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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 9:25 pm 
White Mage
White Mage

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:10 am
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WASHINGTON (AP) An independent watchdog has cleared Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke of wrongdoing when he gave a speech to a National Hockey League team owned by a campaign contributor.The Office of Special Counsel said Zinke’s June 2017 speech to the Vegas Golden Knights did not violate the Hatch Act Alex Burmistrov Jersey , a federal law that prohibits executive branch officials from engaging in political activities. The team’s owner, Bill Foley, contributed to Zinke’s Republican congressional campaigns and to President Donald Trump’s inauguration.The special counsel also cleared Zinke in two other related complaints in which he was accused of mixing political and official business. The office investigates whistleblower complaints against the executive branch.In a May 31 letter obtained by The Associated Press, the special counsel’s office said Zinke addressed the team in his role as Interior secretary and spoke about leadership and the importance of teamwork. There’s no evidence that Zinke gave a political speech or otherwise engaged in political activity, the letter said.Zinke’s speech has drawn scrutiny because of the political contributions by the team’s owner and because Interior spent more than $12,000 on a charter flight from Nevada to Zinke’s home state of Montana for a speech the next day. Zinke has said no commercial flight was available for the late-night flight that allowed him to address the hockey team and speak to Western governors the next day in Whitefish , Montana.A spokeswoman for Zinke said the special counsel’s letter marked the second time Zinke has been cleared of wrongdoing in the Las Vegas speech. The Interior Department’s inspector general said in April that Zinke’s use of a chartered flight was reviewed and approved by department ethics officials. Still, the flight could have been avoided if Interior employees had worked with the hockey team to accommodate Zinke’s schedule, the report said.”As the inspector general pointed out, the secretary always works with career ethics professionals and has followed all laws, rules and regulations related to his travel,” spokeswoman Heather Swift said.But Daniel Stevens Youth Brandon Sutter Jersey , executive director of the Campaign for Accountability, an ethics watchdog group, said Zinke’s speech was clearly political. ”The truth is, Secretary Zinke charged taxpayers more than $12,000 for a charter flight so he could give a speech to the employees of one of his top campaign donors,” Stevens said.The special counsel’s office also cleared Zinke in a March 2017 trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Zinke appeared as a guest at a GOP fundraiser and posed for photos with high-end donors. Zinke’s official title was omitted from invitations to the event Brendan Leipsic Jersey Kids , and the invitation did not specify that donors who made significant contributions could pose with Zinke, the counsel’s office said.”Your activity did not violate the Hatch Act because you were not the impetus for those higher contributions,” the counsel’s office said in a letter to Zinke. The letter was signed by Erica Hamrick, deputy chief of the counsel’s Hatch Act unit.The counsel’s office also cleared Zinke in seven trips he made from March 2017 to October 2017 that mixed official and political business. Interior asked for and received proper reimbursement for political elements of each of those trips, Hamrick said.Hamrick’s letter did not address a complaint filed in March by two Democratic congressmen who said Zinke may have violated the Hatch Act at a Feb. 24 event in Pennsylvania to announce grants to clean up abandoned mining sites nationwide. State Rep. Rick Saccone, the GOP nominee for Congress in a March 13 special election , attended the event. Democrats called the location and timing of the speech suspicious. Saccone lost to Democrat Conor Lamb. MONTREAL (AP) — Jesperi Kotkaniemi needed just 54 games to etch his name in the Montreal Canadiens‘ record book.He became the first 18-year-old in franchise history to score in three consecutive games as Montreal downed the slumping Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Tuesday night.The Finn’s first-period goal helped the Canadiens improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games.“It’s obviously special to do something like that in this kind of organization,” Kotkaniemi said. “It’s a good thing.”Kotkaniemi, the third-overall pick at last year’s draft, has five goals in his last nine games. He’s scored in every match since the Canadiens came back from their bye week.“You can tell the break’s been good to him,” teammate Brendan Gallagher said. “We forget that he’s played a lot of hockey this year. He came here and did all the prospects stuff, then training camp. He’s played a lot of games.“We’re going to need him going forward and he’s come up with some big goals.”The Canadiens were all over the Ducksfrom the opening faceoff Christopher Tanev Jersey , scoring twice before the visitors even got their second shot on goal.Gallagher got the first at 7:11 of the first period after sustained forecheck by Phillip Danault in Anaheim’s zone led to a turnover by Josh Manson. The puck ended up on Gallagher’s stick for his team-leading 20th of the season.Kotkaniemi made it 2-0 less than three minutes later off a rebound.Gallagher padded the lead with his second of the game at 16:39 on a one-timer from the slot past Chad Johnson after a poorly timed line change by the Ducks.“Our players did a great job in the first period,” Montreal coach Claude Julien said. “We skated well and had them (the Ducks) on their heels. They’re a fragile team right now. With the 3-0 lead we did some damage.”Anaheim has lost five in a row. Randy Carlyle’s team has conceded 19 goals in the past three games, including a 9-3 loss in Winnipeg on Saturday and a 6-1 defeat in Toronto on Monday.“We’re saying all the right things in the room,” Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg said. “You just have to leave it out there. And everyone has to take it upon themselves and look in the mirror.“You can’t just be here to participate. You have to make sure to play harder.”The Ducks were handed a lifeline in the second period when captain Ryan Getzlaf beat Carey Price on the wraparound at 11:27. Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 47 points this season.But after taking their foot off the gas pedal in the second period, the Canadiens started the third with renewed vigour.Danault restored the three-goal lead at 2:31 after a no-look pass by Jonathan Drouin behind the net fooled Johnson into looking the wrong way. Danault has eight points in his last nine games.Drouin finished the game with three assists.Price made 24 saves for his sixth straight victory — his longest winning streak since the 2016-17 season. He’s six wins away from tying Jacques Plante for most victories by a goaltender in Canadiens history.Johnson stopped 28 shots.NOTES: Price improved to 3-6-1 career against the Ducks. … Montreal finished 0 for 3 on the power play.UP NEXTDucks: Play at Ottawa on Thursday night.Canadiens: Host Winnipeg on Thursday night.

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