Rep. Kelly: Vienna Embassy Goes Green as Libya Embassy Bombed

Embassy/Volt photoIn a Washington Times column, Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) blasted State Department priorities on an issue we first raised in an October 2 post titled, Embassies Facing Security Cuts Waste Money on Chevy Volts.” From Kelly’s column:

In fact, at a May 10 gala held at the U.S. embassy in Vienna, the ambassador showcased his new Volts and other green investments as part of the U.S. government’s commitment to “climate change solutions.”

The event posting on the embassy website read: “Celebrating the Greening of the Embassy.”

While the embassy in Vienna was going green, the consulate in Benghazi was getting bombed, and little was done to stop it.

We cited a State Department contract for a Volt recharger that cost $108,000. Kelly figures that this sum could have bought a lot of additional security in Benghazi:

According to an employment contract recovered at the Benghazi compound by the

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Embassies Facing Security Cuts Waste Money on Chevy Volts

Volt and Embassy officialThe U.S. military’s newspaper, Stars & Stripes, recently reported that the Pentagon is buying Chevy Volts in a 1,500 electric-vehicle purchase, as part of the Defense Department’s “green initiatives,” which seek to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign energy sources.

A recent Congressional Budget Office study challenged the assumption that electric vehicles have any impact on such dependence, prompting the question of why the government is spending money this way. Against the backdrop of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, and looming embassy security cuts due to sequestration, it appears politics and ideology are trumping common sense.

A little poking around the web raises additional questions about government Volt purchases. A State Department contract from March of this year details the purchase of a Chevy Volt for $47,500 for use at a U.S. embassy in Norway. The sticker price for a 2013 model year is $39,145 (before the $7,500 tax credit … Read More ➡

Tax Cheat Rangel Says Higher Taxes Are ‘Paying Your Fair Share’

Rangel Tweet photoThis photo was Tweeted by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) yesterday. Also in the photo is House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). Along with the photo, Rangel Tweeted this:

My ears perking up to hear RepCantor saying taxes will go up under Pres Obama. It’s called “paying your fair share”!

In 2008 Rangel admitted not paying taxes on rental income from a Dominican Republic beach house after it was exposed by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC). It was one of the counts in his 2010 Censure by the House.

Of course, Rangel used to be Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax laws. He resigned that post after being admonished by the House Ethics Committee for accepting corporate sponsorship of Caribbean junkets. We exposed that, too.

Many months after the Dominican revelation, Rangel amended his financial disclosure forms to show that he failed to … Read More ➡

Auto Bailout is a FAILURE

GM/ObamaTonight, the Democratic National Convention will reportedly highlight the “success” of the auto bailout.  Michelle Malkin comments in a column today, and quotes NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica:

The claims that GM paid back its taxpayer-funded loans “in full” – a story peddled in campaign ads narrated by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks – were debunked by the Treasury Department’s TARP watchdog this summer. GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received. Bailout watchdog Mark Modica of the National Legal and Policy Center adds: “In addition to U.S. taxpayers anteing up, Canada put in over $10 billion, and GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder obligations as UAW claims were protected. That’s an improvement of almost $90 billion to the balance sheet, and the company still lags

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NY State Sen. Shirley Huntley Says She Will Be Arrested; NLPC Exposed Her Sham Charity

Shriey Huntley photoNew York State Senator Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) announced on Saturday that she expects to be arrested on Monday on corruption charges. In March 2011, NLPC exposed a sham charity she founded called The Parent Workshop, to which she steered tens of thousands in taxpayer money.

According to the New York Times today:

She said she did not know the charges, but her announcement came months after one of her aides and three others were charged with stealing taxpayer money from a nonprofit group that Ms. Huntley founded.

NLPC’s Huntley allegations were a byproduct of our investigation of U. S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and a sham charity with which he was associated called New Direction Local Development Corporation. Among other irregularities, New Direction raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who did not receive any assistance.

As described in the New York Post in March 2011:

Sham charities are a

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GM CEO Akerson Responds to Criticism

Akerson photoGeneral Motors CEO & Chairman Dan Akerson has an op-ed in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press in response to the growing chorus of criticism of the company in general, and his leadership in particular.  It is rather typical corporate PR, complete with a Teddy Roosevelt quote.

One line is odd, though. Akerson (or his flak) writes:

I believe our culture is our “secret weapon” and is on the way to being a true difference maker for us.

So, how is GM’s culture,  according to Akerson?

A few days ago, Akerson had “expressed his continued frustration with the company’s inability to quickly shed its bureaucratic legacy,” saying “We’ve got to get this company and the culture into the 21st Century.”

Last month, Akerson was asked, “How much of GM’s culture has changed since before bankruptcy, on a scale of one to 100,” and he responded: “20, 25. We have a long, … Read More ➡

Rep. Meeks Blames NLPC for Ethics Woes

MeeksIn an interview Tuesday on New York City’s WNYW-TV, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) denied that he is under investigation by federal authorities, contradicting several previous reports by the New York Times, New York Post and New York Daily News.

The New York Post reported on Saturday that a nonprofit called the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation received subpoenas connected to a broader investigation of Meeks, who has steered millions in federal funds to the group.

As he has done in the past, Meeks attributed his woes to the New York Post and NLPC. Of the most recent reports, he told WNYW-TV reporters David Price and Rosanna Scotto:

They’re all inaccurate. It’s the New York Post… I’ve never been investigated. I am not under investigation. I’ve never been questioned.

Later in the interview, Meeks renewed his assault on NLPC:

David Price: …I think the concern to a lot

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NY Times: $900K Flows From ‘Mysterious’ Donor

New York Times logoThe New York Times has a front-page story today on a political giver named James Robert Williams, who has no visible means of support, but is very generous to both parties and to politicians of different stripes.  From the article:

…one government watchdog group called the pattern of donations extremely troubling. Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, said, “In more than 15 years of investigating political corruption, I’ve never seen a more suspicious set of facts.”

According to the story by reporters Raymond Hernandez, Alison Leigh Cowan and Jo Craven McGinty, Williams lives in a small apartment in a scrubby section of Jamaica, Queens where the average household income is $33,800 and many residents receive government assistance.” The reporters state the obvious that it is “hard to say where the big sums are coming from.”

The recipients include Democrats like Rep. Charles Rangel (NY) and … Read More ➡

‘Ludicrous’ EPA – NASCAR Partnership

NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica appeared Wednesday on Cavuto on Fox Business Network to discuss the new “partnership” between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). Here’s a transcript:

Liz MacDonald:  Well, next up, the EPA, you know what, it is all about clean air. But now critics are saying it is full of hot air. That is because it is partnering with NASCAR to push green initiatives. That includes encouraging the tracks to recycle more, conserve water, sustainability. You get the picture. Mark Modica from the National Legal and Policy Center says you know what, this proves the EPA is clueless. Sir, what did you make of this when you heard this news?

Mark Modica: I just think it is ludicrous, Liz. It shows you how out of touch the administration is. I mean, NASCAR, these guys, I think … Read More ➡

The Proposal Goldman Sachs Didn’t Want Shareholders to See

Blankfein and Buffett photoThe Securities and Exchange Commission recently notified us that it will allow Goldman Sachs to exclude our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on the company’s lobbying priorities. The basis for the exclusion was that another shareholder, The Needmoor Fund, had already submitted a similar proposal. We disagree that the proposals duplicate each other. We hope that Needmoor will raise the issues that prompted our proposal, especially Goldman’s endorsement of Dodd-Frank, but we doubt they will.

Goldman has reportedly bowed to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) who filed a proposal to split the positions of Chairman and CEO, a role now filled by Lloyd Blankfein. Often dismissed as pests or gadflies, it is nice to see shareholder activists score once in while, but its clear that Goldman is more responsive to its left-wing critics.

Here is our proposal:

Goldman Sachs’ primary responsibility is to

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