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Harriet doesn't know how to fill out the form

Harriet gets an “F” on her Judiciary Committee questionnaire, from both sides of the aisle. She better bone up pronto if she’s going to get out of the gate; maybe good friend Condi can lend a hand on prep.

The top Republican and Democrat on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday told U.S. Supreme nominee Harriet Miers to elaborate on what they criticized as inadequate answers to a questionnaire prepared as part of an examination of her qualifications.

At a news conference, Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, described Miers’ response to the questionnaire as “insufficient,” and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, ranking Democrat, said some had complained the answers were even “insulting.”

“Please prepare a supplement to your responses … with as much detail, particularity and precision as possible,” they wrote in a letter to Miers. It cited a number of areas, including her experience with constitutional issues and her brief suspension for nonpayment of dues to the D.C. bar association.

“We don’t have enough in this questionnaire, the answers so far, to go forward,” Specter said, complaining about what he called a “chaotic” confirmation process so far.

Don’t take my word for it; you can see her responses here. Some sample answers…

State Bar of Texas
1991-1994 President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President
Date unknown: Director, Fact Finding Committee
Date unknown: Chair, Goals and Implementation Committee
Date unknown: Vice Chair, State Bar Antitrust Section Council
Date unknown: Chair and Vice Chair, Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters
Date unknown: Member, Administration of Justice Committee
Date unknown: Member, Directors Orientation Committee
Date unknown: Member, General Counsel Advisory Committee
Date unknown: Member, State Bar Litigation Section Council
Date unknown: Councilmember, Women in the Law Section

“I have made my best efforts to include all organizations of which I was a member. However, I may have been a member of other organizations for which I no longer have records.”

“1989-1991: Chair, Railtran Advisory Committee. Contact information is not available.”

“Dates unknown: Chair, Committee to Review City Budget Process, Contact information is not available.”

“Dates not available: Member, Board of Directors, Tyler Cabot Mortgage Securities Fund, an investment company. Contact information is not available.”

“In any instance in which I have not provided dates, my records do not indicate that information, and I have been unable to verify the dates of membership or service.”

“Earlier this year, I received notice that my dues for the District of Columbia Bar were delinquent and as a result my ability to practice law in D.C. had been suspended. I immediately sent the dues in to remedy the delinquency. The non-payment was not intentioned, and I corrected the situation upon receiving the letter.”

“The following list of speeches includes those I was able to locate after a diligent review of my records. I am confident that there are additional speeches, particularly prior to my appointment as Counsel to the President, to which I no longer have access or for which I did not prepare formal remarks. Although there may be press reports about these and other speeches that I have given, such reports are not all readily available to me. Any press reports I have located in my personal records regarding these or other speeches are included in my response to question 13d.”

WTF is this?! Answers like the above go on and on and on, repeated many times. It’s pathetic and really sad, come to think of it. She isn’t ready for primetime, and the Chimp is leaving her out to dry, along with all of the rest of the folks he’s trotting out to back her CV.

***

UPDATE: It’s even worse than I thought. See the Raw Story article, “Miers provided misleading information to Judiciary Committee.”

Miers also neglected to mention a class action lawsuit that accused the firm, Capstead Mortgage, of violating federal securities laws. The suit, which was later dismissed, came during the period Miers failed to include in her responses to the Senate questionnaire.

According to Capstead’s 1999 annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Miers remained on the board as late as March 9, 2000. Miers opted not to stand for re-election, and in April of 2000, the former senior managing director at Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., Howard Rubin was voted on to the board and replaced her as chair of the Audit Committee.

But Miers 57-page questionnaire returned to the Senate on Tuesday claimed that her tenure at Capstead lasted only from January 1993 to 1997

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding