Posted by: BuellBoy
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
~Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), who has become a one-man filibuster of a bill to extend unemployment benefits, apparently placed a hold on all presidential nominees last week.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office confirms to TPMDC that Bunning has placed the holds.
“It turns out that not only has he been blocking the unemployment insurance bill, he has also been blocking the confirmation of nominees since last week as well,” said Reid spokesman Jim Manley.
Bunning’s spokesman tells TPMDC that he doesn’t know about the holds.
“I don’t know that. Right now the senator’s number one priority is reaching an agreement to get this bill paid for and passed,” said the spokesman, Mike Reynard.
AP~Two thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay on Monday, and the Obama administration said they have a Kentucky senator to blame for it.
Federal reimbursements to states for highway programs will also be halted, the Transportation Department said in a statement late Sunday. The reimbursements amount to about $190 million a day, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The furloughs and freeze on payments were the result of a decision last week by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning to block passage of legislation that would have extended federal highway and transit programs, the department said. Those programs expired at midnight Sunday.
The extension of transportation programs was part of a larger package of government programs that also expired Sunday, including unemployment benefits for about 400,000 Americans.
Bunning objected to the $10 billion measure, saying it would add to the budget deficit. He didn’t respond to a request Monday for comment.
Posted by Audiegrl
AP/Jeffrey McMurray & Devlin Barrett— A census taker found hanging from a tree had named his son as his life insurance beneficiary, and investigators are looking into whether the father manipulated the death scene to make a claim possible, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press Thursday.
In an interview with AP, Josh Sparkman said he found paperwork for the private life insurance policy among his father’s personal files but wasn’t sure of the amount or when it was taken out. He said authorities have told him nothing about the case or produced a death certificate, which is usually needed to make an insurance claim.
Two law enforcement sources, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case, said investigators are trying to determine if Bill Sparkman committed suicide but altered the scene to make it look like a homicide, allowing his son to collect. Life insurance policies typically do not cover suicides within a certain period of time after the policy starts.
Josh Sparkman said he is convinced his father was slain, in part because there were several items missing and apparently stolen from his car.
“If it’s deemed suicide, there’s no point in even looking at insurance,” Josh Sparkman said. “There’s no such thing as suicide insurance. The money is not the concern. I just want to know what happened to my dad.”
Posted by Audiegrl
In this undated 2008 photo, Bill Sparkman speaks to a 7th grade class during a lesson about sound waves.
AP/Jeffrey McMurray—The son of a U.S. Census Bureau worker found hanging from a tree in eastern Kentucky with the word “fed” scrawled on his chest said Tuesday he has no doubt his father was slain.
Josh Sparkman told The Associated Press in a phone interview that he is frustrated investigators still have not ruled out suicide or accidental death.
“I look at it as disrespectful to be still throwing suicide and accident around,” he said. “He didn’t do this to himself. That’s dishonorable. My dad was a good man. No person on this planet is going to fight cancer like he did, then turn around and kill himself a year or so later.”
Bill Sparkman, 51, was a substitute teacher and part-time census worker whose body was found tied to a tree with a rope around his neck in a remote Appalachian forest earlier this month. The Clay County coroner said “fed” was written on his chest, apparently in felt tip pen. Authorities have refused to say if he was going door-to-door for census surveys before he died.
Josh Sparkman, 19, said he learned of his father’s death Sept. 13, a day after his body was found. Bill Sparkman adopted him when he was a baby.
Posted by Audiegrl
TPMMuckraker/Zachary Roth—Bill Sparkman, the Census worker found dead in Kentucky recently was not found hanging from a tree, according to an FBI spokesman. Rather, David Beyer told TPMmuckraker, Sparkman’s feet were planted on the ground. A rope around Sparkman’s neck was attached to a tree.
Bill Sparkman Was a 51-Year-Old Single Father Pursuing Teaching Degree
An anonymously sourced AP report said that Sparkman was hanging from a tree, and that he had the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest.
Beyer, a spokesman with the FBI’s Louisville, Kentucky filed office, declined to comment on the accuracy of the “Fed” detail. But he was at pains to ratchet back speculation that Sparkman was killed in an act of anti-government sentiment, saying that investigators had not yet determined even whether the death was a homicide.
Previous reporting “left the impression that [Sparkman] was found strung up in a tree because he was a federal employee,” Beyer said. “At this juncture that’s not accurate.” Beyer added that Sparkman died of asphyxiation.
Area where census worker died has troubled history @
***Update from TPM: The local coroner has confirmed that the word “Fed” had been written on Bill Sparkman’s chest when he was found dead earlier this month.
Jim Trosper, the Clay County coroner, confirmed the information to TPMmuckraker moments ago, adding that the word appeared to have been written in felt tip marker. He declined to give additional details.
***New AP Update: Witness: Census worker’s hanging body naked, bound
Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press on Friday that he was among a group of relatives who discovered the body of 51-year-old Bill Sparkman on Sept. 12.
“The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,” Weaver said. “And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.
“And they even had duct tape around his neck. And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.”
Weaver said he couldn’t tell if the tag was a Census Bureau I.D. He said he didn’t get close enough to read it.