Walmart Asked to Stop Bankrolling Sharpton After New York Police Murders

WalmartHere is a letter I sent today to C. Douglas McMillon, Walmart President and CEO:

We ask that Walmart end its financial support of Al Sharpton and his organization, the National Action Network (NAN). 

The cold-blooded murder of two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, follows weeks of Sharpton’s vilification of law enforcement personnel.

As you know, Walmart has helped bankroll Sharpton for years. Most recently, the company was a sponsor of Sharpton’s 60th birthday party in New York City, which reportedly was a fundraiser for NAN that raised a million dollars.

We have repeatedly raised the issue of your support for Sharpton, including at the Walmart annual meeting. You cannot lay any claim to corporate social responsibility as long as you write checks to Sharpton.

This is not the first time that violence and loss of life have followed Sharpton’s agitation, such as in … Read More ➡

Mayor di Blasio Hires NJ Corruption Figure for NYC Housing Authority

Mayor Bill di BlasioAs if New York City did not have enough corruption of it own, the administration of Mayor Bill di Blasio has reached into New Jersey and recruited an operative named Bill Crawley for a key post in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). As pointed out by investigative reporter Gerard Flynn on the Gothamist website:

Bill Crawley is the former CEO of a controversial Newark non-profit disbanded in 2011 amid allegations of millions of dollars in graft and a pay-to-play scandal that sent Newark’s deputy mayor to federal prison.

Newark’s deputy mayor may have gone to prison, but Cory Booker, then Mayor and now U.S. Senator, skated. Booker’s political organization was thoroughly corrupt. Crawley headed an entity called the Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corporation (NDCRC) that offered lucrative contracts in exchange for donations to Booker’s political campaign’s and pet causes.

The nonprofit NDCRC was founded in 2005 to buy … Read More ➡

Immigration Waiver for Rich Donors Followed Sen. Menendez Pressure

Senator Robert MenendezThe New York Times reports in a front-page story today that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) successfully pressed Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, to grant a visa to an Ecuadoran woman whose family made significant donations to his campaign and other Democratic campaign groups, including the Obama Victory Fund.

The woman, Estefania Isaias, is the daughter of Roberto Isaias, a wealthy Ecuadoran who is wanted along with his brother, William Isaias, for allegedly looting a bank in their home country. Estefania was barred from entering the United State because she previously had illegally brought her maids into this country.

In January, a New York TV station first reported that the criminal investigation of Menendez had been widened to include his relationship with the brothers, who are seeking to stay in the United States in the face of extradition requests by Ecuador.

According to Times reporter … Read More ➡

Congress Asked to Investigate Whether Obama Administration Delayed GM Ignition Switch Recall

Jason ChaffetzToday, we requested that the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform undertake an “independent” investigation of the General Motors ignition switch recall delay, in light of newly obtained emails by lawyers suing GM.

Those emails suggest that the Treasury may have timed its final sale of GM shares to precede public knowledge of the ignition switch fiasco. They also cast doubt on GM CEO Mary Barra’s previous account of what she knew and when she knew it.

Here is the text of a letter I sent today to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), in photo, the incoming Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee:

At a February 2010 Oversight Committee hearing on the risk from Toyota gas pedals, you asked a remarkably prescient question: “Does the government treat Toyota the same as it does all other automakers?”

Then-Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was unable to explain why the … Read More ➡

AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Had Mixed Reaction to Duke Lacrosse Rape Case

Loretta LynchLoretta Lynch, who has been nominated by President Obama to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, took part in a 2007 panel discussion at Duke Law School prompted by the Duke lacrosse rape case. Lynch’s comments provide insight into her mindset and raise unsettling questions about her commitment to equal justice and the rights of the accused.

The event took place on September 28, 2007. The wounds were still raw for members of the Duke lacrosse team, their families, and in a sense, the entire nation. That same month, Michael Nifong, the former District Attorney who had knowingly pursued false rape and hate crime accusations against three teammates, had been found guilty of criminal contempt of court.

The title of the session, moderated by Duke Law Professor Thomas Metzloff, was “The Practice & Ethics of Trying Cases in the Media.”  On the panel with Lynch, who was identified as Loretta … Read More ➡

Report: Mollohan Should Have Been Indicted

Alan MollohanDocuments obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) from the Department of Justice provide “hard evidence” that former Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) should have been prosecuted after NLPC exposed his questionable financial dealings, and triggered a Justice Department investigation.

CREW executive director Melanie Sloan told Politico yesterday, “It was clear the Justice Department should have indicted Mollohan.”

Mollohan was defeated for re-election in 2010 in a Democratic primary. His ethics woes were a key issue in the campaign.

Although we have not yet had the opportunity to study the underlying documents, CREW has released a very concise summary of their own review. The CREW summary confirms the key accusations made by NLPC against Mollohan. It is also a serious indictment of the Justice Department for failing to prosecute Mollohan.

The investigation began in February 2006 after NLPC filed a 500-page Complaint with the U.S. Attorney for the … Read More ➡

GM CEO Mary Barra Forced to Give Up Award

General Motors announced today that CEO Mary Barra will not attend a ceremony on November 17 at which she was scheduled to receive an award from the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM).

On Monday, we asked the museum to rescind the planned award to Barra in light of questions about her “credibility and veracity” in the wake of Sunday’s report that GM ordered 500,000 ignition switches from a supplier almost two months before it reported the safety defect to the government.

Earlier today, our request was seconded by the GM Survivors group. On behalf of 260 family and friends of GM recall delay victims, Laura Christian of Maryland wrote, “While we recognize that Mrs. Barra is the first woman to be named CEO of an American auto company, her first year in this position is only credited with one record so far – a record number of vehicle safety recalls … Read More ➡

Women’s Museum Asked to Rescind Mary Barra Award; GM CEO Made History ‘of Wrong Kind’

Mary BarraToday I sent the following letter to Dr. Gretchen Green, the Acting Chair of the National Women’s History Museum:

We ask the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to withdraw its planned award to General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

As you know, Barra is scheduled to receive the Katharine Graham Living Legacy Award on November 17 as part of your annual de Pizan Honors at The Mead Center for American Theater at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

Barra has indeed made history – of the wrong kind.

Just three months ago, she sat in front of Congressional Committees and desperately tried to avoid answering questions about the negligence and cover up regarding an ignition switch defect. As Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said, “It goes beyond unacceptable. I believe this is criminal.” Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said, “Even under the ‘New GM’ banner, the company waited nine months to take action after … Read More ➡

Divestment Campaign Targets Fossil Fuels

fossil fuel divestment HarvardAmerica is on the verge of energy independence. We now pump as much oil as Saudi Arabia. Investments in new technologies are paying off, buoying our economy with new jobs and lower energy prices. What’s not to like?

Well plenty, if you are an activist who takes your lead from an organization called that wants to end the use of oil, gas and coal. The “350” comes from the group’s goal of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from its present level of 400 parts per million to 350. Its unclear what good such a reduction would do. CO2 is naturally occurring and is always present in the atmosphere. It’s what we exhale.

When you are promoting a cause, however, it’s good to have a numerical goal no matter how arbitrary or unachievable. In fact, the more unachievable it is, the better in order to … Read More ➡

Rep. Michael Grimm’s Campaign Shakedown Scheme

Gregory Meeks and Michael GrimmToday’s New York Post reports that Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), already under indictment, sought out and allegedly accepted campaign contributions in his initial 2010 race for Congress that exceeded contribution limits.

He asked for $10,000 donations from six people, when the legal limit for individual contributions is $2,400. The contributions were not disclosed on Grimm’s campaign disclosure forms, evidence that Grimm may have been aware that they were illegal.

From the article by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein:

“A candidate who tries to get others to solicit contributions far in excess of the legal limit raises big red flags,” said Ken Boehm, a former prosecutor and chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia watchdog. Not reporting donations, or funneling them through straw donors, is illegal.

Despite being a Republican, Grimm is close to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) of Queens, in photo with Grimm. According to a … Read More ➡

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