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Disappearing Disk Dispute

Rep. James Greenwood’s (R-Pa.) campaign committee is suing the watchdog agency in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to fight the FEC finding that his campaign had filed its 2001 year-end report late.

According to Greenwood’s court complaint, the campaign committee filed its report on time, and electronically as required, when it sent a disk to the FEC via FedEx in late-January 2002.

But what became of that disk remains a mystery.

Greenwood’s campaign insists it was mailed and signed for and that the weight of the package — close to 3 pounds — proved that the disk was indeed enclosed.

But FEC officials contend that the disk was never received and, in the end, they fined the campaign $3,100 for its late filing.

Greenwood is calling that penalty “arbitrary and capricious” and has accused the FEC of “abuse of discretion,” according to court documents. He is also asking the court to throw out the FEC’s finding, set aside the civil penalty and pay his campaign’s legal fees.

Cubin Fallout. Weighing in on an internal House matter, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) echoed the Congressional Black Caucus’ condemnation of Rep. Barbara Cubin’s (R-Wyo.) controversial Wednesday floor statement.

While arguing against a Democratic amendment that would prevent gun sales near drug treatment facilities, Cubin said, “My sons are 25 and 30; they are blond-haired and blue-eyed. One amendment today said we can’t sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So does that mean that if you go into a black community you cannot sell a gun to any black person or does that mean that because my …”

She was interrupted by Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), who asked that her words be taken down. But when the House voted that Cubin’s statement was not in violation of chamber rules, the CBC issued a stinging rebuke.

Then Lieberman issued his statement: “Rep. Cubin’s comments were divisive, demeaning and hurtful. This is wrong, and the Republican party should say so. I would urge President Bush, as the leader of his party, to directly and forcefully repudiate Rep. Cubin’s repugnant statement and make clear this kind of comment has no place in public discourse.”

— Amy Keller and Katie Kennon