosions of civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism.
3. NSA Wiretapping
Pelosi was one of very few legislators who learned about Bush's authorization of secret warrant-less wiretapping of U.S. citizens. She chose to go along with Bush's wishes and to say nothing for six months about this clear violation of the Constitution. "I was advised of President Bush's decision to provide [wiretapping] authority to the National Security Agency...and I have been provided with updates on several occasions," she acknowledged.
Pelosi voted for NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and supported it throughout its tortuous path into law. She has supported, and continues to support, other similar laws that entrench and exacerbate the most exploitative types of globalization, and generally refuses to insist on environmental or labor clauses in these bills to mitigate their worst effects. While she finally did vote against CAFTA (the Central American Free Trade Agreement) during the highly contentious vote last July, she chose not to use her leadership position to convince others to follow her lead, effectively assuring its passage. CAFTA passed 217-215, with 15 Democrats voting for it.
5. No Child Left Behind
Pelosi voted for this bill, another counter-intuitively named Bush law. In addition to, according to the latest Harvard study, accomplishing the opposite of its stated goal -- bringing minority achievment up to national levels -- this school 'reform' withholds federal money from any school which does not provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student. This bill also withholds federal money from any school district that prevents or denies students from participating in constitutionally protected prayer in public schools, and also withholds federal money to any school district that denies Boy Scouts the use of school facilities but allows other youth groups to use those same facilities.
6. Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
Pelosi has voted to support Bush's call for raising the debt ceiling to finance further military expenditures and saddle future generations with even higher debt payments. She also opposed a call from progressives to examine the effect of the 1.35 trillion dollar 2001 tax cut on the budget before voting on this bill to go further into debt.
She opposed an effort by progressives to raise the issue of corporate corruption during 2002, as Republicans were making a concerted attempt to make permanent the various temporary provisions in the $1.35 trillion Bush tax cut of 2001.
7. Presidio Privatization
Not only has this been bad for San Francisco, but it's providing a precedent for efforts to privatize other national parks around the country. The SF Guardian reported:
It's been just over 10 years since Congress passed Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Presidio Trust legislation, effectively creating the first privatized national park in the United States. The results are pretty clear: Just cruise through the Presidio and check out the gigantic new office complex George Lucas has built. In fact, the private business interests that were given control of the park in 1995 now oversee more than 80 percent of the 1,408-acre parcel. The goal of the privatizers: raise enough money from development, leases, and other real estate deals to pay the entire cost of running the park by 2013. That's what Pelosi's legislation requires.
It's a terrible disaster for San Francisco. And at the time we warned it would set a terrible precedent for the nation: Once you turn the national parks over to private interests and require the parks to pay for themselves, you'll get the equivalent of Nike Corp. putting logos on the Grand Canyon and casinos demanding concessions at Yosemite.
Guess what? Just as we had feared and warned, the Republicans have discovered Pelosi's lovely precedent, and are looking at ways to privatize 350 million acres of public land. A rider by former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Tracy) that would have allowed big corporations to take over public parcels for almost nothing nearly snuck into a 2005 budget bill. And earlier this year, Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, introduced a bill that would in many ways mirror Pelosi's model for the entire national park system, by cutting back on park funding and requiring the parks to find corporate sponsors to make up the difference.
This is a gigantic leap from the philosophy behind the formation of the national park system a century ago. National parks aren't supposed to be revenue generators. They're supposed to be publicly supported and publicly controlled places where the public can enjoy the natural world.
For years, the right wing of the Republican party has been trying to undo that social contract: When Ronald Reagan was president, his interior secretary, James Watt, proposed letting Disney take over the Grand Canyon, but the idea was so roundly dismissed as lunacy that it never went very far.
In fact, nobody really took it seriously until a San Francisco Democrat, a woman who is now the highest-ranking Democratic politician in Washington, decided to give it liberal credibility
8. Gay Marriage
Pelosi refused to support gay marriage and kept silent for over a month after gay marriages began in San Francisco. Then, when it was safe, once the California Supreme Court had halted the marriages, she emerged and said that she had in fact supported gay marriage all along.
9. GMO Foods
She voted against progressives, and supported Bush in his challenge on rules for export/import of genetically-modified foods to Europe.
10. Public Power
She has repeatedly taken no position on the huge grassroots efforts to bring public power to San Francisco. A 'no position' from San Francisco's primary representative in D.C. has effectively robbed San Francisco of leadership on implementation of the federal Raker Act's mandate on public power for San Francisco.
11. Renewable Energy
She voted against increasing funding for renewable energy on June 25, 2004
She votedagainst allocating $52 million from fossil fuel to renewables on June 21, 2001
12. Sentencing Guidelines
Pelosi voted against progressives and supported an amendment that severely limits judges' discretion specifically their ability to departure downward when sentencing offenders under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. This amendment forces judges to ignore extenuating circumstance and limits their flexibility when handing down sentences. It also requires the Department of Justice to develop a black list of judges who use downward departures in these types of cases.
13. 'Rave' Parties
On April 10, 2003, Pelosi voted to effectively ban the popular dance parties called 'raves'. The RAVE Act (Reducing America's Vulnerability to Ecstacy Act) gives federal prosecutors new powers to shut down community events and punish business owners for hosting and promoting them, potentially subjecting innocent business-owners to enormous fines and imprisonment if customers sell or use drugs on premises or at their events even if they were not involved in the offenses in any way. According to the Electronic Music Defense & Education Fund: "Punishing innocent businessmen and women for the crimes of their customers is unprecedented in U.S. history."
Despite receiving the Cesar Chavez Award from the United Farmworkers Union, Pelosi and her husband own a $25 million vineyard which is a non-union shop.
The Pelosis are also partners in a restaurant chain called Piatti, which has 900 employees. The chain is also a non-union shop.
15. Personal Finances
While the details of a candidate's personal life shouldn't generally be considered when analyzing that candidate's suitability for public office, Pelosi's status as a multi-millionaire property tycoon is germane in analyzing her above policy decisions. Under law, she has declared she owns with her husband two vineyards in St. Helena and Rutherford, Calif., worth from $6-26 million. The Pelosis also own six California properties worth from $3-11 million. There are many more millions of dollars worth of real estate and stock owned solely by her husband Paul, but she hasn't yet had to specify exactly how much and has only given ballpark figures. Of note, in their portfolio is part ownership of the luxurious CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, CA, which they were granted a permit to build in 1996 only if they created natural habitats for several local endangered species. To date, these habitats still have not been built. The golf course has also been cited for polluting groundwater. They have hired lobbyists to fight the regulations.
Her status as fabulously wealthy may explain why she has voted at times with Bush on tax cuts and wars that benefit only this nation's extremely wealthy and powerful.
Demo Multi-Millionaire Pelosi Attacked For Pushing Pay Freeze For Federal Workers "Ms. Richardson angrily told Ms. Pelosi that, unlike her, some members needed the raise."
December 26, 2011
Economic Downturn Took a Detour at Capitol Hill
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
WASHINGTON — When Representative Ed Pastor was first elected to Congress two decades ago, he was comfortably ensconced in the middle class. Mr. Pastor, a Democrat from Arizona, held $100,000 or so in savings accounts in the mid-1990s and had a retirement pension, but like many Americans, he also owed the banks nearly as much in loans.
Today, Mr. Pastor, a miner’s son and a former high school teacher, is a member of a not-so-exclusive club: Capitol Hill millionaires. That group has grown in recent years to include nearly half of all members of Congress — 250 in all — and the wealth gap between lawmakers and their constituents appears to be growing quickly, even as Congress debates unemployment benefits, possible cuts in food stamps and a “millionaire’s tax.”
Mr. Pastor buys a Powerball lottery ticket every weekend and says he does not consider himself rich. Indeed, within the halls of Congress, where the median net worth is $913,000 and climbing, he is not. He is a rank-and-file millionaire. But compared with the country at large, where the median net worth is $100,000 and has dropped significantly since 2004, he and most of his fellow lawmakers are true aristocrats.
Largely insulated from the country’s economic downturn since 2008, members of Congress — many of them among the “1 percenters” denounced by Occupy Wall Street protesters — have gotten much richer even as most of the country has become much poorer in the last six years, according to an analysis by The New York Times based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group.
Congress has never been a place for paupers. From plantation owners in the pre-Civil War era to industrialists in the early 1900s to ex-Wall Street financiers and Internet executives today, it has long been populated with the rich, including scions of families like the Guggenheims, Hearsts, Kennedys and Rockefellers.
But rarely has the divide appeared so wide, or the public contrast so stark, between lawmakers and those they represent.
The wealth gap may go largely unnoticed in good times. “But with the American public feeling all this economic pain, people just resent it more,” said Alan J. Ziobrowski, a professor at Georgia State who studied lawmakers’ stock investments.
There is broad debate about just why the wealth gap appears to be growing. For starters, the prohibitive costs of political campaigning may discourage the less affluent from even considering a candidacy. Beyond that, loose ethics controls, shrewd stock picks, profitable land deals, favorable tax laws, inheritances and even marriages to wealthy spouses are all cited as possible explanations for the rising fortunes on Capitol Hill.
What is clear is that members of Congress are getting richer compared not only with the average American worker, but also with other very rich Americans.
While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially flat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on inflation-adjusted data from Moody’s Analytics.
Going back further, the median wealth of House members grew some two and a half times between 1984 and 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars, while the wealth of the average American family has actually declined slightly in that same time period, according to data cited by The Washington Post in an article published Monday on its Web site.
With millionaire status now the norm, the rarefied air in the Capitol these days is $100 million. That lofty level appears to have been surpassed by at least 10 members, led by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and former auto alarm magnate who is worth somewhere between $195 million and $700 million. (Because federal law requires lawmakers to disclose their assets only in broad dollar ranges, more precise estimates are impossible.)
Their wealth has created occasional political problems for Congress’s richest.
Mr. Issa, for instance, has faced outside scrutiny because of the overlap of his Congressional work and outside interests, including extensive investments with Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, as well as land holdings in his San Diego district. In one case, he obtained some $800,000 in federal earmarks for a road-widening project running along his commercial property.
Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, set off an uproar last year when it was disclosed that he had docked his $7 million, 76-foot yacht not in his home state but in neighboring Rhode Island, which has no sales or use tax on pleasure boats. (Mr. Kerry, worth at least $181 million, voluntarily paid $400,000 in Massachusetts taxes after criticism.)
Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, was challenged about her wealth, as much as $196 million, by a member of her own party a few weeks ago. Representative Laura Richardson, a California Democrat who is among the poorest members of Congress with as much as $464,000 in debt, attacked Ms. Pelosi at a closed-door Democratic caucus meeting for endorsing a Congressional pay freeze, according to a report in Politico that was confirmed by other members.
Ms. Richardson angrily told Ms. Pelosi that, unlike her, some members needed the raise. Members now make a base pay of $174,000 and would automatically get a cost-of-living adjustment unless they were to decide, for a third straight year, to pass it up. Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said the rising Congressional wealth fuels public doubts about whether members are more focused on their constituents’ interests or their own investment portfolios.
“There’s always a concern that they can’t truly understand or relate to the hardships that their constituents feel — that rich people just don’t get it,” she said.
In an effort to gauge how directly the country’s economic problems affected lawmakers, The New York Times contacted the offices of the 534 current members (one seat is vacant) for an informal survey. It asked if they had close friends or family members who had lost jobs or homes since the 2008 downturn.
Only 18 members responded.
Half the respondents said they had close friends or relatives who lost homes, while the other half said their personal contact was limited to constituents who came for help.
Two-thirds said they had close friends or relatives who had been laid off or had shut down a business during the downturn. The rest knew no one in that category personally.
Representative Anna G. Eshoo, a California Democrat who took part in the survey, said several cousins in their 40s and 50s whom she considers brothers and sisters lost their jobs recently. Without college degrees, none have found work, and they have emphasized to her the importance of unemployment benefits.
“Personal stories are very powerful because it’s not a theory,” Ms. Eshoo said. “It’s not talking points of a party. These are people experiencing the harshness of what is an economic depression for them.”
Multimillionaires in Congress “view life through a different lens,” she said.
Ms. Eshoo herself has escaped the worries weighing on her cousins. While she reported being in debt in 2004, she is now worth an estimated $1.8 million, her financial reports show. She said the rise came mostly from the sale of a family home where she lived for 40 years.
“I was fortunate,” she said. “I’ve lived from paycheck to paycheck most of my life, and I’m a single mother.”
One likely cause of the rising wealth, political analysts say, is the growing cost of a political campaign. A successful Senate run cost on average nearly $10 million last year, and a successful House race was $1.4 million, significantly above past elections.
The prohibitive cost has inevitably drawn richer candidates who can help bankroll their own campaigns and attract donations from rich friends — while deterring less well-off candidates, political analysts say.
The data analyzed by The Times corroborated the idea that incoming members are in fact richer than those in the past. The freshman class of 106 members elected last year, including many Tea Party-backed Republicans, had a median net worth of $864,000 — an inflation-adjusted increase of 26 percent from the 2004 freshmen.
Once in Congress, members benefit from many financial perks unavailable to most Americans. Beyond a base salary of $174,000 — an increase of about 10 percent since 2004, somewhat less than inflation — members get extra pay for senior posts and generous medical and pension benefits, as well as accouterments of power often financed by taxpayers or their campaigns.
While the housing collapse nationwide has hurt many Americans, lawmakers still find the real estate sector the most popular place to park their money, statistics from the Center of Responsive Politics show, and members of Congress continue to profit from their investments there. Perhaps the most tantalizing but hotly debated factor in the rising wealth of Congress is lawmakers’ performance in the stock markets — and the question of whether they are using their access to confidential information to enrich themselves.
In a study completed this year, Mr. Ziobrowski at Georgia State and his colleagues found that House members saw the stocks they owned outperform the market by 6 percent a year. Their research from several years ago found that senators did even better, at 12 percent above average. The researchers attributed the performance to a “significant information advantage” that lawmakers hold by virtue of their positions and the fact they are not bound by insider-trading law.
However, a separate study last year by researchers at Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that the portfolios of lawmakers actually performed somewhat worse than average investors. It found that members did do better when investing in companies in their home districts or associated with campaign donors — suggesting that they benefited from their political connections — but still not as well as the average investor.
While concerns go back decades about lawmakers trading on confidential information, the issue drew renewed attention with a new book on the topic, “Throw Them All Out” by Peter Schweizer, and a “60 Minutes” report in November. Both linked high-level briefings that Congressional leaders received on the 2008 financial crisis and on health care to their purchase and sale of certain stocks.
Members insisted that they never traded on information that was not public, and some Congressional leaders pointed out that their investments were in blind trusts managed by professional advisers. Nonetheless, the publicity led some 90 members of Congress to call anew for a ban on insider trading.
Mr. Pastor, the Arizona congressman, said he never relied on fancy stock investments to make money. He said the key to his good fortune was watching what he spends, paying off debts and, at age 68, collecting Social Security and a pension from his days as a county supervisor.
“I don’t see myself as a man of great wealth,” he said. “To say that I’m enjoying a millionaire’s lifestyle — well, I can tell you, I guess a millionaire’s income doesn’t go very far these days.”
Emmarie Huetteman and Derek Willis contributed reporting.
Corrupt Pelosi Got IPO Stock Options From Visa While Voting On Credit Card Legislation
Congress: Trading stock on inside information?
November 13, 2011 4:02 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388130n&tag=re1.galleriesteve Kroft reports that members of Congress can legally trade stock based on non-public information from Capitol Hill
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7388130n&tag=re1.galleries#ixzz1dfsSknOL
Of course, good old politics gets its share, too. And then some.
There was another gathering across town Friday night - a much more exclusive one - at the Pacific Heights home of Gordon and Ann Getty. The $30,000-a-couple soiree for the national Democratic Party was hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The take: $1 million-plus, according to a partygoer.
How's that for economic stimulus?
Pelosi's PAC pays thousands to husband's firm
Erica Werner, Associated Press
Friday, October 3, 2008
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(10-03) 04:00 PDT Washington - --
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that it's "just foolish" to suggest that her husband is benefiting from tens of thousands of dollars one of her political committees is paying a firm he owns.
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The San Francisco Democrat also disputed the notion that the arrangement contradicts her support last year for legislation that would have banned spouses from benefiting, directly or indirectly, from political committees controlled by their husbands or wives.
Paul Pelosi has been treasurer of the speaker's PAC to the Future political action committee since last year, after the death of the previous treasurer. The PAC has paid his investment and consulting firm, Financial Leasing Services Inc., more than $50,000 since last year for accounting services and rent, plus at least $20,000 more in prior years.
Pelosi contended Thursday that she was merely complying with the law by reimbursing her husband's firm for what would otherwise amount to improper "in-kind" donations of services to her committee.
"My husband's not a political consultant or anything like that. It is just honoring the law to say if you use the facility, you have to pay for it. And everybody has to do that, and that's again in compliance with the law," Pelosi said.
"He would be happy not to have this on his turf I'm sure," she said. "No, it doesn't benefit my husband. That is foolish to say."
Pelosi's aides said they would review the arrangement after the election.
Many lawmakers pay spouses and other family members for fundraising and other campaign-related services, and it's perfectly legal. But the practice has become controversial in recent years after it arose as a factor in some congressional corruption investigations.
Last year Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Glendale (Los Angeles County), introduced legislation that would have banned the practice, and it passed the House by voice vote, with Pelosi's support, but never advanced in the Senate.
"Democrats are committed to reforming the way Washington does business. Congressman Schiff's bill will help us accomplish that goal by increasing transparency in election campaigns and preventing the misuse of funds," Pelosi said in a statement at the time.
Ethics watchdogs said that even if she was complying with the law, Pelosi had an obligation to hold herself to a higher standard.
"Having supported this bill and said that she agreed that immediate families shouldn't be on campaign payrolls, there shouldn't be payments to Paul Pelosi," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "I'm looking for leadership from Pelosi on this issue, not just for her to follow the technicalities."
In 2003, a different political action committee Pelosi ran was fined $21,000 for improperly accepting donations over federal limits.
The arrangement with Paul Pelosi's company was first reported Wednesday in the Washington Times.
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will spend the early days of the August legislative recess wining and dining powerful corporate and political figures."
"Nancy Pelosi’s summer vacation" By Tom Eley
which quotes extensively from
James Brenahan at Politico at:
"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will spend the early days of the August legislative recess wining and dining powerful corporate and political figures."
"Pelosi will host a two-day “issues conference” for 170 elite guests, starting Friday at her multi-million dollar mansion in San Francisco’s exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood, Politico's John Bresnahan reports. “The following day, Pelosi will shepherd her guests to a Napa Valley winery with buildings designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry; the speaker and her husband, investor Paul Pelosi, own a nearby vineyard worth between $5 million and $25 million, according to her annual financial disclosure report,” he writes."
"Bresnahan notes that the event is not a fundraiser, but a “donor maintenance” event, in which top contributors to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will be given the chance to rub elbows with leading Democratic Party insiders. These include top Obama adviser David Axelrod; Obama economic adviser Mark Zandi (who served as economic adviser to John McCain in the 2008 elections); media pundit and former Clinton adviser James Carville; Rep. George Miller of California, who chairs the Education and Labor Committee; Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey, of the Energy and Commerce Committee; and Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus."
"To receive an invitation to the event, it is enough to have donated $30,400 to the DCCC during the last election cycle, a figure that also happens to be the maximum allowable contribution to a national party committee."
"“A donation to the DCCC of that size qualifies a donor to be part of the ‘Speaker’s Cabinet,’ a fundraising program that gives supporters expanded access to Pelosi,” Bresnahan says."
"Among those with such access are “Ann Getty Earhart, an heiress to the Getty oil fortune; Elizabeth Fisher, whose in-laws founded The Gap, the retail clothing giant; and Eugene Eidenberg, a former Carter White House staffer who is now a San Francisco venture capitalist,” according to Bresnahan. Paul Pelosi, the speaker’s husband, has as much as $50,000 in stock invested in one of Eidenberg’s firms, Granite Ventures."
"Nancy Pelosi, who belongs to the “liberal” wing of the Democratic Party, recently launched a bit of moralistic criticism in the direction of the health insurance industry in relationship to President Obama’s stalled health care “overhaul.”"
"“It's almost immoral what (insurance companies) are doing,” Pelosi said. “Of course they've been immoral all along in how they have treated the people they insure. They are the villains. They have been part of the problem in a major way.”"
"This serves as nothing more than a rhetorical smokescreen for the Obama health care counterrevolution, which seeks to ration coverage and gut Medicare assistance for the elderly. Every component of the plan championed by Obama and Pelosi aims to buffet the profit margins of the major players in the health care industry: the HMOs, the pharmaceuticals, and, of course, the insurers. (See: “The drug lobby demands, and gets, Obama pledge to protect health care profits”)."
"Pelosi’s professed outrage at the insurance industry does not hold up to even cursory examination. In the current election cycle, the insurance industry has been Pelosi’s third-largest donor, giving her $31,000. HMOs and pharmaceuticals contributed generously as well, handing over $17,500 and $15,000 respectively. The finance/insurance/real estate sector has been by far the largest donor to Pelosi’s DCCC, giving it so far $3.4 million in the current cycle."
For more, see
You cannot keep voting for these evil people and expect anything good to happen. You will have a good alternative to Pelosi, namely Cindy Sheehan, in 2010, who is for single payer healthcare, is not bought and paid for by big business, always opposes war and bailouts for big business and much more.
Nancy Pelosi, Right Wingers and a Bad Understanding of Napa
With the prospect prior to the last election and confirmation afterward that Representative Nancy Pelosi would be come Speaker of the House of Representatives, lots of attention is now being paid to the congresswoman from San Francisco. It turns out that much of that attention has been turned to the fact that Speaker Pelosi and her husband Paul own a vineyard in Napa.
But not just that she owns a vineyard. The folks writing on Right Wing blogs, for Right Wing Internet publications and those who comment on Right Wing blogs are fascinated by the report that Pelosi's small vineyard holdings apparently employ non-union labor. The Speaker's long defense of labor has spawned many to call her out on charges of "Hypocrisy". These charges can be found Here,Here, Here and Here.
I'm not so concerned about this. If you can find a politician anywhere who can't be charged in some small way with hypocrisy then you've probably found a dead politician.
What interests me about these writings is the way the writers and commentors tackle the wine industry in general. Specifically, I find THIS story that delves in deep to the finances of vineyards to come up with the conclusions that, among other things, Napa Grapegrower Andy Beckstoffer wants his Napa grapes to go into $10 and under wines, that Pelosi treats workers so bad they all quit and that it's possible Pelosi is laundering money through her vineyard.
Interestingly, the writer's source for this and other nonsense is identified only as "Our knowledgeable Napa Valley source."
I have to quote from this story...just because it's so damn funny:
" The congresswoman’s total planted grape acreage equals 9 acres x $13,500 income per acre of highest quality grapes = $121,500 total gross grape income for the two properties.
"More curiously however, our California wine country source revealed that “the AVERAGE cabernet price, however, is only $1,850 per ton x 4.5 acres x 9 acres = $75,000 total gross income for the Pelosi grapes from average quality fruit. So as you can see, the congresswoman may have some explaining to do about who buys their grapes and why they may be getting such an extraordinary price for them.”
"We were also told that “her vineyards are ’postage stamp’ sized and basically ‘irrelevant’ to the industry -- small, nuisance-sized parcels that at best are difficult to contract with any winery, and are in areas not known to produce quality fruit within the Oakville district. It is marginal land, which is why it was not planted historically.”
"The Napa source told us that “the biggest grape grower on Skellenger Lane [where one of the Pelosi vineyards is located] is Andy Beckstoffer -- and he likes to price his grapes to sell in a $10 per bottle of wine, for goodness sake. This is hardly an indication of extraordinary grape quality!” [suggesting that Pelosi’s Skellenger fruit is average at best.]
"Pelosi’s actual approximate “wine-grape income” is between $75,000 for average fruit and $121,500 for top-line fruit, given their reported planted acreage, and provided their fruit is of average quality -- if less than average quality, then income is even lower, suggesting that there is need of an explanation unless they show significant rental income from the vineyard properties. If Pelosi's tax return shows more that $200,002 income for the two vineyards, then there may be a significant problem.]"
You've got someone speculating on why in the world Pelosi could sell her grapes, farmed in the MIDDLE OF NAPA VALLEY, for more than $1,850 per ton, then concluding that there "may be a significant problem" with what Pelosi has reported as income. Anyone want to offer me some Oakville appellation Cabernet for $1,850 per ton? PLEASE!!!
Pelosi and her husband Paul recently sold their acreage on Skellenger Lane in Napa, but still own property on Zinfandel Lane in the middle of Napa. The property is described has having vineyards and residences. In reading the conspiracy theorists who tend to comment on the Right Wing writers' stories there is some speculation on where the vineyard is actually located, who buys the grapes and even what the name of the winery is. Though the Pelosis have apparently gotten a permit to build a 5000 gallon winery the property on Zinfnadel Lane, it do not believe it is completed, up and running or even under construction.
There is no specific information on th Internet as to which piece of property on Zinfandel Lane is actually owned by the Pelosi's. However, I think I determined which it was by using the handy dandy Google search tool, Google satellite imagery and little common sense. I suppose I could have done the research down at the planning department in Napa, but that's not nearly as fun.
First, it appears that Liparita Winery in Napa has purchase the fruit from Pelosi's vineyard. Also, it appears that Jack Neal and Sons does the farming. The vineyard, if I am correct about its location, is in close proximity to vineyards owned by Heitz, Frogs Leap and Quintessa. This is hardly bad grape ground.
I suspect that over the next two years we will continue to hear a great deal about the "vineyard baroness" slash Speaker of the House. I suspect the issue of union labor will continue to arise. That's fine. That's politics. However, it would be nice if those doing their best to do some smearing of Pelosi would get their facts straight about the wine industry and grape growing.
Pelosi's Napa Business Scrutinized
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
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By Mark Matthews
Nov. 28 - KGO (KGO) -- Is it a blatant case of liberal hypocrisy or a hatchet job by conservative commentators? There is a story knocking around the darker forests of the Internet concerning a Napa Valley vineyard owned by soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also happens to be one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Nancy Pelosi has received awards from the United Farm Workers Union. She has accepted considerable campaign financing from unions. And yet the vineyard that she and her husband own in Napa is non-union. That's the gist of the allegation of hypocrisy, but it's far from the whole story.
The Pelosis' vineyard is about seven acres on the south side of St. Helena. On her financial disclosure statements Pelosi lists the vineyard at between $5 million and $25 million dollars. As Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institution pointed out in his book, the Pelosis hire non-union labor.
Peter Schweizer, Hoover Research Fellow: "She has won the Cesar Chavez award from the United Farm Workers Union and yet they don't use members of the United Farm Workers Union to actually pick the grapes on their winery."
Schweizer calls it liberal hypocrisy. And with Pelosi set to become the next speaker of the House, his charges are getting a lot of attention.
Peter Schweizer: "Investors Business Daily has run a column on it. There's been a lot of people on talk radio that have talked about it."
But in Napa we found the facts don't fit Schweizer's claim. For starters, the Pelosis pay more than union workers are paid in the same valley -- that from the pastor at St. Helena's Catholic Church, a well known advocate for farm workers who's involved in labor negotiations with the same labor manager the Pelosis use.
Monsignor John Brenkle, St. Helena Catholic Church: "So I know exactly what his pay scale is."
And Monsignor Brenkle says the Pelosis pay a $1.25 an hour more than workers at Napa's biggest union winery.
Monsignor John Brenkle: "I don't think she has the possibility of finding other union workers here in the valley."
Of the more than 300 vineyards, fewer than four are union, and most of the farm workers in the Napa Valley get paid better. St. Helena is a town rich with wine and the money that it has generated.
We heard the same from workers who say they're making between nine and 10 dollars an hour. Angel Calderon, the manager of a farm workers camp, says migrant workers in Napa get much more than union workers in the Salinas Valley or the Central Valley.
Angel Calderon, farm worker camp manager: "It's the truth, it's the truth. They pay better wages right here in Napa Valley."
Calderon manages one of three camps subsidized by Napa growers. For $11 dollars a day, workers get a clean place to live and three meals a day, access to doctors and dental care. But all of that aside, if Nancy Pelosi wanted to have union workers she could not ask the union for a contract. It's illegal and has been since 1975.
A spokesman for the United Farm Workers Union explains.
Marc Grossman, United Farm Workers Union: "It is patently illegal for any grower to even discuss a union contract, which is the only way you can supply union workers, without the workers first having voted in a state conducted secret ballot election."
I asked Peter Schweizer, the Hoover Research fellow, if he had researched those facts before he called Pelosi a hypocrite.
Peter Schweizer: "It's really for her to explain why there is this inconsistency. It's not my responsibility to go and find out how every single particular circumstance is handled on the Pelosi vineyard."
The 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act is pretty clear, what Peter Schweizer suggests would be illegal. Growers like Pelosi can't just hire workers from a union, but workers can unionize on their own and then negotiate with growers after they have organized. Schweizer told me this morning he would call me back and clear this all up -- he hasn't. We've left several messages.
Today, Nancy Pelosi's press secretary said this account is riddled with errors and clearly wasn't fact-checked. Well, it's been fact-checked now.
Aug. 6, 2009
Pelosi to Wine and Dine Big Party Donors
Politico: House Speaker Hosts "Issues Conference," Seeks to Raise $25M for Democrats During Congressional Recess
Politico) This story was written by John Bresnahan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moves in a rarefied world of high society and high-level politics - and nothing underscores that fact quite like her plans for the August recess.
Pelosi will spend next weekend quietly tending to top party donors and political allies at a series of private events in Northern California.
The two-day "issues conference" starts next Friday night with a dinner for roughly 170 guests on the back lawn of Pelosi's multimillion-dollar home in the fashionable Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco.
The following day, Pelosi will shepherd her guests to a Napa Valley winery with buildings designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry; the speaker and her husband, investor Paul Pelosi, own a nearby vineyard worth between $5 million and $25 million, according to her annual financial disclosure report.
There's nothing unusual about leaders using recess to fund- and friend-raise. Before leaving town last week, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor raked in $1.1 million for fellow Republicans at a lobbyist-heavy fundraiser on Capitol Hill.
And Pelosi's staff notes that her California session will involve more than just schmoozing with the wealthy and well-connected. The speaker will lead policy discussions on health care, energy reform and the economy, among other topics. Scheduled to speak are Obama adviser David Axelrod, CNN commentator and former Clinton adviser James Carville and Mark Zandi, an economic adviser to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign who has been providing advice to the Obama White House.
More than a dozen other House Democrats will be in attendance, too, including Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey, a key player on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee; Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller of California, Pelosi's closest ally in the House; Xavier Becerra ofCalifornia, vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus; and Joseph Crowley of New York and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, two up-and-coming Democrats who have previously found themselves in Pelosi's doghouse but are moving to get back into her good graces.
The weekend event is technically not a fundraiser. In the parlance of fundraising pros, it's known as "donor maintenance," a "thank you" from Pelosi to those who have given generously to her and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. To be invited, one must have raised money for the DCCC, been a longtime friend of Pelosi's or contributed $30,4000 to the DCCC this cycle. The maximum an individual may give to a national party committee in any one year.
A donation to the DCCC of that size qualifies a donor to be part of the "Speaker's Cabinet," a fundraising program that gives supporters expanded access to Pelosi. In addition to the annual Napa weekend, Pelosi also will personally provide at least one more private briefing for these maxed-out donors.
According to campaign reports filed by the DCCC, at least 170 individuals, as well as a handful of Native American tribes, reached that maximum donation threshold as of June 30. San Francisco and Bay Area bigwigs are prominent among the collection of big DCCC supporters, including Ann Getty Earhart, an heiress to the Getty oil fortune; Elizabeth Fisher, whose in-laws founded The Gap, the retail clothing giant; and Eugene Eidenberg, a former Carter White House staffer who is now a San Francisco venture capitalist. Paul Pelosi owns up to $50,000 in stock in the investment firm that Eidenberg helped co-found, Granite Ventures, according to Pelosi's annual disclosure report.
Pelosi's aides are tight lipped about who will go to this year's event, but the guest list is expected to include Phil Angelides, a Pelosi ally who unsuccessfully ran against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006; Steve Elmendorf, a prominent Democratic lobbyist; Dick Gephrdt, the former House minority leader and Democratic presidential candidate; Richard and Judy Guggenhime, Pelosi's close friends and neighbors; Michelle Lerach, wife of the now-imprisoned plaintiff attorney Bill Lerach; George Marcus, a Bay Area commercial real estate broker; Heather and Tony Podesta, a Washington power couple; Marc Stanley, chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council and a big party fundraiser; Steve and Mary Swig, Pelosi friends and financial backers; and Brian Wolff, Pelosi's longtime fundraising and political guru who is now a lobbyist for the Edison Electric Institute.
Altogether, more than 165 guests have already committed to attend the Pelosi weekend, according to informed sources.
"Speaker Pelosi has spent years developing and keeping engaged a broad network of support from the best and brightest minds across America, and they care deeply about the issues facing the country and the Democratic agenda," said Jennifer Crider, the DCCC's deputy executive director and Pelosi's political director.
Pelosi, though, will not allow PAC representatives to attend her weekend soiree, and it's not a chance for lobbyists to curry favor with the speaker, so relatively few take part. In the words of one past attendee, "They don't cut any deals [at this event], so those looking to do so are discouraged from coming."
Since her initial run for Congress in 1987, Pelosi has forged an eclectic mix of political and financial supporters - a blend of Bay Area elites, Washington power players, labor unions, progressive corporate execs, trial lawyers, "old money" families from both coasts and Paul Pelosi's business connections. And the veteran Democratic lawmaker has mined this group with enormous success, for herself and for her party.
Pelosi goes out of her way to court these donors. Her personal touches include frequent gifts of flowers - orchids are her favorite - or chocolate. She will call a sick family member of a big contributor or reach out to her supporters for their take on important policy issues.
"She is very good at the personal, retail level of this stuff," said Steven Kazan, an Oakland-based attorney specializing in asbestos litigation. Kazan cut a $30,400 check to the DCCC in February but isn't sure if he will get to Pelosi's weekend gathering.
Kazan is among the wealthy Pelosi backers who take their cues from the speaker when it comes to giving money to House incumbents and candidates.
"With the House of Representatives, I long ago decided that I could not figure out what races were important," said Kazan, who is constantly hit up for campaign donations. "When someone calls [for a campaign donation], I tell them, 'Nancy Pelosi is my leader. If your name is on her list, I'll give you some money. If it's not, I'm real sorry, but take it up with Nancy.'"
Junior Democrats like Reps. Zack Space of Ohio, Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio, Dina Titus of Nevada, Michael Arcuri of New York, Betsy Markey of Colorado, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Steve Driehaus of Ohio, John Boccieri of Ohio and Suzanne Kosmas of Florida have received tens of thousands from Pelosi's friends and supporters.
Republicans have derided conservative and moderate Democrats who accept money from Pelosi's friends for buying into her "San Francisco values" such as support for gay rights, abortion rights and an end to the U.S. military presence in Iraq.
Pelosi's aides and backers dismiss the GOP criticism as misguided and unrealistic. They say that it is the role of a modern speaker to help his or her vulnerable members raise money for their reelection campaigns, especially in a tough political environment.
Pelosi has committed to personally raising $25 million for the DCCC this cycle, and party sources say she has already heped take in $10.7 million, with more than 14 months to go before the midterm elections.
US Congressional Vote To Remove The US Armed Forces From Afghanistan
FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 193
(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)
H CON RES 28 YEA-AND-NAY 17-Mar-2011 3:30 PM
QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Resolution
BILL TITLE: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan
Pelosi Tells of a Briefing by Officials on Harman
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By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Published: April 22, 2009
WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that she had been briefed by the Bush administration “maybe three years ago” that Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California, had been picked up on a wiretapped phone conversation as part of a government investigation.
Ken Lambert/Associated Press
Jane Harman, left, and Nancy Pelosi conferred before a hearing of the House and Senate intelligence committees in 2002. The relationship between the two women has sometimes been tense.
Times Topics: Jane Harman | Nancy Pelosi
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Ms. Pelosi said she had been barred from telling Ms. Harman about the recorded call.
She also said Ms. Harman was apparently not a target of the surveillance, and insisted that the incident did not factor in her decision to deny her colleague the top post on the House Intelligence Committee after Democrats won the majority in 2006.
That decision is still a source of friction between the two Californians, who are both powerful and wealthy women, and yet in other ways as different as the districts they represent. Ms. Pelosi’s district covers most of San Francisco, while Ms. Harman represents parts of the West Side of Los Angeles and beach areas to the south.
Their tussle over the committee post was back in the spotlight this week after reports that Ms. Harman had been secretly recorded agreeing to intercede on behalf of pro-Israel lobbyists, who were under investigation for violations of the Espionage Act, in exchange for help in pressing Ms. Pelosi to give her the intelligence job.
While the two women do not display overt hostility, Ms. Harman seems to have never quite gotten over the slight. Colleagues say that since Ms. Pelosi, 69, thwarted her ambitions for a more prominent role on security issues, Ms. Harman, 63, has grown weary of Congress and has been eyeing a post in the Obama administration, perhaps as an ambassador.
Those hopes may be clouded by revelations about the taped call. Ms. Harman has forcefully denied the accusation that she offered to aid the operatives for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as Aipac. And she has demanded that the government release a full transcript of the wire-tapped call.
On Tuesday, responding to questions about Ms. Harman, Ms. Pelosi seemed to indicate that she did not recall being told about the eavesdropping. But on Wednesday, during a round-table discussion with reporters at the Capitol, Ms. Pelosi said she had been briefed as part of a routine process in which Congressional leaders are informed whenever a lawmaker is picked up on a wiretap. Ms. Pelosi said she was given no details and was not allowed to inform Ms. Harman.
A spokesman, Brendan Daly, said Ms. Pelosi and had intended to say on Tuesday that she did not know who the targets of the surveillance were but that she was aware Ms. Harman had been recorded taking part in a conversation.
Ms. Pelosi said she could not recall the precise date of the briefing, but aides said it apparently took place before the November 2006 elections in which Democrats won control of the House.
Ms. Pelosi said that the information about the wiretap had played no role in her decision about the Intelligence Committee post, which she said was based solely on a House rule limiting lawmakers to four years in the committee’s top slots.
Ms. Harman had succeeded Ms. Pelosi as the ranking Democrat on the panel in 2002, when Republicans were still in the majority.
“The only reason Jane is not the chairman is because she already served the two terms,” Ms. Pelosi said. “It had nothing to do with her position on Iraq. It had nothing to do with donors, nothing to do with eavesdropping, wiretapping. It had nothing to do with anything. It had only to do with the fact that this extraordinarily talented member of Congress had served her two terms.”
Of course, the rules of the House generally can be changed rather easily, as they were in January, when Democrats eliminated the six-year terms that had been in place for the chairmen of standing committees. (Select committees like intelligence are subject to different rules.)
Ms Pelosi had made clear that she would not give Ms. Harman the post even before the 2006 elections. And while Ms. Harman had served for four years as the committee’s top Democrat, she was also seen as a bit too close to President George W. Bush on security issues while Democrats were running successfully on an anti-Bush platform.
Still, Ms. Harman made a fierce, public push for the job, angering Ms. Pelosi.
There were phone calls from supporters, an editorial in The Los Angeles Times accusing Ms. Pelosi of putting personality issues ahead of national security, and intense news coverage of a power struggle that op-ed columnists chauvinistically dubbed a “catfight,” even noting that the two women frequented the same Georgetown hair salon.
At the time, some lawmakers and Congressional aides said Ms. Pelosi, during her initial rise through the Democratic leadership, had been irked by Ms. Harman’s high level of publicity, including numerous appearances on television talk shows after the start of the war in Iraq.
Unlike Ms. Pelosi, who opposed the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq, Ms. Harman was an early supporter of the war.
And Ms. Pelosi on Wednesday acknowledged that in 2006 she had discussed her difference in opinion on Iraq with Haim Saban, a Beverly Hills entertainment mogul and big Democratic campaign contributor, who had urged her to appoint Ms. Harman to the intelligence post.
“One of my major disagreements with Haim was the issue of Iraq, and that was something we talked about at the time,” Ms. Pelosi said. “Many, many, many of Jane’s friends talked to me about her being named chair of the Intelligence Committee, none of them in any threatening way.”
Ultimately, Ms. Pelosi turned to a compromise candidate, Representative Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who was ridiculed over his inability to answer basic questions about terror groups, including whether Al Qaeda was Shiite or Sunni (he guessed wrong and said Shiite) or even what Hezbollah is.
On a trip to Jerusalem last spring, Ms. Harman took time out to buy a necklace for the speaker, a gift on behalf of the high-powered delegation that Ms. Pelosi led to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary. Ms. Pelosi, who favors bold chokers, was touched and has worn it several times since.
On that trip the two women seemed at ease with each other, lawmakers and aides who traveled with them said, enjoying a rapport reminiscent of the friendlier days when Ms. Pelosi threw an ice cream party at the Capitol to wish Ms. Harman well in her bid for governor of California in 1998.