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Posts Tagged ‘Coruption’

ACORN Crooks on the March for Obamacare

by Matthew VadumWADE RATHKE

A corrupt union ringleader who orchestrated massive campaigns involving identity fraud in furtherance of voter fraud and who covered up a million-dollar embezzlement involving pension funds will soon have unfettered access to confidential information on thousands of people seeking health insurance.

The union thug is disgraced ACORN founder Wade Rathke whose shady union will soon be helping people enroll in Obamacare exchanges.

Rathke’s labor vehicle, United Labor Unions (ULU) Local 100 in New Orleans, announced on its Facebook page Sept. 15 that it was gearing up “to do mass enrollment and help navigate people into the marketplaces in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas under the Affordable Care Act!”

“Local 100′s role as a Navigator, suggest[s] the program is less about health care and more about building a new progressive infrastructure,” says longtime ACORN-watcher Mike Flynn of Breitbart.com.
The fact that Wade Rathke, a disreputable, radical left-wing community organizer, is allowed anywhere near the enrollment process ought to give all Americans pause. The only reason Rathke hasn’t been federally investigated for racketeering is because his allies control the federal law enforcement apparatus. President Obama pretends he has no connection to ACORN and Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t care what laws have been broken because he approves of ACORN’s goals.

Of course, ACORN and the labor movement go way back. In 1979, ACORN created the United Labor Unions, which it used to organize low-wage, fast-food, and home healthcare workers in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.

Yes, that’s President Obama’s former employer, ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

ACORN is the nonprofit group that knowingly hired felons convicted of identity theft to work on voter registration drives, giving them custody of sensitive voter information.

As I showed in my ACORN/Obama expose, Subversion Inc., ACORN is also infamous for hiring felons without bothering to do background checks, storming hospital emergency rooms and city council chambers, using voter fraud to turn graveyards across the nation into Democratic electoral strongholds, using mob violence against bank executives and other shakedown targets, and for ruthlessly exploiting its own employees and going to court to seek an exemption from minimum wage laws.

The 400,000-member organization, which filed for bankruptcy almost three years ago, was the nation’s preeminent Saul Alinsky-inspired street protest group — and the creepiest by far.
There are so many reasons why anyone connected to ACORN, especially the sleazy, smooth-talking, neo-communist con man Wade Rathke, cannot be trusted.

Dale Rathke, younger brother of Wade Rathke, stole a bit over $948,000 from ACORN in 1999 and 2000. Some of the money came from pension funds. Wade covered up the theft until it was discovered in mid-2008 at which point ACORN’s national board fired him and stifled an internal investigation into the crimes. With the richly deserved adverse publicity, grants from foundations began to dry up. ACORN filed bankruptcy on Election Day 2010.

The undercover videos shot by James O’Keefe III and Hannah Giles in 2009 that showed ACORN employees giving helpful advice on how to lie to the government, commit tax fraud, and trick banks into providing loans for brothels, helped kill off the group. That year Congress, which had given ACORN about $79 million in grants over the years, approved a law removing ACORN from the public teat.

It’s not that easy to get booted out of SEIU, America’s preeminent radical union, but somehow the ACORN-controlled Local 100 managed to do it.

As an SEIU official told me in October 2009, Local 100, which affiliated with SEIU in the mid 1980s, had its charter revoked by SEIU headquarters in September 2009. The bargaining unit was “not financially viable” and “simply couldn’t meet requirements to be a stand alone union,” she said without elaborating.

Given who’s running ULU, it is a foregone conclusion that ULU activists will abuse the sensitive financial, medical, and demographic information they take from vulnerable Americans, using the data for community organizing and partisan political advantage. That’s how Rathke operated over the 38 years that he headed ACORN.

Among the other left-wing organizations riding the Obamacare navigator gravy train are the Democrat-friendly groups Planned Parenthood, National Urban League, and Virginia Poverty Law Center Inc.

Many left-wing groups have not signed contracts with HHS or received government grants to enroll new patients but have nonetheless pledged to help promote the exchanges being created under Obamacare. Each recognized “Champion of Coverage” group vows to promote enrollment by emailing its members, hanging posters or giving out fact sheets and brochures, holding a conference call, or promoting enrollment in other ways.

Among the Champions of Coverage are Americans United for Change, Enroll America, Families USA, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), NAACP, MomsRising, Service Employees International Union, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, and Young Invincibles (Center for Community Change).

Enrollment will be a dangerous free-for-all because Obamacare “navigators” are barely regulated at all. By the way, the only reason there are any “navigators” is to help the Left, as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has more or less admitted. Imposing rules would only interfere with community organizers’ ability to wreak havoc and spread the gospel of so-called social justice.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican office holder who is painfully aware of ACORN’s antics over the years, warns that the Obamacare navigator program, like all of Obamacare, is deeply flawed.

“‘Navigator’ is a crafty name, but in reality, there are very few restrictions on who they are, and what exactly they are supposed to be doing,” Jindal says. “‘Navigators’ are supposed to be hired to help consumers understand the law and the insurance coverage provisions in the new health exchanges. Sounds like a job for a rocket scientist.”

“The ‘navigators’ are prohibited from having financial ties to an insurance company, but other than that there are few constraints. Union organizers and community activists are among the types that are allowed to be hired as ‘navigators’, and having prior experience working in the health care field doesn’t seem to necessarily be a pre-requisite for the job. I wonder what percentage of these ‘navigators’ will be partisan Democrats?”

The navigators will have to undertake a mere 20 hours of online training, “which will apparently make them experts on the 1,000 page ObamaCare bill.”

These community organizers will have access to “social security numbers and tax information” and HHS isn’t even planning on running background checks before sending them out into the field. “Besides the obvious identity theft concerns, this is a frightening development in light of the political activities and invasion of privacy, which the IRS and others have engaged in during the Obama presidency,” Jindal writes.

But as we’ve learned in the Obama era, this kind of craziness is par for the course with community organizers.

HHS Secretary Sebelius previewed the Obamacare navigators program as she supplicated before racial arsonist Rev. Al Sharpton’s radical left-wing National Action Network (NAN) at its convention in the nation’s capital in April 2012. She urged activists to get into the trenches and fight for the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) and to play Santa Claus, letting their neighbors know that the law gives them access to mountains of taxpayer-funded freebies.

“In our country what we know is health care inequality [has been] one of the most persistent forms of injustice but over the past three years, as Rev. Sharpton reminded us, we have begun to turn the tide,” Sebelius said. “Now is not the time to turn back.”

“We know that the best way to keep moving in the right direction is to get people the facts. Right now there are a lot of people who are benefiting from this law who don’t even know that’s why they are benefiting.”

“We need your help,” said the former Kansas governor, herself an accomplished shakedown artist.

Just last week President Obama picked up this statist narrative, declaring that his Soviet-style government health care scheme was all about civil rights. He expounded the ugly, neo-Marxist view that every American has the right to extract free medical care from taxpayers and unwilling providers.

“In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick,” Obama bloviated. “In the United States, health care is not a privilege for the fortunate few, it is a right.”

Translation: No individual American will go broke because of Obamacare. Instead, the whole country will go broke.

And Wade Rathke’s ULU Local 100 will be at the forefront, helping to throw dirt on America’s coffin.

Obama Claims Celebrities Determine Direction of Country

No, It Is NOT “Legal” For Congress To Insider-Trade — The SEC Should Launch Investigation Immediately

The fact that many members of Congress appear to have traded on non-public information in their personal brokerage accounts during the financial crisis is outrageous.
But since this bombshell news broke on Sunday night, the excuse has been that, however ridiculous it may sound, insider trading is legal for Congress.
This same assertion has been repeated for years, every time someone observes that Congress members do much better in their personal stock trading than average investors do. Unlike average Joes, the pundits explain, Congress has exempted itself from insider-trading laws, so Congress-people are allowed to trade on private information that they gather in the course of their work while other Americans can’t.
But at least one law professor argues that this is just not true.
Insider trading is just as illegal for members of Congress as it is for the 300+ million Americans, Indiana Law Professor Donna Nagy argues.
Congress never “exempted” itself from insider trading laws, Nagy says–because Congress has never actually passed a law about insider trading.
By trading on information gathered in the course of their jobs, Nagy says, Congress-people are abusing the public trust and violating a legal duty, just the way any other insider-traders do.
So the Congress people who traded during the financial crisis (and since) should be investigated and, possibly, prosecuted for their behavior.
The definition of insider trading is trading while in possession of material non-public information.
On September 16th, 2008, a new book by Peter Schweizer alleges, Rep. Spencer Bachus and other members of Congress attended a private, off-the-record (read: non-public) briefing from Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke about the state of the economy.
The next day, some Congress-people who attended the briefing, including Rep. Bachus and Dick Durbin, sold stocks or bet against the market. A few days later, after the market had tanked, Rep. Bachus cashed out his bet for a tidy profit.
Now, hands up, who out there thinks that a private off-the-record briefing from the two most important financial executives in the country would be considered “material non-public information”?
I certainly do.
“Material non-public information” is any information that a reasonable person might want to consider when making an investment decision.
And this reasonable person, anyway, would definitely want to consider the latest thinking and information of Fed Chairman and the Treasury Secretary when placing a bet on the market.
If a Wall Street executive had been at that briefing and then immediately dumped his/her stocks or bet against the market, you can be confident that Congress and the public would be screaming about corruption and unfairness and the shafting of “the little guy” and calling for the executive’s head.
The personal trading of Congress-people after this briefing is no different.
Bachus and Durbin (and others) got the information they traded in possession of because they were doing a job on behalf of their constituents. The information was confidential, and, in in all likelihood, material. And they appear to have immediately used it for their own personal gain.
Even if this behavior is not judged to be illegal, it’s certainly unethical. At the very least, the SEC should launch a full investigation.
By Henry Blodget

Judicial Watch Announces The Award for Washington's “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2010

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2010 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes: Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)Rahm Emanuel, Former Obama White House Chief of Staff, Senator John Ensign (R-NV)Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)President Barack ObamaRep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. But it appears she still needs an ethics lesson. Boxer presided over a year-long investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee into whether two of her Senate colleagues, Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), received preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial as part of the company’s “VIP” program. (Senate ethics rules prohibit members from receiving loan terms not available to the general public.) In fact, according to The Associated Press, during an Ethics Committee hearing Boxer asked “the bulk of the questions.”

However, Boxer failed to mention (or disclose on her official Senate Financial Disclosure documents) that she and her husband have signed no less than seven mortgages with Countrywide! At the time of the hearing, Boxer reportedly indicated she had paid off two Countrywide mortgages, but did not mention the others.

The evidence clearly showed that Dodd and Conrad knew they were receiving preferential treatment despite repeated denials. Yet Boxer’s Senate Ethics Committee allowed Dodd and Conrad to wriggle off the hook with a light admonition that suggested the two Senators should have exercised better judgment. The same, apparently, can be said of the Committee’s own chair, who either neglected to mention or outright lied about her own dealings with the corrupt mortgage company.

Rahm Emanuel, Former Obama White House Chief of Staff didn’t earn the nickname “Rahmbo” for being a mild-mannered shrinking violet. He served as Bill Clinton’s chief money-man at a time when the Clinton campaign was corrupted by foreign money. He defended the “worst of the worst” Clinton scandals, and, in fact, earned his reputation as a ruthless political combatant by fiercely defending President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. (Notably, Emanuel also served on the board of Freddie Mac when the company was involved in fraudulent activity.)

The bottom line is that when the Clintons’ dirty work needed to be done, Emanuel did it and apparently without question. That didn’t change under Obama. Remember when the Obama White House wanted to manipulate Democratic primaries in 2010?

Emanuel teamed with his then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina to allegedly interfere with Senate elections in Pennsylvania and Colorado by offering federal appointments to Rep. Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff. Sestak and Romanoff were not Obama’s favored candidates, so Emanuel and Messina apparently attempted to unlawfully persuade them to abandon their campaigns.

A Judicial Watch complaint to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel on June 15, 2010, tells the story: “As widely reported in the media, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, on behalf of the Obama Administration, have both used their position and influence as highly placed federal employees to affect the outcome of federal elections in direct violation of the Hatch Act, which states that an employee may not ‘use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.’”

And then, of course, there’s Emanuel’s participation in the Blagojevich scandal.

According to sworn testimony during the “Blago” trial, Emanuel served as Obama’s chief negotiator with the Blagojevich team as the former Illinois Governor attempted to illegally sell Obama’s former Senate seat to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, the federal prosecutor cut short the case against Blagojevich and Emanuel and other Obama insiders were never called to testify.

Emanuel left the White House under an ethical cloud and has decided to throw his hat in the ring for Mayor of Chicago, where he again stands accused of ignoring the rules and violating the law regarding candidate residency requirements.

Senator John Ensign (R-NV): In a scandal that first broke in 2009, Senator Ensign publicly admitted to an affair with the wife of a long-time staffer. And the evidence indicates Ensign then tried to cover up his sexual shenanigans by bribing the couple with lucrative gifts and political favors.

According to The New York Times, after Ensign’s aide, Douglas Hampton, discovered the affair, “Mr. Ensign asked political backers to find a job for…Hampton. Payments of $96,000 to the Hamptons also were made by Senator Ensign’s parents, who insist this was a gift, not hush money. Once a lobbying job was secured, Senator Ensign and his chief of staff continued to help Mr. Hampton, advocating his clients’ cases directly with federal agencies.”

These lobbying activities were seemingly in violation of the Senate’s “cooling off” period for lobbyists. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Under Senate rules, former Senate aides cannot lobby their former colleagues for one year after leaving Capitol Hill.” Hampton began to lobby Mr. Ensign’s office immediately upon leaving his congressional job.

Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. And despite the claims of Ensign and his parents, the $96,000 in “gifts” provided to the Hamptons were clearly hush payments.

Nonetheless, on December 1, 2010, the Obama Justice Department announced it will file no criminal chargesagainst Ensign, while the Federal Election Commission has also dismissed a related ethics complaint. If there is to be justice for Ensign, it will have to be up to the corrupt (see Boxer entry above) Senate Ethics Committee, which is still considering the charges against the Nevada Republican.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): In a story that continued to mushroom throughout 2010, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) improperly intervened for Maxine Waters (D-CA) on behalf of his home-state OneUnited Bank to obtain Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. When asked about the scandal, the Massachusetts Democrat admitted he spoke to a “federal regulator” but, according to The Wall Street Journal he didn’t remember which federal regulator he spoke with.” According to explosive Treasury Department emailsuncovered by Judicial Watch in 2010, however, it appears this nameless bureaucrat was none other than then-Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson!

While Frank’s “partner in crime” in the OneUnited scandal, Congressman Maxine Waters, is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee (see below), Frank’s colleagues in the House have inexcusably ignored the Massachusetts Democrat’s connection to the OneUnited grant.

To this day, Barney Frank continues to defend his role in the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying he was just as blindsided as the rest of America when the two government sponsored enterprises collapsed, triggering the financial crisis. Frank has been peddling this fiction ever since the economy collapsed in September 2008. But, as The Boston Globe reported in a devastating article published on October 14, 2010, not many people are buying Frank’s lies anymore. And Frank knows it. Here’s an excerpt from the Globe:

The issue…in 2003 was whether mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fiscally strong. Frank declared with his trademark confidence that they were, accusing critics and regulators of exaggerating threats to Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial integrity. And, the Massachusetts Democrat maintained, ‘even if there were problems, the federal government doesn’t bail them out.’ Now, it’s clear he was wrong on both points…

Frank wasn’t wrong. He was just lying through his teeth. Frank claims that he “missed” the warning signs with Fannie and Freddie because he was wearing “ideological blinders,” which was just his lame attempt to blame Republicans. But he did not miss them. According to evidence uncovered by Judicial Watch, he just chose to ignore them.

Judicial Watch obtained documents in 2010 proving that members of Congress, including — and perhaps especially — Barney Frank, were well aware that Fannie and Freddie were in deep trouble due to corruption and incompetence and yet they did nothing to stop it.

Moreover, as the Globe notes, in July 2008, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says he called Frank and told him the government would need to spend “billions of taxpayer dollars to backstop the institutions from catastrophic failure.” Frank, despite that conversation, appeared on national television two days later and said the companies were “fundamentally sound, not in danger of going under.” Less than two months later, the government seized Fannie and Freddie and the bailout began.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL): This year’s trial of scandal-ridden former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ended with “Blago” being convicted of only 1 of 24 charges related to the scheme to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. But as the government plans its second attempt to prosecute the case, one person who should be on the hot-seat is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL).

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate.”

How much cash?

The Chicago Sun Times put that figure at $1.5 million in its initial reports. But according to Jackson’s fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, the Illinois Congressman asked him to offer not $1.5 million, but a whopping $6 million in campaign cash to Blagojevich to secure the Senate seat!

In addition to his corrupt deal-making, in 2010 Jackson was also nailed for conducting an improper and potentially criminal relationship with a female “social acquaintance.”

Nayak told investigators that Jackson asked him to “pay to fly a Washington, DC, restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro…to Chicago to visit him.” Nayak reportedly did so twice.

We all know what “social acquaintance” means under these circumstances. Jackson says this is a “private and personal matter between me and my wife.” But not if it involves public funds or illegal gifts — issues which remain unsettled.

President Barack Obama: Remember the promise President Obama made just after his inauguration in 2009? “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

Instead, Americans have suffered through lies, stonewalling, cover-ups, corruption, secrecy, scandal and blatant disregard for the rule of law…this has been the Obama legacy in its first two years.

In 2010, Obama was caught in a lie over what he knew about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s scheme to sell the president’s vacated Senate seat. Blagojevich’s former Chief of Staff John Harris testified that Obama had personal knowledge of Blago’s plot to obtain a presidential cabinet position in exchange for appointing a candidate handpicked by the President. In fact, according to Harris’s court testimony, Obama sent Blagojevich a list of “acceptable” Senate candidates to fill his old seat. Obama was interviewed by the FBI even before he was sworn into office. He claimed he and his staff had no contact with Blagojevich’s office. Unfortunately federal prosecutors never called the President or his staff to testify under oath.

The President also broke his famous pledge to televise healthcare negotiations. And in 2010, we learned why he broke his pledge. In what is now known as the “Cornhusker Kickback” scheme, Obama and the Democrats in the Senate “purchased” the vote of one of the last Democrat hold-outs, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, who opposed Obamacare over the issue of covering abortions with taxpayer funds. Nelson abandoned his opposition to Obamacare after receiving millions of dollars in federal aid for his home-state, helping to give the Democrats the 60 votes they needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Same goes for Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, who received a $100 million payoff in what has been called “The Louisiana Purchase.” (The Kickback was so corrupt that Democrats stripped it out at the last minute. The Louisiana Purchase, on the other hand, became law of the land.)

Obama lied about his White House’s involvement in this legislative bribery that helped lead to the passage of the signature policy achievement of his presidency.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Air Pelosi” is now grounded.

Judicial Watch uncovered documents back in 2009 detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi’s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft for herself and her family as well as the speaker’s 11th hour cancellations and changes. In 2010, Judicial Watch kept the pressure on Pelosi, uncovering documents that demonstrated the Speaker was using U.S. Air Force aircraft as her own personal party planes. Overall, the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

For example, purchases for one Pelosi-led congressional delegation traveling from Washington, DC to Tel Aviv, Israel and Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Maker’s Mark whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewar’s scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.

Moreover, Pelosi also abused the rules by allowing members of her family to join her on taxpayer-funded Air Force flights. For example, on June 20, 2009, Speaker Pelosi’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons joined a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to San Francisco International Airport. That flight included $143 for on-flight expenses for food and other items. On July 2, 2010, Pelosi took her grandson on a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, which is northeast of San Francisco.

Judicial Watch’s efforts not only exposed Nancy Pelosi’s corrupt abuse of military aircraft, but they also led to reform when Rep. John Boehner announced after Election Day that, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, he will fly commercial to and from Ohio instead of using military aircraft.

Of course, it was Rep. Nancy Pelosi who famously promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC during the campaign of 2006 when the Democrats seized control of power on Capitol Hill. That did not happen. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Pelosi also turned a blind eye to corruption on the part of her Congressional colleagues (see Charlie Rangel entry below).

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): On December 2, 2010, the House of Representatives voted 333-79 to “censure” Rep. Charles Rangel. Next to expulsion, this is the most serious sanction that can be taken by the House against an individual member. This censure vote followed an investigation by the Committee for Official Standards of Conduct, which finally convicted Rangel on 13 ethics violations, including:

  • Forgetting to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. (Rangel was formerly in charge of the committee responsible for writing tax policy.)
  • Misusing his congressional office, staff and resources to raise money for his private Rangel Center for Public Service, to be housed at the City College of New York. (He also put the squeeze on donors who had business before his House Ways and Means Committee, and used the congressional “free mail” privilege to solicit funds.)
  • Misusing his residentially-zoned Harlem apartment as a campaign headquarters.
  • Failing to report $600,000 in income on his official congressional financial disclosure reports, which contained “numerous errors and omissions.”

It is worth noting that the Committee did not consider other serious corruption charges against Rangel. For example, it has been alleged that Rangel preserved a tax loophole for an oil company in exchange for a Rangel Center donation. The Committee also did not consider the charge that Rangel used improper influence to maintain ownership of his highly coveted rent-controlled apartment — the same apartment he improperly used for campaign activities.

As this is Washington, politicians of both parties will pretend that censure is a serious punishment. But it is a “punishment” that simply requires Rangel to come to the well of the House and hear a disapproving statement read by lame-duck House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the real world, you get fired or thrown in jail for abusing your office and not paying your taxes.

Here is further context: The last time the House censured anyone was in 1983, when two congressmen (a Republican and Democrat) were censured for having sexual relationships with teenaged House pages. It seems that unless one is convicted of a crime, one can do anything as a congressman and not be thrown out of the House! The fact that the House has so rarely resorted to censure is more indicative of the lack of seriousness about ethics in Congress than of the so-called severity of the censure punishment.

Rangel should have been expelled from the House of Representatives.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY): On Election Day 2010, voters sent Congress a clear message: No more big spending or corrupt back-room deals! And what did House Republicans decide to do as one of their first moves for the new Tea Party Congress? Appoint Rep. Hal Rogers, also known as the “Prince of Pork,” to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

According to ABC News: “In two years, Rogers pushed through 135 earmarks worth $246 million. He’s brought tens of millions of dollars into his hometown of Somerset, Ky., so much so that the town has been dubbed ‘Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.’” Among the most egregious earmarks was a $17 million grant Rogers obtained for an “Airport to Nowhere,” a Kentucky airport with “so little traffic that the last commercial airline pulled out in February (2010).”

But the most serious charge against Rogers involves an earmark he obtained that could benefit one of his own family members.

Rogers secured $5 million in the House for conservation groups that work with wild cats, including the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a Namibia-based organization that employs Rogers’ daughter Allison. In fact, Allison Rogers serves as grants administrator. After she joined the organization in 2007, Congressman Rogers began his push for funding. In 2009, with help from Rogers, the bill passed the House by a 2-1 margin. (It has yet to be voted on in the Senate.)

Congressman Rogers claims he’ll change his stripes now: “No more earmarks. I’ll be the enforcer of the moratorium.” But Rogers’ 27 year history of wasting taxpayer funds on questionable projects is certainly cause for skepticism.

On November 9, 2010, Judicial Watch sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner asking him to reject a bid by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), who made our 2009 “Top Ten” list, to once again serve as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, given Lewis’s penchant for influence peddling. Rep. Rogers, however, is no upgrade.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA): Now that Charlie Rangel has been “punished” for his wrongdoing is California Rep. Maxine Waters next up on the hot-seat?

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (known informally as the House Ethics Committee) plans to hold hearings, although the committee delayed the trial indefinitely on November 29, 2010, citing newly discovered documentary evidence that may impact proceedings. According to The Associated Press, “The charges focus on whether Waters broke the rules in requesting federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on the board of directors.”

Judicial Watch has investigated the Waters/OneUnited Bank scandal for months. In fact, JW successfully sued the Obama Treasury Department to get documents and obtained explosive emails from the Treasury that provide documented evidence to support the charges against Waters.

For instance, a January 13, 2009, email from Brookly McLaughlin, Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, expresses surprise at Waters’ apparent conflict of interest:

Further to email below, WSJ [Wall Street Journal] tells me: …Apparently this bank is the only one that has gotten money through section 103-6 of the EESA law. And Maxine Waters’ husband is on the board of the bank. ??????

Judicial Watch also uncovered documents detailing the deplorable financial condition of the bank at the time of the cash infusion, which showed that the bank would have been an unlikely candidate to receive TARP funding without intervention from Waters and Frank.

Aside from OneUnited, there was yet another scandal with Waters’ fingerprints all over it.

According to The Washington Times: “A lobbyist known as one of California’s most successful power brokers while serving as a legislative leader in that state paid Rep. Maxine Waters’ husband $15,000 in consulting fees at a time she was co-sponsoring legislation that would help save the real-estate finance business of one of the lobbyist’s best-paying clients, records show.” That “real-estate finance business” was labeled a “scam” by the IRS in a 2006 report.

Where Are They Now?

(Updates on Selected Judicial Watch “Ten Most Wanted” Alumni)

Jack Abramoff, Former Lobbyist: Jack Abramoff appeared on Judicial Watch’s 2006 “Ten Most Wanted” list for his role in a slew of public corruption scandals that led to the convictions of 20 people, including former Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney. Abramoff was sentenced that year to nearly six years in prison for a fraudulent casino deal. In 2008, Abramoff received a concurrent four-year sentence “for conspiring to defraud the government, corrupting public officials and defrauding his clients in a separate case.” In December 2010, Abramoff completed a six-month stint at a Baltimore pizza joint, which officially concludes his prison sentence, and he is now on probation for three years. In 2010, Abramoff was also the subject of a new film called “Casino Jack,” which stars actor Kevin Spacey. Spacey received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of the disgraced former lobbyist.

Former Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): Former Senator Roland Burris made Judicial Watch’s 2009 “Ten Most Wanted” list for his corrupt (and ultimately successful) attempt to secure Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat from then-Governor Rod Blagojevich. According to Reuters: “Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama…Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich — later charged with trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat — at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor’s aides about his desire to be appointed.” Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to being appointed to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explanations came under oath. As a special appointment, Roland Burris’s term ended in November 2010, and he is no longer in the U.S. Senate.

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX): Congressman DeLay was embroiled in a series of scandals while serving as majority leader for House Republicans, earning him a spot on Judicial Watch’s 2006“Ten Most Wanted” list. DeLay, who was also investigated for his ties to “Ten Most Wanted” alumnus Jack Abramoff, resigned his post as majority leader in 2005 and resigned from Congress in 2006. In November 2010, DeLay was ultimately convicted of “illegally funneling corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002,” according to The Associated Press. “He faces five years to life in prison on the money laundering charge and two to 20 years on the conspiracy charge.” Mr. DeLay is adamant he did nothing wrong and plans to appeal the verdict. Mr. DeLay is also the only “Ten Most Wanted” alumnus to appear on the television dance competition Dancing with the Stars.

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): Senator Dodd made Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted” list in 2008 for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for improperly accepting preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial as part of the company’s corrupt “Friends of Angelo” VIP program. Then he made the list again in 2009 for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure form. Dodd allegedly obtained a sweetheart real estate deal for the Ireland property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. It seems the scandals were too much politically, and in 2010 Dodd announced he would not run for re-election. Despite his ethical lapses related to the financial sector, Dodd’s name (along with Barney Frank’s) is affixed to the “Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” the huge regulatory overhaul of the financial sector passed and signed into the law earlier this year. In January 2011 he will be out of office.

 

 

Crackhead Chrysler Auto Workers Get Busted....Again

Not only the horns toot:

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WHY DID THEY NOT HEAR US? DO WE HAVE TO SPEAK LOUDER?

6,488 Earmarks and Counting –the omnibus appropriations bill

$277,000 for potato pest management in Wisconsin
$246,000 for bovine tuberculosis in Michigan and Minnesota
$522,000 for cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey
$500,000 for oyster safety in Florida
$349,000 for swine waste management in North Carolina
$413,000 for peanut research in Alabama
$247,000 for virus free wine grapes in Washington
$208,000 beaver management in North Carolina
$94,000 for blackbird management in Louisiana
$165,000 for maple syrup research in Vermont
$235,000 for noxious weed management in Nevada
$100,000 for the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage Visitor’s Center in New York
$300,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii
$400,000 for solar parking canopies and plug-in electric stations in Kansas

It’s easy spending someone else’s money!

DIRTY, DIRTY, DIRTY – Harry Reid pushes bill to Monopolize Internet Gambling, Nevada Casinos and Racetracks would get first crack at online Poker Business

Harry Reid is pushing behind the scenes for lame-duck legislation that would allow poker games over the Internet but restrict initial licenses to casinos and racetrack operators that have been in businesses at least five years.

Some of the biggest casino operators in Reid’s home state of Nevada are eager to get a piece of the online gambling industry, which generates an estimated $5 billion a year for offshore operators.

A congressional aide familiar with the issue said Reid aides were circulating the draft legislation, and a copy of it was obtained by The Associated Press. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and did so only on condition of anonymity.

Four years ago, Congress effectively banned online gambling, passing legislation that prohibits banks and credit card companies from making payments to gambling websites. Supporters of online poker face less opposition with Democrats in charge of both chambers for another month. The House Financial Services Committee this year approved a bill that established a regulatory structure for online gambling.

Reid’s office would not answer questions about the legislation.

But sensing that supporters are in a hurry to lift the ban, three leading Republicans in the House wrote to Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., this week to say they oppose any attempt to legalize Internet gambling during the current legislative session.

They said using online gaming to generate revenue for the federal government would bring social and economic harm to many families.

“Congress should not take advantage of the young, the weak and the vulnerable in the name of new revenues to cover more government spending,” Republican Reps. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, Dave Camp of Michigan and Lamar Smith of Texas said in the letter. Bachus is in line to become chairman of the Financial Services Committee next month, Camp will take over the Ways and Means Committee and Smith is expected to head the Judiciary Committee. The three committees have jurisdiction over Internet gambling matters.

Most of the legislative work this year concerning online gambling has taken place in the House, where supporters say that prohibition didn’t work with alcohol and it’s not working with online gambling. People continue to participate but in an underground, unregulated market.

“We are not talking about an activity that harms others where we properly step in,” Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the current Financial Services chairman, said at a hearing this year. “We are talking about a decision by adults to do what they want with their own money.”

Under the draft legislation circulated to various Senate offices, states and Indian tribes would oversee regulation of the online poker license-holders.

Casino companies were among Reid’s biggest campaign donors in the last election. MGM Resorts International, through its employees and political action committee, donated $192,000 to his campaign, the most of any single company, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Meanwhile, employees and the PAC at Harrah’s Entertainment chipped in an additional $83,100. Harrah’s recently changed its name to Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Poker’s popularity has soared in recent years, with casinos around the country regularly sponsoring poker tournaments, some of which are shown on television. The winner of this year’s World Series of Poker in Las Vegas won nearly $9 million. The tournament featured more than 7,300 players willing to pay a $10,000 entry fee.

With online poker, players generally deposit money into an account through their credit card. They join a table with other players following along on their computer. A software program deals cards to each participant. And when it’s time to bet, the program automatically prompts a player to bet, hold or fold. The program also keeps a running tab of how many chips a player accumulates or lose. When players have finished their game, they click on a cashier tab that shows how much a player’s account has increased or decreased.

He is doing this in the lame duck secessions where more important items should be discussed. This is a Slimball move by Reid.

DIRTY-DIRTY-DIRTY - Rangel 'raided' PACs for $393,000.00

By ISABEL VINCENT and MELISSA KLEIN

Congressman Charles Rangel, whose ethics trial starts tomorrow, appears to have improperly used political-action committee money to pay for his defense.

Rangel tapped his National Leadership PAC for $293,000 to pay his main legal-defense team this year. He took another $100,000 from the PAC in 2009 to pay lawyer Lanny Davis.

Two legal experts told The Post such spending is against House rules.

“It’s a breach of congressional ethics,” one campaign-finance lawyer said.

Washington, DC, political lawyer Cleta Mitchell said there is “no authority for a member to use leadership PAC funds as a slush fund to pay for personal or official expenses.”

Leadership PACs are typically used by politicians to donate money to other candidates.

But Rangel seems to have run afoul of House ethics rules. Lawmakers are generally allowed to use campaign cash to pay their lawyers, but this is limited to money in their personal campaign committee and they must ask permission first, the campaign-finance lawyer said.

“The only campaign funds that a member may use to pay for congressional expenses are funds of his or her principal campaign committee — not the funds of a leadership PAC or a multicandidate committee,” according to the House Ethics Manual.

Legal fees tied to a campaign, election or performance of official duties are considered congressional expenses.

“Accepting money or payment for legal expenses from any other source, including a PAC, would be a gift and is barred by the House rules,” the lawyer said.

The Ethics Committee had no comment. Rangel’s office refused to comment on the PAC money.

On top of the $393,000 in PAC funds, records show Rangel yanked $1.4 million from his campaign coffers in 2009 and 2010 to pay the firm Zuckerman Spaeder, his main legal-defense team, and $100,000 in 2009 to pay Davis’ firm.

He also spent $147,577 for Washington, DC, lawyer John Kern and $174,303 for Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co., a firm that offers forensic accounting and legal services.

An eight-member ethics subcommittee of four Democrats and four Republicans will convene at 9 a.m. to hear the 13 charges.

They include failure to disclose and pay taxes on his vacation home in the Dominican Republic; his use of a rent-regulated Harlem apartment as a campaign office; and using congressional stationery to raise money for the Rangel Center at City College.

GEORGE SOROS LOSES ANOTHER ONE. ACORN supervisor convicted for election fraud

A supervisor for the now defunct political advocacy group the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has entered into a plea bargain with prosecutors in a case alleging that canvassers were illegally paid to register Nevada voters during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Amy Busefink, 28, pleaded no-contest in state court to two misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters. Her nolo contendere plea acknowledged the state had sufficient evidence for a conviction if the case went to trial.

Busefink is expected to get a slap on the wrist, according to critics of ACORN, with only one year of probation, a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community service probable.

Last month, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri applauded reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had opened a criminal investigation into whether the left-wing advocacy group ACORN has violated federal election law by fostering and promoting a national program of voter registration fraud.

The Associated Press reported at the time that “the FBI is actively pursuing leads in the investigation of ACORN. Word of the investigation comes less than a week after Blunt joined Reps. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in sending a letter to the Department of Justice urging it to act.”

Blunt, a former secretary of state in Missouri, joined other House leaders in urging the Bureau to “take all active and appropriate measures” to ensure the civil rights of legitimate voting Americans aren’t diluted by systemic voter fraud.

“I am proud to join three former secretaries of state now serving in Congress, as well as our ranking members on the Judiciary and Administration committees, in calling on the Justice Department to stand up in defense of the sanctity of Americans’ right to vote — and, as important, their right to be assured that vote counts,” said the Missouri congressman.

“News that the [Justice] Department has heeded that call and begun the process of unraveling ACORN’s widespread program of alleged voter registration fraud is a heartening development — and one all Americans ought to take notice of as they prepare to exercise their most basic civic duty next month,” said the GOP veteran.

“I want to applaud the Department of Justice for taking this important step, and associate myself with the efforts of Leader Boehner to ensure not one more dime of taxpayer money is diverted into the coffers of this organization until Justice completes its review and determines whether ACORN’s actions merit criminal prosecution,” said Rep. Blunt.

Obama’s spokespersons claim he had a limited relationship with ACORN. However, the record shows that “[Obama] says he is drawn to politics, despite its superficialities, as a means to advance his real passion and calling: community organization. … In 1992 Obama took time off to direct Project Vote, an ACORN program said to be the most successful grass-roots voter-registration campaign in recent [Chicago] history.”

ACORN officials have admitted to submitting fraudulent voter registration forms in Ohio and press reports confirmed that ACORN submitted hundreds of fraudulent voter registration forms in Kansas City, forcing local officials to wade through fraudulent voter registrations, potentially disenfranchising legitimate voters.

SORRY GEORGE – GET USED TO LOSING. WE ARE ON TO YOUR GAME.

Transparency? Treasury Secretary hires firm to help coverup records

HOW MUCH DID HIS TRIP TO INDIA REALLY COST? THERE  IS DIRTY POOL HERE!

Following a political tsunami that gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives, an increase in members of the U.S. Senate, and an increased number of Republican governors nationwide, President Barack Obama will be leaving the U.S. behind to schmooze with officials in a country that actually likes him — India.

One result of this upcoming trip is a “battle of op-eds” regarding the cost of Obama’s lavish trip to places such as Mumbai, India. One estimate being touted is $200,000,000 per day. While Obama’s defenders say that figure is wrong, they claim for national security reasons the White House will not release the amount of money to be spent on the President’s trip.

Using that rationale, they disclosing the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the price tags of big-ticket weapons programs, and other costs associated with national security should not be disclosed. Apparently, running the most transparent administration in history was just a catchy campaign slogan for Barack Obama.

While the U.S. government doles out trillions of taxpayer dollars for bank bailouts and economic stimulus, the administration that promised unprecedented transparency has hired a private company to keep information about the exorbitant handouts secret, according to officials for a Washington, DC watchdog group.

According to officials at Judicial Watch, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner enlisted a consulting firm to screen public records requested through the federal law known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Analysts who will handle Treasury FOIA requests will have experience in the use of “exemptions to withhold information from release to the public.”

To keep crucial Treasury records secret, the Obama Administration picked a firm (Phacil) that has given tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and not a dime to Republicans. Earlier this year Phacil won a small-business award that was celebrated in a  Rose Garden event with the president.

This marks the latest of many efforts by the administration to keep critical information about its monstrous bailouts and stimulus programs from Americans. For more than a year, the Treasury Department has blown off a news agency’s request to identify $301 billion of Citigroup securities that the government agreed to guarantee. The media group requested the information on the grounds that taxpayers should know how their money is being used.

Since 2008, Judicial Watch has pursued documents regarding the unprecedented explosion in government’s size and reach through its $24 trillion bank rescues, bailouts and fraud-infested economic stimulus plan. Judicial Watch has dozens of FOIA requests and lawsuits pending against the Treasury Department for failing to produce documents in several cases, including the scandalous $200 billion taxpayer bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and meetings between top Treasury officials and CEOs of major banks.

Last month Judicial Watch uncovered Treasury Department documents that revealed President Obama’s “Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation” received a $120,830 annual salary to establish executive pay at companies bailed out by the federal government, even though the administration had assured the pay czar wouldn’t be compensated for his work. It’s a perfect example supporting the need to obtain records rather than take the word of government bureaucrats, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch pointed out in a press statement.

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