Fitz File: Thursday, December 19 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Fitz File: Thursday, December 19

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Here's what you need to know from The Fitz File for Thursday, December 19, 2013:

MCDONNEL CHARGES PENDING? Was outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife on the verge of being charged in connection with a gift scandal last week? The McDonnell's are under a cloud for accepting thousands of dollars in gifts from Healthfood Businessman Jonnie Williams, in exchange for promoting his company. They've claimed to have returned all the gifts and made public apologies. A Washington Post reports the US Attorney in Virginia told McDonnell's lawyer they would ask a grand jury to return an indictment last Monday. So who pulled the plug on the charges? According to the Post a senior Justice Department official in DC delayed the decision. A final decision on pressing charges now may not come until late January or February.

PASSENGERS BILL OF RIGHTS - 1:00pm Should you have a right to paid if an airline loses your luggage? How about a right not to sit on a tarmac for 3 hours? A right to refund, and free flight if you're bumped or canceled? The airline passenger group "Flyers Rights" thinks so. Today they're attending the FAA's Rule Making Advisory Committee in DC. Flyers rights says they are going to show up at that meeting on behalf of frustrated passengers everywhere to demand action by the FAA. They are bringing with them "The Passengers Bill of Rights" an 8 item list of basic things they thing mistreated airline passengers most deserve when it comes to dealing with increasingly difficult airlines. Location: 800 Independence Avenue SW, 10th floor, MacCracken Room.

IRS SERVICE PROBLEMS - It's the most wonderful time of the year right? Of course we're talking about tax season. But as you get ready to file your returns, know this: The Government Accountability Office has issued a critical report on how IRS is doing a bad job of providing to help to people when they call their phone number or write them asking questions. The findings are contained in a year long investigation into last years tax season (the same year that IRS spent alot of time defending itself for denying tax status to conservative political groups) GAO found IRS was unable to keep up with demand for telephone and correspondence services. Access to IRS’s telephone assistance remained at only 68%. IRS's answer? It's proposed eliminating or reducing some services for 2014 such as answering basic tax law questions during the filing season.

VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL - Better late than never right? Well it took a month and a half to get there but Virginia finally has it's next Attorney General: Democrat State Sen. Mark Herring. Republican Mark Obenshain's recount effort had the plug pulled on it fairly quickly when the GOP realized Herring was actually gaining votes in Fairfax County not losing them. So what's this mean for Virginia's political landscape? Is the Commonwealth now a "Democratic State"? Have left leaning Northern Virginia voters taken control of statewide elections? Or have the GOP's former moderate leaders like Governors George Allen and Jim Gilmore, been replaced with too many far right social conservatives like current A.G. Ken Cuccineli and Sen. EW Jackson?



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