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  Sen. Vitter's spokesman dares Obama administration to prosecute his boss
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ContributorBrandonius Maximus 
Last EditedBrandonius Maximus  May 26, 2011 10:38am
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AuthorBruce Alpert, Times-Picayune The Times-Picayune
MediaNewspaper - New Orleans Times-Picayune
News DateThursday, May 26, 2011 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionWASHINGTON -- Sen. David Vitter's spokesman is defending his boss from criticism that the Republican lawmaker is improperly holding up a salary increase for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar until more drilling permits are approved in the Gulf of Mexico.

Salazar this week asked the Senate to drop a proposal to give him a $19,000 raise so he would be compensated at the same level as other Cabinet members. It is important, Salazar said in a letter to Senate leaders, that Vitter's "attempt cannot and will not affect the execution of the solemn legal responsibilities that the department undertakes on behalf of the American people."

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said it "is wrong for Sen. Vitter to try to get something in return for moving forward" on a routine matter, and David Rogers wrote in the Capitol Hill newspaper Politico on Wednesday that the Louisiana senator is treading close to "federal statutes that make it a crime to offer anything of value to a public official to influence an official act."
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